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Got it covered? Chemical, physical, biological hazards are everywhere – learn how to stay safe

If you’re performing tasks that put you at risk of exposure hazards such as extreme temperatures, chemicals or biological threats, make sure you’re following safe work practices.

This month, we’re focusing on how to prevent injuries due to exposure. Exposures can lead to serious injuries depending on how extreme the hazard and how long you are exposed. The key to prevention, as with any hazard, is to adequately plan, prepare and implement the appropriate precautions.  

Here are 10 ways you can prevent exposures:

  1. Evaluate your work area for hazards to identify and implement control measures such as safe work practices and proper personal protective equipment.
  2. Stay informed of weather forecasts to prepare for sun or cold exposure.
  3. Watch for and avoid bee, wasp or hornet nests.
  4. Apply insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes.
  5. Learn how to identify poison ivy, oak, sumac and other poisonous plants.
  6. Watch out for ticks if you’re working in wood areas, bushes, tall grass and brush.
  7. Watch out for snakes if you’re working in underbrush or tall grassy areas.
  8. Use proper hearing protection in high-noise work zones.
  9. Complete hazard communication training for chemicals.
  10. Wear PPE when actual or potential hazards exist and engineering controls or administrative practices cannot adequately control your exposure.

Use cleaning products safely at home
Many household cleaning products give off vapors you shouldn’t breathe in. Some can burn or irritate your skin or eyes, and most are poisonous if swallowed. To reduce exposure in your home, consider natural alternatives such as vinegar (removes mildew and grease), lemon juice (stain remover, glass cleaner and deodorizer), baking soda mixed with water (all-purpose cleaner) and olive oil (furniture polish).

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