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CDFA Teams with Department of Public Health to Encourage Safe Practices Around Animals During Fair Season

Written by CDFA’s Office of Public Relations. Published in CDFA’s Planting Seeds Blog, July 24, 2019

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) are urging visitors attending fairs to practice good hygiene when visiting farm animal exhibits. Direct and indirect contact with the animals could put individuals at risk of developing Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli O157 (STEC O157) and other infections.

“Visiting animals can be one of the highlights of the fair,” said Dr. Charity Dean, CDPH Acting State Public Health Officer. “It is important to remember to practice good hygiene when working with or visiting animals.”

Every year, infections and illnesses in children and adults after exposure to animals at county fairs, petting zoos, and farms have been reported to public health. These have included bacterial infections such as STEC O157 and Salmonella, viruses such as swine influenza virus, and parasites such as Cryptosporidium.

There are steps you can take to protect you and your family at the fair, petting zoo, or other settings where farm animals are present:

*         Wash your hands with soap and running water after touching animals or being in areas where animals are housed or exhibited, even if you did not touch the animal.

·         Do not eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth while in an area where animals are housed or exhibited.

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth until you have exited the animal area and washed your hands with soap and running water.

·         Do not take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into animal areas.

·         Always supervise children around animals and supervise handwashing for young children.

·         Don’t let children sit or play on the ground in animal areas.

·         Avoid contact with animals that look or act ill.

People in high-risk groups should take extra care around animals. These include senior citizens, children under five, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system or chronic health conditions.

“We want all California families to enjoy their local community fair, but it is important for them to know good common sense precautions and be sure to wash their hands after contact with animals,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.

If you develop any illness after visiting animal exhibits, including fever, vomiting/diarrhea, or flu-like symptoms, see your health care provider and inform them of your animal contacts.

For more information on how to stay healthy at animal exhibits, visit this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page.

Additional information about STEC infections may be found on the CDPH and CDC websites.

Office of Public Affairs | July 24, 2019 at 11:27 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p2eYDv-4RD

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June is National Safety Month: Lift Smart

It’s probably no surprise that you can injure your back lifting light objects just as easily as you can lifting heavier ones. Avoiding injury comes down to using safe lifting techniques:

Proper lifting technique

 

  1. Before you lift something, make sure you can handle it safely. Ask someone to help you if necessary, or break the large load down into more easily manageable small loads. Use a hand truck or dolly. And make sure the pathway to wherever you are taking the item(s) is clear of tripping hazards or obstacles.
  2. Use proper body mechanics when lifting. Stand close to the object, with your feet about shoulder width apart. Squat down, bending at the hips and knees; keep your back straight. As you grip the load, arch your lower back by pulling your shoulders back, sticking your chest out, and tucking in your chin. Keep the load close to your body.
  3. When setting the load down in its new location, squat down, bending at the hips and knees and keep your lower back arched in. Deposit the load close to your body.
  4. Turn, don’t twist your body. To turn, initiate the turn with your lower body; your upper body will follow.
  5. Push, don’t pull. When using a hand truck or dolly, push it, don’t pull it. Pushing puts less strain on your back.
  6. Store heavy boxes and objects lower than your waist. This way you’ll never have to lift them higher than your waist as this puts a lot of undue stress on your back. In fact, it’s one of the surest ways to injure your back!

 

 

Overheated? Tips on Keeping Your Cool and Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

Overheated carUnless your fair is lucky enough to be near the coast, chances are it’s already very, very warm where you are. Add the fact that there is always work that needs to be done around your fairgrounds before, during and after fair, as well as in between summer interim events, and you have the ideal setting for heat-related illnesses.

Be Cool, Work Smart! To help reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses, everyone from office staff to maintenance crews to ticket takers in non-air conditioned ticket booths needs to be aware of the conditions that can bring about heat exhaustion and heat stroke. They also need to know what symptoms to look for, and what to do when they or someone nearby is experiencing these symptoms.
Did you know that a  relative humidity of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation and challenges your body’s ability to adequately cool itself? Or that  temperatures don’t even have to be in the 100s to be potentially dangerous to your health?

People are at a greater risk of heat illness if they:

  • are dehydrated (dehydration is your worst enemy!)
  • aren’t acclimated to working in the heat
  • are obese, in poor health or are older
  • have previously experienced a heat-related illness
  • are on a low-salt diet
  • take medications or over-the-counter drugs
  • use alcohol

Prevention Takes Pre-Planning:
To help prevent overheating, health experts recommend wearing loose-fitting lightweight clothing and a large-brimmed hat, and staying hydrated. (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)

To stay hydrated, choose water or sports beverages over sodas and other drinks containing caffeine or lots of sugar. Avoid alcohol altogether as the more you drink, the more dehydrated you will become. If you anticipate working outdoors, start drinking water/sports drinks two to three hours beforehand (or even the day before if you are extremely susceptible). Continue to drink seven to 10 ounces of water every half hour during outdoor activity and follow up with an additional eight ounces of water within a half hour of finishing your activity. (If you are on a fluid-restricted diet or have a problem with fluid retention, please check with your doctor before increasing your fluid intake.)

Symptoms to Watch For:
Heat exhaustion –  Although not as serious as heat stroke, heat exhaustion still isn’t something to take lightly. It can develop into heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs.

Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include chills, unsteady walking, nausea or vomiting, confusion, dizziness, fainting, headache, muscle or abdominal cramps,  heavy sweating or no sweating, pale skin and a rapid heartbeat.  Get medical help if there is vomiting, if symptoms last longer than 15 minutes or if symptoms get worse over time.

If you or a colleague experiences any of these symptoms, move immediately to a cool, shady spot or even better, an air-conditioned area indoors. Drink cool water or sports drinks; remove any tight or unnecessary clothing; drench clothing worn in cool water; take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath; use fans or ice packs (under arms and on groin). After recovering from a bout of heat exhaustion you may be more sensitive to high temperatures so it’s a good idea to avoid working outdoors or participating  in heavy outdoor activity for about a week.

Signs of heat stroke include a body temperature of 103 F or higher; loss of consciousness; coma; hot, red, dry or damp skin; dizziness; a sudden headache; loss of coordination; blurry vision; confusion; vomiting; or seizures. Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency – call 911 and immediately m ove the worker to a shaded or air-conditioned area. While waiting for medics to arrive, help lower the person’s temperature with fanning, by soaking clothing with cool water and by applying cool compresses. Do not provide anything to drink.

Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms and muscle pain. Anyone experiencing heat cramps should  take an immediate break in the shade and drink cool water or a sports beverage. Resume work only after the cramps have gone away. Get medical help if cramps last longer than an hour, if the person is on a low-salt diet or if the person has heart problems.

Rule of thumb: If you or a co-worker experiences any of these symptoms  or if you simply begin feeling ill, stop working, tell someone and take a break in a shady, cool area.

Members of CFSA’s Workers’ Compensation Pool Program are encouraged to talk to their Risk Control specialists about on-site training or for help developing a written heat-illness prevention program.

Download a free heat safety tool to your phone from the OSHA website! The app, available for Android and iPhone cell phones, and in English and Spanish (set the phone language to Spanish) enables the user to calculate the heat index for their worksite and to determine the risk level to outdoor workers. Visit:  https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html

Questions? Please contact your fair’s Risk Control specialist or Tom Amberson, CFSA’s Risk Department manager, at 916/ 263-6180 or  tamberson@cfsa.org.

2016 Revenue Protection Program Claims Committee Election Results Announced

Please join us in welcoming Ryann Newman, CEO of the Glenn County Fair, as the newly elected member of the Revenue Protection Program Claims Committee for 2017 and 2018. Rea Callender, CEO of the Nevada County Fair, is the first alternate; and Matt Cranford, CEO of the Stanislaus County Fair, is the second alternate.

In addition to Newman, the 2017 committee also includes Becky Bailey-Findley, CFSA’s executive director; John Quiroz, representing CDFA’s Fairs and Expositions Branch; and Rich Persons, CEO of the Santa Barbara County Fair, representing the CFSA board.

2016 Fall Board of Director Election Results Announced

Please join us in congratulating first-time and returning directors to the CFSA board. New to the board is Mike Olcott, CEO of the Kern County Fair, who will be representing Fair Classes III-VII as the director at-large. Returning to the board are Jim Wolcott, CEO of the Lassen County Fair, re-elected to represent Fair Classes I and II; and Dan Jacobs, CEO of the Antelope Valley Fair, re-elected to represent Fair Classes III-VII. The directors’ four-year terms begin January 1, 2017.

In October, Stephen Kenny, CEO of the Butte County Fair was elected by the Class I and II members to serve out the remaining two years of the term vacated by John Scurfield due to his retirement from the Chowchilla-Madera County Fair.