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Summer 2011

Clippinger fire teaches valuable fire safety lessons By Joe Adams, Associate Vice President

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he discovery of fire and how to use it is probably one of the most important discoveries ever. Fire has the power to keep us warm or cool. It can light our path or cook our meals. It produces energy to drive our machines and can save our life. However, this simple word strikes fear in all of us. Some of the most tragic events ever involved fire; the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 started the modern fire safety movement. The fire resulting from the collision of two Boeing 747 aircraft in Tenerife contributed to the worst aviation disaster ever. We all remember or have seen the pictures of the 1986 Challenger explosion and fire. The fires from the 911 terrorist acts will forever remain in our memories. On a note closer to home, fires at OHIO have also been significant. The fire in Bromley Hall caused extensive damage, and there was also a fire in a Clippinger lab. On April 30 of this year, another fire occurred in a Clippinger Lab. A detailed investigation revealed some interesting facts. The fire was caused when a desiccator overheated. The overheating occurred because the air circulation needed to cool the unit was restricted. The unit had been modified to reduce the noise, and this modification restricted the airflow around the desiccator. The resultant fire destroyed the interior of the room. There is always some good in everything. Some very alert graduate students who were studying in the building, smelled smoke and call OUPD who notified AFD. The room, as it was designed to do, contained the fire and prevented its spread to adjacent rooms. The Joe Adams, fire alarm system functioned as it was designed adamsj3@ohio.edu to, even though there are no room detectors and

no sprinklers. We can learn some valuable lessons from this incident.

Look at your work area. If you have a drop ceiling, are all the tiles in place? These will help prevent the spread of the fire.

Do you know how to report a fire? It’s simple; just call OUPD at 31911 or just 911.

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Do you know where the nearest pull station is? You should!

Do you know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located? Do you know how to use it? Find it and we can help you learn how to use it.

Are the fire protection detectors and sprinklers covered or obstructed in any manner? Move the obstruction or call us for help.

The Bottom Line  Be aware of your surroundings

Become familiar with the fire and life safety devices which can save your life Call us if you have any questions or concerns…

Joe Adams AVP Risk Management & Safety

CAMPUS CONNECTION is published quarterly by the Ohio University Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Do you have equipment that has been altered over the years to meet a special need? If you do, call OU EHS Fire Section at 3-1665 and we will check it out for you.

this issue Meet the Student Staff P.2 Picnics and Food Safety P.3 Fighting Ticks P.5 Preventing Heat Illness P.5

http://www.ohio.edu/riskandsafety/ehs/general/


2 ith a new year ahead of us, it’s time to welcome the fresh, or familiar, faces of the Environmental Health and Safety Department (EHS). Student workers at EHS work closely with their faculty counterparts, and may be seen around campus to help execute certain jobs and projects, It is important to be aware of the student workers so they can better serve you, Ohio University, and the Environmental Health and Safety Department. Student positions at EHS can offer students a range of opportunities and advantages such as resume building, teaching and mentoring, contributing to the academic mission and engagement process, and offering useful work experience in their prospective career field. Examples of possible student positions through EHS include: Fire extinguisher inspection

Hometown: Curtice, Ohio Major: Health Service Administration; Business and Environmental Health minors Year: Senior Fun Fact: I've been to Ireland & London Why EHS? I really enjoy working for EHS- the people are a lot of fun and I like to do hands on work

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio Major: Chemistry B.S.

Pest control technician Year: Senior

Lab safety technician Industrial hygiene technician Newsletter writer Web site editor

Fun Fact: I'm the director of the Programming Department at Ohio Universities online radio station, ACRN. I'm also a DJ myself! Why EHS? It's a fun experience that teaches real world skills and gives me the opportunity to work with hard working individuals.

For more information, visit: http://www.ohio.edu/riskandsafet y/ehs/general/students.htm http://www.ohio.edu/ehs/index.htm


Picnics and Food Safety Safe tips for preventing food-borne illnesses from ruining your summer picnic

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carded within one to two hours.

hhh… summer is in the air and it’s the time to be surrounded with friends, family, cold beverages, and that wonderful summer picnic food. However, one must not forget about food safety while enjoying the pleasures of summer. Every year more than 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur just in the United States and this number is on the rise.

Hot fried chicken should be served and eaten within one or two hours after cooking or purchasing. Cold fried chicken needs to be kept below 41°F until it is served and then eaten within one or two hours.

Ground beef needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 155°F (no pink), and hot dogs at 135°F. Poultry, and other pre-cooked meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Food-borne illness can result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or fever and is caused by bacteria, which are growing in the foods. These symptoms can range from fairly mild to quite severe. When picnic and barbeque foods are not treated properly and left out in warm weather, the bacteria can flourish, possibly making everyone ill. Most food left out on the table will only be safe for two hours and food left out in summer heat can spoil within one hour, if the temperature is above 90°F. If leftovers have been out for more then one hour, they should be thrown out rather then kept for later use. Make sure foods are kept hot or cold, and that raw meat is kept separate from cooked or ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross contamination. Everyone needs to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

cook evenly and safely.

Do not place cooked meat back onto the same tray, plate, or container that was used to carry it when it was raw.

Bring spray cleaners, soap and water (or hand sanitizer), paper towels, cloths, and napkins. Wash tables or use fresh tablecloths. Clean the grill before cooking!

Do not allow

Some additional things to remember:

Keep cold foods cold, colder than or at 41°F, until they are served and only leave out for two hours maximum.

Use two coolers, one for raw meat and the other for readyto-eat foods.

Pasta and potato salad are common problems.

Don’t guess! Bring a metal meat thermometer and check. Do not grill frozen meat or poultry as it is very difficult to

guests to serve Hamburgers should be cooked to 155° F themselves and hotdogs should be cooked to 135°F with the forks and spoons they have used for eating. Keep clean serving utensils at each dish and if one is dropped or becomes contaminated switch it out with a clean utensil. ■

Put out only the amount that will be consumed within one hour and get more if you need it. When you get more, use a new serving utensil, not the one that has been sitting out.

Remember to enjoy your summer picnics, but be safe so that you enjoy the day after as well.

Cut fruit should be treated as perishable food and dis-

*For more information, please view:

http://nutrition.about.com/od/ahealthykitchen/a/safe_bbq.htm ttp://www.ohio.edu/e

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ith the warmer weather, more people are prone to go outside more and stay out later. Preventative measures are always taken to reduce the risk of mosquito bites, but what about tick bites? Often brushed under the rug, tick bites can procure the same itchy results and can leave people at risk for different dangerous diseases. Ticks can carry a range of diseases including Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Southern tickassociated rash illness, Tick-borne relapsing fever, and Tularemia, but are most known for carrying Lyme Disease. Ticks can be so small that you may not even notice or see them, but usually are a reddish brown color in any stage. Their inability to be seen in most cases can contribute to the transmission of serious illnesses or diseases if preventative measures are not put into action.

What should I do?

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Under the arms In and around the ears

Also, be sure to shower after being outdoors and check your clothing for ticks.

Inside the belly button Back of the knees Under the arms In and around the hair Between the legs Around the waist

If you’ve been bitten…

Remove an attached tick as soon as you notice it. Be vigilant of signs of illness such as rash or fever and seek a health care proThere are some steps that one should take to protect themvider if you notice any of these signs. selves from this small and sometimes dangerous nuisances How to remove a tick: 1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist, humid environtick as close to the skin's surface as posments, which is why summer is usually when tick bites are more sible. common. Wooded, grassy areas are particular areas of tick’s habitats. Therefore, when walking through a park or areas with a 2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. lot of thick vegetation, follow the beaten or paved paths if some Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can are available. cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If Use repellent with DEET or Permethrin (On CLOTHING you are unable to remove the mouth easonly). This goes for mosquitoes too (See Spring 2011 Campus ily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and Connection.) Also, always follow product instructions to enlet the skin heal. sure effectiveness. Try to wear long pants and long sleeves. Re3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean pellents with less than 20% of DEET can be applied on the skin the bite area and your hands with rubbing and protect skin for several hours. Permethrin can remain protecalcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and wative on clothes even after a couple washes. ter. Do NOT use home remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail Perform daily tick checks. Especially after being outdoors, it is polish or using heat to burn it off. The point is to remove the tick important to conduct self body checks and removing any ticks as quickly as possible, Steps can always be taken to reduce ticks you find. Using a hand-held or full-length mirror, check these in your yard such as cutting down vegetation and using chemical parts of the body for ticks: control agents. ■ *Information was provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/StopTicks/


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Preventing Heat Illness

Making sure fun-in-the sun doesn’t mean “hospital run” CAMPUS CONNECTION

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he sun is not your • Heavy sweating friend. Between sun• Intense thirst burns and heat exhaus- • Dizziness tion, many people forget • Loss of coordination on staggeringly hot days with no water, the sun can be your bitter • Loss of appetite • Tingling in hands or enemy. feet With rising temperatures, taking these precautions and steps to ensure you won’t suffer from Heat Stroke– A Medical heat exhaustion or heat stroke Emergency are a must. • Condition yourself for working What Are the Symptoms? in hot environments - start slowly then build up to more physical work. Allow your body to adjust over a few days. ● Drink lots of liquids. Don't wait until you're thirsty, by then, there's a good chance you're already on your way to being dehydrated. Electrolyte drinks are good for replacing both water and minerals lost through sweating. Never drink alcohol, and avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and pop. • Take a break if you notice you're getting a headache or you start feeling overheated. Cool off for a few minutes before going back to work. • Wear light weight, light colored clothing when working out in the sun.

Heat Exhaustion What Are the Symptoms? • Pale • Clammy

skin • Headache

•Dry, pale skin with no sweating • Hot, red skin that looks sunburned • Inability to think straight • Seizures or fits • Collapse • Loss of consciousness

What To Do: • Act

immediately. If not treated, heat exhaustion may advance to heat stroke or death. • Move the victim to a cool, shaded area to rest. Don’t leave the person alone. • Loosen and remove any heavy clothing. • Have the person drink cool water and cool the person’s body by fanning and spraying with a cool mist of water. ALWAYS CALL 911 FOR EMERGENCIES

is published quarterly by the Ohio University Department of Environmental Health and Safety 204 Hudson Health Center Athens, Ohio 45701 740-593-1666 www.ohio.edu/ehs Associate VP Risk Management and Safety: Joe Adams Editor: Raquel Harrah

EHS Staff Brent Auker Fire Protection Engineer Crystal Brooks Radiation Safety Technician Jeff Campbell Assistant Director, EHS Occupational Safety Officer Cliff Hamilton Hazardous Materials Coordinator Susan Hopkins Administrative Coordinator Chad Keller Environmental Health Coordinator Douglas Miller Fire Safety Coordinator Nathan Rath Environmental Safety Coordinator David Schleter Lab Safety Coordinator Alan Watts Radiation Safety Officer

Campus Connection Summer 2011  

The summer edtion of Ohio University's Office of Environmental Health & Safety quarterly newsletter.

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