CoatingsPro Magazine

SEP 2018

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COATINGSPRO SEPTEMBER 2018 29 WORK IT SAFE Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the United States. In 2010, more than 22,500 confirmed and 7,500 probable cases of Lyme disease were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lyme disease is passed to humans by the bite of black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks in the eastern United States) and western black-legged ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The Lyme disease bacterium normally lives in mice, squirrels, and other small mammals. Outdoor workers are at risk of Lyme disease if they work at sites with infected ticks. In 2010, the highest number of confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Maine. U.S. workers in the northeastern and north-central states are at highest risk of exposure to infected ticks. Ticks may also transmit other tick-borne diseases to workers in these and other regions of the country. Worksites with woods, bushes, high grass, or leaf litter are likely to have more ticks. Outdoor workers should be extra careful to protect themselves in the late spring and summer when young ticks are most active. Employers should protect their workers from Lyme disease by taking these steps: Provide training for workers that includes information about the following: • How Lyme disease is spread • The risks of exposure and infection • How workers can protect themselves from ticks • The importance of the timely reporting of workplace illnesses and injuries Recommend that workers wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and hat when possible. If worker uniforms are provided, provide long-sleeved shirts and long pants as options. Provide workers with repellents (containing 20–30 percent DEET) to use on their skin and clothing for protection against tick bites. Provide workers with insecticides (such as permethrin) to provide greater protection. Permethrin kills ticks and can be used on cloth- ing (but not skin). Have workers avoid working at sites with woods, bushes, tall grass, and leaf litter when possible. Take personal protective measures when it's not possible to avoid these sites. If work in these higher-risk sites must occur, take the following steps to reduce tick populations: • Remove leaf litter. • Remove, mow, or cut back tall grass and brush. • Control rodent and small mammal populations. • Discourage deer activity. For more information, contact: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), www.cdc.gov/niosh the employee's death until after eight hours following the incident. Will I be cited by OSHA for failing to report within the statutor y time frame? A n employer is required to report a fatality to OSH A upon affirmative knowledge of the loss of life. T he time frame for reporting begins when the company, or any of its agents, becomes aware of the fatality. A n employer is, of course, required to act w ith due diligence to determine the status of its employee follow ing an accident or injur y. A n employer may not remain intentionally ignorant as to the status of the employee in order to avoid the reporting regulations. T he employer should station the company safety and health director at the hospital to answer questions from doctors or family members, and company management should simultaneously investigate the worksite to determine the cause of the incident. Once an employer receives affirmative knowl- edge of the death of an employee from a work-related incident, the employer must report the incident to OSH A immediately, even if the eight-hour timeline has expired. Overnight Treatment For overnight treatment, a common type of question may be: Our employee cut his leg at the worksite, was treated at the emergency room, and was released the same day. However, several days later, the cut became infected, and he was admitted to the hospital overnight for treatment. Is this second hospitaliza- tion work-related, and are we required to report it to OSHA? An employer is only required to report an in-patient hospitalization when it occurs within 24 hours of the work-related incident. Furthermore, an employer is only required to report a fatality when it occurs within 30 days of the work-related incident. For example, if an employee receives a laceration at the worksite and is treated and released without hospi- talization, this incident does not need to be reported to OSHA. However, if the cut becomes infected and the employee is hospitalized within 24 hours of the original accident at the worksite, then this incident must be reported to OSHA. If the infection and hospitalization occur after the expiration of 24 hours, the incident is not a reportable one. Moreover, if an employee suffers a fall at the worksite but does not require medical attention, this incident is not a reportable one. A lternatively, if that Safety Watch

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