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 N.C. Industrial Commission
Safety Bulletin
"If YOU don't care, WE do!" ~ Teri Bales, RRGSD
Happy Thanksgiving Friends in the Name of Safety:

Safety Section UPDATE:  December 1, 2009 begins a new era for your Safety section with the Legislative Mandated Fee Schedule. As we move into this new era, we look forward to the challenge and pledge to continue to provide quality training and services to our clients. Please give us a call to schedule your safety training classes early. Thanks again for your continued support!

New N.C. Industrial Commission Web Page: We have a new look! Please visit our brand new Web Page. To checkout the Safety Education Page... View and Save as as FAVORITE by CLICKING HERE

Be on the lookout for Workshops & Seminars coming soon!

80th Statewide Safety Conference! Mark your calendar now for May 11-14, 2010!  Eighty Years of Safety and Counting...

Regional Safety Councils

Please... don't 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.

Please don't forget...

NCIC Video Library is Closing


Due to recent budget requirements, we will discontinue our video library on December 1, 2009.
At this time, we are not sure if this will be permanent or short term. Once a decision has been made, we will inform you.
We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Give Yourself a Hand!
Protect your hands on the job
We use our hands so constantly that we take them for granted. Unfortunately, because we take them for granted, hands and fingers are among the most frequently injured parts of the body. The National Safety Council reports that in a recent year there were 530,000 disabling hand and finger injuries.
Most hand and finger injuries fall into these categories:
  • Traumatic injuries range from cuts and punctures to broken bones to amputation. Many cuts or punctures are minor, but if they go through the skin they can sever nerves, tendons, or ligaments. They can also get infected. 
  • Contact injuries are usually skin diseases or burns that can result from direct contact with hot or cold objects, or with chemicals, detergents, or metals.
  • Dermatitis. Symptoms like swelling, itching, rash, burning, or blisters can be bad enough to make it impossible for you to work. Dermatitis often shows up immediately after contact with a chemical, but sometimes it takes a while to develop an allergic-type reaction. Once you have this kind of sensitization, you usually can't get near that chemical again.
Follow these safety basics to protect your hands:
  • Follow manufacturer's and employer's instructions for using tools and equipment.
  • Feed materials into moving machinery with a push stick, not your hands.
  • Keep your hands away from moving machine parts.
  • Always cut away from your body.
  • Store tools so no sharp edges are exposed.
  • Use brushes, not hands, to sweep up metal or wood chips.
  • Check materials for sharp edges, burrs, splinters, etc., before handling them.
  • Make sure you know how hot or cold an object is before handling it.
  • Wipe off greasy or slippery objects before handling them.
  • Lift an object so your hands are not near the pinch points.
  • Put materials down carefully so you don't mash your fingers.
  • Use the right tool for the job and use it correctly.
  • Pass tools to other workers, handle first. Never throw tools.


Hot Rocks!

By Michael Nance

I love music but I am not referring to the "Hot Rocks" album by the Rolling Stones (though it's a great album) nor am I referring to those hot stones that are used in massage therapy.  I'm talking about your standard, run of the mill rock.
My wife is the co-chair of the youth leadership team for our church.  She is in charge of coming up with (hopefully) interesting and thought provoking discussions and activities for 6th through 12th grade aged youth.  This can be a challenge since there is a wide age range so the group is divided into middle school and high school age groups.  Some topics are toned down just a bit for some of the younger children.  She researches a topic, gets other volunteers to help in the break-out groups, organizes the music, etc. relevant to the age.
For the most part she does this throughout the week in addition to the other "teacher work" she does at home (she is a high school teacher).  We both bounce things off each other to see if it will work, and in my case, for grammar and perhaps the flow.  This past week her topic was on "burdens".  That's something we all have whether you're 3 years old or approaching 100.  Some burdens are small and somewhat minor while others are so massive that professional help should be called in.  In this same wavelength, what is minor to one person may be huge to another.  We come from different backgrounds, financial means, ages, i.e. losing a $5 bill for one person may mean the difference of not eating dinner and being hungry while to another, it's not that big a deal. Even though this topic was used in a church setting, it can be molded into a neat little safety attitude or team building exercise.  Let me illustrate the group activity and see what you think.
The guideline for gathering the materials for my wife's youth exercise was to simply (tell me to get) a bag of rocks.  Everyone was supposed to sit in a circle; this could be around a campfire, or in a large room.  Without stating what the overall purpose was, each person was to reach inside the bag and pull out a rock and just hold it as the bag was passed.  Once everyone had a rock, the facilitator explained that the rock represents a burden you may have.  One by one, each person would describe their burden.  It was explained that you could state a burden of someone you know, i.e. family member, neighbor, co-worker, etc.  No one was to put on the spot.
When my wife explained what she wanted to do with the youth group, I sat for about an hour watching the college football games.  For some reason, as hard as I tried, I couldn't let it out of my mind and I finally turned the TV off (actually, after years of marriage it's become a "rule" that when she speaks to me, the TV must be turned off).  I get into trouble for trying to listen and watch at the same time, especially when "quizzed" about what she just said and I don't know.  After a brief discussion, my thoughts began to drift towards the workplaces that I have been to over the years.  During most safety training sessions, I hear about the burdens that a person (or group) has.   Sometimes it affects the safety culture of a company's safety program.  One of the common burdens felt by employees is, "management doesn't listen to us".  Not unlike my wife telling me that I don't listen to her.  Have you ever reached for an apple in the fruit bowl only to find out that it's got a bad place on it?  Do you throw the whole apple away?  Probably not, you just carve out the bad area and enjoy the rest.  Just like that apple, some of our co-workers might have a "bad place" attitude.  As a safety or risk manager, part of our job is to get the bad carved out.  It's a challenge in many cases because it's a burden on the rest of the positives.  Getting a person to open up about how they feel can help resolve or eliminate burdens.  Of course, you don't want to open up a can of worms like having safety meetings on a particular topic migrate into a pay complaint meeting. Having employee meetings is a way of letting questions be answered or a venue to express complaints, but they must be controlled. Usually I try to turn the tables and tell the person with the complaint to come up with a few solutions and present them at the next meeting.  I don't blow it off.  I listen and promise to find out a reason as well.  During their research, they quickly realize the burdens management often has.  On a personal note, unless it's written down, I'm apt to forget the details.  If the score of the game is tight, my attention is not focused on what my wife is instructing me to do after the game.  I have gone to pick up my son from someone's house only to show up at the wrong house and I was supposed to get my daughter instead.  I've also not properly listened to my wife's laundry instructions and added bleach to the load containing her new (let me repeat "new") blouse.  I actually was able to return to the store, explain that there must have been something wrong with it, get it exchanged and returned home, thinking I wouldn't get caught.  Hmmm, forgot it would show on the billing statement. Curses again!
Years ago, I had an employee complain about a problem and when I told him the dry company standard answer, he wasn't happy.  Then, after he calmed down, I told him the personal one-on-one answer.  Still, he had smoke coming from his ears but about three hours later, he called me back.  He stated he wanted to apologize for his language and to express his thanks for simply being personal and truthful.  That's all he really wanted, the truth.  I had lifted a festering burden once he carved away the bad.  Safety regulations and policies are sometimes considered a burden for some but once they know the true reason, (the what, how, why) there is usually a change of attitude for the better.  The fewer burdens, the better the safety culture is and in turn, the better the company operates.
Getting back to the rocks, I'd like to further share my experience.  I thought for several hours about her topic for the youth.  When it came time (after this particular football game) to gather the rocks, I decided to get small and large ones, smooth and rough ones,  dark and light colored ones,  pretty and ugly ones.  Without explaining, the youth would draw out one rock and pass the bag of rocks.  Knowing that various rocks would be pulled out and after everyone had "theirs", it was explained that we all have different burdens and these rocks are a symbol of that burden.  Some are large, some are small.  Some can be smoothed over fairly quickly while others might take years to smooth or eliminate.  As the group shared a burden (whether their own or not), it was quickly realize by all that they were not alone with issues and problems.  Some became overcome with emotion and were able to release for the first time a bad part of their apple.
Perhaps this might be a corny hands-on activity for an employee meeting, perhaps not. In our Advanced APCAP recently held in Asheboro, several of us got to talking about the "corny stuff" during the breaks.  All of us agreed that sometimes that's the best way to reach or convey a safety message.  Folks remember the corny over the suit and tie method most of the time.  I'd like to insert a plug here for our APCAP's soon to be released schedule.  After every session, the safety staff will truly review the critique forms and tweak/revise our topics.  Over the years, we get an overwhelming positive response that they found something new to take back into the workplace.  The networking and the relaxed atmosphere is a bonus too.  Finding corny ways of developing a discussion can be talked about for days or months.  It can get employees to realize the burdens a co-worker has in the course of their daily routine.  It could help employees understand why a company makes the decisions it has to make.  Sometimes those decisions are not popular but by being truthful, we can transform those rough rocks into smooth ones.  We can cool down the hot attitudes, eliminate our "Hot Rocks" and focus on a positive safety culture.

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

Diabetes Is on the Rise ...
And many Americans don't know they have it
November is American Diabetes Month, a perfect time to get more informed about this disease, in which the body either doesn't produce insulin or doesn't recognize it. Insulin is a hormone that helps convert sugar, starches, and other foods into energy. Most people who have diabetes have other problems, such as being overweight, having high blood pressure, or having high cholesterol. Hence, people with diabetes are generally at risk of developing heart disease or stroke.
The American Diabetes Association ( says that 54 million Americans have pre-diabetes-and many don't know it. The good news is that once they find out, they can make lifestyle changes to delay or prevent diabetes.
What You Can Do
First, find out if you are at risk for developing diabetes by taking the diabetes risk assessment under news & notes. Also ask your health professional about having a fasting plasma glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test. If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, take these steps:
  • Get moderate exercise 30 minutes 5 days a week.
  • Lose 5 percent to 7 percent of your weight if you are overweight.
Eat low-calorie, low-fat foods.

Visit the National Diabetes Education Program's (NDEP) Small Steps, Big Rewards, Prevent Type 2 Diabetes website for more details.


Now you know. Dennis :)


Fun and useless tidbits

  • A Crocodiles tongue is attached to the roof of its mouth.
  • A group of larks is called an exaltation.
  • During a life time, one person generates more than 1000 pounds of red blood cells.
  • Canada is an Indian word meaning Big Village.
  • Catgut comes from sheep not cats.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about 10.
  • Chrysler built B29's that bombed Japan. Mitsubishi built the Zeros that tried to shoot them down. Both companies now build cars in a joint plant called Diamond Star.
  • Due to gravitational effects, you weigh slightly less when the moon is directly over head.
No Problem?
Test your problem-solving skills
Learning to solve problems promptly and effectively is one of the most important skills you can have. Find out how sharp your problem-solving skills are by taking this quiz.

1.  The first step in the problem-solving process is to prioritize problems.
a. True   b. False

2.  When you face an unfamiliar problem on the job:
a. Go online to find an answer.
b. Talk to a more experienced co-worker.
c. Talk to your supervisor.

3.  When you are searching for a solution, ask:
a. True/false questions
b. Either/or questions
c. "What if" questions

4.  Insufficient information about a problem leads to an inadequate solution.
a. True   b. False

5.  Once you've implemented a solution, the problem-solving process is complete.
a. True   b. False

Answers at end of Safety Bulletin.

Avoid Work Wars
Good communication keeps the peace
One of the best ways to minimize workplace conflict is to communicate effectively. Good communication means sending clear messages and listening to co-workers until you receive their intended messages.
Send Clear Messages

  • Know what you want to say before you speak.
  • Use first-person statements, such as "I think," "I believe," and "I need," to take responsibility for your position.
  • Avoid making accusatory statements, such as "You always do that," "You never follow through," "The trouble with you is..." That may be how you see the issue, but there may be more involved than you know about, and these statements only exacerbate the situation.
  • Tell the truth as you see it, simply and professionally.
  • Provide complete information. Tell who, what, when, where, and how.
  • Use positive statements, such as "I think it would be good if we could," instead of negative statements, such as "How come you don't?" or "Why can't you?" Also, using "we" implies that you are on the same team and not an individual accusing another individual.
  • Avoid judging, criticizing, name-calling, diagnosing, patronizing, ordering, threatening, moralizing, or dismissing the other person's concerns. 
Receive Intended Messages
  • Don't interrupt. Give others the time they need to say what they have to say.
  • Pay attention to what they say. Don't prepare your response until they finish.
  • Be open and receptive. Don't jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Focus on issues, not personalities.
  • Look for nonverbal messages, such as expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and body posture.
  • Use your own non-verbal messages, such as eye contact, body posture, and gestures to show that you are listening.
  • Put yourself in the other person's shoes to understand his or her point of view.
  • Ask questions to clarify points you don't understand.
  • Paraphrase to ensure that you both agree on what was said.

... or winter hazard trap?
Winter Hazard Awareness Week is held every November to remind Americans to follow winter safety tips. For example, preventing slips and falls is a major concern when outdoor surfaces are wet or icy and slippery under foot.
Take these steps to keep your steps secure in slippery conditions:
  • Wear appropriate footwear with nonslip soles on wet, icy, or snowy days.
  • Take extra care when walking on wet, icy, or snow-covered walkways. Walk slowly and slide your feet on slippery surfaces. Avoid turning sharply when on a slippery surface.
  • Hold onto the railing when using outdoor stairways.
  • Be especially careful when carrying packages, equipment, and materials. 
  • Wipe your feet when entering a building so that your wet soles won't cause you to slip on indoor flooring. 
  • Limit your injuries if you slip and start to fall by bending your elbows and knees and using your legs and arms to absorb the fall. Or roll into the fall, if that's more appropriate.

Welcome to our Two Most Recent APCAP Graduating Classes, Basic & Advanced!

NC Zoo Basic APCAP Gradutaing Class!

NC Zoo Advanced APCAP Graduating Class!

We had a great time networking and exploring safety during our last 2009 Accident Prevention Certificate Awareness Program (APCAP) October 26-30, 2009 at the NC Zoo. We look forward to our 2010 schedule to be posted in December. Remember, there will be a minimum fee for this course in the future. $125 per person for the Basic 4.5 day course and $75 per person for the two-day course. Stay tuned for more soon... Have a great Thanksgiving!


Prevention Is the Cure
10 ways to prevent workplace violence
One-sixth of violent crimes occur in the workplace-nearly 2 million incidents a year.

Our intention in telling you this is not to scare you, but rather to encourage you to be alert and take these steps:

  1. Follow the company's security procedures and use its security systems. 
  2. Report any unauthorized strangers to Security, including people loitering in parking areas or outside the building. 
  3. Make sure visitors are met in the lobby and escorted to their destination. 
  4. Send strange or unexpected packages or letters to Security. Don't open them or shake them. 
  5. Guard all security information, access codes, keys, etc. 
  6. Arrange a danger signal or code phrase to alert co-workers to trouble. 
  7. Take threats and harassment seriously; report them to your supervisor. 
  8. Let someone know when you are working late and stay near a phone. 
  9. Report security problems, such as burned-out lights, broken locks, and malfunctioning security systems, etc.
  10. Be a defensive driver when commuting and take travel precautions when on a business trip.
What Folks Are Saying...

Dennis, as always a great class, great bunch of guys you work with!  You are so lucky. It was so nice meeting all of you and I hope we can get together again some time.

Thanks for the class.

Carol S. Cockerham
Rural Hall, NC


Dennis - We really appreciate the services you have provided to us! You all were the uplift I needed for two days, very informative, and provided new tools for the safety world that I knew nothing about. I am trying to grow the safety program for the zoo at the moment and it was most useful. Thank you for all you do. All presenters were outstanding!!!

Cami Bunting
HR Officer
NC Zoo


Thanks for the great week of Safety Training recently at the N.C. Zoo.  Ya'll do a fantastic job and we appreciate it. 

As a retired Highway Patrolman with 30 years of service I was very pleased with Mel Harmon's presentation on Defensive Driving.  I have had many opportunities to have training in Defensive Driving measures during my career with The N.C. Highway Patrol and I have never heard a better version than what Mel did.  Thanks again for all ya'll do in the interest of safety.  Please keep up the good work. 

Ron Williams
Randolph County Safety & Training


Physicians Not Always Aware of Women's Heart Disease Risk

A survey sponsored by the American Heart Association and KOS Pharmaceuticals showed that doctors have low levels of awareness of cardiovascular risks in women and may under treat those risk factors.

An article regarding the findings appeared in the October 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The research was conducted by scientists at a German university.

Heart attack risk factors and heart attack prevalence among more than 8,000 women ages 35 to 54 were reviewed over two periods, each lasting several years.

The results showed that factors like total cholesterol level, blood pressure, and smoking status were stable among men but worsened among women. The only factor that improved in women was HDL, or "good" cholesterol level.

The study also showed that while men had more heart attacks than women in the same age group during both periods, the gap narrowed in recent years as heart attack prevalence increased among women.
The scientists suggest the need for intensification of screening and treatment of vascular risk factors in middle-aged women.

Barbara Cassidy is the First Recipient of the Director's Award



Barbara Cassidy
, CPSC newly elected Chair, is our first recipient of the N.C. Industrial Commission Safety Education Director's Award.

This award was created this year to honor the person exhibiting service to the Safety Education Section above and beyond the call of duty.

Thank you Barbara!


(1) b. The first step is to identify and define the problem.
(2) c. Talk to your supervisor. 
(3) c. "What if" questions generate possible solutions to problems.
(4) a. True.
(5) b. You need to make sure your solution has solved the problem.
Greg Scheafer Takes the Helm of Southeastern Safety Council
Greg was born St. Louis Missouri, moved to NC after joining the Army and being station at Fort Bragg.  He worked in the US Army for 22 years, doing jobs as a Cavalry Scout, Military Intelligence, Computer Repair, Secure Voice Systems Manager and Safety Officer. After the Army Greg worked for UPS as a Health and Safety Supervisor for 4 years and then as District Risk Manager for 3 years.

He left UPS in 2007 and accepted a position as the Safety Officer for the City of Fayetteville, NC. Greg says. "I am married to a wonderful Carolina Girl; we are celebrating 30 years of marriage in January."  They have three beautiful daughters, one is married to a solider, one IS a soldier and the other one is still at home-thinking of becoming a nurse.  Greg enjoy outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, scuba diving, skiing and golf. He also enjoys spending time at the beach and taking cruises with his family. 

To contact Greg, you may either Email him or call at 910-433-1724.

We would like to  say a BIG Thank You to outgoing Chairman, Gregg Warren! Thanks for all of your dedication and long hours to SESC for the past 3 plus years!!!

Mr. Warren will continue serving the Southeastern Safety Council in the capacity of Secretary.
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

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news & notes

Get a good fit and choose the right glove.
  • Wear insulated or leather gloves for heat and cold. Fabric should be fire-retardant for open flame, reflective for radiant heat.
  • Wear insulated rubber gloves for electricity.
  • Wear metal mesh or other cut-resistant gloves to handle sharp objects.
  • Wear leather gloves for rough surfaces.
  • Wear fabric gloves for slippery objects.
  • Wear neoprene or nitrile rubber gloves for corrosives.
  • Check the MSDS to select gloves for working with chemicals.
  • Consider hand pads for heat, roughness, and splinters.
  • Use thumb or finger guards or tapes on dangerous jobs.
  • Use long cuffs, wristlets, or duct tape to keep chemicals or heat out of gloves.
  • Use barrier creams to protect the skin when gloves aren't practical.
  • Inspect before use.
  • Bandage cuts or scrapes before putting on gloves.
  • Rinse gloves before removing them.
  • Clean gloves before storing them.
  • Store gloves in a cool, dark, dry place, right-side out, with cuffs unfolded.
  • Wash hands with soap and water or skin cleanser after handling chemicals.
And help is just a phone call away.

Call your
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Here are several potential causes of workplace conflict:

  • Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, which often lead to conflict. 

  • Dissimilar work styles may cause co-workers to come into conflict when each one thinks his or her way is "right." 
  • Different personalities will sometimes clash on the job.
  • Different goals can also lead to conflict. Some people may think their objectives are more important than those of their co-workers. They may believe their goals deserve priority, or they may simply not understand their co-workers' goals.
  • Different needs are another common cause of workplace conflict. Co-workers may compete for resources, recognition, raises, promotions, and so forth.
  • Different functions may cause conflicts. Where co-workers' functions overlap or come into contact, territorial disputes may arise or competing interests may conflict.
  • Different perceptions People may have differing viewpoints of situations, policies, and so forth, which can lead to disagreements about what should be done and how it should be done.
  • Pressure to achieve results, maintain schedules, and so on, can often lead to confrontations.

Give us a call...
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News & Notes 
Help your kids develop good habits and lower their risk for diabetes by letting them use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) interactive website for children called "The Eagle's Nest" 
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If you have co-workers who are trying to kick the habit during the Great American Smokeout this November, do what you can to help. Here's why:

  1. You'll improve your own health. The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General's report, Secondhand Smoke: What it Means to You, states that secondhand smoke can use lung cancer, heart disease, and elevated cholesterol levels.
  2. You'll improve working conditions. New nonsmokers won't be absent as much because of smoking-related illnesses. And when on the job, they won't be taking smoking breaks.

How can you help a co-worker quit?

  • Cheerlead the decision to quit.
  • Be patient if they're irritable.
  • Allow them to vent their frustrations. Don't take it personally.
  • Be available to spend time with them in smoke-free environments.
  • Invite them to smoke-free activities, such as mini-golf or a movie, to help them keep busy.

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Here's an extra incentive to kick the habit this year:

  • Did you know that there are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke? Some of the same chemicals are also in wood varnish, arsenic, nail polish remover, and rat poison.
Here are other good reasons to quit:

  • You'll feel healthier right away, and you'll be healthier for the rest of your life, which will probably be longer because you quit smoking.
  • You'll have more energy and better focus.
  • You'll have a better sense of smell and taste.
  • You'll have whiter teeth and fresher breath.
  • You'll cough less and breathe better.
  • You'll lower your risk for cancer, heart attack, strokes, early death, cataracts, and skin wrinkling.
  • You'll feel more in control of your life.
  • You'll have more money. Add the money you spent on cigarettes last year. Multiply that by the years you've smoked. What could you have bought with all that money gone up in smoke?
  • You won't have to worry about when you'll get to smoke next or what to do when you're in a smoke-free place.
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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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