As an Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) manager or professional, you’re well-aware of the critical role EHS plays in Operational Excellence. There is no doubt that your company has one (or more) continuous improvement initiatives aimed towards operational efficiency and effectiveness; perhaps it’s based on a Lean approach or Six Sigma.
Maryland state senator Richard S. Madaleno, Jr (D-District 18) has introduced a measure calling for stricter monitoring of air pollutants emitted by factory farms, also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
A proposal to roll back work hour limits for medical residents has drawn an angry response from safety advocates, who say longer hours lead to more errors, endangering the safety of both residents and the patients they care for.
A leading European scientist says it’s “quite urgent to understand the exact mechanisms of nanotoxicity and make a classification depending on the mechanism.”
That warning from Dr. Vladimir Baulin of the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain comes with a reminder that radioactivity or x-rays “entered our lives the same way,” but that it took some time before researchers understood how they affected living organisms.
Here are some jobs and professions where constant working with your hands can put you at risk of numerous hand hazards – infections, skin diseases, cuts, abrasions, allergic reactions and in the worst case, life-altering amputations:
The World Health Organization’s calls to action are:
Health workers: “Clean your hands at the right times and stop the spread of antibiotic resistance.”
Hospital Chief Executive Officers and Administrators: “Lead a year-round infection prevention and control program to protect your patients from resistant infections."
Policy-makers: "Stop antibiotic resistance spread by making infection prevention and hand hygiene a national policy priority."
There is no universal solution, but hospitals can take these steps to encourage staff to wash their hands:
1. Invest in alcohol-based hand rub. In many cases this is more effective than washing hands with soap and water. When introduced, one study showed adherence rates increased from 28 percent to 47 percent.
On average, healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the times they should. On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.
Medics' resistance to change and a culture of mediocrity in hospitals puts millions at risk of infection each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC reports:
Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin. It can have many causes and occurs in many forms. It usually involves an itchy rash on swollen, reddened skin.
Skin affected by dermatitis may blister, ooze, develop a crust or flake off. Examples of dermatitis include atopic dermatitis (eczema), dandruff and rashes caused by contact with any of a number of substances, such as poison ivy, soaps and jewelry with nickel in it.
In 1967, the grounding of the Torrey Canyon focused the world's attention on the risks and environmental impact of major marine oil spills. According to IPIECA -- the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues -- the incident became a catalyst for positive change throughout the industry, ushering in new regulations, safer shipping practices, improved preparedness and response and adequate compensation.