Archive for the Category Safety


Ensuring Safety When a Salesperson Comes By Your Home

In a new report, the Better Business Bureau explains the ways that citizens can remain safe if an individual ever arrives at their doorstop to pedal their wares.  The organization knows that the possibility of such is greater amid summer weather, and they want consumers to be safe from potential frauds.  Residents are advised to speak with the individual from behind a locked door prior to opening that door.  If a glass door is available, it’s smart to have the seller provide photo identification and paperwork indicating that they have a license to sell whatever it is they’re selling.  Finally, if you feel unsafe or like an offer simply sounds too good to be true, simply say “No Thank You” or opt not to answer the door in the first place.

For more tips, follow this link.

Home Safety Tips Provided By Allstate To Ensure Vacation Peace of Mind

Allstate has released a series of tips designed for those families that will be heading out of town for some type of summer vacation.  Much of the advice is focused on protecting your home from burglary while you’re away.  The more lived-in a residence appears, the better.  Lights should be placed on timers so that they’re never always on or always off, and if you’re going to be away for awhile, have a neighbor or trusted acquaintance drop in to mow the lawn and pick up mail and the newspaper every day.  Encourage them to even park in your driveway on a nightly basis so that it looks like someone is there.  You yourself can contribute to safety by not including your address along with other contact information on your luggage.  An unscrupulous individual could spot this and put two and two together to figure out you’re not going to be home.

For more tips, follow this link.

Manhattan Beach Shark Sightings Prompt Warning From Sheriffs

If you’re headed to Manhattan Beach or thereabouts anytime soon, then you’ll want to make yourself aware of recent shark sightings in the area.  Earlier this week, lifeguards reported the appearance of a relatively small four foot shark, but a Sheriff’s Department air crew was reportedly able to spot two larger sharks in the vicinity of surfers.  As such, sheriffs have issued a few tips to persons who might be swimming in shark-infested waters.  Dull colors should be worn in place of bright ones, and similarly shiny jewelry should be kept out of the water.  Being in a group is safer than being alone, and persons who have suffered some type of wound should never go in the water.

For more information, follow this link.

Study Claims Emergency Room Stays Will Lengthen Across The Country

Get ready for longer hospital stays.  That’s what a new study headed by the a research director with Brigham and Women’s Hospital concludes.  Featured in the July issue of Health Affairs, the study sought to analyze the impact that the aging population would have on the length of time that a person submitting to the emergency room will be expected to stay.  Although the number of actual visits will remain proportionate to population levels over the next 37 years, the length of stay is estimated to increase 10% faster, taking up a larger proportion of the current levels of resources on hand at hospitals.  The lead author explained that hospitals need to make sure they’re capable of transporting a patient from the ER to the hospital itself as these stays lengthen.

Click here for more about the study.

Florida Parasailing Accident Garners National Attention

If you’re planning on taking a trip to the beach anytime soon, you might let a recent incident act as a warning of the potential dangers of parasailing.  Two teenage girls on vacation in Florida opted to go parasailing under the direction of an outfit known as Aquatic Adventures.  While they were in the air, their line came dislodged from the boat, leaving the girls at the mercy of the winds, which thrust them into a building before they were eventually cast down hard on the ground.  Their injuries were serious, and the event has called into question the safety of some forms of the activity.  Aquatic Adventures was allegedly involved in a previous incident of similar nature that found the parasailers falling into the ocean.

Do your research before going parasailing, and don’t head out on such an excursion unless safety can be completely assured by the operator.  View the video below for more information.

Avoid Straining Your Air Conditioning During Severe Heat

Much of the country has been impacted by a heat wave in recent weeks, and the tips on offer from the New York Office of Emergency Management would be applicable to anyone, especially at those times when the power goes out.  To limit your exposure to such an outage, you can keep the thermostat above 78, which will help reduce the strain on electrical equipment.  Timers can be used that turn on your A/C a half hour or so before you come home so that it can be otherwise turned off while you’re away(however, if you have pets, the A/C must stay on).  Other large appliances should be shut down when the A/C is on.  Finally, drink plenty of water, avoid heading outside at times when the sun is at its brightest and most dangerous, and take cool showers or baths when you feel hot.

For more tips, follow this link.

CPSC Encourages Watchfulness Around Pools

Many families use Independence Day as a reason to head out to local pools and other bodies of water, but as noted by Consumer Reports, this time of the year also sees an increase in the number of drowning accidents.  Every year, an estimated 5,100 accidents and 400 fatal drownings take place, and to reduce these numbers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission advises that every swimming-related get-together include an individual tasked with watching the water for signs of danger.  The CPSC explains that this person should avoid cellphone usage and other distractions, and to keep in a constant state of readiness, adults should switch in and out of the role.  At no time should kids be near the water if an adult is not present.

For more tips and information, follow this link.

Keeping Barbecues Safe From The Threat Of A Grill Fire

If you’re going to be hosting or attending a barbecue this Independence Day or any other time this summer, you have to make safety a priority, and new tips out of Beaufort County, South Carolina from a representative of the fire department of Lady’s Island explain how to do so.  First, you absolutely need to keep your grill a healthy distance from any structures.  Many people set their grills up on a wooden deck, but if a fire gets out of control, even that could create a hazard.  To ensure safety, you ought to have a fire extinguisher at the ready in order to squelch any flames that get out of hand.  When your’e finished grilling, don’t forget to turn off your propane and stick around for a minute to verify that no leaks have sprung.

Click here for more tips.

FDA Explains How To Protect Oneself From Ticks

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a series of tips to consumers attempting to avoid diseases which can be incurred when one sustains a tick bite.  Ten such diseases are known to authorities at this time.  Most notable among those are Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.  The FDA explains that danger can be mitigated by applying some sort of insecticide when you know you’re going to be headed through wooded areas.  When you come in from such conditions, go over your body within 36 hours after initially headed out, as that’s about how long it takes for parasites to be transmitted by the ticks.  Take a shower and look in those places, such as your hair and between toes, where it might be hard to spot a tick.

For more tips, follow this link.

FDA Exercises Power Over Tobacco Product Makers

The Food and Drug Administration is exercising its power, created by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, to regulate tobacco products incoming to the market.  If the seller of an item containing tobacco attempts to market that product, they can file a Substantial Equivalency Marketing Order.  This basically says that the new product has a makeup that is overwhelmingly similar to something that is already for sale.  This doesn’t mean the product is safe or even approved by the FDA, but it does allow it to come to market.  The FDA has for the first time allowed two products to receive this designation, but they’ve denied four others.  The FDA stresses this is only the beginning of their regulatory efforts in this arena and that items which could further compromise public health will not be allowed to be marketed.

For more information, follow this link.

Business Owners Owe Employees, Customers A Safe Environment

A new report encourages small business owners to do what they can to ensure the safety of both customers and employees.  The latter need to be trained to operate equipment safely.  This is especially important with seasonal workers, who aren’t accustomed to the necessary safety precautions and are often overlooked during training programs.  Customers can be protected in part when business owners make sure the environment is going to be safe for them.  One should take pains to ensure debris or slick floors won’t create a fall hazard, and safety procedures should be put in place in the event of an emergency.  Business owners also have to have adequate insurance so that they’ll be protected if a personal injury lawsuit is ever filed.

Click here for more tips.

“Dumb Ways to Die” Campaign Raises Awareness of Train Safety

Many Public Service Announcements strive to showcase the serious repercussions of dangerous acts like texting and driving.  Recently, the Cannes Advertising Festival showed that it might be better to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to serious safety matters.  Drawing high praise is a campaign out of Australia called “Dumb Ways to Die.”  Ostensibly designed as a way to enlighten persons in the country about the importance of not playing around train tracks, the video features a song describing other foolish ways to die, such as selling your kidneys.  Moreover, it seems to be working.  The city of Melbourne has been able to post a 20% reduction in the number of train-related accidents, and a million people have pledged not to act dumb around trains.  The author of the report linked to below wonders aloud what a campaign like this could do for texting and driving.

To view the full video, click here.

FDA Offers Guidance to Prevent Medical Device Hacking

The Food and Drug Administration is offering guidance to medical device manufacturers whose products might be susceptible to infiltration by cyber criminals.  The FDA worries that the onboard computer systems of many devices could be breached, and because such items are typically connected to hospitals, smartphones, and more, the threat could extend beyond even a single device.  To counteract this danger, which the FDA takes pains to state has not to their knowledge prompted a fatality or an injury, hospitals and overseers are being advised to update security software as needed.  Unauthorized usage should be monitored and cracked down on.  Communication between device makers and hospitals is also encouraged so that problems can be reported and corrected immediately.

Follow this link for more about the perceived danger.

Pesticides Alleged to Have Sickened Los Angeles Bus Drivers

A new report featured in the Los Angeles Times details the experiences of a group of bus drivers who were allegedly made ill because of the pesticides sprayed inside their buses.  14 drivers in the Los Angeles County area have already sought workers’ compensation from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Buses typically receive chemical treatment as a means to get rid of the insects that are attracted by passengers’ various food leavings.  But since 2011, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has received complaints from three drivers who claim to have suffered from nausea, skin irritation, and breathing problems.  The Bus Riders Union worries that passengers may be getting ill from this insect treatment as well.

For more information, follow this link.

California Lawsuit May Be Delayed While FDA Decides on GE Foods Rules

Last year, a class action lawsuit was filed against Gruma Corp. because their Mission tortilla chips boasted of being all-natural despite having used genetically engineered corn as an ingredient.  However, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to force GE foods to be labeled as such, and the agency has also refrained from defining benchmarks a food must meet to be declared natural.  A Northern District of California Judge has thus suggested that she will issue a stay on the case for a half year so that the FDA can make a decision as to the appropriate definition of natural and whether GE foods could receive such a label.  The persons responsible for the class action suit worry, though, about the FDA’s tendency to drag its feet on such matters.

For more about the suit, follow this link.

Sibumatrine Presence Prompts Recall of Bethel 30 Herbal Supplement

An herbal supplement known as Bethel 30 is being recalled by Bethel Nutritional Consulting because of the potential presence of Sibutramine, a substance that has been deemed unsafe and is not currently available on the market.  In addition, the presence of Sibumatrine and Phenolphthalein mean that Bethel 30 should be classified as an unapproved drug.  Persons affected by Sibumatrine can face increased pulse and blood pressure as well as adverse reactions with other drugs.  The recalled 30 capsule version of the product with an expiration date of December 5, 2014 was available in New York City and online.  Although no adverse incidents have been reported at this time, consumers are being asked to return the item for a refund.

For more about the recall, follow this link.

EZ Breathe Atomizers Recalled By Nephron Over Choking Threat

EZ Breathe Atomizers are being recalled by Nephron Pharmaceuticals because of an issue that could pose a choking hazard.  The device, which is used to administer medication in the form of an aerosol spray, was available around the country between August of last year and this past April.  Dislodging of a certain washer is a possibility thanks to a defect in the manufacture process, an issue that could prompt the patient to swallow or choke on that washer.  This could lead to an injury or even a fatality.  Adversity should be reported to MedWatch and the devices should not be used.

Click here for more about the recall.

445,000 Glass Tea Tumblers Recalled by Teavana Over Shattering Risk

The Atlanta, Georgia-based Teavana Corporation has announced the recall of various models of glass tea tumblers, most of which can be identified by their inner wall’s ornamental etchings and a removable lid and stainless steel infuser basket.  A whopping 445,0000 tumblers from around the country are affected by the recall, and each was available from August 2007 until now at Teavana stores.  The tumblers can suddenly shatter while in use, thus leaving the door open for the user to experience a burn or laceration injury.  More than 300 incident reports have already been filed, and six of those led to the user being burned or lacerated.  The items can be brought back to Teavana, at which point a replacement product will be provided.

Click here for more about the recall.

RFID Technology Seeks to Improve Blood Bank Safety Procedures

Radio Frequency Identification has been is use for awhile, but now, establishments that oversee the processing and collection of blood samples will be able to use this technology to ensure that unsuitable materials won’t be released.  The Food and Drug Administration has given its approval to the iTrace for Blood Centers device from the Brookfield, Wisconsin-based SysLogic.  Blood banks will theoretically be able to use the RFID-based system in order to better track blood samples and ensure that all incoming data is accurate. By tracking each individual item, personnel will hopefully be able to better identify unsafe products and withhold them from distribution, ensuring that persons who eventually come into contact with the blood are kept healthy.

Click here for more about the technology.

Advisory Panel Not As Worried About Suvorexant As The FDA

In a move that came as somewhat of a surprise given the Food and Drug Administration’s initial feelings on the matter, an advisory panel has recommended the approval of an anti-insomnia drug from Merck.  The panel convened yesterday let the FDA know that the drug known as suvorexant appears to be both effective and safe for patients.  They explained that doses recommended by Merck seemed appropriate and that insomnia sufferers appear to have been able to get sleep.  What’s interesting is that this runs somewhat counter to the FDA’s own findings.  Reports from earlier in the week suggested that the FDA was concerned about issues with extensive drowsiness after the effects of the drug were supposed to have worn off.  Also troubling the FDA were reports about the onset of suicidal thoughts.

Click here for more about the panel’s thoughts.