One of the worst things that can happen to any business is for an employee to be injured on the job.  (It goes without saying, that it’s also a very unfortunate event for the employee.) Workers have the right to know exactly what is expected of them in their daily job performance.  They should be informed of any hazards associated with their duties and properly trained before beginning their job, and given the proper personal protective equipment that is required to ensure their safety.

Efficient businesses have policies and procedures, which should include a proper accident investigation and reporting plan.  Prevention, of course, is the key to avoiding accidents, but when they happen, someone must be assigned to be responsible in determining how and why the injury occurred.   Insufficient reporting of work-related accidents will lead to higher costs for employers.  It also must be reported to company management and workers comp providers in an accurate and timely manner.

Lost time accidents are costly to employers.  According to Cal/OSHA, for every dollar a company spends on direct costs of a workers’ injury, more dollars are spent to cover the hidden and indirect costs, such as:

  • Productive time lost by the injured employee;
  • Productive time lost by employees attending the accident victim;
  • Time to hire/retrain employee while victim is off work;
  • Clean up and start up of operations that were interrupted;
  • Paying employee all or part of wages, in addition to compensation;
  • Cost to repair damaged equipment;
  • Higher workers compensation rates;
  • Cost of paperwork involved in reporting accident.

Employers that do not furnish safe and healthful work practices for their workers are gambling with the future of their very own business.  Hazard assessments, risk management, and safety programs are essential for ensuring successful business practices for everyone involved.

Another angle to consider, as well, is that a thorough accident investigation will prove that the injury did occur on the job, and not elsewhere.  History shows that there are people in this world that will take advantage of their employer and sue them for an on-the-job injury that happened somewhere else.


The mysterious strain of influenza that began last spring is hanging over countries throughout the world like a heavy cloud.  Officials in the U.S. are concerned that the virus could infect as many as 30 to 50 per cent of its citizens, put 1.8 million persons in hospitals, and possibly kill between 30,000 to 90,000 people.  Seasonal flu kills 36,000 Americans in an annual normal flu season, and causes more than 200,000 patients to be admitted to hospitals.

Another main concern from health officials is that prescription medications, Tamiflu and Relenza, are being widely misused.  In the United Kingdom, experts had warned physicians not to prescribe the drug just because of public demand.  These medications can reduce the severity of the illness; however, they should be given only to high-risk patients, such as pregnant women, children under 5, or persons with underlying health conditions.

Excessive overuse can build up a resistance to antiviral drugs, as well as lead to a lack of medicine for those who desperately need them.  Many persons who have been taking Tamiflu in general, have not completed the required dosage, and some have reported side effects, such as vomiting or nausea.

As we witnessed on local television news last night, the first lesson being taught in an elementary school yesterday (the first day of school), was washing their hands.  School officials are aware of the importance these and other precautionary measures are to avert the spread of H1N1 in their schools.  As we have reported, government officials have designated local school administrations to be the decision makers if the need arises to close their schools.  It is felt that long periods of school closures are not necessary, as was done in the spring.  Anyone who has been ill is asked not to return to school until they have been free of fever for at least 24 hours.  The same should apply to return to work, as well.

Five vaccine providers are working diligently to get the first immunizations out as soon as possible.  Until they are tested and approved, it is recommended that persons take the regular seasonal flu shot that should be available in September.


In an Associated Press release August 25, it was announced that the FDA has authorized emergency use of the swine flu test for United States troops overseas.  This test will be distributed by the Defense Department to its qualified labs that have the equipment and personnel to interpret test results.  This test has been released to the public since April.

Combat units in the Middle East and on Navy ships can expect to receive the tests in early September.  These tests will accelerate making the correct diagnosis, in order for our deployed troops to receive proper treatment.  The FDA says this authorization allows for use of unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products during a public health emergency.

Our troops have enough enemies to be concerned with, let alone this virus.  Hopefully, a vaccine will developed very soon that will protect our soldiers and sailors from this illness.


School bells are ringing again, and a whole new set of parents and students will be on the roads, rushing to get their little scholars to school on time!  Experienced parents and students will also be hitting the streets again.  We ask you to make this promise:   “I will take no risks to endanger the safety of my child or other children. I will drive safely this entire year, even if I am late to work or my child is tardy.”  (The consequences of being delayed outweigh the emotional and physical costs of an accident.)

Safety tips to keep in mind when taking/picking up your child:

  • Plan ahead, and allow extra time to deliver your child to school on time.
  • Young children may dart into path of cars, so watch, watch, watch!
  • Don’t assume that your child is safe in a crosswalk; tell them to stop and look both ways, if not accompanied by a crosswalk guard.
  • Be familiar with school zones and speed limits at your child’s school.
  • Do not let your cell phone, palm, or other wonders of technology distract you from the primary goal:  the ultimate safety of your child and other children.
  • Motorists need to obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
  • Be sure to stop for school buses that have stopped to load or unload passengers.
  • When you are backing out of your driveway, be sure to watch for kids hurrying to school, either walking or on their bikes.
  • Cell phone conversations should be postponed until you have left the school area. (Many states outlaw the use of cell phones in school zones.)

Teenagers:  this applies to you, as well.  We take many things for granted in our daily routines: our jobs, schedules, families, and health.  A blunder caused by hurried, careless driving could alter many lives, so slow down, and drive safely!


No, we’re not talking baseball, even though the season is getting pretty interesting, if you’re a fan.   August 24 – 30th is National Safe at Home Week.  We all consider our home our castle; we are tucked away securely there when we get home from work, school, or other activities.  Did you know that more than 1.1 million Americans are injured yearly just from tripping while walking across their floors?  Other information from the U.S. Census Bureau states that nearly that many more are hurt on stairs or stairways at home.  Approximately 490,000 Americans are hurt annually riding bikes, as well.  Adding to the statistics from Safe at Home™, an organization that focuses on home safety, more people are hurt in their own home than at work.

So, what are we going to do about these troubling numbers?  There are many areas to focus on to ensure that our home is safe.  You may want to take a room-by-room survey to see what “home remedies” you can find.

Here are some of our ideas:

  • Childproof all cabinets.
  • Don’t leave medicines or cleaning products where children or pets can get into them.
  • Be sure to have smoke alarms and carbon dioxide monitors in the home, and change batteries as necessary.
  • Keep the house free of clutter, which poses a danger of tripping.
  • Use a stepladder rather than chair to reach something.
  • Be sure rails on stairways are secure.
  • If there’s someone who needs a little help, install handrails in the bathroom or elsewhere that can help them get up or down.
  • Check for loose carpet, which is a tripping hazard.
  • Keeping nightlights in the bathroom or bedroom help prevent falls.
  • A flashlight by the bedside comes in handy if there’s a power failure.
  • Wipe up spills on tile floors, another fall hazard.
  • Fire extinguishers in the kitchen can be extremely helpful when needed.
  • Outside lights ensure you won’t stumble in the dark.
  • And, bike riders, wear helmets!

In case some of these tips haven’t crossed your mind, this may be of help to you.  Keep your Home Sweet Home, Home Safe Home!

H1N1 Vaccines To Be Available By Fall

It was announced Monday by US Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Bill Hall, that there will be approximately 45 million doses of the vaccine available by mid-October, which will be enough to immunize the priority groups that include pregnant women, children under age 4 and public health workers.  This total falls about two-thirds short of earlier estimates of vaccine that would be developed by this time.  It is anticipated, however, that approximately 20 millions doses can be produced weekly.

Vaccine testing of children began August 19th in five universities in the United States.  Dr. Karen Kotloff, lead investigator of H1N1 studies at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, stated that children are tested in the same way that standard licensed flu vaccines are tested in adults.  Medical professionals’ children are many of the ones that have enrolled to be tested.  These 600 young persons are divided into three groups: 6 to 35 months; age 3 to 9 years; and age 10 to 17 years old.  One-half of them receive 15 micrograms of antigens, which are the same as the  three strains of seasonal flu vaccine.  The other one-half receive 30 micrograms of antigens to determine if a higher dose is needed.  Because adults over age 50 have more immunity to H1N1, and children have very little immunity to it, experts believe that the amount of vaccine needed may vary according to age.

As fall approaches, with school openings and various sports activities starting, it is imperative that school officials are prepared to stop the spread of the virus by preparing their students to protect themselves as much as possible.  Parents, as well, can teach their younger students to cover their coughs and sneezes, not drink after anyone else, and wash their hands very often.
Everyone should take the seasonal flu shot as soon as it becomes available. Also, be sure to stock up on N95 masks just in case.

Source: ABC News


Warm weather is sure to bring some friendly or not-so-friendly critters into our homes, schools, farms, and workplace.  Pests include cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes, mice, rats, termites; outdoor pests are weeds, worms, aphids, and grubs, just to name a few.

Prevention is the main key to solving the problem of an insect invasion, so don’t let them get started!  To keep the creepy, crawly pests out of the house, store food in sealed containers, remove garbage regularly, don’t leave your pet food or water out, and keep your home free of clutter.  Roaches love to hide under papers, and in boxes.  Check boxes before bringing them into your house, to be sure you aren’t moving in an “uninvited family”.  They can also invade your luggage when you are on vacation, so check it well when you return.

Regular use of pesticides in homes, workplaces and schools helps keep pests away.  Professional services provide the proper amount of pesticides to be used in order to reduce risk to humans and pets.  Baits and traps can be used to eliminate rodents.  Fogging should not be done unless absolutely necessary.  Whether you are using some type of pesticide in your home, garden, farm, or workplace, be sure to know what you are dealing with and the proper use and disposal of leftover products. Use extra caution to not expose children or pet areas to the repellent you are using.

Use respiratory protection when necessary.  Many insects are our friends, and are just doing their jobs pollinating plants, etc.  But for the ones we don’t relish having around, there are ways to let them know they aren’t welcome.  Just be familiar with the types of sprays and powders you choose.

Source: EPA


I love animals, especially dogs!  Having had dogs all my life, I have been rewarded with friends that gave me unconditional love and devotion.  We know what we have to do to take care of our pets, (feed, water, bathe, spoil, to name a few duties), but do we really appreciate what they do for us?

Marty Becker, DVM, author of The Healing Power of Pets, states that “the breadth and depth of what dogs do to benefit humans’ happiness and longevity is pretty remarkable”.  Studies have shown that dog ownership can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  Dr. Becker also says,  “Petting a dog is like a spa treatment.  In a short time there is a massive release of positive neurochemicals like dopamine and serotonin.  And the dog gets the same relief, as well.”

My dog expects to have an early morning walk every day, and he is very disappointed when we don’t get to go.  By having this routine, I consider him as my personal trainer.  He has a great time, and I am getting a regular pattern of exercise.  Also, we see a lot of nice people as we are out getting fresh air and sunshine.

Many nursing homes allow pet therapy, as their residents enjoy petting puppies, kittens, and service animals, some being especially trained just for that purpose.  And, speaking of service animals, we cannot overlook the valuable role rescue dogs played after 9-11.  Our military and police consider their dogs as important team members.  In addition to being service companions, dogs are also contributing to medicine, from detecting cancer to predicting epileptic seizures.

Cats can also have medicinal effects.  Cats love to snuggle up to their owners, and when humans aren’t feeling well, the warmth of their bodies (101.5°) and their purring at 25 vibrations per second, can many times lower blood pressure by their soothing presence.  Cats are low maintenance, and many physicians feel that children that grow up with cats may not have as many allergies as those who have not been exposed to cat/dog fur.

So, thank your furry friends for all they do to contribute to your health and happiness.  Something I read the other day sums it all up: “We do not have to wait for Heaven to be surrounded by hope, love and joyfulness: it is here on earth and has four legs!”


This time of year is always a busy one for teachers, administrators, and staff, as they get everything ready for the first day of school.  This school year, however, presents a problem they had not contended with until last spring: how to prevent their students from contacting the H1N1 virus at school.  The federal government issued guidelines for schools, and plans to do the same soon for day care facilities, colleges, and employers.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan advocates “prevention, close monitoring, and common sense” in dealing with the dilemma.  Schools should teach health curriculums to students the first two weeks of school.  Hand washing and covering coughs are of the utmost importance.  Many schools are considering furnishing online resources for parents to be able to access materials when their kids miss school.

Ill students and staff should be separated from other students; a room set aside for them should be furnished until they can go home.   They should also be given protective respirators.  N95 masks or N95 Respirators block 95% of very small particles in the air.  These masks should fit properly, be replaced often and thrown away after one use.  They should be placed in a plastic bag before being thrown in the trash, and then the person should wash their hands thoroughly.

Hand sanitizer should be available at the school.  If the schools don’t furnish it, parents could send a bottle with their students to keep in their backpacks or lockers.  Parents play a very important role in protecting their students by keeping them at home if they are showing symptoms of the flu.  If that is the case, they should begin giving them fever reducers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen, as needed.  Gatorade also helps to keep them hydrated.   It is felt that students do not have to stay home after being ill as long as they were last year.  Suggestions are that they may return following 24 hours of being fever-free.

Everyone should get his/her regular seasonal flu shot, and hopefully, the new vaccine for this particular virus will be ready by mid-October.  It’s going to take a team effort to deal with what’s ahead, but hopefully, the cases will be mild.  Let’s do all we can to keep our kids well.

Source: ABC News


We recently received an email from New-Fields regarding the first International Swine Flu Summit planned for August 19-20, and a workshop August 21, in Washington, D.C.  This meeting will be very similar to seven successful conferences on Bird Flu and will involve business leaders, educators, and health officials outlining strategies for dealing with the many obstacles that an outbreak of this virus can cause.

This conference will cover every imaginable entity that would be affected.  Fifteen concurrent breakout sessions will be held.  By reading the list of topics below, one can see that this virus has caused concern throughout the world and requires meticulous planning.

  • Breakout 1: Mass Fatality Management Planning
  • Breakout 2: Psychological Issues
  • Breakout 3: Business Continuity Planning
  • Breakout 4: Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government Planning
  • Breakout 5: Emergency Management Services
  • Breakout 6: Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Breakout 7: First Responders: Fire Department
  • Breakout 8: First Responders: Public Works
  • Breakout 9: 911 Call Center Services
  • Breakout 10: Hospital and Emergency Medical Services
  • Breakout 11: Workplace Planning
  • Breakout 12: School/University Pandemic Planning
  • Breakout 13: Airlines, Travel, Airport, Quarantine and Border Health Services
  • Breakout 14: Infectious Medical Waste
  • Breakout 15: Swine Flu: Agriculture Perspective & Interventions

Experts that will deliver messages and conduct the sessions are specialists in the following fields:

  • CEO/VP/COO/R&D Director
  • Chief Epidemiology/Medical Officer/Doctor
  • Commanding Officer/Rescue Services
  • Emergency Management Services Director/Chief
  • Risk Officer/Senior Pandemic Officer
  • Global Sales/Marketing Manager/Food Safety
  • Senior Government Officials
  • Health Minister & Hospital Heads
  • Public Health Director
  • Senior Manager/Director of Business Continuity Planning

More information may be obtained at  It is our goal to keep everyone updated on pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery issues that may be required in the future.