Painting Safety Tips: Paint Selection and Storage

This is an excerpt from the article “Painting Safety Tips.” For more info, please visit

paint_shutterstock_76568656Most paint is not an especially high-risk substance, but many paints contain ingredients that can cause health and safety problems.  Workers must know the hazards and the basic protective measures that can make painting safe.

Paint Selection

Select interior or exterior paint based on location of use. There are two categories of interior paints:

  • Water-based
  • Oil-based

    In general, water-based paints emit fewer chemicals and lower levels of chemical vapors. Make sure to read the label for information about potential health effects or ask the paint supplier.

Paint Storage

The most important component of a storage area for paint products is a cabinet designed specifically for storing flammables. Flammables must be stored in a properly labeled flammables cabinet that has appropriate signage. In addition, follow these guidelines for your storage area:

  • Set it up in an easily accessible location that is cool, dry, and well – ventilated.
  • Install a class-B fire extinguisher and, if metallic powders are present, a class-D fire extinguisher.
  • Stock the area with appropriate clean-up equipment

Top Ten Safety Tips for the Restaurant Employee

The following is an excerpt from the article, “Top Ten Safety Tips for the Restaurant Employee” For more info, please visit

1. Safely Operate Equipment
Follow manufacturer instructions and use all protective gear or safety guidelines for machines with sharp or dangerous parts.
2. Wash Hands Frequently
Thoroughly wash hands with warm soapy water before and after handling food, utensils, and equipment. Make sure hand-sinks are properly installed in all food preparation areas. This minimizes the transfer of harmful bacteria.
3. Take Care to Avoid Fallsrestaurant_lightingshutterstock_93996748
Clean up spills immediately and remove any obstacles or wet spots on the floor. Consider enforcing slip-resistant shoes to minimize injuries from slipping on floors.
4. Wear a Proper Uniform
In addition to slip-resistant shoes, uniform standards may include hairnets, plastic gloves, and aprons. These prevent long hair, germs, and loose clothing from contaminating foods and getting caught in kitchen equipment.
5. Maintain Clean Personal Hygiene and Behaviors
Proper hygiene provides an extra safeguard against the transfer of harmful bacteria. Keep all smoking, eating, drinking, coughing, or sneezing away from food-preparation areas. Keep ill employees at home and away from the workplace. Plastic or latex gloves also reduce risks of cross-contamination
6. Be Wary of Burns
Burns from hot surfaces, water, oil, and food are common causes of injury in a kitchen environment. Take proper precautions and consider pot holders and oven mitts to provide extra protection to anyone working around hot equipment or food.
7. Use Caution with Sharp Edges
Knives, machine parts, equipment, and broken glass can all have sharp edges. Wearing cut resistant gloves can prove especially helpful when handling sharp objects.

8. Minimize Strains and Sprains
Train employees in proper lifting techniques and ways to eliminate excessive reaching or repetitive motion injuries. Anti fatigue mats are often helpful for employees who stand for long periods of time.
9. Handle Hazardous Chemicals with Care
Read labels, be familiar with Material Safety Data Sheets for any chemicals on the premises, and utilize any protective gear available.
10. Prepare for Emergencies
Implement an action plan for accidents, natural disasters, fires, violent situations, and other emergencies that may occur on the premises. Communicate the action plan to all employees.

Prepare, Plan, and Be Informed About Hazardous Events

This is an excerpt from the article “Be Informed.” For more info, please visit

safety_gearEmergency preparedness is not the sole concern of Californians for earthquakes, those who live in “Tornado Alley”; or Gulf Coast residents because of hurricanes. Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before; to areas impacted by hazards they may not be at risk of near their homes. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards. For example, safety is necessary when experiencing all hazards, whether this means sheltering or evacuating depends on the specific emergency. Developing a family communications plan or making an emergency supply kit are the same for accidental emergencies, natural disasters and also terrorism. However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.

Use the links on this page to learn about the potential emergencies that can happen where you live and the appropriate ways to respond to them. When you know what to do, you can plan with your household and prepare in advance to be ready. These links also provide information about how protect your household and begin recovery following the initial disaster.

Before a disaster, learn how you will know there is cuppingpaperfamily_shutterstock_57841969an impending hazardous event. Familiarize yourself with the signs of events that come without warning and know the local advance alerts and warnings and how you will receive them. Knowing about the local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation and local emergency contacts will help you develop your household plan and will also aid you during a crisis.

Learning what to do in different situations and developing and customizing your plans for your local hazards, the locations frequented by members of your household and the specific needs of household members including animals will help you reduce the impact of disasters and may save lives and prevent injuries.

Safety of Drinking Water if Flooding Occurs

The following is an excerpt from the article, “Safety of Drinking Water if Flooding Occurs” For more info, please visit
  • bottleUse bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
  • If you don’t have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean clothes or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
  • If you can’t boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean clothes or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30water_boil_shutterstock_78136933_ minute before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
  • If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or State health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

Helping Those With Disabilities In An Emergency

The following is an excerpt from the article, “People with Disabilities.” For more info, please visit

disabled_redcrossEmergencies can happen at a moment’s notice. Mobility problems and hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities can add complication. It is important to plan ahead so you are better prepared for any urgent situation. Our booklet Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs gives tips on getting informed, making a plan, assembling a kit, and keeping your plans up to date.

These tips provide people with disabilities and their caregivers with guidance in managing communications, equipment, pets and home hazards. The materials were co-authored by the American Red Cross and Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Safety of Food in Containers Explosed to Flood Waters

The following is an excerpt from the article, “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms & Hurricanes” For more info, please visit

How to Determine What Food to KEEP or DISCARD:

  • cans_food_shutterstock_21066433_Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is  any chance that it has come into  contact with flood water. Food  containers that are not waterproof  include those with screw-caps,  snap lids, pull tops, and crimped  caps. Also, discard cardboard juice/ milk/baby formula boxes and home  canned foods if they have come in  contact with flood water, because  they cannot be effectively cleaned  and sanitized.
  • Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can  damage is shown by swelling,  leakage, punctures, holes,  fractures, extensive deep rusting,  or crushing/denting severe enough  to prevent normal stacking or  opening with a manual, wheel-type  can opener.

Pots, Pans, Dishes, and Utensils:


Thoroughly wash metal pans,  ceramic dishes, and utensils  (including can openers) with soap  and water, using hot water if  available. Rinse and then sanitize  them by boiling in clean water or  immersing them for 15 minutes  in a solution of 1 tablespoon of  unscented, liquid chlorine bleach  per gallon of drinking water (or the  cleanest, clearest water available).


Thoroughly wash countertops with  soap and water, using hot water if  available. Rinse and then sanitize  them by applying a solution of 1  tablespoon of unscented, liquid  chlorine bleach per gallon of  drinking water (or the cleanest,  clearest water available). Allow to  air-dry.

Bakery Cleaning and Sanitation

The following is an excerpt from the article, “Bakery Cleaning and Sanitation” For more info, please visit

Any food processing plant, including a commercial bakery, needs a quality sanitation program. Bakeries, along with fast food restaurants, have historically faced high employee turnover rates, so the organization and implementation of an easily understandable food sanitation program must be a number one priority.

In order to create a valid and workable bakery sanitation program, the following aspects should be addressed:



Management should never assume that any new employee knows the intricacies of proper sanitation. Thorough staff training is critical because a simple employee error or misconception can easily negate an important sanitation step. For example, a sanitizing chemical that has been improperly mixed with water to yield an ineffective concentration can allow a seemingly sanitized surface to become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.


There are certain steps in every sanitation process. For example, rough food waste should be removed from any flat surface before sanitizer is applied. An inexperienced employee may try to clean rough particles from a table with sanitizer only; this process can be ineffective and ultimately dangerous. Again, proper training is a key element in any sanitation program, and all procedures should be carefully listed, recorded, and ultimately explained to each applicable employee.


baker_hat_shutterstock_132140846_Cleaning bakery equipment needs to be a continual part of your program. Some equipment, like dough rollers, may need to be sanitized daily. Other items, like stainless steel worktables, usually need hourly sanitation. Every piece of bakery equipment must be scheduled for routine cleaning and sanitation. A sanitation schedule should be readily available and easily seen in each area of the bakery. Many bakeries also use checklists that are to be signed as employees complete individual sanitation tasks.

Chemicals and Cleaning Equipment

Chemicals should never be stored near food products. All sanitation chemicals should be housed in their own areas, with proper spec sheets and warning information readily available. This is critical for a bakery, since a jar of white soap powder left in the wrong area of the bakery could easily be mistaken for flour, sugar, or salt. Unfortunately, accidents of this nature do occur, but they can be prevented with proper managerial vigilance.bakery_closeup_donuts_shutterstock_143187523_

No employee should use sophisticated cleaning equipment without proper training. Management must make sure that all safety procedures are followed, and that all cleaning equipment is being used only for its intended purpose.

All food processing plants need stringent sanitation programs and guidelines. While bakeries may have their own set of individual sanitation concerns, proper training, efficient scheduling and correct use of chemicals and equipment should be high priorities for bakery managers.

Seniors: The Importance of a Personal Support Network in an Emergency

The following is an excerpt from the article, “Seniors:  The Importance of a Personal Support Network” For more info, please visit

senior_couple_e_shutterstock_152525414The American Red Cross recommends that senior citizens create a personal support network made up of several individuals who will check in on you in an emergency, to ensure your wellness and to give assistance if needed. This network can consist of friends, roommates, family members, relatives, personal attendants, co-workers and neighbors. Ideally, a minimum of three people can be identified at each location where you regularly spend time, for example at work, home, school or volunteer site.

There are seven important items to discuss and implement with a personal support network:


Make arrangements, prior to an emergency, for your support network to immediately check on you after a disaster and, if needed, offer assistance.


Exchange important keys.senior_friends_shutterstock_123179668_


Show them where you keep emergency supplies.


Share copies of your relevant emergency documents, evacuation plans and emergency health information card.


Agree on and practice methods for contacting each other in an emergency. Do not count on the telephones working.


You and your personal support network should always notify each other when you are going out of town and when you will return.


The relationship should be mutual. You have a lot to contribute! Learn about each other’s needs and how to help each other in an emergency. You might take responsibility for food supplies and preparation, organizing neighborhood watch meetings and interpreting, among other things.

Helping Children in Disasters

This is an excerpt from the article “Children.” For more info, please visit

Reducing Fear in Uncertain Circumstances

Disasters strike quickly and without warning. They are frightening for adults, and can be traumatic for children, especially if they don’t know what to do.

During a disaster, your family may have to leave your home and depart from your daily routine. Children may become anxious, confused, or frightened. It is important to give children guidance that will help them reduce their fears.

kid-injuryChildren and Their Response to Disaster

Children depend on daily routines. They wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, play with friends. When emergencies or disasters interrupt this routine, many children may become anxious.

In a disaster, they’ll look to you and other adults for help. How you react to an emergency gives them clues on how to act. If you react with alarm, your child may become more scared. They see your fear as proof that the danger is real. If you seem overcome with a sense of loss, your child may feel their losses more strongly.

child_hope_shutterstock_113923174Children’s fears may also arise from their imagination, and you should take these feelings seriously. A child who feels afraid is afraid. Your words and actions can provide reassurance. When talking with your child, be sure to present a realistic picture that is both honest and manageable.

Feelings of fear are healthy and natural for both adults and children. But as an adult, you need to keep control of the situation. When you’re sure that danger has passed, concentrate on your child’s emotional needs by asking the child what’s uppermost in his or her mind. Having children participate in the family’s recovery activities will help them feel that their life will soon return to “normal.” Your response during this time may have a lasting impact.

Food Poisoning Long-Term Effects

The following is an excerpt from the article, “Long-Term Effects” For more info, please visit


One in six Americans will get sick from food poisoning this year. That’s about 48 million people. Most of them will recover without any lasting effects from their illness. For some, however, the effects can be devastating and even deadly.

Here are some serious effects associated with several common types of food poisoning.

Kidney failure

Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious illness that usually occurs when an infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells, causing kidney injury. HUS may occur after infection with some kinds of E. coli bacteria.

HUS is most common in children. In fact, it is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in children.

Chronic arthritis

A small number of persons with Shigella or Salmonella infection develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. This is called reactive arthritis. It can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis, which is difficult to treat. Persons with Campylobacter infections may also develop chronic arthritis.

Brain and nerve damage

A Listeria infection can lead to meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain. If a newborn infant is infected with Listeria, long-term consequences may include mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, blindness, or deafness.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder that affects the nerves of the body. This occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the body’s own nerves. It can result in paralysis that lasts several weeks and usually requires intensive care.  As many as 40 percent of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases in this country may be triggered by an infection with Campylobacter.


In the United States, approximately 3,000 people die each year of illnesses associated with food poisoning. Five types of organisms account for 88 percent of the deaths for which the cause is known: Salmonella, Toxoplasma, Listeria, norovirus, and Campylobacter.

Other types of foodborne illness may cause death as well. For example, some Vibrio infections (usually associated with eating raw shellfish) may infect the bloodstream and cause a severe, life-threatening illness. About half of these infections are fatal, and death can occur within two days.