Jun 13 19

Keynote: Design Duo Calls on NeoCon Community to Bridge the Breach Between Artistry and Scalability

byGuest Author

By Emily Clingman

Jun 13 19

Safety 2019: Active Shooter Survival

byGuest Author

Mike Bewley, Austin, Texas, public works safety manager, provided a detailed analysis of “Run, Hide, Fight” for safety professionals.

Stefanie Valentic EHS Today | Jun 12, 2019

Six months into 2019, the United States is experiencing an average of two mass shootings per month.

Mike Bewley, safety manager at the public works department of Austin, Texas, conveyed the importance of preparing workers for active shooting incidents to Safety 2019 attendees.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more lives are claimed by the perpetrator.

The shooter’s main goal is multiple casualties in a short span of time. The majority of mass shooters strategize for years before taking action. They are not looking to take hostages and they are not looking to negotiate, Bewley said.

“These guys know they’re on the clock, and law enforcement is going to be there in about 10 minutes,” he said. “Because of that, they’re not going to stop searching for victims. He’s probably going to shoot everything in sight.”

Bewley’s insights into the “Run, Hide, Fight” preparedness method provided attendees a basis for their emergency response plans.


“The goal is to get those sirens inbound to your location,” Bewley said. “When the shooter hears those sirens, they’re going to think more about shooting themselves than shooting others.”

  • At first indication that there is a shooting, leave the area if possible.
  • Encourage people around to leave with you, but do not delay your exit.
  • Once you’re out of the area of building, call 911 if you have your cell phone.
  • Tell the dispatcher the following: “Active Shooter,” then the address
  • Keep moving away from the building. You cannot become a target if the shooter cannot see you.
  • If police are approaching the building as you exit, hold up your empty hands.

“There’s magic words that generate a response to a police department,” he explained. “If you say ‘active shooter,’ you’re going to get an overwhelming response.”


“Do not hide under your desk or table,” he cautioned. “You need to tell your employees that. The shooter knows you’re hiding.”

  • If you determine you cannot run, you must hide.
  • First choice is a room that you can either lock or barricade the door.
  • Turn off the lights, silence your cell phone.
  • Get down, bullets will penetrate sheet rock.
  • If you cannot find a room, hide behind something that will absorb or deflect a bullet such as a low wall or heavy object.
  • Do not hide under a table.

“Many persons have survived the initial shooting by playing dead,” he said. “However, the shooter will often return and shoot everyone again.”


“The shooter is not prepared to fight you,” Bewley told attendees. “He is counting on you to freeze when he points the gun your way. Don’t just stand there and let yourself get shot.”

  • If you cannot run or you cannot find a secure hiding place, you must fight the shooter if they confront you.
  • Use anything around you as a weapon. (Mops, staplers, pencils, fingers, shoe heels)
  • Target vulnerable parts of the shooter’s body. (Eyes, throat, groin or even the weapon itself)
  • You MUST commit yourself to the attack.

“If you attack the weapon, you take away all of its power,” he explained.

Bewley completed the presentation by stressing the importance of training workers to treat injuries in an active shooting situation. This, he said, could both assist law enforcement and save lives.

“It’s up to us to train our people to be immediate responders and take appropriate action,” he said.

A patient collection point should be established at the front of the building. In addition, workers should attempt to evaluate victims’ wounds and stop further bleeding. Once that is completed, victims should be placed in a recovery position so law enforcement and medical responders know they have been evaluated.

“Unfortunately, we need to have these conversations because the threat is evolving,” Bewley concluded.

Source URL: https://www.ehstoday.com/emergency-management/safety-2019-active-shooter-survival

Jun 6 19

The Science of Place: Ergonomics and its Impact on Nurses

byGuest Author

How Can Workstations Improve the Daily Worklife of Nurses?

Healthcare professionals are responsible for many people’s lives. In their daily routines, they care for a number of people and have a lasting impact on patients. But who is looking out for them? Nursing can take a toll on the body and one way to mitigate long-term bodily damage is through an ergonomic work environment.

Ergonomics is a branch of science dedicated to a holistic working experience. It is the study of people in their working environment and the ways that they react and respond to it. To practice ergonomics is to evaluate the human experience in relation to their workplace– the ways in which that space interacts with the bodies in it. It is a multidisciplinary science that uses data and techniques from several fields including anthropometry, biomechanics, environmental physics, applied psychology, and social psychology. Ergonomics, or human factors, has the goal to eliminate discomfort and risk of injury due to workplace procedures, equipment, or constraints.

Ergonomics has the power to change the way that nurses conduct their work. How can a concept have such an impact? Read further to discover the ways that enhanced ergonomic workstations have a profound impact on the efficiency, health, and overall well-being of nurses in the healthcare industry.

To subscribe to the Ebook and learn more, visit: https://altus-inc.com/resources/durability-white-paper

Jun 5 19

Study Shows Culture Matters at Work

byGuest Author

Workplace Life -June 2019

Jun 4 19

Study: Energy Drinks Take Toll on Heart Health

byGuest Author

Stefanie Valentic EHS Today | May 30, 2019

Popular caffeine-packed beverages could affect heart rhythm, according to a new study.

Research findings a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (AHA) confirm the short-term risk consumers take when consuming energy drinks.

Drinking 32 oz. of an energy drink in a 60-minute timeframe directly affected the heart rhythm of the study’s participants, a result bolstered by previous research.

“The public should be aware of the impact of energy drinks on their body especially if they have other underlying health conditions,” said lead author Sachin A. Shah, Pharm.D., professor of pharmacy practice at University of the Pacific, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Stockton, Calif. “Healthcare professionals should advise certain patient populations, for example, people with underlying congenital or acquired long QT syndrome or high blood pressure, to limit or monitor their consumption.”

The study enrolled 34 healthy volunteers between 18 and 40 years old. Participants were randomly assigned to drink 32 oz. of one of two commercially-available caffeinated energy drinks or a placebo drink on three separate days. The drinks were consumed within a 60-minute period but no faster than one 16-oz. bottle in 30 minutes. Both energy beverages tested contained 304 to 320 milligrams of caffeine per 32 fluid ounces.

Shah and other resarchers examined the participants’ hearts via electrocardiogram as well as recording blood pressure. Measurements were taken at the study’s start and every 30 minutes for four hours after drink consumption. 

“We found an association between consuming energy drinks and changes in QT intervals and blood pressure that cannot be attributed to caffeine. We urgently need to investigate the particular ingredient or combination of ingredients in different types of energy drinks that might explain the findings seen in our clinical trial,” Shah said.

The QT interval is a measurement of the time it takes ventricles in the heart (the lower chambers) to prepare to generate a beat again. If this time interval is either too short or too long, it can cause the heart to beat abnormally. The resulting arrhythmia can be life-threatening, the AHA said.

According to the study’s authors,the QT interval for those who consumed energy drinks was 6 milliseconds or 7.7 milliseconds higher at 4 hours compared to placebo drinkers. 

Researchers also found a statistically significant 4 to 5 mm Hg increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants who consumed the energy drinks.

The completed study is the largest controlled study of the effects of energy drinks on the heart and blood pressure in young healthy volunteers.

Estimates indicate that about 30% of teenagers between the ages of 12 through 17 years in the United States consume energy drinks on a regular basis, which have been linked to increased emergency room visits and death.

“Energy drinks are readily accessible and commonly consumed by a large number of teens and young adults, including college students. Understanding how these drinks affect the heart is extremely important,” said study co-author Kate O’Dell, Pharm.D., professor of pharmacy and director of experiential programs at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

The study, which was supported by the University of the Pacific, was designed to assess the effects of short-term consumption of an energy drink and does not provide insight into long-term effects nor the effects of routine energy drink consumption.

May 28 19

Even Virtual Offices Need Real Workplace Safety Policies

byGuest Author

Guest Writer: Peylina Chu, Senior Consultant at Antea Group

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Workers today are calling the shots. They can work from home, at Starbucks, on the tech bus or, dare I say, even at their desk. Employers are faced with different predicaments in each of those workplace scenarios, with safety right up there in terms of concerns. With all the workplace options employees are expecting today, it might seem daunting to create a workplace that encourages and nurtures safety. But virtual worker safety doesn’t mean employers should restrict workplace options – they should embrace them.

Here are three keys you need to understand to keep your virtual workforce safe.

1. Identify risks.

Your employees need to be safe regardless of their location, whether they are working from home, in the office or commuting on a tech bus. Technology companies of all shapes and sizes may not be aware that it is their legal obligation to ensure employee safety wherever they are working. All companies must have policies in place that address varying risks, including ergonomics and other work-related injuries, as well as keep pace with ever-changing global environment, health and safety (EHS) regulations that differ from region to region on a global scale.

For years, the technology industry has been experiencing rapid growth that has necessitated expanding the workforce outside the confines of typical one-building offices. This is evidenced by the highly flexible (or often lacking) work from home policies by industry giants like Google, Facebook and HP, as well as startups like Airbnb and Foursquare, and reflects the rapidly growing size of companies and the need for a diverse and spread-out campus.

Failing to preemptively defend against EHS threats can result in companies facing personal-injury lawsuits and regulatory infractions that could cut into the bottom line. Most importantly, it perpetuates a laissez faire culture of ill preparedness and reactivity to risks that should be proactively avoided before growing into widespread HR issues.

On the surface, these costs may appear less serious as companies assume compensation insurance will protect them, but that is far from the total cost. Administrative expenses, medical costs, wage and productivity losses, uninsured costs and other impacts on the company total to billons of dollars per year on a national level across industries. The fast-growing companies that have yet to cement EHS standards for their virtual workers are being hit hardest.

The hidden cost to a company’s brand and reputation when recruiting new employees may be even higher, if a company is perceived to have a laissez faire attitude around employee safety. To avoid this, it’s important to look at what risks can be planned for.

2. Develop and implement procedures.

To begin combating the risks to your virtual workforce, it’s important to identify and understand not only the risks for virtual workers, but also issues plaguing in-office employees. These concerns can stem from poor workstation ergonomics, lack of safety training, or improper equipment to complete assigned tasks.

Whether its workers’ hands developing stress fractures after using equipment incorrectly for years, or slipping a disc while exiting a tech bus en route to HQ, identifying these risks and issues allows you to step back, look at trends and develop solutions. With a better understanding of issues at hand, you’ll be able to prioritize fixes based on the widest-spreading, most damaging concerns plaguing the overall workforce.

Sometimes, these risks are resolved by simple fixes. Drafting policies to ensure proper and standardized equipment is installed in all home offices can help prevent ergonomic or soft tissue injury concerns. Requiring safety training for all employees is an integral tool for lessening EHS risks across virtual and in-office teams.

3. Nurture a culture of safety.

Though policy and training alone are useful methods in protecting virtual workers, a company must achieve awareness at all levels, from virtual workers all the way up to the CEO, to create a culture of safety. Not only does this alleviate risks before they blossom into legal concerns, but it also perpetuates a focus on safety that feeds back into business goals, not least attracting and retaining top technology talent.

Part of creating this culture is to have an open dialogue with your employees, understanding their needs and staying attuned to concerns as they arise. Assign a trusted and experienced partner who is completely up to date on all regulatory mandates and industry-specific risks to help make sure all EHS measures are properly implemented and people are actually able to flourish at work.

Showing awareness and responsiveness to the growing pains that come from an expanding business helps build out a culture of safety and allows companies to grow at their own pace and create a culture that’s truly their own.

May 23 19

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Explained

byGuest Author

by: Paul Helder, CTO

Today, more and more people world wide realize that it is important to support your hand when using a computer mouse. If you’re using a mouse that doesn’t fully support your hand, you may eventually experience serious neural effects.

Pins and Needles

This causes excessive pressure on the median nerve which controls your hand and fingers. First you will notice a feeling of “pins and needles” in the fingers, followed by loss of sensation and even a burning pain. This phenomenon is generally called carpal tunnel syndrome. The shape of the HandShoe Mouse provides full support of the hand and fingers to prevent this harmful pressure on the wrist. Please be aware that, even after providing relief from this pressure, the nerve stays tender and may still provoke pins and needles for weeks afterwards. But when you keep using this truly ergonomic mouse you should feel the difference!

Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Go to the HandShoe Mouse website.

May 20 19

How to Choose a Good Ergonomic Mouse

byGuest Author

By Sjoerd Eisma

Did you know that 1 in 6 workers is suffering from some form of RSI or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? These are conditions that, in the ergonomic industry, are widely associated with overuse of a poorly designed computer mouse. This can lead to people spending weeks or even months out of work and, in worst case scenarios, can require operations to resolve.

There is an easier alternative to developing these problems though – use a good ergonomic mouse. This begs the question, however, of how one identifies a ‘good’ ergonomic mouse. To answer that question, we first need to look at a regular mouse and the design problems that cause mouse pain to begin with.

Regular computer mice are designed in such a way as to make you grip them. (see image below) While this may seem normal, it is these very gripping and pinching actions that lead to RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome developing. This is because the actions are being done all day, often 5 or 6 days a week, with the muscles getting little or no rest. On top of this, we often leave see people hovering over the mouse switches on conventional mice, adding to the muscle tension and cramped nature of the hand posture.
Another common issue with regular mice is the angle of the hand during the use of a computer mouse. We have two main bones in our forearm, Ulna and Radius, with a membrane connecting the two. To help prevent mouse pain, it is important that the blood flow through this membrane is as unobstructed as possible, and the angle of the hand on the mouse is key to this. To optimise the blood flow, the hand needs to be in the “natural position”. If the hand is twisted to far in one direction or another, the blood flow becomes restricted and problems can ensue.

The last problem worth mentioning is the development of rough/irritated patches of skin around the wrist area. These often develop due to the rubbing of the wrist against the desk during mouse use. Because the skin there is quite thin, with the bone quite close to the surface, it is an easy area of the body to irritate. While this is sometimes considered a minor issue compared to the big problems like RSI and Carpal Tunnel, it is easily preventable.

If the above causes mouse pain, then an ideal ergonomic mouse would do the following:

  1. Prevent any gripping and pinching – you shouldn’t have to/be able to hold on to the mouse to move it.
  2. The hand should rest on the mouse in a neutral position – all research concludes the hand should sit at an angle of between 25 and 30 degrees.
  3. The hand and arm should be supported in places where the body and tissue are biologically designed to support the weight – the membrane of the palm and the fatty tissue on the underside of the forearm are good for this.

The HandShoe Mouse is an example of the only ergonomic mouse currently on the market that was designed off the back of peer reviewed university research. The above factors, and many more, were all considered during the design of this mouse. The resulting design, when tested in the tax offices in The Netherlands was that every member of staff that was out of work with mouse complaints were able to come back into work again while working with the mouse.

Although it can be time consuming to find, there is a great deal of research supporting very specific ergonomic mouse designs. Much of this research can be found on our publications page (https://handshoemouse.com/publications/) and is largely third-party material.  Posted in Ergonomic Mouse

May 2 19

Why Giving Your Employees a Mentor Increases the Chances They’ll Stay

byGuest Author
May 2 19

Staying Active in the Workplace

byGuest Author