Safety Precautions for Indoor Painting

Paints contain different chemicals and the potential hazards are different for various products. Each product has specific safety precautions given on the label. However, there are some basic safety steps to keep in mind when using any paint.

Always read and follow all the instructions and safety precautions on the label. Do not assume you already know how to use the product. The hazards may be different from one product to another. Some ingredients in individual products may also change over time. The label tells you what actions you should take to reduce hazards and the first aid measures to use if there is a problem.

There must be plenty of fresh air where you paint. Open all doors and windows to the outside (not to hallways). Curtains and blinds should be pushed back so that there is nothing blocking the airflow, to ensure cross-ventilation. Place a box fan securely in the window blowing out to ensure air movement. Do not point the fan directly at someone else’s space. Secure the fan within the window frame so that it cannot fall out of the window or be tipped over by children. If it rains or snows, turn the fan off and remove it from the window to avoid an electrical shock hazard. An air conditioning unit should not be substituted for the use of a fan. In addition, bathroom/kitchen exhaust fans do not always vent out-of-doors and should not be relied upon to increase ventilation.


Continue to provide fresh air after painting. Part of the risk with indoor painting arises from the idea that dry paints are safe. While some paints may have only a small quantity of volatile materials that evaporate quickly, other paints may have a significant amount of organic solvents or drying oils that take several days to go away. Given this fact, a general “rule of thumb” for avoiding unwanted exposure to paint vapors (and to return the air to acceptable quality), ventilation should be continued for 2 or 3 days.

Follow paint can directions for the safe cleaning of brushes and other equipment. Latex paint usually cleans up with soap and water. For alkyd paints, you will need to purchase specific products as listed on the label. Never use gasoline to clean paint brushes. Gasoline is extremely flammable. Read the label to find out if the paint cleaner is flammable. All flammable products should be used away from ignition sources such as water heaters, furnaces, electric motors, fans, etc.

Buy only what you need, and store or throw away the unused amount. Since paints are used only occasionally, buy only as much as you will use right away. If you have leftover paint, be sure to close the container tightly. Vapors can leak from improperly sealed containers. Follow the directions on the can on how to dispose of the product. Latex paint and its containers can often be thrown out with regular household trash. In some communities, there are special recycling programs for paints. To find out about these, you should contact your local government.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Healthy Indoor Painting Practices” For more information, please visit

Why An Appealing Headline Is Important!


Even the most well-written article or blog post, or the best video, is worthless if it isn’t topped by an appealing headline. The headline is what piques the reader’s attention.

The headline has become uber-important in today’s world of social media sites. For most people, the headline is all they see on a site like Twitter. And on other sites like Google+ and Facebook, it’s a key element of what they see. If the headline isn’t good, chances are the reader won’t bother to click over to read it or view it.


In fact, Copyblogger says 75% of the readers who read the headline don’t bother reading the actual blog post.

Headlines are also important for email marketing. Here again, the subject line (i.e., the “headline” for an email marketing message) has a lot to do with whether people will open the message.

With a little effort and a lot of inspiration, you can improve your headlines and increase the number of people who want to read your articles and view your video or other content.

The above is an excerpt from the article “8 Smart Techniques for Improving Headlines.” For more info, please visit

Are vegetable and produce washes effective?

Are produce and vegetable washes effective?

While considered safe for use on produce and vegetables, the actual effectiveness of these washes is debatable. Most research indicates that water is just as good. If they give you peace of mind, by all means use them. If you are concerned about their cost, plain old potable water will do the trick as well.

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

OSHA Standards for CO Levels and More Help


What 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 publications online at, 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.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” For more info, please visit

Food Service Professionals FAQs: Laws or Regulations


If state and federal regulations regarding food safety practices differ, what regulations am I obligated to follow?
As much as this seems like it would have an easy answer, it does not. If you are a retailer, someone who sells or serves food direct to the consumer, you will follow the regulations of your state’s licensing agency. (Note: Retailers are restaurants, grocery stores, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and the like.) Who is your licensing agency? In some states, this may be the state’s Department of Agriculture, and in others it may be the state’s Department of Health. To complicate things more, in some states there are local health departments (county, township, city, borough) that have jurisdiction over retail food facilities. In these cases, it would not be the state that is the licensor of the retail facility, it would be the local health jurisdiction. Some states have both state and local agencies. Depending on your location within the state, you could be inspected by either of these agencies.

Why is there confusion with ‘federal’ laws? The FDA publishes a Food Code every two years. This is just a ‘model code.’ Though not required to, most states for uniformity have adopted into law or regulation some versions of the FDA Food Code. This is where the confusion comes in. There is no law that says states must follow this model code. You will always follow the regulations in your state (whether local health or state regulations), but you may find differences in what the FDA Food Code says and what your regulatory agencies’ rules say. This is because some states have chosen not to adopt some portions of the FDA Food Code. If you are a retailer, always follow the regulations of the agency that is issuing your food license. Keep a copy of that regulation in your reference materials.

Manufacturers and wholesalers of food are very different. They most likely will follow the rules of both their state and the federal government. This is a much more complicated program and should be discussed directly with the licensing agencies.

What other agencies or laws do I need to be concerned about? 
Other state and local agencies regulate areas such as zoning and building codes, fire safety, septic/sewer/water installation and maintenance. Start by contacting your local government office (township office, city hall, borough office) to determine what other laws, regulations, or licensing may be needed. Don’t for­get to contact your state Department of Revenue as well. If you are going into a food business where you could incur liability, though not required by most states or local governments, insurance should be considered to safeguard against losses from fire, illness, and injury.

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

What To Do When Someone Has Been Poisoned By Carbon Monoxide


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

When 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.

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


Food Service Professionals FAQs: Considerations for Clients and Customers

If I am serving a high-risk client group (elderly, children, immune-compromised) am I required to use pasteurized eggs in meals and recipes? 
The answer to this goes back to the prior question. Who is your licensing agency? Your licensing agency’s regulations would dictate the answer. If your licensing agency follows the 2009 FDA Food Code, then the answer is yes.

If you are serving a highly susceptible population (HSP), be aware that both eggs and juice receive special attention in the Food Code. You should generally avoid using fresh shell eggs for food preparation. Instead, use pasteurized egg products for quantity cooking and for recipes in which eggs will not be thoroughly cooked (such as egg nog or Caesar salad). A whole, fresh egg may be used only for a single service item prepared for immediate service (such as an omelet or scrambled eggs cooked to order). Today, fresh eggs are also available pasteurized in-shell. This means the whole, fresh egg has been pasteurized, typically at low temperatures. Pasteurized in-shell eggs are fine for both single-service and quantity production. Since fairly new to the foodservice industry, the use of in-shell pasteurized eggs should be reviewed with your regulatory agency.

If eggs are combined as an ingredient immediately before baking and the eggs are cooked completely to the required temperature, then raw shell eggs can be used. This might be a cake or bread recipe.

The only other time that raw shell eggs can be served/used in a HSP facility is if a HACCP Plan is developed and followed to control the risk of Salmonella enteritidis.

Can a client retain leftover food from a catered function?
Yes. It is not against most state rules to allow a client to take home any unused foods that have been pre-purchased by the client. Do not confuse this question with the re-service of food. According to the FDA Food Code, “after being served or sold and in the possession of a consumer, food that is unused or returned by the consumer may not be offered as food for human consumption.” This question is a scenario in which a client purchases food for an event—a wedding reception buffet, for example. The food is out for the client’s guests and not all of the food is eaten. Can the client take the food that he has pre-purchased but his guests have not eaten, pack it up and take it home? Most states will respond that this practice is fine. They do not consider this to be re-serviced food. I am sure some would argue this decision. What could not happen is that the provider of the food could not take the unused food from the wedding reception buffet that has been out in the possession of the client and his guests, bring it back into his kitchen and re-serve the food at the baby shower going on down the hallway or save it as leftovers for the graduation party going on tomorrow in the facility. Since the food was in the possession of the client, the food could not be re-served to another client.

It would be in the best interest of the caterer to have a signed agreement with the client specifying that when they release the food to the client it becomes the client’s responsibility to act accordingly and follow all food safety rules. I also suggest, via labeling or some other means, reminding the client that once the food is removed from temperature control they have to either immediately cool the product(s) to 41°F or consume it within two hours.

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

What you can do to reduce the chances of CO poisoning at work

Employees 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.worker_talksshutterstock_9349636008292013
  •  Avoid the use of gas-powered engines, such as those in powered washers as well as heaters and forklifts, while working in enclosed spaces.
The above is an excerpt from the article “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” For more info, please visit

Food Service Professionals FAQs: Sanitation


Is antibacterial soap better than regular soap? What about instant hand sanitizers? 
They are not recommended over regular soap, as the benefit from antibacterial soap is so insignificant. Washing your hands correctly is more important than the type of soap you use. Additionally, some scientists are concerned that the use of antibacterial soaps and similar products may contribute to problems with antibacterial resistance. Hand sanitizers can help reduce bacteria on your hands, however, these products have not been shown to be effective against viral or protozoan pathogens commonly associated with foodborne illness. Therefore, in the foodservice industry, they are not meant to be a substitute for soap!

Are restaurant workers required to wear gloves?
Again, refer to your state or local regulations, but according to the FDA Food Code, gloves are NOT required. What is required is that bare hands NOT contact ready-to-eat foods. Gloves are only one means of complying with this rule. The list also includes deli tissue, tongs, and other dispensing equipment. Gloves are not required but are acceptable as long as good glove hygiene is practiced. They must be used properly or you could have big food safety problems.

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

Reduce the Chances of CO Poisoning in Your Workplace

To reduce the chances of CO poisoning 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.
This above is an excerpt from the article “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” For more info, please visit