What can employers do to address worker sleep deprevation?


  • Regular Rest: Establish at least 10 consecutive hours per day of protected time off-duty in order for workers to obtain 7-8 hours of sleep.
  • Rest Breaks: Frequent brief rest breaks (e.g., every 1-2 hours) during demanding work are more effective against fatigue than a few longer breaks. Allow longer breaks for meals.
  • Shift Lengths: Five 8-hour shifts or four 10-hour shifts per week are usually tolerable. Depending on the workload, twelve-hour days may be tolerable with more frequent interspersed rest days. Shorter shifts (e.g., 8 hours), during the evening and night, are better tolerated than longer shifts.
  • Workload: Examine work demands with respect to shift length. Twelve-hour shifts are more tolerable for “lighter” tasks (e.g., desk work).
  • Rest Days: Plan one or two full days of rest to follow five consecutive 8-hour shifts or four 10-hour shifts. Consider two rest days after three consecutive 12-hour shifts.
  • Training: Provide training to make sure that workers are aware of the ups and downs of shiftwork and that they know what resources are available to them to help with any difficulties they are having with the work schedule.
  • Incident Analysis: Examine near misses and incidents to determine the role, if any, of fatigue as a root cause or contributing cause to the incident.
The above is an excerpt adapted from the article,”Sleep and Work.” For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov.

Help Your Customers When Performing Spring Maintenance


After what seemed like an endless winter, you may be planning to hit the road for a spring or summer road trip.

Just take this factoid as a warning: AAA roadside service estimates that it helps more than 9 million stranded motorists during a summer.

If, like most Americans, you’re not driving a fresh-from-the-showroom ride – the average age of passenger vehicles in the U.S. is just over 10 years old – it’s time to give your car a little springtime TLC.

“Drivers often overlook their cars when it is spring cleaning time,” says Shawn Hoelzer, master technician for CarMax, the largest U.S. chain of used car dealerships. “Following a few easy steps to spruce up your vehicle helps avoid costly repairs.”

So take your car to a dealership to get checked out – or, better yet, to an independent mechanic you trust. Use this spring maintenance checklist to make sure your car is reliable and running efficiently.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article,”Car Care: Spring Maintenance Check List.” For more information, please visit www.cbsnews.com.

What are the risks of long work hours and shift work?


Risks for Workers:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Lack of adequate time to recover from work
  • Decline in mental function and physical ability, including emotional fatigue and a decline in the function of the body’s immune system
  • Higher rates of depression, occupational injury, and poor perceived health
  • Higher prevalence of insomnia among shift workers with low social support
  • Increased risk of illness and injury
  • Strain on personal relationships, such as marriage and family life
  • Increased risk of long-term health effects, such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, mood disturbances, and cancer

Risks for Employers:

  • Reduced productivity
  • Increase in errors
  • Absenteeism and presenteeism (present at work but not fully functioning because of health problems or personal issues)
  • Increased health care and worker compensation costs
  • Workforce attrition due to disability, death, or moving to jobs with less demanding schedules

Risks to the Community:

  • Potential increase in errors by workers leading to:
    • Medical errors
    • Vehicle crashes
    • Industrial disasters

Research indicates that the effect of long work hours and shift work may be more complex than a simple direct relationship between a certain high number of work hours or shift schedule and risks. The effects appear to be influenced by a variety of factors including characteristics of the worker and the job, worker control, pay, non-work responsibilities, and other characteristics of the work schedule.

Both workers and employers share in the responsibility of reducing risks connected to poor sleep. Therefore, it is important for both workers and managers to make sleep a priority in their personal life and in the assignment of work.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article,”Sleep and Work.” For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov.

Driving Distractions and Teens on Spring Break


While drivinglovelyyoungwoman_leaningcar, breaks, or for the spring break fun:

Cell phones – Not to be used while driving — but more for contacting friends when splitting up, and for calling parents everyday. It’s also a means to get in touch with services like AAA.

Driving Breaks – Avoid drowsy driving and schedule plenty breaks for longer drives — avoid driving during nighttime. Being well-rested is an important part of driving.

There’s plenty of fun to be had during spring break. Just remember to keep driver safety in mind at all times.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article,”Spring Break Driving Tips.” For more information, please visit www.aadrivingacademy.net.

Why Sleep is Important

We know that sleep is important.  The need for sleep is biologically similar to the need to eat and drink, and it is critical for maintaining life and health and for working safely.  Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night is linked with a wide range of better health and safety outcomes. NIOSH has been actively involved in research to protect workers, workers’ families, employers, and the community from the hazards linked to long work hours and shift work. In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, we have summarized the sleep and work issue below.

A growing number of American workers are not getting enough sleep. Research shows an increase from 24% in the 1980s to 30% in the 2000s in the percentage of American civilian workers reporting 6 or fewer hours of sleep per day—a level considered by sleep experts to be too short (Luckhaupt, Tak, & Calvert 2009).

sleepingworkerWhy are more Americans getting less sleep? Work demands are one factor. The timing of a shift can strain a worker’s ability to get enough sleep. Working at night or during irregular hours goes against the human body’s biology, which is hard-wired to sleep during the night and be awake and active during the day. Still, society needs certain workers around the clock to provide vital services in public safety, healthcare, utilities, food services, manufacturing, transportation, and others. The resulting shift work—any shift outside the normal daylight hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.—is linked to poorer sleep, circadian rhythm disturbances, and strains on family and social life. It is not possible to eliminate shift work altogether, so the challenge is to develop strategies to make critical services available while keeping workers healthy and everyone around them safe. In addition to shift work, some data suggest that a growing number of employees are being asked to work long hours on a regular basis. Eery extra hour on the job is one less spent attending to the person’s off-the-job responsibilities. When the day is too full to fit everything in, it is often sleep that gets the short shrift.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article,”Sleep and Work.” For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov.

Spring Break Teen Driving Tips


Spring break is in the air — and so is the collective sigh of relief for teens who are just itching to get away from it all. A lot of teens, especially ones who have just received their driving privileges are looking forward to a taste of freedom on the road. Before they do that, however, here are some driving safety tips.

The Buddy System – Use this for everything. Keep each other safe. Schedule driving breaks. Have predetermined driving schedules for long drives, to make sure that everyone’s refreshed by the time they get to their destination. This also applies when it comes to having designated drivers.

Emergency Equipment – Have the travel vehicle properly maintained. Also, have the necessary tools that are capable of troubleshooting minor car troubles like flat tires or running out of gas.

Documentation – Having proper documentation like ids and car registration around doesn’t hurt, especially if it involves trips away from your postal code.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article,”Spring Break Driving Tips.” For more information, please visit www.aadrivingacademy.net.

Sources of Food


Always know the source of your food. Is that source under inspection and approved to sell this food item to you? It may seem wonderful to want to buy local products and incorporate them into your facility, but you must verify that the production of that food is approved. If you don’t know where it came from, don’t use it!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 6 Americans gets a foodborne illness annually. Tens of millions of people are sickened annually from foodborne illnesses and thousands are killed. Food safety is a shared responsibility between government, industry, and consumers. All play a vital role. Foodborne illness costs billions of dollars in healthcare-related costs and industry costs annually. The good news is that due to knowledge, education, and implementation of sound food safety practices, the CDC reports that most foodborne illnesses are declining (down 27-57 percent) in the US, with only Salmonella (up 3 percent) and Vibrio (up 115 percent) not declining.

We will continue to make good headway if we all work together to remember basic food safety concepts, risk factors, and control measures that keep our food safe. Never lose sight of the basics, and continually educate or refresh yourself and employees regularly.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Back to Food Safety Basics” For more information, please visit www.anfponline.org.

Organizing a Business Watch and Seeking Community Partners

Modeled after the Neighborhood Watch concept, Business Watch seeks to reduce commercial crime and the fear of crime from both the shopper’s and the shop owner’s point of view. The following steps are the most important concepts behind Business Watch:

Get to know the people who operate the neighboring businesses. They are your neighbors for eight or more hours a day. Making personal contact is the best way to get acquainted. Make an effort to introduce yourself to others—nearby residents, schools, civic groups, libraries, clubs—in the neighborhood.

Watch and report. Report suspicious behavior to law enforcement immediately, even if it means taking a chance on being wrong. A telephone tree is an effective means of sharing information with other merchants. Should a problem develop, each merchant is responsible for calling one or two others on the tree.

Secure your property. Contact your local police or sheriff’s department to conduct a security survey of your business. Ask for their advice on lights, alarms, locks, and other security measures.

Engrave all valuable office equipment and tools. Use an identification number—a tax identification number, license, or other unique number. Check with law enforcement for their recommendation.

Aggressively advertise your Business Watch group. Post signs and stickers saying that your block of businesses is organized to prevent crime by watching out for and reporting suspicious activities to law enforcement.

Adapted from Organizing a Business Watch, published by the City of Portland, Office of Neighborhood Associations.)

Looking for Community Partners?
Chambers of Commerce

Chambers of Commerce exist in thousands of communities. They can help start a Business Watch, offer crime prevention information to area businesses, or organize seminars on “hot” topics, like bad checks or credit card fraud.

Business Associations 
Merchants may join together to address a problem that directly affects their business operations. Some examples include poor street lighting,

lack of police patrols, parking, loitering, or prostitution. A business or merchant’s association could price employment for youth, community improvements, or funding for a manual on small business security.

Service Clubs 
Many communities have local chapters of such service groups as Exchange Clubs, Kiwanis, Lions, Junior League, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Jaycees, Rotary, and Optimists. These groups take on a variety of community and business service projects. They often have many members from the local business community.

Special Interest Associations/Groups 
Businesses often join others with similar interests. Retail merchants as a whole, specialty stores, computer retailers, drug stores, grocers, cleaners, restaurants, or convenience stores may all have associations in a city or region.

Private Security 
Increased partnerships between business groups, private security, and police can enhance each other’s efforts to protect commercial areas.

Community Associations 
Business groups can find effective partners in community and neighborhood associations. Both groups have a strong stake in thriving residential and commercial areas. They are often well versed in strategies for securing physical improvements such as street lighting or road repairs. In partnership with business, they can also reach out to help solve problems that affect the entire community’s well-being—such as homelessness, lack of jobs, or the need for battered women’s shelters.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article,”Small Business Crime Prevention.” For more information, please visit www.lapdonline.org.

Proper Techniques for Washing and Sanitation for the Food Service Industry

Handwashing thoroughly and often is extremely critical in foodservice facilities. Contaminated hands are often the source of foodborne illness. Good hand hygiene in any establishment must be emphasized often. It must be controlled, evaluated, enforced, and reinforced all of the time. We are all human. We get busy and focused on our work. But we must be cognizant of our hands at all times.

To wash hands properly, use running water at a temperature of 100˚F or above with soap. Handwashing should occur for 15-20 seconds, which will seem like a lifetime! Rinse and use a dry paper towel.

Washing dishes and equipment should not be overlooked. Keeping food contact surfaces clean and sanitized will reduce the chance of cross-contamination within the facility.

  1. Scrape off excess food
  2. Wash with soap or an approved cleaner (~110˚F) 3
  3. Rinse with clear water
  4. Sanitize with an approved sanitizer at the correct strength (check with test papers)
  5. Air dry To sanitize, there are two basic options: chemical sanitizing or heat sanitizing. The FDA Food Code has extensive requirements for manual vs. mechanical sanitizing/dishwashing, but generally:

Chemical Sanitizing
(Concentrations and minimum temperatures)

  • Chlorine: ~50ppm-100ppm @ 55˚F-100˚F (dependent on the pH of the water)
  • Quaternary ammonium (‘Quat’): ~200ppm-400ppm @ 75˚F
  • Iodine: ~12.5-25 mg/L @ 68˚F

Note: Always follow the manufacturer’s labeling instructions. Sanitizer test strips must be used to verify the concentration.

Heat Sanitizing

  • Manual: 171˚F—Final immersion rinse
  • Mechanical: 180˚F—Final rinse (not above 194˚F)

In this changing and innovative world, chemicals are often being reformulated or being made new and better. When using any chemical, follow the EPA-approved label instruction for approved use, concentration, and temperature parameters.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Back to Food Safety Basics” For more information, please visit www.anfponline.org.

Shoplifting Prevention


  • Businesses lose billions of dollars each year to shoplifting, and then often must pass this loss on to the customers through higher prices.
  • Train employees in how to reduce opportunities for shoplifting and how to apprehend shoplifters. Work with law enforcement to teach employees what actions may signal shoplifting.
  • Keep the store neat and orderly. Use mirrors to eliminate “blind spots” in corners that might hide shoplifters. Merchandise should be kept away from store exits to prevent grab-and-run situations.
  • Keep displays full and orderly, so employees can see at a glance if something is missing. Keep expensive merchandise in locked cases. Limit the number of items employees remove at any one time for customers to examine.
  • Design the exits of the business so all persons must pass by security personnel or store employees. You may want to use an electronic article surveillance system or other inventory control devices.
  • The cash register should be inaccessible to customers, locked, and monitored at all times. Place it near the front of the store, so employees can also monitor customers coming and going.
  • Dressing rooms and rest rooms should be watched at all times. Keep dressing rooms locked and limit the number of items taken in.
The above is an excerpt adapted from the article,”Small Business Crime Prevention.” For more information, please visit www.lapdonline.org.