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There has been a great deal of confusion and misinformation lately regarding the use of respirators as a safeguard from COVID-19. The most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that wearing some type of face mask may prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, but offers little protection from contracting the disease.
The pathogen occupying all of our thoughts at present is transmitted from person-to-person primarily via virus-impacted droplets that are generated when infected persons cough, sneeze or speak. Studies have found that the COVID-19 virus can remain viable on surfaces for several hours up to days, including up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
EI has been closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and documenting its progress and impact in a series of blogs beginning late January. Early in this series we addressed the importance of updating corporate business contingency plans to include key strategies which address the impact of COVID-19 on employees/business operations. EI’s third blog addressed proper personal protective equipment to minimize exposure to the pathogen, including a comparison of the effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks.
EPCRA Reporting Requirements: Is Your Company Subject to Annual Tier II and Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Basics?
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was passed in 1986 in response to concerns regarding the environmental and safety hazards posed by the storage and handling of toxic chemicals. These concerns were triggered by the 1984 disaster in Bhopal, India, caused by an accidental release of methylisocyanate. The release killed or severely injured more than 2,000 people.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is the principal Federal law in the United States governing the proper management and disposal of hazardous waste. The law describes the waste management program mandated by Congress that gave the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to develop the RCRA program.
As the virus (newly dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization) accelerates and spreads beyond Chinese borders, businesses are deploying increasingly rigorous measures to limit the spread of the potential pandemic. Most news articles covering the spread of the virus include photos of travelers or government officials wearing surgical masks. But how effective will surgical masks for respiratory protection from the pathogen turn out to be? Is a surgical mask enough or is an N95 respirator needed?
Part II: Business Contingency Planning For the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic – Is Your Corporation Prepared?
Just one week ago, The EI Group updated our blog recipients on the state of the emerging coronavirus. In just one week, mortality has vastly exceeded the SARS virus (349 versus 560 coronavirus fatalities). Reported cases of the coronavirus have eclipsed 28,000, nearly a seven-fold increase in only one week! In contrast, the entire SARS outbreak resulted in only 5,327 infected.
Part I: Business Contingency Planning For the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic – Is Your Corporation Prepared?
News about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), commonly known as the “Wuhan Coronavirus,” has dominated the headlines for days now. Over 4,500 cases have now been confirmed in Mainland China and 106 people are dead as the death toll continues to rise. The virus has some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients have reportedly not had exposure to the animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating and without immediate assistance, the person will ultimately die where they fell. SCA is far different than a person experiencing a heart attack. A person suffering a heart attack may have chest pain, trouble breathing, and become nauseated and sweaty. If these symptoms are recognized quickly and the person is treated in a hospital, statistics show that 90% of heart attack victims will survive.
The face of occupational health and safety is changing. Many manufacturing facilities have realized that having a paramedic on-site has many benefits. Paramedics today are stepping into the occupational healthh setting by staffing on-site clinics and providing medical care to employees, completing Job Hazard Analyses (JHA’s) and finding new and innovative ways to manage a safe work environment.
A colleague recently received a pair of noise cancelling headphones as a gift during the holiday season. In an office surrounded by the buzz of phones, printers, and watercooler discussions of the latest binge-worthy shows; I decided to mask my jealousy by researching...
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of over 4,000 different man-made chemicals that include PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), GenX (trade name), and many others. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a wide variety of industries around the world since the 1940s, including carpet, furniture, water-resistant outdoor gear, firefighting foam and non-stick cookware.
As we sit around the table with friends and family this Thanksgiving listening to the stories, laughter, and maybe even the occasional groan-worthy dad joke (“What is a turkey’s favorite dessert? …… peach gobbler!”), we should be thankful for our hearing. Hearing loss can make family gatherings frustrating and anxiety provoking for all people involved.
Occupational health nurse practitioners (OHNP) are also known as occupational and environmental health nurse practitioners or occupational health and family nurse practitioners. The focus of the OHNP is the prevention and treatment injuries or illnesses resulting from the work environment. The OHNP usually cares for patients/employees directly in an onsite employee health clinic.
The EI Group, Inc. (EI) routinely provides on-site, contract safety management/support services to assist clients in compliance with General Industry (CFR 1910) and Construction Operations (CFR 1926) standards. On-site safety professionals fulfill a variety of...
Environmental Assessments/Audits are completed at industrial and commercial sites for a variety of reasons. Real estate property transactions (e.g., purchase, sale, refinancing) are typically the driver for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs). Suspected releases often dictate a need or desire to conduct a Phase II ESA to confirm whether or not the release impacted the environment.
In the rural communities along the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s 303-mile route through West Virginia and Virginia, not much has changed since trees were felled in early 2018.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued the latest version of the Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program – Community Edition ( or BenMAP-CE). An open source computer program, the BenMAP –CE tool calculates the number and economic value of air pollution related to death and illness.
OSHA announced 2019’s Top 10 Violations a few weeks ago with little change in the list from last year. The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) and respiratory protection traded spots on the list, but all other topics remained where they were.
Historically, Steubenville, Ohio has been one of ten areas within EPA Region 5 to have had measured levels of sulfur dioxide concentrations greater than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (also known as “nonattainment”).
Deep Breath: Respiratory Protection in the Growing COVID-19 Epidemic
February 13, 2020
RCRA Requirements: Does Your Facility Generate Hazardous Waste?
February 19, 2020
Minimizing Airborne Exposure to COVID-19 in Buildings
March 23, 2020
Is COVID-19 Recordable on the OSHA 300 Log?
April 15, 2020
Training Students in the Era of COVID-19
May 7, 2020