When are workers at risk of infection for infection by ticks? What are the symptoms?

outside-worker-mows-grass-fb-shutterstock_95284915When are workers at risk of infection?

peak_tick_seasonTicks are usually more active in the months of April through October and peak in the summer months of June through August. The time of year when ticks are active may vary with the geographic region and climate. Outdoor workers should be extra careful to protect themselves in the late spring and summer when immature ticks are most active.

What are the symptoms of infection with a tick-borne disease?

There are many symptoms associated with tick-borne diseases. Infected workers may not have all of these symptoms and many of these symptoms can occur with other diseases as well. Some common symptoms oconstruction_with_doctorshutterstock_small_111119858f infection with tick-borne diseases include:

  • Body/muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Rash
  • Stiff neck
  • Facial paralysis

What is the diagnosis and treatment for tick-borne diseases?

Tick-borne diseases are diagnosed based on symptoms and the possibility that the worker has been exposed to infected ticks.

Most cases can be successfully treated with specific types of antibiotics, especially if treatment is started early. However, some workers may have symptoms such as arthritis, muscle and joint pain, or fatigue for an extended period of time.

The following is an excerpt taken from the article “Tick-Borne Diseases.” For more information please visit www.cdc.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions: Tick-Bourne Diseases

Frequently Asked Questions

Which workers are at risk of infection?

women_gardening_shutterstock_135397481All outdoor workers should check with their supervisor if they have questions about possible exposure to ticks. Workers at risk of tick-borne diseases include, but are not limited to, those working in the following:

  • Construction
  • Landscaping
  • Forestry
  • Brush clearing
  • Land surveying
  • Farming
  • Railroad work
  • Oil field work
  • Utility line work
  • Park or wildlife management
  • Other outdoor work

What diseases are transmitted by ticks in the United States?

Diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens in the United States include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Babesiosis
  • tick_portrait_shutterstock_138985883Ehrlichiosis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness
  • Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever
  • Tularemia
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Powassan encephalitis
  • Q fever
The following is an excerpt taken from the article “Tick-Borne Diseases.” For more information please visit www.cdc.gov.

Tick-Bourne Diseases: Overview


Tick-borne pathogens can be passed to humans by the bite of infected ticks. Ticks can be infected with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Some of the most common tick-borne diseases in the United States include: Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, anaplasmosis, Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, and tularemia. Other tick-borne diseases in the United States include: Colorado tick fever, Powassan encephalitis, and Q fever. 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).

woman_in_gardenshutterstock_131537969Outdoor workers are at risk of exposure to tick-borne diseases if they work at sites with ticks. Worksites with woods, bushes, high grass, or leaf litter are likely to have more ticks. Outdoor workers in most regions of the United States should be extra careful to protect themselves in the spring, summer, and fall when ticks are most active. Ticks may be active all year in some regions with warmer weather.

The following is an excerpt taken from the article “Tick-Borne Diseases.” For more information please visit www.cdc.gov.

Summer Time Energy-Saving Tips: Don’t Waste Energy

lightbulb-fb-green-growCutting back unnecessary energy use is an easy way to reduce energy consumption while saving money. Here are some additional suggestions you can do at home, at absolutely no cost to you.

Turn up your thermostat

Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away. Using ceiling or room fans allows you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room. Always take into account health considerations and be sure to drink plenty of fluids in warm weather. (Save: 1 – 3 percent per degree, for each degree the thermostat is set above 72 degrees)

Use your appliances wisely

To help prevent electricity outages, avoid running your appliances during peak hours, — from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. — or anytime an electricity emergency is declared.

  • Do your laundry efficiently by using the warm or cold water setting for washing your clothes. Always use cold water to rinse clothes. (Save: 4 percent)
  • Line dry clothes whenever you can.
  • When you need to use the dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the clothes dryer lint trap after each use.
  • Conserve energy by running your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded, and turn off the dry cycle and air dry dishes instead.

Operating swimming pool filters and cleaning sweeps efficiently

  • Reduce the operating time of your pool filter and automatic cleaning sweep to fourto five hours, and only during off-peak time.

Eliminate wasted energy

  • Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use. (Save: 2%)
  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t in use-most new electronics use electricity even when switched “off.” Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.
  • Unplug and recycle that spare refrigerator in the garage if you don’t really need it.
The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Summer Time Energy-Saving Tips.” For more information please visitwww.consumerenergycenter.org.

Summer Time Energy-Saving Tips: Fast and Free

energy-save-fb-shutterstock_221475937The average home spends hundreds of dollars a year on energy costs. But you can lower your energy bills and help save the environment at the same time!

Be a speedy chef

  • Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove.

Push a button to wash your dishes

  • Surprise! Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Then let dishes air-dry to save even more!

Fill up the fridge

  • Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. So your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool.
The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Summer Time Energy-Saving Tips.” For more information please visit www.consumerenergycenter.org.

Fleas and Ticks That Follow You (or Your Pet) Home


Fleas and Ticks That Follow You (or Your Pet) Home

These bloodsuckers are out in force during the summer, so check your pets and yourself often.

To keep fleas at bay, bathe and comb your pet and wash bedding frequently. Vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture regularly. If fleas are out of control, talk with a vet. You may have to use an insecticide or call an exterminator.

Ticks need to be removed ASAP because some carry Lyme disease. Using a fine-point tweezer, grasp the tick as close as possible to where it is attached to the skin and pull it out. Try to pull off the entire tick. Then wipe the area with alcohol and wash hands with soap and water. Put the tick in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer. If you should develop a bull’s-eye mark on your skin, a fever, muscle aches or joint pain, take the saved tick to your doctor so that it can be used in the diagnosis. If you can’t get the tick cleanly out of your pet’s skin, take your pet to the vet.

This is above is an excerpt from the article, “How to get rid of insects and pests.”  For more info, please visit www.goodhousekeeping.com

Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers


Two primary sources of heat for workers: Workers become overheated from two primary sources: (1) the environmental conditions (2) the internal heat generated by physical labor.


Outdoor workers who are exposed to hot and humid conditions are at risk of heat-related illness. The risk of heat-related illness becomes greater as the weather gets hotter and more humid. This situation is particularly serious when hot weather arrives suddenly early in the season, before workers have had a chance to adapt to warm weather.

For people working outdoors in hot weather, both air temperature and humidity affect how hot they feel. The “heat index” is a single value that takes both temperature and humidity into account. The higher the heat index, the hotter the weather feels, since sweat does not readily evaporate and cool the skin. The heat index is a better measure than air temperature alone for estimating the risk to workers from environmental heat sources.

Heat-related illness can be prevented.

OSHA does not have a specific standard that covers working in hot environments. Nonetheless, under the OSH Act, employers have a duty to protect workers from recognized serious hazards in the workplace, including heat-related hazards. This guide helps employers and worksite supervisors prepare and implement hot weather plans. It explains how to use the heat index to determine when extra precautions are needed at a worksite to protect workers from environmental contributions to heat-related illness. Workers performing strenuous activity, workers using heavy or non-breathable protective clothing, and workers who are new to an outdoor job need additional precautions beyond those warranted by heat index alone.

Workers new tfemale_gardenershutterstock_113888437o outdoor jobs are generally most at risk for heat-related illnesses. For example, Cal/OSHA investigated 25 incidents of heat-related illness in 2005. In almost half of the cases, the worker involved was on their first day of work and in 80% of the cases the worker involved had only been on the job for four or fewer days. That’s why it’s important to gradually increase the workload or allow more frequent breaks to help new workers and those returning to a job after time away build up a tolerance for hot conditions. Make sure that workers understand the risks and are “acclimatized“.

Outdoor workers include any workers who spend a substantial portion of the shift outdoors. Examples include construction workers, agricultural workers, baggage handlers, electrical power transmission and control workers, and landscaping and yard maintenance workers. These workers are at risk of heat-related illness when the heat index is high. Additional risk factors are listed below. These must be taken into consideration even when the heat index is lower.

  • Work in direct sunlight
  • Perform prolonged or strenuous work
  • Wear heavy protective clothing or impermeable suits
The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers.” For more information please visit www.osha.gov.

Developing a Mobile App? Other Points To Consider.



Don’t rely on a platform alone to protect your users

Platforms may offer features to make security easier, but it’s up to you to understand them. Use them properly, and explain them to your users in everyday language.

Create secure user credentials

If your app requires that users create usernames and passwords, make sure that these credentials are secure and appropriate to the nature of your app. For example, a social networking app would require a higher level of authentication (password strength requirements) than a gaming app.

Encrypt any data that is transmitted

Use transit encryption (SSL/TLS in the form of HTTPS) to secure usernames, passwords, API keys and any other important data that is transmitted from a device to your server. This is particularly critical because many users use un-secured public WiFi networks to access apps. If you use HTTPS, use a low-cost digital certificate from a reputable vendor and ensure your app checks it properly.

Exercise caution and use due diligence on libraries and other third-party code

Third-party libraries can save time, but keep your ear to the ground. Does the library or SDK have known security vulnerabilities?

Consider protecting data you store on a user’s device

If a user’s device becomes infected by a virus or malware, or they lose their device, think of ways you can help them protect any personal information that your app handles. Encryption is one option. Some platforms have their own storage schemes for protecting sensitive user data such as passwords and keys – use them.

Protect your servers, too

If you maintain a server that communicates with your app, take appropriate security measures to protect it. If you rely on a commercial cloud provider, understand the divisions of responsibility for securing and updating software on the server.

Don’t store passwords in plain text

Protect user passwords by avoiding plain text storage on your server. Use an iterated cryptographic hash function to hash users’ passwords and then verify against these hash values. (Your users can simply reset their passwords if they forget.)

You’re not done once you release your app.  Stay aware and communicate with your users

Once your app is out there and available for download, stay involved with its security. Update security libraries, push updates out to users, and use user feedback to help you spot and fix vulnerabilities.

If you’re dealing with financial data, health data, or kids’ data, make sure you understand applicable standards and regulations

If your app deals with kids’ data, health data, or financial data, ensure you’re complying with relevant rules and regulations, which are more complex. The FTC offers details on the regulations that your business needs to be aware of in the following guides:

The Bottom Line: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

There are no hard and fast rules for app security. The FTC clearly states that it expects app developers to shoot for reasonable data security practices and doesn’t prescribe a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, if you are developing a basic app such as an alarm clock or flashlight that collects little or no data, then this is going to raise fewer security considerations than a location-based social network or, let’s say, a health-monitoring app. These apps may use remote servers to store user data, and as a developer you’ll need to secure your app from end-to-end. This includes the software, as well as data transmission and servers.

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Developing a Mobile App? Follow These 12 Tips for Protecting and Securing User Data .” For more information please visit www.sba.gov.

Preventing Fire Losses


Over time, experts have identified the most frequent causes of loss and how to  reduce the extent of damage when accidents occur.  Below are  questions designed to help you decide whether you need to take additional precautions to control the risk of fire.

  • Are employees trained in fire safety? Do they know exactly what to do if a fire starts? Is extra training given to those responsible for storage areas, housekeeping, maintenance and operations where there are open flames or flammable substances are used or stored?
  • Do you have the right type, size and number of fire extinguishers? Your fire department or fire protection equipment supplier can advise you. Are the fire extinguishers serviced and tagged annually? Do you review with employees at least once a year where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them?
  • If needed, have you modernized your electrical system? Faulty wiring causes a large percentage of nonresidential fires. Are electrical panels accessible, with at least three feet of clearance and labeled? Except for temporary use (or surge protection for sensitive electronics such as computers) electrical equipment should be plugged directly into an outlet, rather than into extension cords.
  • Smoke alarm in a smoky roomHave you situated your business in a fire-resistant building—a structure made of noncombustible materials with firewalls (self-supporting solid walls running the full width and height of the building) that create barriers to the spread of fires?
  • Does your building have a fire alarm system connected to the local fire department or an alarm company?
  • Does your building have a sprinkler system to douse fires? If so, is it serviced, including a main drain test, at least annually? Is your sprinkler system the right one for your kind of building and the materials used in your business? Different types of buildings and contents require different types of fire suppression systems. Your insurance carrier, alarm company or local fire department can assist you in choosing the most appropriate type of system.
  • Have smoke detectors been installed, and are they regularly tested?
  • Have you posted “No Smoking” signs? Do you enforce the rule? Is there evidence of smoking?
  • Do you regularly check your heating system?
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Risk Management Basics.” For more information, please visit www.iii.org.

Developing a Mobile App? Follow this Initial Steps.

successful_businesswoman_phoneSmartphone and tablet users will download 70 billion apps this year, according to an estimate by ABI Research. And the total global mobile app market is expected to be worth $25 billion by 2015 reports TechCrunch.

If you have an idea for a marketable app or are currently developing one, then the world may just be your oyster. But before you take your app to market and get it accepted by an app store, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to ensure that your security policies are up to scratch and that you have taken the right measures to protect the data that your users share with you.

Why? Apps and mobile devices often rely on consumer data – including contact information, location, photos, and so on – all of which can be vulnerable to data breaches, digital snoops and
regular theft. In fact, Markets and Markets cites the risk of data theft through delivery of phishing and spyware in mobile apps as the biggest downside to the growth in available apps.

Starting Steps


  • Appoint a security lead

Your development team should include at least one person responsible for considering security at each stage of your app’s development. If you are a solo entrepreneur, then that person is you.

  • Review the data you intend to collect and maintain

Don’t collect or keep dat that you don’t need. If you don’t need user’s contact info, don’t collect it. Likewise, don’t keep user data any longer than you need to – including location data.

  • Understand the differences between mobile platforms

Each mobile operating system uses a different application programming interface (API), which includes different security features and permission handling. So don’t just assume one size fits all; adapt your code accordingly.

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Developing a Mobile App? Follow These 12 Tips for Protecting and Securing User Data .” For more information please visit www.sba.gov.