Monthly Archives: February 2014

  • National Heart Month - First Responders use grant for AEDs

    In a cardiac emergency, time is of the essence.

    AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) should be in every school, every business, and every public place - but people haven't clued in to the fact that they aren't enormous, scary expensive hospital devices. These are simple-to-use, efficient lifesaving devices that instruct the user. While CPR & AED training certainly makes their use more efficacious, it is not necessarily required as the devices walk the rescuer through the process with audio and visual instructions.

    More than ever, too, AEDs are easy to obtain, and funding is available even to private businesses and individuals (not just organizations) to obtain them.

    Consider the National AED Grant program at - they provide funding assistance for getting AEDS. Their program is described as -

    An AED in every Home…
    An AED in every Business…
    An AED in every Public Place…

    Our Goal: An AED wherever tragedy may strike. ~
    Providing Funding to Empower America in Deploying these Critical Lifesaving Devices...

    AED=GrantIn December, the Chassell Township Medical First Responders the group received a $5,500 grant from the Keweenaw Community Foundation for four AEDs, and also contributed enough money of its own to purchase a fifth. That's on top of two the first responders had already.

    Chassell Township Medical First Responders members Cory Williamson, Lynn Taavola, Nicki Lassila, Denise Stricker and Erik Stricker pose with an automated external defibrillator in the Chassell Township Fire Hall Wednesday.

    The first responders recently received five AEDs — four through a $5,500 grant from the Keweenaw Community Foundation and a fifth with a combination of leftover money from the KCF grant and money from the group’s fund.

    "With the five AEDs, every one of our first responders has an AED in their vehicle, so we don't have to respond to the hall for a cardiac emergency," said director Derrick Verran. "We can go right to the scene."

    With 2,000 township residents spread out over 50 square miles, it could take an ambulance more than 20 minutes to arrive on scene, making a fast response crucial, Verran said. The first responders were called out 75 times last year.

    The group picked out Philips HeartStart AEDs. They come with a separate child key, which allows the first responders to reduce the amount of shock being delivered.

    So far, the new devices haven't seen action, Verran said.

    "We're thankful for that, but it is nice to know we have them, and they're available if we need them," he said.

    Other members of the department said improving the old status quo will save time - and possibly lives.

    "There's one call we drove right by the house to get the AED," said member Erik Stricker.

    Garrett Neese ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

  • Senate Bill Pushes For CPR for Students

    Senate Bill Pushes For CPR for SD Students

    See our updates on States passing CPR requirements for schools and graduation

    If you saw someone go into sudden cardiac arrest, would you know what to do?  One answer can be found within three letters: CPR. Performing CPR on someone who goes into sudden cardiac arrest triples their chances of surviving, according to the American Heart Association.

    Ann Thompson has become a big advocate for CPR. Her passion for the life-saving technique stems from her own experience. Not a day goes by that she does not think about her son, Adam. Adam died from a heart condition when he was just 16. At the time, she did not realize he went into sudden cardiac arrest, and now she wonders how CPR could have changed the outcome.

    "You know, if I could turn back time, I'm just so shocked that it never entered my mind. I didn't know the signs of sudden cardiac arrest. My husband didn't, my daughter - none of us did," Thompson said.

    Nearly two years after Adam's death, she is still trying to help prevent other moms and dads from losing their children.  That involved CPR dummies, and heart screenings. She has teamed up with the American Heart Association in Sioux Falls, and lending her voice to support Senate Bill 145. If passed, SB 145 would make learning hands-only CPR a graduation requirement for South Dakota students.

    "We're very excited about the opportunity to basically train an entire generation of lifesavers," Chrissy Meyer, American Heart Association, said.

    Hands-Only CPR is CPR with chest compressions, but without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an "out-of-hospital" setting, according to AHA. Learning it is about a 20-minute process. Many schools in South Dakota already teach CPR, including the Sioux Falls School District. Students in sixth grade learn CPR. Starting next year, not only will sixth graders learn it, but seventh and eighth graders will review it.

    "Almost 90-percent of these things happen in the home. If you learn CPR, it's probably not going to be a stranger you're helping. It's going to be a family member or a loved one," Meyer said.

    Senate Bill 145 is set for a hearing in Pierre on February 10.

    "My message to those kids is, look at what you know. This is what you can do now. You can save a life and that's where they get excited," Thompson said.

  • Winter Blackouts, Power issues, and Generators

    image of Family Blackout Kit Family Blackout Kit - This compact survival kit is designed to keep up to 4 individuals safe during a Blackout. It is packed neatly into our small Hiking Backpack.

    When using gasoline and diesel generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position before starting the generator. This will prevent supplying electricity to outside power lines from your generator, and help protect utility line workers from possible electrocution.

  • The Preparis 2014 Threat Report (Webinar)

    FEMAThe new year has kicked into overdrive with a Southern snowpocalypse, cyber attacks, and growing risks to both private citizens and businesses. Join Preparis for our 2014 Threat Report webinar - a unique opportunity to learn from an all-star panel of experts about today's threats and how your organization can prepare. This session will be co-moderated by Preparis and Continuity Insights magazine with our all-star panelists including: Ready_Back_Cover_Print_EN_20061215.inddJonathan Fairtlough - Managing Director, Kroll Cyber Security Steve Veillon - Sergeant, FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces Jonathan Trapp - Emergency Manager, Centers for Disease Control Mike Smith - Chief Innovation Officer, AccuWeather Jonna Mayberry - Managing Editor, Continuity Insights magazine Space for the webinar is limited so place click here to register:

    Disaster, Survival, Preparation

    Survival Gear: Disaster, Emergency Preparedness, Camping & Survival Supply
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    Disaster, Survival, & Preparation!
    Think about preparedness; at home, at work, at school, even in your car.
    What should you do? Check your Emergency Plan and Evacuation Routes everywhere you normally spend time. Make sure you have an out of State contact for you, your friends and your family (long distance phone service is usually restored before local - and mobile services and internet will likely not work in a major disaster.)
    Of course, you should Check your Emergency Supplies, too:

    • Count your stock... is it enough?
    • Check your expiration dates (food, water, batteries)
    • Keep cash on hand
    • Don't let your gas tank get below half-full
    • Think-Plan-Prepare-Survive!
  • Workplace Safety during American Heart Month

    Workplace Safety during American Heart Month
    It is essential that all education and products are based on the latest scientific findings regarding emergency medical care. (American Red Cross photo)
    An ordinary day at Food Lion's Salisbury, N.C., headquarters nearly turned tragic when an employee for the grocery chain collapsed in the parking lot near a site where the Balfour Beatty construction company was making renovations. Two Balfour Beatty supervisors, Stanley Stowe and Bobby Hunter, immediately went to the woman's aid. While Hunter directed bystanders, Stowe performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the woman for 15 minutes until emergency medical services arrived.

    "I witnessed a miracle right before my eyes," Stowe said. "I watched a woman who was unresponsive and had turned blue come back to life." The two men, who had received CPR training, were nominated for an American Red Cross award for their actions in the emergency.

    This incident and many others just like it serve as a reminder that businesses of all kinds should ensure that employees are prepared for a cardiac emergency in the workplace. February is designated "Heart Month" by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is an opportunity to ensure that at least 10 percent of employees are certified to perform CPR and first aid and use an automated external defibrillator, should the need arise.

    A comprehensive workplace first aid/CPR/AED course, which can be taught in the workplace by certified Red Cross instructors, prepares employees to provide immediate care to an ill or injured person until the arrival of more advanced medical personnel. This course has the added benefit of teaching employees to use an AED.
    In addition to training employees to recognize signs of cardiac arrest, provide CPR, and administer an AED, the program also provides comprehensive training in many workplace heath emergencies. Trainees learn to identify illness and injury, treat shock, provide first aid, and ensure that advanced medical responders are alerted quickly. In addition, optional training is available on splinting injuries, caring for an asthma attack, use of an epinephrine auto-injector in conjunction with anaphylaxis, and managing severe bleeding injuries.

    The training consists of an online option that can be completed by employees at their convenience and an in-class portion provided by certified trainers in the workplace. Employees can be trained to teach the course, which allows businesses to provide their own training in-house while supported by the Red Cross standards and materials. Employees who successfully complete the training are certified in first aid/CPR/AED for two years, and those already certified are eligible for abbreviated renewal training, saving valuable time. All students are offered both printed and digital certifications, which allows businesses to quickly and conveniently check the certification status of all employees and not have to wait for them to arrive in the mail.

    For businesses with employees required to be trained in the use of the AED, a complete, life-saving AED program in the workplace facility is available. It includes AED product demonstrations, on-site needs analysis, placement assistance, program implementation, and flexible AED purchase options.

    For a more comprehensive test of preparedness, there is the First Aid Emergency Drill program, which uses a simulated medical emergency in the workplace to assess employee-responder performance. The program is designed to reinforce and build upon first aid/CPR/AED training, expanding employee-emergency responder skills and enhancing employee ability to perform together as a team in dynamic, real-world situations. The drill also reinforces OSHA standards and best practices, and organizations will receive a post-drill report with feedback and coaching.

    Whether enabled through education, mobile apps, or workplace products, preparedness is only as effective as the science behind it, so it is essential that all are based on the latest scientific findings regarding emergency medical care. These products and education are guided by the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, a panel of more than 50 nationally recognized experts in the fields of emergency medicine, EMS, preparedness, and public health. The council ensures that all programs incorporate the latest evidence-based scientific and medical knowledge.

    But it is the fusion of state-of-the-art science and training that enables employees to act when confronted with a real-time emergency. Just ask safety manager Mike Mathews of Firestone Fibers & Textile in Kings Mountain, N.C. During a lunch break one day in late 2012, Matthews was alerted that an employee was suffering from an asthma attack and seizure. He quickly gathered a team of trained staff members and went to the person’s aid.

    The employee had no detectable pulse, wasn't breathing, and was turning blue. Mathews administered an AED while two other employees performed rescue breathing and CPR. A fourth person called EMS. The team, which was nominated for a Red Cross award, was able to keep the victim alive until advanced medical help arrived. Without the training and the fast action of the trained employees, the employee would not have survived, Matthews said.

    Mobile Apps Emerge as Crucial for Workplace Safety
    Mobile devices are a lifeline for emergency information, and mobile apps are tied with social media as the fourth most popular way to get information during emergencies--behind TV, radio, and online news sites, according to an American Red Cross survey.

    Nearly 20 percent of Americans report receiving some kind of emergency information from an app they've downloaded. In many situations, apps are well suited to workplace safety, allowing instant access to safety and preparedness information whenever and wherever employees encounter an emergency.

    Free and easily downloaded mobile apps applicable to the workplace include some designed for first aid emergencies and disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. The apps offer real-time alerts as well as pre-loaded information so guidance is available even if connectivity is temporarily lost. All apps also allow employees to quickly let loved ones know they are safe and share important emergency information on their social networks. The highly successful apps have been downloaded more than 3.8 million times.

    The American Red Cross First Aid App is especially useful for businesses seeking to keep their employees ready for emergencies. Among its features, the app provides users with expert step-by-step advice for common illness and injury emergencies with instructions that will guide employees through first aid scenarios. It is fully integrated with 911 so users can immediately call for emergency medical responders. The app also has an educational component, with videos and animation that encourage employees to improve and test their first aid knowledge. Employees can be incentivized to learn by earning "badges" as they master interactive quizzes, and these awards can be shared with other employees via social networks.

    This article by Jonathan L. Epstein originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

  • High School students kick-start hands-only CPR campaign

    February is National Heart Month...

    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life saving skill that should be on everyone’s resume, and Albany County is celebrating American Heart Month by holding classes to teach the skill throughout February.

    Infant CPR Anytime is an “all-in-one” learning kit that teaches the basic skills of Infant CPR, Infant choking relief and calling for help in approximately 20 minutes. Infant CPR Anytime allows users to learn these life-saving skills anywhere, either in the comfort of their own home or in large group settings. The kit teaches CPR using the AHA’s research-proven “practice-while-watching” technique, which allows users to watch an instructional DVD while practicing their skills on a personal manikin. Infant CPR Anytime is designed to be shared with close family members and friends to help extend lifesaving training to more people. Because more lives can be saved…. Product Specifications: The Infant CPR Anytime kit includes the following: · 1 bilingual (English/Spanish) Infant CPR Anytime DVD · 1 poly-bagged Mini Baby® CPR personal manikin · 1 bilingual (English/Spanish) Infant CPR Anytime skills reminder card · 1 Mini Baby replacement lung · Manikin wipes CPR Anytime is an “all-in-one” learning kit that teaches the basic skills of CPR, Available in Adult/Child or Infant Programs

    Working to raise awareness of an easy-to-learn technique, hands-only CPR that can be used in instances of cardiac arrest and can be taught in less than 5 minutes. CPR Anytime classes run by Colonie EMS will be offered throughout February at various locations.

    During the announcement for the trainings this month, hundreds of students at Shaker High School in Latham learned last week from Colonie EMS personnel, as part of an effort led by the American Heart Association to train all high school students.

    Roughly 300,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. each year, with a survival rate of just 9 percent. In Colonie, where Colonie EMS Chief Peter Berry has made it a goal to train as many people as possible in CPR, that rate is 34 percent. Colonie EMS have provided CPR training to more than 2,000 town employees, firefighters, students, seniors and other community members in the past three years. These actions have put Colonie on the map as one of two locations in the country to win the Heart Safe Community Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2010.


    The course will teach participants how to use an automated external defibrillator. Participants use mannequins provided by Colonie EMS to practice compression.

    “We know that CPR saves lives,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. “Our EMS personnel have much greater success when they arrive on a scene and CPR has been started. If it hasn’t been started, the outcome is almost always tragic.”

    “Teaching hands-free CPR will save more lives and provide better outcomes for the survivors,” said Michelle Haller, who survived a sudden cardiac arrest in 2009 because of immediate CPR response. “It’s easy to perform and gives people the tool to save a life, most likely someone they know.

    “CPR is the first link in the chain of survival,” Haller said. Aware of her fortune, “If there isn’t anyone that starts CPR, the chances of someone surviving a cardiac arrest are almost zero.”

    “People are very eager to learn it,” said Jared Alpern, a first responder for Clifton Park and Halfmoon EMS. Alpern, 17, is also a student at Shaker High School. He stressed the importance of being knowledgeable in how to perform CPR for the first minutes or cardiac arrest before an ambulance arrives to the scene.

    For every minute that a person undergoing cardiac arrest does not receive CPR, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent, Alpern said.

    “The rate of survival is dependent on the number of people in the community who know CPR,” Haller said.

  • Super Bowl Safety

    Super Bowl... an American Tradition of Epic proportions - but there are safety risks to Sports Fans at Home and at the game.

    Safety at the Super Bowl:


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    Weather, not terror, biggest threat to Super Bowl 2014, security report says - A confidential New Jersey State Police assessment into the safety and security of the Super Bowl concludes that home-grown extremists represent the greatest terroristic threat to the game this Sunday, but found no evidence anyone was targeting the NFL championship.

    Indeed, the most significant threat to the public safety, according to the assessment — which was obtained by The Star-Ledger — would be bad weather. The report by the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center within the State Police noted that high-profile events, such as the Super Bowl, always represent "potentially attractive targets." It said the most likely terrorism-related scenario would be a loner or ideologically motivated individuals already living in this country.

    Still, the unclassified report reported there was "no information regarding a specific or credible threat related to SB48 (Super Bowl 48) events in New Jersey," and assessed the likelihood of an attack as low. The intelligence center said it conducted an analysis of suspicious activity reports and "watch-list encounters in New Jersey," but found no relevant patterns or trends indicating any related threats. But while there no specific threats have come to light, the analysis noted that recent bombings in Russia in advance of the Olympic games in Sochi have raised questions about the vulnerability of transportation and mass transit sites as secondary targets on game day here, including train stations, bus terminals, bridges and tunnels.

    The report said that because of the level of security surrounding the venues, violent crime was not considered a high risk, although potential cyber attacks by "ideologically motivated and malicious" hackers, exploiting wireless systems, stadium infrastructure or Super Bowl websites, was a serious possibility.

    A spokesman for the State Police said the findings were no surprise, and that State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes has talked about such threats in the past. Terrorism experts say domestic terrorists has always represented a tougher challenge to security agencies because they put out a smaller intelligence footprint than foreign groups. "That’s an accurate assessment," said Capt. Stephen Jones. "It’s certainly harder to track individual like that." At the same time, the State Police spokesman said cyber threats have been creeping up to become one of the biggest threats around. "So much is dependent on technology, that it becomes very inviting," said Jones. "You don’t have to defeat an army of security people. You just have to get past firewalls." In looking at all possible scenarios, the assessment found the biggest impact to public safety remained the possibility of bad weather, which officials said could affect in a major way the ability of people to safely get to and from the game. Tracking security and safety at the Super Bowl this week will be a special joint operations center already set up by the FBI, bringing together 35 state, local and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies that will be covering events stretching from Broadway in New York, to media day today at the Prudential Center in Newark, to the game itself between the Broncos and Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. In a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility Monday, the FBI opened the doors to journalists for a look at the operation. "It’s our nerve center," said Aaron Ford, who heads the FBI’s Newark Division.

    metlife-stadium.jpgWorkers clean snow from MetLife Stadium, which is hosting the Super Bowl this Sunday. Security officials appear to be more concerned about the threat of nasty weather than the threat of terrorism, according to a confidential security assessment.John O'Boyle/The Star-Ledger

    Located miles away from MetLife Stadium (the FBI asked that its actual location not be made public), the center is lined with video surveillance and television monitors showing views of the exterior of MetLife Stadium and the Prudential Center, screens with updates of reported incidents fed into a real-time computerized log, as well as television news feeds. On game day, one of the monitors will also be showing the Super Bowl itself. Rows of computer work stations were set out on long tables, each carrying labels for such agencies as the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Police Department, New Jersey Transit, New Jersey State Police, and other departments police agencies in Hudson County.

    Other agencies involved include the CIA, the Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s office. Analysts will also have access to a 3-D model of MetLife Stadium, along with aerial photo maps of the Meadowlands, showing every facility and checkpoint. "This gives us situational awareness," explained FBI supervisory special agent Scott Nawrocki. "We’ll have 24-hour coverage." Ford, who will be at the stadium on Sunday, said this region is always at a higher risk of being a target for terror. "This is the New Jersey/New York area, so there is a heightened awareness of that. It’s the financial capital of the world and it’s a worldwide event. We feel the responsibility of that," said Ford. But he added that he was not losing any sleep over the game. "The large number of people who attend the Super Bowl are fans and just want to enjoy the night," he said. Security: Law enforcement officials will use radiological detection devices, metal detectors and police dogs for a full-fledged anti-terrorism effort at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2. "Nobody at this table needs to be reminded, in the shadow of the World Trade Center, how important this event is to make people safe in our region," New Jersey Transit police chief Christopher Trucillo said. Eight officials from various New York, New Jersey and national agencies were part of a news conference on security issues on Wednesday at MetLife Stadium. Their comments are the culmination of two years of planning for the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather climate. The Super Bowl has been a Level 1 national security event since 2002, after the 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. This is the first year the Super Bowl has been held in the New York and New Jersey region. The FBI agent in charge of Super Bowl security, Aaron Ford, detailed the kinds of threats the group was preparing to address. "We are fully integrated and unified with the New Jersey State Police and our law enforcement partners," Ford said. "Our tactical teams have been training throughout the year for different scenarios to include active shooter, bomb threats and casualties related to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threats. We have a number of agents and professional staff prepared to respond."

    Although these efforts have been part of the planning and will continue on game day, NFL chief security officer Jeffrey Miller said it was being done so the fans could worry about the game, not safety. "This is the Super Bowl of football, not security," Miller said. The NFL will have 3,000 security professionals on game day, and New Jersey State Police plans to have 700 troopers available. North American Aerospace Defense Command will control air space, and police boats will patrol the waterways near the stadium. Miller said the security process for fans will be like security at the airport -- there will be screening that includes metal detectors, handheld metal detectors, dogs and X-rays. Fans can come to the stadium in three ways: a car or a bus with a parking pass, the Fan Express or the New Jersey Transit. Individual cars and buses will be screened for explosives when they enter the property before they can park, according to Super Bowl incident commander Lt. Col. Edward Cetnar of the New Jersey State Police. There will be a security perimeter 300 feet around the stadium, and the area will go into lockdown on Jan. 27. On game day, bus and train riders can expect to go through additional security before the trip begins and must have a ticket to the Super Bowl with them in addition to their train or bus ticket. Fans will not be allowed to walk to the stadium, and cabs won't be allowed to drop off ticket holders. The security screening on game day will begin at 2 p.m. ET for the 6:30 p.m. game.

    The NFL released a list of prohibited items that includes firearms, food, footballs and backpacks but isn't substantially different from the game-day guidelines that were adopted for the regular season. Personal belongings should fit in a small, clear plastic bag, and anyone needing more for medical reasons will be directed to a specific screening area. Outside the stadium Wednesday, it was obvious that work has already begun to transform the area. Welcome pavilions are in the process of being erected, and snow chutes have been installed to direct snow from the upper decks so the stadium can be easily cleared. The field at MetLife was covered with a tarp, which was tented to the heated air being blown underneath it. The field is drying so that it can be painted with logos, including end zone logos for the two teams that will make it to the Super Bowl by winning their games on Sunday.


    Tailgating will not be allowed at the Super Bowl - Super Bowl 48 is going to have a much different feel to it than Super Bowls past. First and foremost, the game is being held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey — outdoors and in cold weather. In the Super Bowl’s 48-year history, a game has never been hold outdoors in a cold climate. But don’t worry — fans aren’t going to freeze while tailgating. That’s because tailgating won’t be allowed.
    On Monday, Super Bowl CEO Al Kelly announced that there will be no grilling and lounging in parking lots for the hours leading up to the game.

    “You will be allowed to have food in your car and have drink in your car,” Kelly said, per “And provided you’re in the boundaries of a single parking space, you’ll be able to eat or drink right next to your car. However, you’re not going to be able to take out a lounge chair, you’re not going to be able to take out a grill, and you’re not going to be able to take up more than one parking space. And it’ll all be watched very carefully.”
    In other words, feel free to stand next to your car in 20-degree weather and eat a Lunchables.

    The NFL and Super Bowl organizers intend to take incredible security measures on Feb. 2, 2014. In addition to a tailgating ban, there will also be no unauthorized taxis or car services bringing fans to the game. The 80,000 ticket holders will have to arrive by way of charter bus called the Fan Express, which costs $51, by way of the NJ Transit or with the use of a parking pass, of which there are less than 13,000 available.
    “Nobody’s going to be dropped off by black car,” Kelly said. “You can have a black car, a green car, a white car, a red car as long as you have parking, and the car needs to stay on the premises the entire time.”

    That’s OK, fans can just park in lots away from the stadium and walk to the game, right? Wrong. Kelly said no one will be allowed to enter the stadium on foot unless they have arrived via public transportation or shuttle bus — where security will have screened them before and after — or they have an approved parking pass.
    While a lot of these rules and guidelines sound insane, they’re in place for our safety. It may be untraditional, but it’s tough to argue with that.

    Superbowl Safety at home:

    First Down Food Safety Tips for Your Super Bowl PartyBY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE | 
    In order to win the game, the first downs have to keep coming without the penalties. Super Bowl Sunday will be a long day of first downs and a long day of eating! It’s the second-highest day of food consumption in the U.S., and that means hosts and guests need to have their defense ready to keep foodborne illness from scoring on the party. Super Bowl parties should be remembered for a great time and not the place where the food made you sick. We’re offering fans some important game-day tips to keep the party free of food-safety penalties.
    Illegal use of hands Before and after preparing or handling food, always wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Unclean hands are a major food penalty for you and your guests. Use clean platters to serve and restock food, and keep surfaces clean.
    Pass Interference Keep raw meats separate from other foods. To avoid a penalty here, make sure raw meats do not come in contact with other foods on the buffet. Never place cooked food back on the same plate that previously held raw food unless the plate has been first washed in hot, soapy water.
    Personal Foul Don’t cause a personal foul that’s risky to the health of your guests. Always use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked to the right temperature. Color and texture are not indicators of doneness. Ground beef should be cooked to 160 degrees F, poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F, and steaks should reach 145 degrees F, with a three-minute rest time.
    Holding Avoid this penalty by keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. Do not keep food on the buffet at room temperature for more than two hours. Hot foods need to have a hot source to keep them out of the Danger Zone. Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. The same rule applies for cold foods – they need to be nestled in ice to remain safe for guests. If there is a delay of game and you didn’t practice effective clock management with the buffet, don’t eat or serve the food. When in doubt, throw it out. Replenish it with fresh servings. Food safety is the winning play for your Super Bowl party.
    For more game rules, visit USDA’s virtual representative, “Ask Karen,” available at Food safety experts are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET at the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Access food safety answers anytime from your mobile device at “First Down Food Safety Tips for your Super Bowl Party” by Donna Karlsons, Food Safety and Inspection service (FSIS) Food Safety Education Staff, first appeared on the USDA Blog on Jan. 30, 2014.Sports-Gift
  • The 1970s - Bringing Safety to the Forefront

    The U.S. Department of Labor first came into my life in 1979, when I was 15. That was when I got my first job. I was an usher at a cinema in my hometown of Boca Raton, Fla. It was a great gig; I got paid and got to see movies for free! But I also learned about the world of work, which has played a major role in my life ever since.

    President Nixon signs OSHA into law in 1970

    In the decade leading up to that first employment experience, my future employer — the U.S. Department of Labor — was working hard to ensure that my workplace, and all American workplaces, were safe and fair. Most notably, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed by President Nixon in 1970, created our Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA enforces standards that impact nearly every employee in the nation.

    The labor secretary at the time was James D. Hodgson, who also expanded employment and training programs under the Emergency Employment Act of 1971 in order to aid Vietnam-era veterans. When he resigned in 1973, his replacement was former union leader Peter J. Brennan. Among Brennan’s achievements was the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (known as ERISA), signed by President Ford in 1974.

    President Ford signs ERISA Sept. 2, 1974

    The act established — for the first time — minimum standards for retirement, health and other welfare benefits. Today, ERISA is enforced by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.

    When Brennan stepped down in 1975, Ford tapped seasoned presidential adviser John Dunlop. While Dunlop’s tenure was also short ? he resigned the next year in protest of an executive branch decision to limit union demonstrations ? it saw the creation of our Employment and Training Administration, a replacement for the Manpower Administration.

    Laid-off worker at a 1975 labor meeting

    Today, ETA administers many job training programs and oversees the Unemployment Insurance benefits system.

    William J. Usery Jr., a former union leader and skilled mediator, took over for the remainder of Ford’s term. Upon President Carter’s inauguration in 1977, Ray Marshall became secretary and oversaw the transfer of oversight for mines from the Interior Department as prescribed by the Mine Safety and Health Act.

    That act created the department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, charging it with setting and enforcing employment standards and conducting annual inspections for mines.

    It’s hard to believe that when I first joined the workforce, the concept of workers being legally entitled to safe and healthy workplaces was relatively new.

    Virginia miners in 1974

    Today, thanks to OSHA and MSHA — and the efforts of their state partners and many employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates — there has been a dramatic improvement in workplace safety, with a significant drop in fatality and injury rates.

    But until the rates are zero, our work will continue.

    by Carl Fillichio

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