Protect Your Workplace: Learn All About Suspicious Packages

12Jan / 2015

Protect Your Workplace: Learn All About Suspicious Packages

suspicious-package-fb-shutterstock_127934030Do you know the warning signs of a potentially dangerous letter or package? And what to do if you come across one?

You can find out in just a few minutes, thanks to a newly revised“Suspicious Mail or Packages” poster developed through the joint efforts of four federal agencies—the Department of Homeland Security; the U.S. Postal Service and its Postal Inspection Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the FBI.

Why the update? Before, three of our agencies were using similar but slightly different posters. To get all of the agencies on the same page—figuratively and literally—the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service spearheaded a campaign to have the single, identical poster we’re now making available to the public.

So what’s our collected advice?

First, be suspicious if you come across mail/packages with:

  • Protruding wires or strange odors;
  • Excessive tape or string;
  • Oily spots, discolorations, or crystallization on the wrapper;
  • Excessive postage;
  • Addressing mistakes and issues, including misspelled words, badly typed or written addresses, wrong titles with names, no return addresses, etc.

Second, if you do see one or more of these tell-tale signs, you should:

  • Stop…don’t handle the item;
  • Isolate it immediately;
  • Don’t open, smell, or taste it;
  • Activate your emergency plan and notify a supervisor.

Please take the time to read the poster for all the details. A few minutes of your time now might just save you or a co-worker from future harm. You can also pick up a free hard copy at your local post office.

For more workplace security posters, see the “Protect Your Workplace” campaign materials posted on the Department of Homeland Security website.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Protect Your Workplace: Learn All About Suspicious Packages.” For more information, please visit www.fbi.gov

Product Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers

Product Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers

Turkey fryers

UL considers turkey fryers to be dangerous to use presenting numerous safety hazards to consumers. “We’re worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use,” says John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager of UL. “Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL Mark.”

Turkey fryer hazards

  • Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil from the cooking pot.
  • If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner or flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
  • Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too may result in an extensive fire.
  • With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
  • The lid and handles on the sides of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

turkey_fryer_shutterstock_757893Important safety information

If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips.

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Product Safety Tips.” For more information, please visit www.sba.gov.

Tips for Turkey Fryers Part 2

Tips for Turkey Fryers Part 2

This is an excerpt from the article, “CPSC Issues Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers For more info, please visit http://www.cspc.gov.

For safest operation, CPSC staff recommends that consumers follow these guidelines as they prepare to use a turkey fryer:

  • Make sure there is at least 2 feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner.
  • Place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any wind blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.
  • Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.
  • Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add. If those are not available:
    • Place turkey in pot
    • Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water
    • Remove and dry turkey
    • Mark water level. Dump water, dry the pot, and fill with oil to the marked level.

Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers Part 1

Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers Part 1

This is an excerpt from the article, “CPSC Issues Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers For more info, please visit http://www.cspc.gov.

CPSC Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is issuing safety tips for preventing fires and burns when using turkey fryers. Since 1998, CPSC has reports of 75 incidents that involved fires, flames, or burns associated with turkey fryers. Twenty-eight of these incidents were reported for the year 2002. Here are some of the hazard scenarios:

  • House fires associated with turkey fryers leading to injuries and property damage.
  • Ignition of oil used with turkey fryers. This was often related to oil reaching excess temperatures or oil contacting the open flame of the fryer.
  • Splashing of hot oil causing burns.

The majority of reported incidents occurred while the oil was being heated, prior to adding the turkey. For this reason, it is very important consumers monitor the temperature of the oil closely. If any smoke at all is noticed coming from a heating pot of oil, the burner should be turned off immediately because the oil is overheated.

There is a risk of injury resulting from splashing due to the cooking of partially frozen meats. Thoroughly thaw and dry ALL meats before cooking in hot oil. One reported burn incident occurred when partially frozen chicken wings were added to hot oil in a turkey fryer.

CPSC staff is working with industry and voluntary standards organizations to improve the safety standard for turkey fryers.

CPSC staff recommends consumers who choose to fry turkeys follow the following safety guidelines:

  • Keep fryer in FULL VIEW while burner is on.
  • Place fryer in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures.
  • Never use IN, ON, or UNDER a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.
  • Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
  • COVER bare skin when adding or removing food.
  • Check the oil temperature frequently.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
  • If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water.

What is business liability insurance?

What is business liability insurance?

Running a small business involves a significant investment. Business insurance protects your investment by minimizing financial risks associated with unexpected events such as a death of a partner, an injured employee, a lawsuit, or a natural disaster. Unless you are an employer, business insurance is generally not required by law, however, it is common practice to purchase enough insurance to cover your assets. If your business is an LLC or a corporation, your personal assets are protected from business liabilities; however, neither business structure is a substitute for liability insurance, which covers your business from losses.

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Your state government determines insurance requirements for businesses. Most states require businesses with employees to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, and state disability insurance. Your state may require insurance of specific business activities. For example, if you own a car or truck and use it for business purposes, you may be required to purchase commercial auto insurance. Finally, your financial lender or investors may require you to maintain life, business interruption, fire, flood or other types of insurance to protect their investments.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Business Insurance.” For more information, please visit www.sba.gov