Date for Annual Business Health Summit Announced
Save the date for Saint Francis Medical Center’s Services to Business’ fourth Business Health Summit on Tuesday, September 20. The goal of the annual Business Health Summit is to provide area businesses with current training and health information to benefit their work force.
The summit is designed to present the latest tools and tips to create a healthier, stronger and more successful work force. Additional reasons to attend this year’s summit include:
- Learn about tools and tips to help increase the productivity, efficiency and morale of your work force
- Gather information on legal, management and medical expertise to help you build a stronger, healthy work force
- With healthcare costs rising, hear how you can minimize your business costs
- Learn how to sustain a well-rounded, efficient work force through quality management and wellness programs
Watch your email for upcoming information on the Business Health Summit, such as our keynote speaker.
Spirometry Testing Gauges Exposure to Respiratory Hazards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have developed new guidance documents that describe the use of spirometry testing to help reduce and prevent worker exposure to respiratory hazards.
Spirometry is a common pulmonary function test that measures how well a person moves air in and out of the lungs. Workers who inhale certian types of dust, gas or other air contaminants can experience lung damage over time. The test may detect breathing problems or significant changes in lung function at an early stage.
Information in the documents assists employers with identifying and eliminating hazardous workplace exposure; and with reducing or preventing the liklihood of workers developing lung disease.
Spirometry technicians should have a valid certificate from an NIOSH-approved or equivalent training course. Employers should perform periodic spirometry tests in accordance with OSHA standards. For occupational exposure to substances for which no OSHA standard applies, OSHA recommends testing at least every three years.
For more information about spirometry screening, surveillance and training, visit www.osha.gov/SLTC/medicalsurveillance/index.html, www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3162.pdf and www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/spirometry/default.html.
Planning for Disasters Enhances Employee Safety
Recent disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and multiple tornado outbreaks in the Midwest are reminders that businesses need to have a practiced disaster plan to help ensure the safety of their employees.
Start your preparation by identifying the most likely potential disasters that could occur, including something as common as a fire or power outage. Prepare basic dangerous weather plans by identifying a location for everyone to meet and assembling an off-site necessities kit that includes a first-aid kit, critical business data and a contingency operations plan.
Pre-assigning key responsibilities will minimize the effects natural chaos can have on your staff. Consider assigning the following duties:
- Evacuation coordinator – Keeps a checklist to ensure all important steps are taken, such as turning off gas lines or using fire doors as appropriate.
- Head counter – Ensures everyone is accounted for; large organizations may want to have a checker for each department or work area.
- First-aid practitioners – Consider training in first aid, particularly businesses without safety officers. The Red Cross has a training program if your organization is short on numbers.
- Alert manager – Calls 911.
Conduct periodic dangerous weather, fire and evacuation drills to ensure your work force is familiar with your procedures, evacuation routes and meeting points. It is also a good idea to check fire suppression systems, communications equipment, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, flashlights and first-aid kits on a regularly scheduled basis.
In this era of cellphone use, designating a contact for people to call or text provides an additional layer of communication. Being prepared for the unexpected not only is smart business, it also can save lives.
The Saint Francis Medical Center Services to Business and Trauma and Disaster Services can assist you in preparing and reviewing disaster plans.