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“AA Batteries Cause House Fire In Hastings, Nebraska” & How To Store Batteries Safely In The Home” #FireSafety

AA Batteries Rolling Around In Camera Case Cause House Fire In Hastings, Nebraska

“How To Store Batteries Safely In The Home”

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) — Some of us may have that kitchen junk drawer that has loose batteries, tools, and other items in it, but these drawers might be a fire waiting to happen. If batteries touch in the wrong way, they might catch fire and cause a lot of damage.

“Don’t let them just roll in there,” Big G Ace Hardware Store Manager Linda Dill said. “Don’t let them roll against the screwdriver, because it can just transfer onto another battery or something down the line. The best thing to do is to store them upright and somehow covered.”

Fire officials said not only 9-volt batteries but other typs as well, contribute to rising cause of home fires in the last 4-5 years due to inappropriate storage of all household batteries in the home.

“You’d see them in many homes, but the positive and negative end of that battery are both very close,” Chief Kent Gilbert with the Hastings Fire Department said. “It’s easy for those to be shorted accidentally. It’s important to remember that it will create enough heat to cause a fire.”

Putting masking tape on batteries is one way to prevent them from touching. Plastic bags are another way.

“Putting them in plastic bags with all the negatives up, all the positives up, or however you want to do that,” Dill said. “Make sure they’re tight, so they don’t roll around in that.”

Officials said when people are done using the batteries they should get rid of them immediately to help ensure safety.

It’s recommended that people keep the original packing of the batteries and leave them in there until they are ready to use them.

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See exact data here on fire loss in deaths, dollar loss, and injuries: http://bit.ly/2hunDks

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“Miller Fall Protection Safety Webinar” & “Fall Clearance Calculator App”

Miller Fall Protection Webinar

When working at height, it is important to know your fall clearance and swing fall, whether using a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline. Calculating your fall clearance and swing fall is critical to your safety. The Miller Fall Clearance Calculator App gives workers who work at heights, the ability to quickly calculate the required fall clearance for Shock Absorbing Lanyards and Self-Retracting Lifelines, including swing fall.

Download the New Miller Fall Clearance Calculator App by Honeywell : Download link – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/miller-fall-clearance-calculator/id971198656?mt=8

Miller Fall App

“New Traveler’s Insurance Report – 170 Billion In Cost & 3.7 Million Workers Injured Per Year”

worker-with-head-injuryOf all public sector and private US businesses, roughly 3.7 million workers are injured per year. Businesses spend $170 billion per year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses (according to OSHA) – and these findings provide critical insight on how the numbers add up.

The nature of employee injuries in the modern workplace is changing in a variety of ways. Improved workplace safety management efforts over the past 25 years have led to a decrease in the frequency of workers compensation claims. During this time, Travelers has seen an increase in the severity of those claims.1 Preventing even a single injury, or managing the injured worker’s return to work as soon as medically appropriate, can have a significant impact on the health of your workforce and on your company’s bottom line.

The Travelers Injury Impact Report, an analysis of workplace injuries based on Travelers Claim data collected between 2010-2015, identifies the most frequent injuries, those with the greatest severity and the top causes of workplace accidents, both by industry and by business size. This information can be helpful for employers to understand how to manage their exposures and tailor training programs for their workforce in their particular market and industry.

According to the Travelers Claim data, strains and sprains topped all lists for most frequent types of injuries, except for small businesses, which experienced cuts and punctures most frequently, followed by strains and sprains. Contusions, fractures and inflammation rounded out the list of the top five most frequent injuries.

Chart of Top 5 Most Frequent Injuries, by claim count

The report also explores the top five most frequent accident causes, with material handling topping the lists of most frequent causes of injury, followed by slips, trips and falls, struck by/striking against injuries, tool handling and cumulative trauma, according to claim count across all industries and all claims. “The injury type only tells part of the story,” explains Woody Dwyer, a Travelers Risk Control safety professional. “Identifying that root cause helps us determine the best strategies to help prevent future accidents and reduce their severity.”

As part of Travelers Workforce Advantage, Travelers Risk Control professionals can help businesses develop their strategies to attract, hire, onboard, train, support and engage their existing workforce. At its core, it focuses on the importance of elevating the company’s safety message, beginning with the recruiting process and continuing throughout the employee’s career at the company. The safety best practices, from safe lifting to getting adequate nightly sleep, can also offer health benefits beyond the workday for employees.

“A significant part of developing an effective risk management process involves understanding your unique workforce,” Dwyer said. This includes a shift in the state of health of the U.S. workforce, with more than half of workers experiencing at least one chronic health condition, such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. This can add cost and complexity to treating workplace injuries, which has led to rising medical costs for workers compensation claims.

If an employee does get injured, conducting an accident analysis can help discover the root cause of an accident, develop corrective action that can help prevent a similar accident in the future and continuously improve safety management practices.

Managing the employee’s injury so he or she returns to work as soon as medically appropriate can also help manage costs and improve employee morale. A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is one tool that can measure an employee’s current functional status and ability to meet the physical demands of a job, especially after a workplace injury.

In 2015, medical cost inflation topped the list of risk concerns for businesses, according to the Travelers Business Risk Index. Promoting the overall health and safety of your employees can help control costs while retaining an engaged workforce. Learn about how you can create a culture of safety and develop an injury management strategy at your business.

Injuries can happen at any time, anywhere, regardless of industry or business size. Knowing what those injuries are and their root causes can help companies develop workplace safety practices. To learn more about the most frequent workplace injuries, those with the greatest severity and the top causes of accidents by business size, industry and region, view The Travelers Injury Impact Report.

Source:
1 The 2014 National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

“Effective Safety Interactions” – Behavioral Minute – Aubrey Daniels International

While frequent, short discussions between managers or supervisors and frontline employees is an important key to safety, it’s how these conversations are handled that will determine their effectiveness. In this Behavioral Minute, Cloyd Hyten addresses this challenge and offers three tips for how to make these interactions most effective. For more information related to this topic, read Why Relationships Matter in Safety. http://aubreydaniels.com/pmezine/why-relationships-matter-safety

 

“OSHA Quietly Changes The Group Of Small Businesses Exempt From Inspection – Epstein, Becker, Green”

osha-inspections

By: Valerie Butera

In a recently updated directive to Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees from Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, the categories of small businesses exempt from programmed health and safety inspections changed.

This exemption applies to workplaces with 10 or fewer workers who perform work in industries OSHA deems low hazard. OSHA identifies low hazard industries by studying the most recent results of mandatory surveys sent to employers in countless industries by the Bureau of Labor Statistics which collect information about how often employees were unable to perform their normal job duties because of workplace injuries or illnesses. Those industries with the lowest numbers are included in the list.

The change to the list became effective on January 29, 2016, and will remain in effect until updated, which typically happens at the beginning of each year.

Newly Exempt Industries

There are over 400 industries included in the list of exempt small businesses. Among the industries newly exempt from inspections are:

Electrical contractors and wiring installation contractors
Soybean and other oilseed processing
Inorganic chemical manufacturing
A number of retail industries including boat dealers, motorcycle dealers, floor covering stores, electronics stores, meat markets, fish and seafood markets, tobacco stores and vending machines
Farm product warehousing and storing
Residential and Nonresidential property managers
Marinas
Full-service restaurants, cafeterias, buffets and snack bars
Industries No Longer Exempt

Many of the industries deemed exempt in the last revision of this list no longer enjoy an exemption from inspections. A sampling of the industries no longer included in the list includes:

Heavy and civil engineering construction

See the rest of the story here: http://www.oshalawupdate.com/2016/02/25/osha-quietly-changes-the-group-of-small-businesses-exempt-from-inspections/

Source: OSHA Law Update – Epstein, Becker, Green

“Effective Safety Interactions” – Behavioral Minute – Aubrey Daniels International

While frequent, short discussions between managers or supervisors and frontline employees is an important key to safety, it’s how these conversations are handled that will determine their effectiveness. In this Behavioral Minute, Cloyd Hyten addresses this challenge and offers three tips for how to make these interactions most effective. For more information related to this topic, read Why Relationships Matter in Safety. http://aubreydaniels.com/pmezine/why-relationships-matter-safety

 

“Miller Fall Clearance Calculator App & Fall Arrest PPE Safety Webinar”

Miller Fall Protection Webinar

When working at height, it is important to know your fall clearance and swing fall, whether using a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline. Calculating your fall clearance and swing fall is critical to your safety. The Miller Fall Clearance Calculator App gives workers at height the ability to quickly calculate the required fall clearance for Shock Absorbing Lanyards and Self-Retracting Lifelines, including swing fall.

Download New Miller Fall Clearance Calculator by Honeywell : Download link:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/miller-fall-clearance-calculator/id971198656?mt=8

Miller Fall App

EHS Managers – “Champions of Compliance” [Infographic]

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continue to crack down on non-compliance, EHS managers are faced with increasing challenges. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in major fines and have long-lasting effects on businesses. By staying up to date on regulatory changes and requirements, companies can avoid financial risk and maintain consistent EHS compliance.

As a Safety professional myself, I would also add that “no” positive results are possible in this field with the “Cop on the Beat” approach. You must be a “hands on”, “on the floor” type of leader and instill both an open dialog and employee involvement in order to enact lasting change. My approach has always been that “We are all equals and my employees input with regards to safety, is as important as my management team.” It will bring about change, if you have the personality to motivate, involve and reward your company’s employees. – Jack Benton

EHS CHampions

“More Proof That Battery Storage in Junk Drawers Leads to Home Fires”

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Who would have thought that those batteries rolling around in your kitchen junk drawer might burn your house down?

It happened to a Colorado family, and that wasn’t the first time.

Few people routinely give batteries the respect they deserve. Batteries get tossed into junk drawers where they roll around with all sorts of things like keys, paper clips, loose notes, and paper scraps.

But given the right circumstances, those junk drawers can become tinder boxes waiting to ignite.

Dave Miller said he lost everything when a fire ripped through his Fort Collins, Colo. home. Just days later, he shot video to explain what happened. He had swapped out the 9-volt batteries in his smoke alarms, placing the old ones in a paper bag for recycling.

“Two weeks later, when I set a laundry basket next to these, it bumped the bag. Two batteries touched each other, shorted the terminals, and that’s what burned down my house,” he explained.

Miller said the revelation came after a long day with a fire investigator trying to track down the fire’s source.

“We couldn’t come up with anything, and I finally mentioned the only thing I had up there was a bag with a couple of 9-volt batteries in it. He went, ‘Wait a minute. I’ve seen this before.’ And he told me he had seen other fires started by 9 volts. It just astounded me. I had no idea,” Miller said.

Miller said he took the fire hard, because he felt responsible.

“I’m the recycle nut. I’m the one who put the batteries out there, so I just felt like I had let my family down,” he said.

Austin Dransfield of Interstate Batteries said, “If these batteries are in there with some sort of metal, and these batteries get connected together in any way, they will short out and cause an extreme amount of heat,” he said.

He said all batteries have a positive and negative terminal. If a paper clip or a key or another battery should touch those two terminals, it creates a flow of electricity. It only takes minutes, as Dransfield showed us with keys and a 9-volt battery, for that flow to generate significant heat.

“With a junk drawer, you have all sorts of stuff in there. If anything is in there, you can catch fire with anything in that drawer,” he explained.

Jasen Asay of the Salt Lake City Fire Department said it’s unusual for batteries to combust, but it’s a definite possibility. He said all batteries present some risk, but 9 volts are more troublesome for a simple reason.

“Nine-volt batteries have the positive and negative ports right there on the top of the battery,” he said.

Miller said since the fire, he’s turned his experience into a positive by getting the word out through his fire safety videos and public speaking. Still, he encounters skeptics.

“People have come up to me and said, ‘Don’t worry. I’m always very careful with my car batteries.’ It’s not a car battery. I’m talking about the little 9-volt batteries,” he said.

“Given the perfect storm, they can produce a spark,” Asay said.

He recommends storing any battery in the original packaging, and not letting it roll around. “If you have a battery and don’t need to use it yet, there’s really no use in taking it out of the packaging,” he said.

For loose batteries, both Asay and Dransfield said the solution is simple: Take a piece of electrical tape and cover the ends so if they do touch, a short will not be created.

“We even here, when we’re recycling them, we actually have to tape the contacts just to prevent any sort of chance of shorting out and causing a fire,” Dransfield said.

Miller now keeps a roll of electrical tape anywhere he keeps batteries.

Source: Bill Gephardt & KSL TV – Utah

Change Batteries in Smoke and CO Alarms When Moving Clocks One Hour Forward! (Daylight Savings Time!)

MANY People Don’t Do This! Don’t Be a Statistic! Change Those Batteries!

Do you have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home? Are they working? Sunday, March 9, marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time in the United States. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to take the time to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when turning clocks forward this weekend.  Make it an annual habit. This habit could save your life.

Working smoke and CO alarms, which means having fresh batteries, adds an important layer of safety to your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. There are more than 362,000 home fires every year and more than 2,200 people die in them, according to CPSC’s latest Residential Fire Loss Estimates report.

Batteries in battery-powered alarms need to be replaced every year. In addition, CPSC recommends that consumers test their alarms every month to make sure they are working.  Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas.

Although more than 90 percent of U.S. homes report having at least one working smoke alarm, only 42 percent report having a working CO alarm, based on 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data.  CO alarms can alert you and your family to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide inside your home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 400 people die each year in the United States from CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is called the invisible killer, because you cannot see or smell it. This poisonous gas can come from many sources, including cars, furnaces and portable generators, and can quickly incapacitate and kill its victims.

Put CO alarms on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas.  Like smoke alarms, CO alarms need fresh batteries every year. CO alarms also should be tested once a month to make sure they are working.

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