April 2014



In the Loop

ESFI Launches Should I DIY? Home Safety Campaign

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), in partnership with The Home Depot, has launched the Should I DIY? Home Safety Campaign, which kicked off in May and continues through the fall. According to ESFI, more homeowners tackle do-it-yourself projects today than ever before. However, many do not have the training or experience needed to safely perform home electrical work. The campaign is designed to educate consumers about electrical safety through tips, videos, hands-on workshops and advertising.

The initiative is dedicated to cautioning consumers about the dangers associated with DIY home electrical projects, and raising awareness of the steps that can be taken to mitigate the risks.

“Working with electricity requires thorough planning and extreme care, and cutting corners can be a costly mistake,” cautions ESFI President Brett Brenner. “Whether you are a first-time do-it-yourselfer or a ‘weekend warrior,’ learning and practicing safe habits can significantly reduce your risk and help prevent electrical fires, injuries and fatalities.”

ESFI says that many electrocutions and home electrical fires can be prevented if consumers understand some basic principles and follow safe practices. To learn more about the campaign and other do-it-yourself electrical safety information, visit http://esfi.org/content/esfi-and-home-depot-launch-should-i-diy-home-safety-campaign.

Study Suggests Need for Safer Packaging of Fluorescent Lamps

Researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that most containers employed for storage and transport of used fluorescent lamps to recycling centers do not provide necessary levels of protection against mercury vapors emitted from broken lamps. The release of mercury vapors, which can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, presents an environmental and occupational hazard for those involved with handling and transport. Results of the study were published in a recent issue of Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association.

The study aimed to compare and understand which packaging configuration would reduce the amount of mercury vapor released. In 10 replicate experiments, researchers examined 5 different packages containing 40 broken, used, low-mercury lamps and measured the airborne mercury concentration in a test chamber over a 6-hour interval. The configuration that contained mercury vapor below occupational exposure levels was a double-box configuration with a press-seal, plastic-foil laminate bag.

“We found that mercury vapor from broken fluorescent bulbs easily penetrates cardboard boxes and plastic bags,” says Lisa Brosseau, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental safety and health and coauthor of the study. “Successful packaging needs to prevent cuts and tears from broken glass in addition to containing vapor. This explains why the design that included a vapor-proof bag sandwiched between two cardboard boxes was the most effective package.” For more information, visit www.sph.umn.edu.

SH&E Profession Makes Top 10 List of Hot Careers for Grads

A trend study from the University of California San Diego Extension includes occupational safety and health on a list of hot career trends for college graduates. “More specialists are needed to cope with technological advances in safety equipment and threats, changing regulations and increasing public expectations,” according to the report. “Employment growth reflects overall business growth and continuing self-enforcement of government and company regulations.”

Among the top careers, according to the study:

  • casual game development;
  • clinical trials design/management for oncology;
  • data mining;
  • embedded engineering;
  • geriatric healthcare;
  • occupational safety and health;
  • sustainable business practices and the greening of all jobs;
  • teaching adult learners.

The full study is available at www.extension.ucsd.edu/toptenhot.

Ford’s MyKey Teen-Safety Technology Honored for Potential Life-Saving Benefits

Ford Motor Co.’s MyKey teen-safety driving technology earned the 2009 Traffic Safety Achievement Award from a panel of judges at the recent New York International Auto Show’s World Traffic Safety Symposium.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are more likely to take risks such as speeding—a contributing factor in 30% of all fatal crashes—and less likely to wear seatbelts than older drivers.

MyKey allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume. The technology can also completely mute the audio system if front occupants are not wearing seatbelts. In addition, it provides earlier low-fuel warnings and can be programmed to sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 mph to encourage driving within posted speed limits.

According to Ford, MyKey will become standard equipment on several 2010 models. For more information, visit www.ford.com.