Carbon Monoxide: Standards and More Help

This is an excerpt from the article “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

meter_woman_holding_differentposWhat are the OSHA standards for CO exposure?

The OSHA permissible exposure level (PE) is 50 parts per million (ppm). OSHA standards prohibit worker exposure to more than 50 parts of the gas per million parts of air averaged during an 8-hour time period. The 8-hour PEL for CO in maritime operations is also 50 ppm. Maritime workers, however, must be removed from exposure if the CO concentration in the atmosphere exceeds 100 ppm. The peak CO level for employees engaged in Ro-Ro operations (roll-on roll-off operations during cargo loading and unloading) is 200 ppm.

How can you get more information on safety and health?

OSHA has various publications, standards, technical assistance, and compliance tools to help you, and offers extensive assistance through workplace consultation, voluntary protection programs, grants, strategic partnerships, state plans, training, and education. OSHA’s Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (Federal Register 54:3904-3916, January 26, 1989) detail elements critical to the development of a successful safety and health management system.

This and other information are available on OSHA’s website. For one free copy of OSHA publications, send a self-addressed mailing lable to OSHA Publications Office, P.O. Box 37535, Washington, DC 20013-7535; or send a request to our fax at (202) 693-2498, or call us at (202) 693-1888.

To order OSHA publstack_publicationsshutterstock_13866024808302013ications online at http://www.osha.gov, go to Publications and follow the instructions for ordering.

To file a complaint by phone, report an emergency, or get OSHA advice, assistance, or products, contact your nearest OSHA office under the “U.S. Department of Labor” listing in your phone book, or call toll-free at (800) 321-OSHA (6742). The teletypewriter (TTY) number is (877) 889-5627. To file a complaint online or obtain more information on OSHA federal and state programs, visit OSHA’s website.

Endorsement Guides

Do your ads use endorsements or testimonials? The FTC’s endorsement guides establish guidelines for advertisers.

This following is a the video  “Endorsement Guides.” For more info, please visit www.ftc.gov.

What can employees do to help prevent CO poisoning?

This is an excerpt from the article “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

worker_talksshutterstock_9349636008292013Employees should do the following to reduce the chances of CO poisoning in the workplace:

  • Report any situation to your employer that might cause CO to accumulate.
  • Be alert to ventilation problems—especially in enclosed areas where gases of burning fuels may be released.
  • Report promptly complaints of dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea.
  • Avoid overexertion if you suspect CO poisoning and leave the contaminated area.
  • Tell your doctor that you may have been exposed to CO if you get sick.
  •  Avoid the use of gas-powered engines, such as those in powered washers as well as heaters and forklifts, while working in enclosed spaces.

What About Using Online Reviews?

This is an excerpt from the article “Using Testimonials, Endorsements and Online Reviews in Your Marketing – How to Ensure You Aren’t Breaking the Law.” For more info, please visit www.sba.gov.

woman_laptopshutterstock_13637540008292013Referrals and recommendations are an essential part of the small business owners marketing mix. Today, those reviews are increasingly part of the post-sales experience thanks to the popularity of independent online review sites like Yelp, Google+ Local, Service Magic, Angie’s List and more.

But can you lift quotes from these sites and use them in your marketing? If you check the Terms of Service of most these sites, user-generated content (i.e. reviews) are the property of the person who wrote the review. To use these reviews without permission of the reviewer may infringe copyright laws. There are other ways, however, to incorporate customer reviews into your website. Consider the following:

  • Add links or plug-ins to your website that take people directly to your page on crowd-sourcing review sites like Yelp.
  • Use third-party rating and review tools, such as Shopzilla or BazaarVoice, on your site so that consumers can review products post-sale. Don’t forget to add a disclaimer notifying your customers that the review may be posted online and used for marketing purposes.  By using these services, your reviewers are subject to Terms of Service, which often includes giving consent to you as the website operator to use and publish their reviews, as well as certain biographical information such as name, alias, or location.

business_shaking_handsshutterstock_6336103608292013Because these reviews aren’t technically endorsements or testimonials and the reviewer has previously agreed to the Terms of Service, businesses (including many notable brands) often lift quotes from online reviews (remembering to strip out any biographical information that could identify the reviewer) and use them in email marketing, fliers and so on. If you have any doubt about the claims you may be making by using these reviews, consult an attorney.

How can employers help prevent CO poisoning?

This is an excerpt from the article “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

To reduce the chances of CO woman-worker-co-dectorpoisoning in your workplace, you should take the following actions:

  • Install an effective ventilation system that will remove CO from work areas.
  • Maintain equipment and appliances (e.g., water heaters, space heaters, cooking ranges) that can produce CO in good working order to promote their safe operation and to reduce CO formation. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity, batteries, or compressed air if it can be used safely.
  • Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas Provide personal CO monitors with audible alarms if potential exposure to CO exists.
  • Test air regularly in areas where CO may be present, including confined spaces. See Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.146.
  • Install CO monitors with audible alarms.
  • Use a full-facepiece pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), or a combination full-facepiece pressure demand supplied-air respirator with auxiliary self- contained air supply in areas with high CO concentrations, i.e., those immediately dangerous to life and health atmospheres. (See 29 CFR1910.134.)ventilation
  • Use respirators with appropriate canisters for short periods under certain circumstances where CO levels are not exceedingly high.
  • Educate workers about the sources and conditions that may result in CO poisoning as well as the symptoms and control of CO exposure.
  • In addition, if your employees are working in confined spaces where the presence of CO is suspected, you must ensure that workers test for oxygen sufficiency before entering.

Disclose Any Connections or Affiliations to Your Endorser

This is an excerpt from the article “Using Testimonials, Endorsements and Online Reviews in Your Marketing – How to Ensure You Aren’t Breaking the Law.” For more info, please visit www.sba.gov.

let_us

If you have any material connection with an endorser of your product, you must disclose it. So if you pay bloggers or affiliate marketers, or even give them free samples in return for a review, you must disclose that relationship. It’s OK to use these endorsements in your marketing or advertising, but be sure to add a disclaimer.

business_colleagues_backshutterstock_57418861For example:

  • Encourage bloggers or affiliates to follow the law by adding a disclaimer to their blogs or endorsements: “ABC Company gave me this product and here’s what I think…
  • In your own ad, state the material connection you have with a paid or compensated endorser: “We provided John Doe with a trial product for review, here’s what he had to say…

Carbon Monoxide: Who is at risk & What to do

This is an excerpt from the article “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

Who is at risk?

coYou may be exposed to harmful levels of CO in boiler rooms, breweries, warehouses, petroleum refineries, pulp and paper production, and steel production; around docks, blast furnaces, or coke ovens; or in one of the following occupations:

Welder Diesel engine operator
Garage mechanic Forklift operator
Firefighter Marine terminal worker
Carbon-black maker Toll booth or tunnel attendant
Organic chemical synthesizer Customs inspector
Metal oxide reducer Police officer
Longshore worker Taxi driver.


What can you do if you suspect someone has been poisoned?

automech_breakshutterstock_2518413When you suspect CO poisoning, promptly taking the following actions can save lives:

  • Move the victim immediately to fresh air in an open area.
  • Call 911 or another local emergency number for medical attention or assistance.
  • Administer 100-percent oxygen using a tight-fitting mask if the victim is breathing.
  • Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation if the victim has stopped breathing.

Warning: You may be exposed to  fatal levels of CO poisoning in a rescue attempt. Rescuers should be skilled at performing recovery operations and using recovery equipment. Employers should make sure that rescuers are not exposed to dangerous CO levels when performing rescue operations.

Endorsements Must Reflect Typical Experiences

This is an excerpt from the article “Using Testimonials, Endorsements and Online Reviews in Your Marketing – How to Ensure You Aren’t Breaking the Law.” For more info, please visit www.sba.gov.

thumbsup_transparetIn addition to being truthful and not misleading, endorsements must reflect the typical experience of consumers who use the product – not the experience of just a few satisfied customers. If an endorsement doesn’t meet this requirement, the ad must clearly disclose either what consumers can expect their results to be or the limited applicability of the endorser’s experience. It’s not enough to simply add a disclaimer like “Not all consumers will get these results” or “Your results may vary.”

So what are your options? Well, if the endorser’s experience isn’t typical, then you can go ahead and use the endorsement, but you must have adequate proof to back up the results that the consumer claims to have gained. Alternatively, you must clearly disclose the results that people can expect.

endorsementshutterstock_140023198Example: Let’s say you manufacture or sell a product for which you want to make very specific claims – backed by a customer endorsement, such as a cosmetic wrinkle-reducing cream. Any quotes, testimonials or endorsements used must also be accompanied by a statement that clearly discloses the results that most people could expect in similar circumstances. And be specific: “Most users of this product saw a 50 percent reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after using this product for 12 weeks.” It would also be a good idea to have a link to any data that backs up this claim, such as a scientific research study.

Tip: Let’s look at a real life scenario that many small business owners might encounter. Say you run a hair salon or landscaping business and you want to use a few customer quotes on your website – what should you do? Well, it’s a good idea to get permission from endorsers before you post their comments (and an absolute must if you intend to post their names). Likewise, it would also be a good practice to check that they are willing to be contacted for a reference if a potential customer wants more information about their experiences. Before and after pictures are also a great way to back up the validity and truthfulness of any endorsements or claims.happy_customer_salonshutterstock_108265349

What is carbon monoxide and how can it harm you?

This is an excerpt from the article “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

What is carbon monoxide?

exhaustshutterstock_85799125Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. Although it has no detectable odor, CO is often mixed with other gases that do have an odor. So, you can inhale carbon monoxide right along with gases that you can smell and not even know that CO is present.

CO is a common industrial hazard resulting from the incomplete burning of natural gas and any other material containing carbon such as gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, or wood. Forges, blast furnaces and coke ovens produce CO, but one of the most common sources of exposure in the workplace is the internal combustion engine.

How does CO harm you?

construction_with_doctorshutterstock_small_111119858Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome you in minutes without warning—causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate.

Besides tightness across the chest, initial symptoms of CO poisoning may include headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea. Sudden chest pain may occur in people with angina. During prolonged or high exposures, symptoms may worsen and include vomiting, confusion, and collapse in addition to loss of consciousness and muscle weakness. Symptoms vary widely from person to person. CO poisoning may occur sooner in those most susceptible: young children, elderly people, people with lung or heart disease, people at high altitudes, or those who already have elevated CO blood levels, such as smokers. Also, CO poisoning poses a special risk to fetuses.

CO poisoning can be reversed if caught in time. But even if you recover, acute poisoning may result in permanent damage to the parts of your body that require a lot of oxygen such as the heart and brain. Significant reproductive risk is also linked to CO

Using Testimonials, Endorsements in Marketing – Be Truthful and Not Misleading

This is an excerpt from the article “Using Testimonials, Endorsements and Online Reviews in Your Marketing – How to Ensure You Aren’t Breaking the Law.” For more info, please visit www.sba.gov.

testimonial_buttonshutterstock_109487036Do you use endorsements or testimonials from customers in your marketing or advertising? Many business owners do. The power of referrals and quotes from customers can mean the difference between success and failure. However, you need to be awarthankful_customer_128456897e of truth-in-advertising and endorsement laws. Likewise, if you use ask bloggers to write about your products, you need to be clear and transparent about your affiliations.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees consumer protection laws in a number of areas, truth-in-advertising being one of them. So, if you intend to use customer quotes or endorsements from others to help sell your products and services, here’s what you need to know to ensure you comply with the law:

All Endorsements Must Be Truthful and Not Misleading

define_testimonialshutterstock_128415719What does this mean? In essence, they must reflect the endorser’s actual experience and opinion. You also can’t use endorsements or testimonials that make claims about your products or service that you can’t back up with clear proof. We’ve all seen the ads that promise weight-loss miracles, often backed by quotes from customers testifying to their success. However, if there isn’t scientific evidence to prove that this is true, then you are effectively misleading your customers. The FTC can hold both you and your endorser responsible for deceptive marketing practices.