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 N.C. Industrial Commission
Safety Bulletin
May 2009
"Carelessness doesn't bounce; it shatters."~Hartman Jule
Greetings Friends in the Name of Safety:

It's Here! Pre-register for the conference and stay at the Sheraton!!!

The 79th Annual Statewide Safety Conference May 12 - 15, 2009 at the Joseph Koury Convention Center in Greensboro is just about here.  We are asking that you help us keep this Conference "free" by making your hotel reservations at the Koury Convention Center if at all possible.  In order to keep the charges for meeting space at a minimum, we need your support.

We have moved the SAFETY TALK CONTEST to Wednesday morning this year to help you get more value for the day as well.  NETWORKING is always rewarding at our Vendor sponsored Reception Wednesday evening from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. 

By CLICKING HERE you can pre-register for the conference and download and PRINT the program to show your boss why they can't afford not to send you to this conference this year. There's no better way to face the challenges of 2009!

We look forward to a great conference and hope to see you there!

Slow Down For Work Zones 

 Those hot, sunny days of summer are almost here. However, summer also means increased road construction and increased danger for motorists and workers. Work zone activity is increasing because many of our highways are over 30 years old and they need repairs. Much of the construction is occurring on roads that are already congested from high traffic, which causes delays and frustration for drivers.
Did you know that:
  • One work zone fatality occurs every 8.5 hours (3 per day).
  • One work zone injury occurs every 13 minutes (113 per day).
  • Four out of every five work zone fatalities were motorists.
Safe driving tips

The Federal Highway Administration recommends the following tips for driving safely in work zones:
  • Slow down,
  • Be patient and stay calm,
  • Pay attention to the signs,
  • Obey road crew flaggers,
  • Expect the unexpected,
  • Minimize distractions,
  • Keep up with traffic,
  • Don't tailgate by keeping a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you,
  • Schedule enough time to drive safely by checking the radio, TV, and websites for traffic information,
  • Turn on headlights so workers and other drivers can see your vehicle, and 
  • Be ready for rough roadways that can affect your driving.
Keep these safety tips in mind while cruising our states's highways this summer.
Regional Safety Councils

Please do not forget to support your Regional Safety Councils by joining their membership ranks and participating in their scheduled events.  For membership applications, see the Quick Links to the right.

Are you exposing your family to dangers?

Taking the precautions to prevent illness or injury due to contact with hazardous substances should not end when a work shift ends. Unfortunately, many employees may unknowingly bring hazardous substances home from work on their clothes, bodies, or tools, exposing their families to dangerous chemicals. Such incidents have resulted in a wide range of health effects among workers' families, including respiratory problems, neurologic disorders, and fatal poisonings.
What are the exposure routes?

Hazardous substances have reached workers' homes and families through:
  • Work clothing. Cases involving beryllium, lead, pesticides, and other chemicals have historically been dangerous to families. In some instances, washing machines and dryers contained dangerous levels of the materials, poisoning family members laundering work clothes and contaminating other laundry.
  • Tools and equipment. There have been cases involving mercury, pesticides, PCBs, and radioactive material. These substances, brought home on hand tools and other equipment, have contaminated homes and vehicles.
  • Worker's body. Workers have also passed dangerous materials to their family members by their hands in some cases.
  • Work items. Bringing items home from work, such as bags, rags, metal drums, and scrap lumber have caused serious and fatal poisonings of family members.
What preventative measures can be taken?

For workers whose jobs are away from home, the following prevention safety tips may be useful:
  • Use good safety practices to reduce exposure;
  • Leave soiled clothes at work;
  • Change clothes before leaving work;
  • Store non-work clothes away from work clothes;
  • Shower before leaving work;
  • Do not take tools, scrap, packaging, and similar items home;
  • Launder work clothes separately; and
  • Prevent family members from visiting the work area.
For workers whose jobs are in their homes:
  • Keep work areas and living areas separate;
  • Keep family members out of the work area;
  • Store hazardous substances properly;
  • Dispose of dangerous materials properly;
  • Wash work clothes separately; and
  • Inform workers and household members of potential dangers.

NCIC Video Library 

Check out our Video Library !

View our online Video/DVD listings. The new listings are in RED.

To view the rest of our Library and download the REQUEST FORM, please CLICK HERE
Safe and Green Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning time is here again, but before you break out the cleaning supplies, take a few minutes to make sure you know how to properly handle and dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW). Following the guidelines below can help protect individuals and families from chronic health hazards, reduce waste, minimize disposal hassles, and ultimately save you money.

Read and follow the label.Before you buy, always check the product labels. It is important to look for labeling that reads: DANGER, WARNING, TOXIC, etc. These warnings tell you if the product is harmful and how to use, store, and dispose of it safely.

Consider exposure time. Before using a product, consider the extent of your exposure. People who use cleaning products all day face greater exposure, and thus greater risk, than occasional users of the product.

Keep products in their original containers,use them properly, and store them as directed.

Dispose of household products safely. Many communities offer a variety of options for safely managing your HHW. Check with your local solid waste authority for collections in your area.

Try alternative products when available. For many everyday tasks, there are readily available products that can serve the same purpose, may be less harmful, and may even cost less. For example, mixing one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in one quart of water makes an excellent glass cleaner. 

By carefully choosing cleaning products, you can reduce hazards to worker health and the environment, and avoid headaches (literally and figuratively) when handling and disposing of cleaning products. The effort made in purchasing can pay off with reduced health problems, as well as reduced waste and waste handling costs.


Budget Trips

By Michael Nance

A long (long) time ago I was in the Cub Scouts.  It lasted one year.  Partly because our family moved from Kentucky to North Carolina, but the main reason was because the other scouts played and broke my favorite toys.  I wasn't a happy camper.  Truth be known, there is a third reason.   I love my mother, but she tried to be the den leader and it just didn't work out.  Not to mention that the meetings were at our house,...all of them.  I had this bad taste for a long time.  Not unlike the person who works in a pizza parlor and grows up hating pizza.
My son started scouting about the same age that I did.  He has been involved for four years and is now an official "Boy Scout".    Even though I have nightmares from time to time, I still try to get involved with the activities, etc.  Many of you have heard a few of the war stories relating to Lockout/Tagout and Machine Guarding.
Camping and scouts go hand-in-hand.  The Troop plans an outdoor event once a month during the 12 months of the year.  Rain or Shine, Cold or Hot.  Some of the camping trips are driving right in and some are a pretty good hike to get to the campsite.  Since my son is responsible for a part of the supplies (as each of the scouts are), we reviewed the scout handbook to go over a few things.
With the economy the way it is, a lot of families are opting to trim their vacation expense.  Spending $2,000 to rent a beach house for one week is no longer an option for many of us.  (The $2k doesn't include gas, food, etc)  Our family has decided to practice many of the things the scouts try to teach.  We've always enjoyed camping and hiking with our friends but usually the adults ended up doing everything.  This year, the kids will have responsibilities, just like in scouting.  One of those responsibilities is the Safety Attitude.  It may be a bend here, but hear me out.  The Outdoor Code for scouts goes like this:  "As an American, I will do my best to 1) Be Clean - in my outdoor manners.  2)  Be Careful - with fire.  3)  Be Considerate - in the outdoors and 4)  Be Conservation-Minded.  This code reminds us of the importance of caring for the environment.   I don't think the points of the Outdoor Code need to be expanded on.  They sort of speak for themselves.
Remember the length of your hike when preparing to backpack.  Some have internal frames and some have external frames.  It depends on comfort, but usually external frames are good for hiking on open trails while the internal ones are a good choice for skiing and mountaineering style hiking.  I think back to the military days and how we learned to pack stuff.  To this day, my wife still wants me to pack her suitcase and the car on any trip, whether I'm going or not.  Remember that if you're hiking into a campsite that is several miles, you have to take everything you need in the backpack.  Everything.
Selecting a campsite is important.  State Parks are usually a best bet for family camping.  They are patrolled and usually clean.  With the Appalachian Trail style of hiking camping, best have someone with you that's been before.  I've been three times on portions of the AP.  Each time was a new experience.
Another very important ethics statement in scouting is the "Leave No Trace".  Our country's environment would be in much better shape if we all would adopt it.  Again, from the scout book about Leave No Trace:  1)  Plan ahead and prepare  2)  Travel and camp on durable surfaces  3)  Dispose of waste properly (Pack it in, pack it out)  4)  Leave what you find  5)  Minimize campfire impacts  6)  Respect wildlife  7)  Be considerate of other visitors.  Not a real hard thing to follow is it. 
Since many of us are concerned about the future with regards to employment, economy, global warming, gas costs, etc, we can find ways to cut a vacation expense in many areas.  Camping is one of my favorites.  Once the initial "hardware" of supplies are purchased the cost is fairly cheap.  In fact, many of the camping items come in real handy if the power goes out or in case of a natural disaster.
While this article didn't have a lot to do with workplace safety, I do think it is important to remember that a lot our Safety Attitudes at work should also be reflected in the home place.  I always try to include something about home stuff in our presentations.  Safety doesn't end when you clock out.  Scouting is just one of many organizations that promote safety in a direct way.  It builds character, citizenship, and fitness.  Hopefully my son will stick out the tough times of scouting.  I'll do my best to support him and the other boys.  Completing Eagle Scout is very worthy goal and very demanding.  Fewer than 4 percent of all scouts earn the Eagle rank.  Perhaps that's why when it is listed on a resume; it carries more weight than just about anything else.
Happy camping and remember to do your part with the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace.  Your kids and grandkids will be glad you did.  Great places to go camping and hiking can be found in the Our State magazine, my personal favorite magazine.  And to all you Eagle Scouts, well done.

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

You know you shouldn't...

...but you still say "yes." If you've ever had one of those out-of-body experiences during which you hear yourself committing to a time-consuming task even though you're already swamped, you're not alone. For many people, saying "no" at work, to friends, or even to family members is next to impossible. Unfortunately, this can make finding balance a very elusive task.
Many people worry that saying no will make them seem unreliable, cost them business, disappoint others, or cause them to appear rude or lazy. Unfortunately, the reality is that constantly saying yes can be just as problematic. You might please people initially by saying yes, but how are those same people going to feel if when they realize you spread yourself too thin?
The key to successful nay-saying is having a good understanding of - and a strong commitment to - your priorities. When things clearly do not fit into your life, be firm - and don't feel guilty - your fear of disrespecting your own time and your time with loved ones should always be greater than your fear of disappointing others.

Now you know. Dennis :)

Fun and useless tidbits

  • Halle Berry
    2002 --- 1st African American woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress.
  • Alexander Winton
    1903 --- set the 1st land speed record in car racing. Set at Daytona Beach, his speed was 68.18 mph
  • Annie G. Fox
    1941 --- 1st woman to receive the US Purple Heart Medal. She was wounded while serving at Hickam Field during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec 7 1941.
  • Chuck Yeager
    1947 --- 1st person to break the sound barrier by flying faster than the speed of sound. (On October 14, 1947, he flew a Bell X-1 rocket at 670 mph in level flight.)
  • 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.
  • André-Jacques Garnerin
    1797 --- 1st parachute jump. Dropped from a balloon, about 6,500 ft. over Monceau Park in Paris in a 23-ft.-diameter parachute made of white canvas with a basket attached (Oct. 22).
  • Sam Patch
    1829 --- 1st first known person to survive the jump off of Niagara Falls.
Controlling Anger

Everyone gets angry, but regardless of whether anger is justifiable or irrational, it's important to know how to manage anger and prevent it from escalating to the point that it affects your relationships or becomes counterproductive. Consider the following strategies to control anger:
Change the way you think. Instead of allowing anger to well up and lead to irrational thoughts, acknowledge that you're upset and that it's possible that you're being overly dramatic about the situation. Remind yourself that over-the-top anger is not likely to help remedy the situation.
Remember that not every problem has a solution. Sometimes anger is the result of a difference of opinion, and sometimes people simply won't see eye-to-eye. Be aware that the kind of solution you hope to find for a particular problem (e.g., getting two people to agree) may not exist. Figuring out how to move on despite an existing problem can still be a success.
Don't jump to conclusions. Many times, when people feel that they've been wronged, they make quick assumptions about other people's intentions. You might be able to save yourself quite a bit of grief by calmly inquiring about why something took place.
Laugh. Humor is a great way to diffuse anger, and if you're willing to see the humor in a situation, you might be able to confront a problem more constructively.  
Change your surroundings. Stress is often a catalyst for conflict, and removing yourself from a situation that is causing tension - even if just for a few minutes - can often help you to regain a more balanced perspective. 
Rethink your perspective. Sometimes anger is the result of not getting what you want or need in a situation. However, it's important to realize that this may be the same for other people too. Consider whether you could be giving more of what you'd like out of the situation to the others involved. This could include things like appreciation, fairness, or the willingness to compromise.

Asthma and the Flu

For parents who have children with asthma, it may seem like there's nothing worse than watching a child struggle to breathe or experience an asthma attack. Unfortunately, while managing a child's asthma may be tough on its own, children with asthma are also particularly in danger of developing additional complications in conjunction with other illnesses, like the flu.
Almost 7 million children in the United States have asthma. While those children are no more likely to catch the flu than children who do not have asthma, they are more likely to have serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia. Children with asthma are four times more likely to require hospitalization because of the flu than children who do not have asthma.
One of the best ways to keep children with asthma safe from the flu is to make sure they receive a flu vaccine every year. Other members of the child's household as well the child's caregivers should also be vaccinated against the flu so as not to infect the child. Of course, children also should be taught proper hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.

About N.C. Industrial Commission Safety 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
Western Carolina Area & APCAP & APW Coordinator
Southeastern Region & HAZWOPER Trainer

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

For more information...
Contact Dennis Parnell or
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May 12 - 15, 2009

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N.C. Industrial Commission | 430 N. Salisbury St | Raleigh | NC | 27603


N.C. Industrial Commission ·  Safety Education Section
4339 Mail Service Center ·  Raleigh, NC 27699-4339
Telephone: (919) 807-2603 ·  Fax: (919) 715-6573
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