August 2008
N.C. Industrial Commission
Safety Bulletin

“The door to safety swings on the hinges of common sense.” ~Author Unknown

  Greetings Friends in the Name of Safety:

Effective August 1st, our email addresses have changed! All Industrial Commission email addresses will be the persons first name.last name Please note the changes below:

APCAP is coming to ATLANTIC BEACH, NC in September! The Sheraton Atlantic Beach is offering a rate of $63.75 per night, plus tax, for the Atlantic Beach APCAP. Please make hotel reservations directly with the Sheraton Atlantic Beach, 2717 W. Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512; (252) 240-1155. When making reservations, please mention NCIC, which is the Promotion Code for special room rates! Rate cut off is August 8, 2008.

To register for our Atlantic Beach event, Click HERE

If you haven’t already registered for our Accident Prevention Certificate Awareness Program August 11 - 15, 2008 at the Dennis Wicker Civic Center in Sanford, NC, time is running out. You can register by CLICKING HERE

Your REGIONAL SAFETY COUNCILS are continuing to work for you, so please refer to the calendar section of our Safety Bulletin for more information. Please support YOUR councils!

As always, we thank you for your support and we pledge to continue to serve your needs. We promise to continue to provide quality ACCIDENT PREVENTION training programs.

You are what you email.. Email may be a convenient way of communicating with bosses or coworkers, but don’t let its convenience make you too comfortable. Your emails contribute to your professional persona, so be sure that they contribute to your reputation in a positive way. Be sure to:

Be concise but not rude: Respect other people’s time by being succinct, but don’t let attempts at concision translate to an abrupt tone that could be considered rude. “Please” and “thank you” are not antiquities.

Realize the effects of punctuation and style: CAPITAL LETTERS CAN SEEM LIKE YELLING, and improper punctuation can make you seem unorganized, unfocused, or worse - lazy.

Mind spelling: Sure, you don’t think it’s a big deal if you swap “two” for “too,” or misspell a word, but in a professional atmosphere, careless mistakes can negatively impact a person’s impression of you. Use a spell-checker whenever it’s available.

Spell it out: In the spirit of concision, you might be tempted to substitute “u” for “you.” While these abbreviations are fine for personal emails or text messages, they are simply too informal for work.

Gas Prices: What You Can Do

Prices at the pump are becoming more and more painful, and for most people, there’s little relief in sight. Yes, you can walk, carpool, or use public transportation (most transit systems have experienced growth over the past few months), but when you must drive, there are things you can do to soften the blow of your gas bill.

1. Clean it out! If you’re carrying unnecessary weight in your car, taking it out can lower your fuel consumption. Removing 100 extra pounds could mean you use 2% less gas.

2. Shop around. While it doesn’t pay to drive around looking for the lowest gas price, sites like can tell you the location of the cheapest gas in your area.

3. Keep up on maintenance. Regular tune ups and oil and filter changes can save you money. Proper inflation of your tires alone can save you up to 3% in gas.

4. Aerodynamics, anyone? A luggage rack, bicycle, or canoe that you’re too lazy to remove can also cost you, and at high rates of speed, open windows cost more than air conditioning.

5. Calm down. Aggressive driving can raise fuel consumption by more than 30 percent.
“There’s No Place Like Home!”
By Eric Johnson   Welcome Back Eric Johnson
Sound familiar? Yes, we all grow up with that saying from the Wizard of Oz. All Dorothy wanted to do was get back home to the people she missed the most, her family! I returned to my family, NCIC Safety Section, on Monday July 21st, 2008.

Recently I accepted a position with another state agency and left the N.C. Industrial Commission Safety Section. Even though everyone at the other agency was very nice and good to work with I immediately realized I had given up the best work family in the world! At the Industrial Commission I had a fun job, the best boss in the world, and great co-workers, the best of everything, and like Dorothy I did not realize how important that was until it was gone. Shortly after I had left the safety section I had lunch with my Safety Director Dennis Parnell and he had a new Safety Section Service Brochure on the console of his vehicle. I picked it up and looked inside and where my name and picture once was it said “Vacant Position,” that image really burned into my mind. I will never forget those words and the life lesson I learned from all this.

I feel like I have a second lease on life and am very grateful for the opportunity to return and serve the Mid-State Region and resume the Water/Wastewater Coordinator duties. Please feel free to call me at 919-218-3567 to schedule classes and workshops.

Remember! “There’s no place like home”!

Eric Johnson is the Mid-State Safety Representative and Water/Wastewater Coordinator and covers a fourteen county area around Raleigh. Please call 919-218-3567 or email at to schedule training.

Don’t Worry, I Won’t Fall
Being safe while on a ladder seems like common sense, yet somehow over 164,000 emergency room visits in the United States are the result of ladder-related accidents. Most people know not to climb too high or lean too far, but accidents still occur, often because known dangers simply aren’t taken seriously.

Some risks involving ladders have less to do with the ladder itself and more to do with your surroundings when you are using the ladder. For example, if you must set a ladder up in front of a door, be certain the door is locked, blocked, or guarded. In addition, be sure that your surroundings provide a surface that is both level and hard. A ladder that rocks or sinks into the ground can be extremely dangerous.

The ladder itself, when used improperly, can also be extremely dangerous. Straight ladders should be at least 3 feet higher than a roofline or a working surface, and should be set up at about a 75-degree angle (this means that the ladder should be 1 foot away from the structure it is supported by for every 4 feet of height). You should never stand on the top 3 rungs of a straight ladder. Folding ladders should always be unfolded and locked in the open position according to product directions - they should never be used unfolded as a substitute for a straight ladder.

In general, ladders should not be left unattended, and you should always follow any instructions or warnings (these might be printed right on the ladder). All ladders have a maximum load rating, which specifies the amount of weight that can be supported, so take care not to exceed this limit. Two people should never use a ladder at the same time.

Finally, consider your surroundings before climbing a ladder. Determine ahead of time whether you might encounter any external obstacles, dangers, or surprises, like insects, birds, slick surfaces, or strong winds. Any of these unexpected or startling elements could cause you to fall.
The Sun: Friend or Foe?
    Signs to watch out for...
These days, it’s extremely difficult to know how and when to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, especially when some studies suggest that moderate sun exposure can actually be beneficial. Studies have suggested that moderate sun exposure can keep depression away, help with bone health and even ward off some forms of cancer!

Still, despite the potential for a moderate amount of sun to be friendly, it can still be quite dangerous in large doses. Extreme sun and heat can cause major problems for the body - the most obvious of which is sunburn. Lesser-known, but equally dangerous heat-related illnesses include: heat rash, heat cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion.

Heat-related illnesses occur when the body becomes unable to regulate its temperature, and are most dangerous for children under 4 and adults age 65 and older. People who are overweight or on certain medications are also at a particular risk for heat-related illnesses.

Heat rash - A skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather, heat rash looks like a red cluster of blisters or pimples. It is most likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, or in the body’s creases. Though uncomfortable, most cases of heat rash are not serious and will go away on their own in a few days.

Heat cramps - These cramps are caused by a lack of moisture and salt in a person’s muscles. People who sweat a lot during vigorous activity are most prone to heat cramps. Note that these cramps might also be a symptom of heat exhaustion (see below). If you are afflicted with heat cramps, stop any strenuous activity for a few hours, even after the cramps subside. If cramps last more than 1 hour, seek medical attention.

Heat exhaustion - A milder form of heat-related illness than heat stroke, heat exhaustion often occurs after several days of exposure to high temperatures and poor hydration. Victims of heat exhaustion might be pale, weak, dizzy, or nauseous, and may have headaches or muscle cramps. Untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, move to a cool atmosphere, rest, and drink cool beverages. You may want to take a cool shower or bath as well. If symptoms worsen for more than an hour, seek medical attention.

Heat stroke - Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can cause death or permanent problems if not treated quickly. In a span of 10 to 15 minutes, the body’s temperature can rise to 106ºF or higher. Similar symptoms to those of heat exhaustion will be present, though intensified. Additional symptoms could include confusion, unconsciousness, or skin that is hot and dry due to the victim’s inability to sweat. Remember that these intense symptoms may indicate a life-threatening emergency - you should seek immediate medical assistance. In the meantime, a heat stroke victim should be moved out of the sun, and cooled off by any available means (shower, bath, fans, etc).
Magic Number
by Mike Bingham  

Here’s a magic number that can be a real eye-opener when it comes to quantifying injury costs. It is the business volume number.

Business volume, for our purposes, shows how much additional business (output) will be necessary to recoup monies paid out to cover the cost of a work-related lost time injury or illness. It is often an eye-opener for a manager to realize that his or her workgroup will have to make the next million or so parts “for free” so to speak, before they begin making a profit again.

As an example, let’s say your business produces parts at a cost of $1.00 each. You are running at maximum capacity. The parts are sold at $1.05 each. This yields a 5% profit. (Pretty basic stuff)

Let’s say your company has a lost time accident that matches the National Safety Council’s estimate that a lost time injury results in $28,000.00 in direct and indirect costs.

The Business Volume formula is:
BV = Total Estimated Direct/Indirect Accident Costs Profit Margin
BV = 28,000 0.5
BV = 560,000

This says that your company would have to make 560,000 parts to pay for the $28,000.00 lost time injury. Now, if you are running at maximum capacity already, the next 520,000 parts that would yield the 5% profit are on hold until the injury costs are paid. We’re now 1,200,000 parts “in the hole.”

How many hits like this can your company take?
We have a new (FREE) Safety Math class we can do for you and your managers if you are looking for ways to quantify and sell safety as a profit center. Give us a call!

Editor’s Note: Mike Bingham is the Western Area Safety Representative for the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Mike is one of the 10 members of the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Safety Department who are out there Working for You! to make our workplaces safer and better for each and every worker by reducing injuries to employees and saving money for employers through education and training. You can contact Mike at: or call: 919.218.9045

NCIC Video Library

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To view the rest of our Library and download the REQUEST FORM, please CLICK HERE
Get To Know Your Commissioners
    Commissioner Danny Lee McDonald

Governor Mike Easley appointed Danny Lee McDonald of Wilmington as Commissioner on February 2, 2007. Easley said, “Danny McDonald’s extensive experience on the state and federal level make him a natural choice for this position. I am confident he will be an outstanding member of this critical commission.” McDonald is president of McDonald Solutions, a consulting firm. From 1982 to 2006 he was a member of the Federal Elections Commission appointed by President Reagan and later by President Clinton. He served as chairman of the commission in 1983, 1989, 1995 and 2001. The Federal Elections Commission is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign law. While serving on the commission, he acted as an official observer or advisor of elections in several Latin American nations as well as in emerging democracies of the former Soviet Bloc. Prior to joining the Federal Elections Commission, McDonald served as general administrator of the Oklahoma Corporations Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, public utilities and transportation industry. From 1974 to 1979 he served as secretary to the Tulsa County Elections Board and was a licensed real estate broker. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics and did post graduate work at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

To e-mail Commissioner McDonald, CLICK HERE.
Congratulations Mike Bingham
Construction-Manager of Environmental Safety and Health (MESH) Certificate  

Michael E. Bingham, N.C. Industrial Commission, was recently notified by the Board of Directors of the Construction-Manager of Environmental Safety and Health (MESH), a certificate series sponsored by the Safety and Health Council of NC, NC State University, and NC Department of Labor, that he had completed the requirements and earned the Construction-MESH certificate.

“We are tremendously happy to recognize Michael, as a recipient of the Construction-Manager of Environmental Safety and Health certificate,” said North Carolina’s Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry. “This program prepares managers for keeping their worksites safe and healthy, and that preparation improves employee protection and company productivity.”

The MESH program is designed to increase the professionalism of environmental, safety and health managers of commercial, residential or governmental construction sites in North Carolina through a rigorous series of continuing education programs. The MESH program strives to recognize environmental managers and raise industry standards, and increase the value of these practitioners to their employers and others to whom their services are provided.

The Safety Education Section is VERY proud of Mike on his recent accomplishment. His efforts to always improve his knowledge in safety education is never ending. Great Job Mike!

That was a shocker!
by Michael Nance  

Ever heard that phrase on TV or during a conversation? Maybe you remember the lines of the musical Grease; “It’s electrifying.” Who can forget the dance craze of the Electric Slide, It’s electric!” Electricity. Probably in the top five of my list of what I take for granted and probably one of the most dangerous items that is surrounding me right now as I type this article. I’ve got electrical wires in the four walls around and overhead of me, electrical wires from the outlets to my desk, supporting the laptop, lamp, printer, radio, and a fish tank. At any given time, these are hazards if not taken seriously or respected. You respect lightning don’t you? (The average lightning bolt delivers about 300 kilovolts, that’s 300,000 volts folks).

One thing I learned in a recent electrical awareness class that the OSHA regulations is the “what” and the NFPA 70E standard is the “how.” The NFPA 70E is not a regulation. It is simply how to carry out the OSHA wording. I was also reminded of a good definition for an Electrical Risk Factor. It is an existing or potential condition that, by itself or interacting with other variables, could create an electrical incident that could result in injury, death, property damage or other loss. This can also be called an “electrical hazard.”

I recently watched a show on the History channel about the Hoover Dam. Completed in 1935 in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River, it is currently the world’s 34th largest hydroelectric generating station. It’s amazing that something this large and complex took only four years to build, while it takes our state 20+ years to widen I-77. Perhaps the importance of safety training and the hazards are better understood these days. The sixteen turbine-generators at this powerhouse generate a maximum of 1,860 megawatts of hydroelectric power. Closer to home, we have several electric sources. McGuire Nuclear power plant, the Allen Steam Plant, and new in North Carolina recently celebrating its first anniversary is the electric grid-tied wind turbine near Nags Head NC producing 2.5 kilowatts. (It was first installed in 2005 for the National Park Service). You can bet these folks have an electrical safety program in place and update it often. I imagine they are fairly proactive in discussing electrical safety and conduct accident prevention education training often.

So how can we identify electrical hazards? This is a sample list that the National Safety Council chapter of North Carolina ( used and explained:
- Tailgate meetings and job briefings
- Checklists
- Job safety analysis
- Safety inspections
- OSHA log analysis
- Incident investigation logs

Notice that the first item of the list is more proactive while the last item is more reactive. In the Nance household I must be honest and say that I have fallen into the latter category more so than the first. I am about 80 percent complete in the redesign and installation of a porch ceiling. With this “job” came the movement or replacing of lighting fixtures, a ceiling fan and some electrical outlets. Yes, I was using the ladder properly and I also had correct PPE for handling insulation, etc. What I completely forgot was the two wires sticking out of this box. Previously I had turned the circuit breaker off and did some minor work, but when I tested my professional workmanship, I forgot to turn the breaker back off and hence, zap. It bit me the next time I began to work on that part of the job. Not too hard mind you but enough to tell me “you’re crazy.” I was lucky. It wasn’t a full grasp or a large amount of voltage. If my hand had hit the wiring (or other items) in the panel box, I doubt I would be here today. But wait a minute, I thought 120 volts would kill me? The answer is maybe, maybe not. There are many variables to consider with the effects of electricity on the human body:

- The strength of the current
- Duration of contact
- Body mass (small frames provide less resistance, large frames provide more)
- Gender of the person
- Moisture of the body
- The path of the current

If I had performed a task analysis of the job, I could have avoided my mishap. The task analysis allows you to determine where the electrical hazards are in the job. Here are the steps for performing a task analysis.
1. Involve everyone who will be working on the job/project. (In this case, I would have warned my family, especially the kids.)
2. Identify every step that must be taken to complete the job/project.
3. For each step, identify the electrical procedures that will be performed.
4. Obtain or create drawings and other documents pertaining to the electrical system(s) that will be involved. (While this may be extreme in a household, the workplace should maintain these ever-so-important documents.)
5. Identify the hazards associated with the job/project. (Falls, Chemical, Electric Shock, Burns, Arc Flash, etc)
6. Agree on safety procedures that everyone will follow. (Lockout/Tagout, Guarding, Approach limitations, Signage)
7. Determine the proper tools that need to be used for the job/project.
8. Determine the PPE that must be used for the job/project.

With just a few exceptions or variance, the same procedures should be used at home. One thing in common with the steps listed above is control. What is control? A control is a measure or an action that is taken to eliminate current hazards and to prevent future hazards. Our family usually lacks control when the electricity we’ve taken for granted goes out. Ever notice how all of the lights come on when the power is restored after an outage? My kids will flip switches, turn dials, etc. by habit even when the power is out. Then suddenly usually at 2 AM, everything lights up like a Christmas tree.

The engineering control focuses on eliminating the hazards altogether. Sort of like the circuit breaker I “forgot” about. Administrative controls minimize hazards that an engineering control cannot eliminate entirely. Some of these controls can include good housekeeping, training, signs, and approach distances. (The NFPA 70E standard gives you this information.) Then we have our least favorable control of PPE. While least, it is certainly very important. Properly used and rated gloves, clothing and gear are a few items.

While I’ve barely scratched the surface concerning electrical safety, I hope I’ve at least raised an eyebrow or two for folks to jot down a note to check on your own safety program when it comes to electrical issues. Electricity is all around us and taken for granted everyday and yet, it will kill instantly. Now let me go practice the Electric Slide, “not!.”

Editor’s note: Michael Nance is the NCIC Blue Ridge, Southern & Western Piedmont areas Safety Representative. If you are interested in having one of our programs in your area, please give Michael a call at 919-218-9047 or email him at

From the Desk of Dennis Parnell, Director Safety Education
    The pro in “con” filct

Despite its negative connotation, conflict is inevitable in the workplace, and is also a necessary element for progress and change. Of course, when conflict is managed poorly, it does have the potential to decrease productivity and job satisfaction. But when managed properly, conflict can increase individual effort and overall outcome.

Managing conflict involves recognizing whether or not it has the potential to have a productive outcome. Discord based on personal differences is not likely to be productive, but conflict that has to do with a task or a process can be quite healthy. Unfortunately, determining the true source of conflict can be challenging because personal issues can bring about professional conflict.

Good leaders can learn to manage healthy conflict by keeping the focus strictly on a particular undertaking and not allowing the conflict to become personal. Encouraging collaboration in arriving at a solution is also important to ensure that all parties stay engaged in a project once a resolution is devised.

Now you know. Dennis :)
Summer can sting with bees in the air
If you’ve been stung by a bee, you know that it, well, stings. You also probably know that, once stung, you should remove the stinger and apply a cold compress. But did you also know that:

1. You can reduce your risk of being stung by wearing light-colored clothing.
2. Bananas and banana-scented toiletries especially attract bees.
3. Bees are especially active during the warmest hours of the day.
4. Bees release a chemical when they sting someone, which alerts and attracts other bees.
5. Poor personal hygiene can attract bees, and sweat can even anger them.
6. A bee sting comes with a slight risk of a tetanus infection, since their stingers pierce the skin.
7. Bees can only fly about 15 mph.
8. Bees are the only insects that produce food eaten by humans.
9. Bees have been around for over 30 million years.
10. Bees must visit about 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey.
Job Opportunity
PHONE: 252-398-4041
FAX: 252-398-8120
    Fun and useless tidbits

Virginia Dare-1587 --- 1st child born in the American colonies, on August 18th, on what is now Roanoke Island, North Carolina.

Benjamin Franklin-1753 --- appointed 1st Postmaster General in America (10th August 1753).

Samuel Hopkins-1790 --- holder of US Patent #1. Thousands of patents were issued before his, but his was the first when the numbering started. He patented a process for making potash and pearl ashes.

Henry Laurens - Charleston, South Carolina statesman 1792 --- 1st formal cremation in US. He left instructions in his will.

An average beaver can cut down two hundred trees a year.

A hedgehog’s heart beats 190 times a minute on average and drops to only 20 beats per minute during hibernation.

An average pig squeals at a range from 100 to 115 decibels.
N.C. Industrial Commission Safety Education Section

The N.C. Industrial Commission Safety Education Section stands ready to assist you with your Safety training needs. We offer a variety of courses, designed to suit your needs. Please give one of our Industrial Safety Representatives a call.



Director Safety Education
Program Assistant
APCAP & APW Coordinator
Southeastern Region & HAZWOPER Trainer
Western Carolina Area
Defensive Driving & Work Zone Traffic Instructor
Mid-State Area & Water/Wastewater Coordinator
Blue Ridge & Southern/Western Piedmont Areas
Central Piedmont Area
Eastern & Northeastern Areas, Eastern Defensive Driving Instructor


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N.C. Industrial Commission
Contact Information
phone: 919-218-3000
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The N.C. Industrial Commission has created a Workers’ Compensation Information Specialists Section (formerly the Ombudsman Section) to assist claimants who are not represented by an attorney*, employers, and other parties in protecting their rights. In addition, the Workers’ Compensation Information Specialists Section serves as the information source for the Industrial Commission, and answers questions pertaining to all aspects of workers’ compensation. If you need help with a claim, have a workers’ compensation question, or want to know your rights as an employee, please direct your questions to the Workers’ Compensation Information Specialists Section of the N.C. Industrial Commission. Dial toll free (800) 688-8349 or call (919) 807-2501 Monday-Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., or Email
NCIC 30 Hour Accident
Prevention Certificate
Awareness Program

August 11-15 - Sanford, NC
September 8-12 - Atlantic Beach, NC
October 27-31 - Asheboro, NC

Click below for details and to pre-register!
N.C. Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference The Industrial Commission and the International Workers’ Compensation Foundation are jointly sponsoring an Educational Conference which is unique in North Carolina. The goal of this conference is to educate those who participate in the North Carolina workers’ compensation system regarding current rules, procedures, policies and forms and to provide an opportunity for dialogue among these participants. The presenters are Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Section Heads of the Industrial Commission, plaintiff’s and defense attorneys, physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, insurance adjusters, medical and vocational rehabilitation specialists and mediators. Breakout sessions will be utilized to discuss certain topics in specific detail for a more specialized view while other topics will be presented from a more general perspective.
Heat-Related Deaths Among Crop Workers - United States, 1992-2006 During 1992-2006, a total of 423 worker deaths from exposure to environmental heat were reported in the United States, resulting in an average annual fatality rate of 0.02 deaths per 100,000 workers.
What Folks Are Saying...
Dennis, I wanted to thank you and Alvin again for the training today at Nucor Steel. It was informative and enjoyable. I was wondering if you could send me the link to video library of the guy who lost his hands to electrocution. I think it would be worth sharing with the employees at work at our next safety meeting. Thanks, Royce Vann-Georgia-Pacific, Conway, NC

I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciated Jim Gilreath’s instruction on First Aid & CPR. He’s an excellent instructor and his background gives him the experience level needed to make examples come alive. I’m really pleased with the quality of the training materials and very glad that the length of certification is a year longer than the Red Cross course. Your course is the only one I will consider using in the future and I only hope that Jim will be available to teach it. Thanks, Dave Burchette Facilities Manager Center Point Human Services

Dennis, Great meeting you and talking with you at the City of Dunn NCWOA meeting. Dean Gaster (Utilities Dir.) and Randy Welch mentioned that you said you could do a Trenching & Shoring training at the Dunn facility. I guess we need to talk about some dates in the 4th quarter. Will be in touch. Great (relevant) presentation on safety! You have a great presentation & delivery style. Respectfully, Lowell Gunter, NC Rural Water Assn. Training Specialist

Mike, Congratulations on receiving your Construction-MESH Certificate. We are very proud of you. Keep up the good work and continue to help keep NC workers safe! Pam Young, Chair NCIC

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