October 2021 The WELLesley Employee
A Monthly Safety and Wellness Newsletter brought to you by The Town of Wellesley Employee Safety & Wellness Committee
Work/Life Balance for Mental Health
Submitted by Robin Tusino
Here are some tips from Mental Health America (MHA) on balancing work & life: Click Here!
Protection From the Flu
Submitted by Dave Cohen
The CDC announced the 2021-22 season could be early and severe due to reduced population immunity from lack of flu virus activity since March 2020.
There is no guarantee you won’t get the flu, no matter how hard you try. But taking some simple actions can greatly increase your chances of staying flu-free all winter.
Get an annual flu vaccine — it’s the most effective way to protect from the flu.
- Get a flu shot at your town's Health Department flu vaccination clinic (Wellesley's last one for employees is Oct. 7, 12:30 pm at Town Hall!). You can also get flu shots from your primary health care provider and from local pharmacies. Don’t wait too long! Supplies sometimes run out!
- Check with your doctor before getting vaccinated if you have allergies or other medical reasons why you should not be vaccinated.
Prevent the spread of viruses. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If you don’t have a tissue, coughing into your “chicken wing” (the crease of your elbow).
- Also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, when you’re around people who are sick. Your eyes and nose are where most viruses get inside the body.
- Avoid shaking hands with someone who’s sick or if you’re sick. If you do, wash your hands immediately afterward.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you’re away from a sink, use hand sanitizer gel to keep germs off your hands.
If you get the flu, take actions to lessen the severity. Ask your doctor if antiviral medications are available to shorten the flu duration
- The CDC recommends that employees rest at home until at least 24 hours after your fever has cleared (without fever-reducing medications), or after symptoms have improved (at least 4-5 days after flu symptoms appeared).
- The CDC says that it is possible to have flu and Covid-19 at the same time. If you have symptoms, check with your health care professional for guidance.
Working Together, Walking Together
Submitted by Jen Glover
This year's fall walking program is a competition between towns! There are 12 towns participating. Team Wellesley has 24 members - the second largest team next to Natick (53 participants).
As of 10/1, we are ranked 5th, where the average number of minutes walking per teammate is 142.
Wayland in first place with 193 average minutes - but they only have 9 participants! So everyone on Team Wellesley needs to get walking and log their time! https://tuftshealthplan.dailyendorphin.com/de/dashboard
GO WELLESLEY GO!!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Submitted by Robin Tusino
We all know someone who has had or has breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. This also means there is a 7 in 8 chance she will never have the disease.
Early signs of breast cancer can be a lump in a breast, a painful breast or armpit, or a discharge from the nipple. Annual physicals, self-exams, and mammograms are best for early detection. A mammogram examination is painless and only takes about ten minutes.
If any of these symptoms do present themselves, it is not always breast cancer. The pain can be caused by benign cysts or tumors, but it is best to schedule a mammogram to know for sure.
If the mammogram does show a lump, your doctor will order a biopsy. This test will show if the lump is benign (harmless) or malignant (cancerous). If the lump is cancerous, early detection is a life saver, and your doctor will outline a treatment plan for you.
If you’ve never had a mammogram or let them lapse during COVID-19, make an appointment during breast cancer awareness month 2021. The life you are saving could be your own.
Submitted by Cay Meagher
Here are tips to help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday.
Safety Tips for Motorists
NSC offers these additional safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween
Before Halloween arrives, be sure to choose a costume that won't cause safety hazards.
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
- If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
When They're on the Prowl
Here's a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these incidents.
Keep these tips in mind when your children are out on Halloween night:
- A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
- Agree on a specific time children should return home
- Teach your children never to enter a stranger's home or car
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
- Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street
COVID-19 Testing Info
COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals and close contacts, when ordered by your doctor, is usually covered by insurance and available at no cost https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing
Free testing is currently available at the Stop the Spread sites for MA residents: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread
Out of state residents should check with their home state about any free testing programs.
For example, RI: https://health.ri.gov/covid/testing/asymptomatic/ and NH: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/testing-guidance.htm
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Do you have an event or training that you would like to make available to all employees? Please contact Jen Glover email@example.com
OSHA Regulations – What’s Coming
Submitted by Michael Carmody
OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) is continually developing new workplace safety and health standards and revising current standards. Some are in the “pre-rule” stage, meaning they are expected to become mandatory soon, while some are in the “proposed stage rule,” meaning they are still in development or review.
Here are some standards in the current OSHA Rulemaking Agenda that may be applicable to operations in the Town of Wellesley:
1. Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings Prerule stage
This standard would require employers to take preventive actions when heat and humidity combine to threaten employee health. 43 workers in the U.S. died from heat related illness in 2019, while 2,410 others suffered serious injuries and illnesses. The effects of climate change has spurred OSHA to promulgate this standard soon.
2. Update to the Hazard Communication Standard Proposed Rule Stage
The revision to the current “HazCom” standard would align with the recent revision (number 7) of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of communication through labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). It also includes revised health hazard definitions and reclassifies some flammable and explosive chemicals.
3. Tree Care Standard Proposed Rule Stage
There is no existing OSHA Standard for tree care operations. OSHA currently applies a patchwork of standards (bucket truck safety requirements are covered by the standard for Aerial Lifts, for example). Many tree care operations adopt ANSI standards as mandatory safe work practices.
4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) In Construction Proposed Rule Change
While OSHA has some PPE requirements in the construction standard (29 CFR 1926) most are adopted by reference from the General Industry Standard (29 CFR 1910). The proposed rule will address specific hazards requiring PPE in construction operations.