Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign Up for This E-mail Newsletter


 N.C. Industrial Commission
Safety Bulletin
"We need you! Work Safely" ~ Safety Section
Merry Christmas Friends in the Name of Safety:

The Safety Section would like to take this opportunity to say "Thank You" for your support this year. We have been through some major challenges and changes and without you, our friends, we would not have survived. As we look back on 2009, we are reminded that safety still matters! As Christmas rapidly approaches, please keep safety in the forefront at work and home. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Safety Section UPDATE:  After 80 years of free service, we are now Fee-based. Please give us a call to schedule your safety training classes early. Thanks again for your continued support!

New Online Training Calendar: In order to better serve you, we now have an online Training Calendar. As workshops and seminars become available, they will be posted on our calendar. Please check it out. ONLINE TRAINING CALENDAR

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.
Always on the job

Use your safety sense at home, too


More people die and are injured in accidents at home than at work. Over 20,000 people die in home accidents every year, and more than 30 percent of all injuries occur at home. Like accidents on the job, most of these can be prevented. The largest number of serious accidents at home result from:

  • Falls
  • Fires
  • Drowning
  • Poisoning

Here's how to protect your family from falls:

  • Keep floors, and especially halls and stairs, free of clutter.  Don't stack magazines, tools, laundry, toys, or other items on the floor or steps.
  • Make sure stairways are well lit.
  • Check that all stairs, including those to the basement, have sturdy railings.
  • Tack down any loose pieces of carpet or linoleum.
  • Use nonskid mats or decals in bathtubs or showers.

Small children can drown in bathtubs, so NEVER leave them unattended. If you have a pool, make sure everyone knows how to swim and take these precautions:

  • Never let anyone swim alone.
  • Never let anyone swim when they're tired or have used drugs or alcohol.
  • Fence in the pool and keep it locked when no one's there.
  • Cover the pool when it's not in use.
  • Learn CPR, so if there is an accident you'll be able to act quickly.

Here's how to prevent poisoning:

  • Read labels on household cleaners, paints, and garden supplies, and follow their instructions for use, storage, and clean-up.
  • Store cleaning solutions, pesticides, and other hazardous chemicals in places where children can't reach them.
  • Keep containers closed when not in use.
  • Dispose of old, used, or unlabeled substances properly. Find out about your town's or region's hazardous materials collection days.
Bring your safety sense home so you can always be on the job for the safety of yourself and your family.

Wash Away Illness


How to prevent colds and flus-including H1N1


The second week of December was National Handwashing Awareness Week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), frequent and careful handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent infection-and to keep you healthy and on the job.


Believe it or not, there's a right way to wash your hands effectively:

  • Wet hands with clean running water (warm water if available) and apply soap.
  • Rub hands together to make lather and scrub all surfaces. Pay particular attention to fingers, fingertips, and under fingernails where germs love to breed. Palms are heavy germ zones, too.
  • Continue rubbing hands for 15-20 seconds-about the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
  • Rinse hands well under running water.
  • Dry hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If drying hands with a paper towel, use it to turn off the faucet.

If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.

  • Apply product to the palm of one hand.
  • Rub hands together.
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.


Five Second Rule!

By Michael Nance

I am betting that most of you have forgotten about the "scare" that was brewing roughly a decade ago. Its hard to believe that it has been ten years since all of "The Year 2000" hoopla! Remember hearing that Y2K was the end of the world? That all of our computers would crash? That we would lose all of our money because the banks wouldn't be able to operate (who would have thought we would really lose our 401K money ten years in the future)? That power outages would occur all over and planes would not be able to fly? Luckily, January 1, 2000 came and the world went on with its normal life. Has it really been ten years? The first decade of the 21st Century has just flown by!

With a new year and a new decade we start to think of the future, and sometimes the past.  After my children were born, safety was the #1 concern for me.  Let me state that differently; new safety issues developed so I did consider safety being important before the kids were born.  Did I assemble the crib correctly? Was the baby safety gate strong enough? Were they sleeping in the safest position?  Did I do "everything" on the wife's to-do list? Now, in their early teen years there is a different set of concerns.  Are their schools safe? Are they making the right safety choices when they cross the road to school or with the peers they meet? If they are online, my wife and I harp on internet safety (by the way, did you know my teenage daughter is the ONLY one in the world without a facebook)?  Let's not hash that all over again. The point is, my concern for their safety has changed over the past decade, and maybe yours has too in the workplace.  This is where we look to the future and make those "resolutions" now to be safer in "2010 and beyond".  One of my "beyonds" is driver education.  If at all possible, I want my daughter to sit in on one of Mel Harmon's Defensive Driving courses.  Her permit is just around the corner.

Many of you that I have met over the past few years have expressed how challenging it is in today's economy with balancing stronger workloads and safety.  There is so much that needs to be done and at times it can get overwhelming.  Safety has to be a core value in 2010 and beyond to succeed.  The key is realizing that it takes specific, deliberate steps to achieve a successful safety program.  It also takes guts to stand up for safety at times.  If you have had the chance to hear the John Martin story, you know what I mean.  Making safety a priority on a regular, consistent basis will ensure success. Let's go into 2010 with identifying your biggest needs and let our department help you.   We offer so much for so very little expense.  Please check our web site often to look for workshops in your area.  We are offering Hazwoper, NFPA-70E, Water/Wastewater, Defensive Driving, CPR/FA (both Adult and Infant/Pediatrics), Competent Person, Work Zone.  All this in addition to the APW's (Accident Prevention in the Workplace.

To switch gears just a little, I heard a phrase recently that I can recall hearing when I was growing up.  It's called the "5-second rule".  Remember?  Say you're unwrapping a Reese's cup and it falls to the floor.  If you really wanted it, you would state "5 second rule", pick it up and eat it (of course you had to get it back in a sanitary condition by blowing on it first).  Speaking of unwrapping candy, if you happen to be in church trying your best to be silent about getting that cough drop unwrapped, please just go ahead and get it out in one quick motion!  You're just prolonging the noise by being slow.  At the moment, I can't think of any safety issues by dragging it out.

Yesterday when my daughter screamed out "5 second rule", it stuck with me for some reason most of the night because I thought of how many injuries and fatalities might have been prevented if someone had simply stepped back and took 5 seconds to really think; "Is this safe?"  Do not misunderstand, I am not saying that it only takes 5 seconds to determine the hazards of a job or task.  More of a last step after the proper procedures is to be placed in motion.  You may have heard the "rule" as being 3 seconds, or 4, it really doesn't matter.  The point is, taking just a few seconds to think may save your or a co-workers life.  Sort of like taking a few extra seconds to determine if it's safe to pull out into the intersection.  I sure hope my daughter will take that extra few seconds during her driver's ed training and for the rest of her life.

My most recent violation of the 5 second rule was when I saw a drip coming from the main water valve of our home.  Let me place this image in your head and I repeat, it was the MAIN cut off valve.  Imagine this, you see the drip and think that looks like an easy fix and quickly grab the knob to tighten it without thinking of the "what if's",  and it snaps off.  Can you picture Hoover Dam inside your pantry?  I can.  That 5 seconds turned into 5 minutes to get the water shut off at the street.  The parts to repair were cheap, less than $10 but it took a long time to clean up the mess.  Wish I could get those "5 seconds" back.

Also in our busy and rushed holiday demands, take time to remember those serving in our Armed Forces.  Whether they are stationed in the US or abroad, they (as those in the past) have protected our freedom to celebrate in the manner that we choose.

To close, I want to thank everyone that has allowed our services to enhance your safety programs.  We hear of reduced injuries and expense all the time.  Even though our section has made necessary changes required by our legislators, you can't beat the bang for the buck.  We are also offering the 30-hour and Advanced APCAP's again for 2010.  We are listening to you and developing new programs.  Give us a call and schedule your needs.  It only takes "5-seconds" to dial the number.

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


Joy to the World

Spirituality linked to better health


For many people, the holidays are a time of spiritual reflection, which is a good time to remember that spirituality is one of the foundations of a wellness lifestyle. Studies have shown the mind-body connection in our health profile. Patients with negative or stressful moods, for example, have been shown to develop more serious illnesses than those with positive outlooks. Another study revealed that people who reported positive emotions showed greater resistance against colds.


So how can you make the goodwill of the season last all year?

  • Have a regular quiet time. Practice prayer or meditation to focus on the bigger picture in life and realign your priorities with what's important to you.
  • Contemplate a higher power. Whether at church, synagogue, temple, mosque, a mountain meadow, or the open sea, explore your beliefs about the universe and your place in it.
  • Make meaningful connections with family and friends. We are a communal species and draw strength and comfort from our relationships with each other. Studies have shown that chronically ill people fare better when they have people who care.
  • Volunteer. Studies also show that helping others-whether they're struggling because of an economic downturn or a natural disaster-can increase your overall well-being.
These practices can give you a sense of purpose that leads to a fulfilling life.

Now you know. Dennis

  • Know as "Fish Town" in the early 1700's when Blackbeard frequented the coast, "Beaufort Town" was established as a seaport with the right to collect customs, in 1722.
  • Whitewater Falls in Transylvania County is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States.
  • North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation. Students at a Wilson County school petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly for the establishment of the sweet potato as the official state vegetable.
  • Beech Mountain is Eastern America's highest town at 5,506ft above sea level.
  • Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States, was born in the Waxsaws area on the border of North and South Carolina.
  • The first football player on a Wheaties box was Walter Payton of Columbia.
  • The environmentalist President Teddy Roosevelt barred the Christmas Tree from being displayed in the White House.
  • Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895. The idea for them came from an American, Ralph E. Morris. The new lights proved safer than the traditional candles.
Safety by the Numbers

Test your knowledge of safety facts


Remembering certain key numbers can sometimes be important to your safety and health on and off the job. To complete this safety by the numbers quiz, just fill in the blanks below with the correct number, and then check your answers.


  1. When driving, always keep __________ seconds behind the car in front of you and _________ seconds at night.
  2. Never climb higher than the ________ step from the top of extension ladders.
  3. Stay at least __________ feet away from power lines.
  4. If your blood pressure consistently measures __________/__________ or more, you have high blood pressure.
  5. Leave at least __________ inches of clearance under fire sprinkler heads.
  6. The number __________ in a blue diamond on a color-coded chemical label means the chemical presents a severe health hazard.
  7. Flammable liquids have a flash point of under __________ degrees F.
  8. If a chemical splashes in your eye, flush your eye for at least _____ minutes.
  9. Walking at a moderate pace can burn about __________ calories an hour.
  10. If your blood alcohol concentration is ____________ percent or higher, you are considered legally intoxicated in most states.

Answers at end of Safety Bulletin.


Ready for Review

Do your own performance appraisal


Prepare for your next performance appraisal by reviewing these key issues:

  • Quality of work. Do you avoid errors and consistently meet required standards? 
  • Quantity of work. Do you manage your workload well and accomplish all assigned tasks?
  • Accomplishments. What are you most proud of achieving?
  • Performance goals. Did you meet or exceed the goals set in your last performance appraisal? Do you have new goals for the next review period?
  • Time management. Do you keep up with production schedules and meet deadlines?
  • Safety. Do you work safely and avoid accidents and near misses?
  • Behavior and attitude. Do you work well with others, follow directions, take initiative, etc.?
  • Attendance and tardiness. Are you at work on time every day? Do you give adequate notice when you have to miss work?

Being well prepared for a performance appraisal will make it more meaningful. Remember, one of the major reasons for conducting performance appraisals is to help you improve your performance and achieve your career goals. Always be ready for your review.




Safety Culture: "What Is At Stake"

I. What Is Safety Culture?

The UK Health and Safety Executive defines safety culture as " . . . the product of the
individual and group values, attitudes, competencies and patterns of behavior that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organization's health and safety programs."

(1) A more succinct definition has been suggested: "Safety culture
is how the organization behaves when no one is watching."
Every organization has a safety culture, operating at one level or another. The challenges to the leadership of an organization are to:

1) determine the level at which the safety culture currently functions;

2) decide where they wish to take the culture; and

3) chart and navigate a path from here to there. CCPS, in its new Guideline book Risk-Based Process Safety, has included safety culture
as an element in its updated process safety management model. This white paper is based upon the concepts included in the safety culture chapter in this new Guideline.

II. Why Is Safety Culture Important?

Got your attention? For the rest of the story...
Click Here!



Stay on Message

Tips for effective communication


Effective communication begins with the message you want to transfer from your head into the minds and hearts of the people to whom you speak or write.

  • Figure out what your message is.
  • Organize your thoughts into a logical sequence.
  • Consider your expectations. Do you expect other people to take action as a result of what you tell them? Outline your expectations in your message.
  • Simplify. Give one message at a time and be succinct. You are more likely to be heard and understood if you keep it simple.
  • Be precise. Use concrete language and examples to explain what you mean so that you leave no room for misinterpretation.
  • Be concise. Say only what needs to be said to get your point across. Extra words confuse the issue.
  • Demonstrate what you mean when appropriate. Show the other person what you mean, or draw him or her a diagram, a chart, or a graph to emphasize and enhance your message.
  • Repeat your message. Studies show that a message needs to be repeated several times before it gets through.


Timing Counts


Timing is also an important element of effective communication. Time your communications so that they are delivered:

  • When you have the person's attention. Your message is unlikely to be heard if you try to communicate with someone who is in the middle of doing something or surrounded by distractions.

  • When the person is most receptive. Pick a time when co-workers can focus on your message. Trying to communicate with them when they're rushing out the door or on their way to lunch isn't likely to produce positive results.
  • When you are prepared to answer questions. Remember that good communication is interactive. Always be prepared to clear up any issues your listener doesn't understand.

Follow these tips to stay on message, and you'll gain a reputation as a great communicator at work.



Prostate Health For Men...

Get you PSA tested!

If you don't know what your prostate is or what it does, you're certainly not alone: most men don't. But you really should. More than 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that negatively affect their quality of life.
Over 50% of men in their 60s and as many as 90% in their 70s or older have symptoms of an enlarged prostate (BPH).
Each year over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 30,000 will die of it.
Prostatitis is an issue for men of all ages and affects 35% of men aged 50 and older.
This website offers you a guide to the prostate and various conditions that can affect your health.

Wear Blue to fight prostate cancer.

(1) 2; 4
(2) third
(3) 10
(4) 140/90
(5) 18
(6) 4
(7) 100
(8) 15
(9) 250
(10) 0.08

Blue Ridge Safety Council Announces New Officers for 2010


Greg Blake
PO Box 427
Cliffside, NC 28024

Vice President: 
Lisa Wassen
300 S. Washington St.
Shelby, NC 28105

Mike Wright
161 BallPark Road
Lawndale, NC 28090

Ted Hendrix
2351 Leroy Avenue
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 913-1746

The mission of the Blue Ridge Safety Council is to promote safety in industry, home and public places, with special emphasis upon industrial safety. It is operated as an independent, noncommercial, nonpolitical organization. Membership in the council offers you the opportunity of meeting and exchanging ideas with other members with the common goal of preventing accidents/injuries both on and off the job.

For information regarding the Council, or if you are not yet a member but would like to become one, you may contact one of the Blue Ridge Safety Council Officers.
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

Fee Schedule

Quick Links
Quick Links
Quick Links
General Industry

Machine Safety
More About Us
Quick Links
Fleet Safety
Winter Driving...Skids

Quick Links
Membership Brochure

Quick Links
Membership Brochure
Quick Links
Membership Brochure
Quick Links
Membership Brochure
Quick Links
Membership Brochure

Quick Links
Membership Brochure
More About Us
Quick Links
Membership Brochure
Quick Links
Membership Brochure
Quick Links


Quick Links


news & notes




Bring workplace fire safety smarts home.

  • Store flammable materials in tight, labeled containers away from heat and electricity. Keep them in a separate garage or storage building.
  • Use oil-based paints in well-venti- lated areas with no ignition sources.
  • Put flammable-liquid-soaked rags outside or in closed containers.

To prevent electrical fires at home:

  • Check wires for intact insulation.
  • Don't overload circuits, such as with too many appliances in the kitchen.
  • Don't run cords under rugs.

Keep ignition sources away from flammable materials:

  • Use a fireplace screen and clean the chimney yearly.
  • Keep kerosene heaters away from burnables.
  • Use only kerosene in a kerosene heater and fill it when it is cool.
  • Don't smoke around flammable liquids or vapors.
  • Don't tuck in electric blankets or pile things on them.
  • Turn pot handles away from the stove edge and other burners.

Use workplace emergency steps at home:

  • Install smoke detectors on every floor.
  • Practice an evacuation plan.
  • Test fire extinguishers monthly.
  • Teach everyone to STOP, DROP, AND ROLL if their clothes catch fire.
And help is just a phone call away.

Call your
Quick Links



The best places for holiday decorations are in lobbies, reception areas, and break rooms. Follow these recommendations:



  • Artificial trees and greenery made of noncombustible or fire-retardant materials or treated with flame retardant
  • Nonbreakable decorations
  • Flame-retardant paper or cloth decorations
  • UL-approved holiday lights and extension cords only


  • Decorations made of flammable or combustible materials
  • Electric lights on metallic trees
  • Decorations that block emergency equipment, signs, and exits
  • Lighted candles
  • Stapling of light cords to the wall
  • Cords in aisles, dangling over partitions or anywhere they could be tripped over
  • Lights left on overnight or over weekends


Give us a call...
Quick Links
News & Notes 


Effective communication is:

  • Interactive. It flows both ways. You speak and you listen.
  • Informative. It tells you and others what you need to know.
  • Positive. It focuses on the exchange of ideas and information to improve relationships and interactions on the job.
  • Productive. It allows you to interact with co-workers so that you can perform your jobs efficiently.




When you must criticize, here is how to do so in a constructive way that gets your message across without offending.

  • Critique in private. Do not em- barrass a co-worker by dis- cussing his or her shortcomings in public.
  • Begin with a positive statement. Praise something about the co-worker's performance. This sets a positive tone for the conversation.
  • Use objective feedback. Focus on the situation, not the person.
  • Explain what you believe went wrong and talk about how together you can rectify the situation.
  • Set clear expectations. Be specific about the changes you think need to be made.

  • End on a positive note. Stress how the changes you've suggested can help both of you perform better.
Quick Links





If you're traveling by air this year, follow these tips from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA):

  • Don't pack or bring prohibited items such as knives, pointed metal scissors, or box cutters. Review the complete "prohibited" and "permitted" list at
  • Place valuables such as jewelry, cash, and laptop computers only in carry-on baggage.
  • Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry, and accessories that contain metal; they may set off the metal detector.
  • Avoid wearing shoes that contain metal or have thick soles or heels. Many types of footwear require additional screening even if the metal detector does not alarm.
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film.
  • Declare firearms and ammunition to your airline and place them in your checked baggage.
  • If you wish to lock your baggage, use a TSA-recognized lock. Check the website for details.
  • Do not bring lighters to the airport. No matches or lighters are allowed in checked baggage. You may carry four packs of matches in carry-on bags or on your person.
  • Don't pack wrapped gifts, and don't bring wrapped gifts to the check- point. Wrap gifts when you arrive or ship gifts before your departure.

Quick Links




To start a fire, you need just three things:

  1. An ignition source, such as heat, flame, or sparks,
  2. Oxygen from the air, and
  3. Fuel, such as paper, wood, or other combustible or flammable material.
It's easy for fires to get started but it can be hard to put them out. The best approach to fire safety is prevention. Keep flammable and combustible materials away from ignition sources.
Safe Unsubscribe
Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribe | Privacy Policy.
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
NCIC Home Page: