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Monday, January 9, 2017

Cable Median Barriers

It was coming right at me. My routine morning commute was abruptly becoming a high-speed, head-on crash, and there was no place for me to go. A car on the southbound side of the freeway was rapidly headed into the median and towards me on the northbound side. The rush-hour traffic around me left me no route for escape.

Then the oncoming car hit the cable median barrier. The air was instantly full of flying car parts, barrier posts, and snow as cables stretched to absorb the car’s speed and keep the car from entering the northbound lanes. Some of the snow made it over the barrier and hit my car. I arrived at work at little late—shaken but uninjured—and with no damage to my car.

Cable median barriers are not new, but it was impressive to see how well they worked. I know our first responders around the state are familiar with the cable barriers in their response areas, but I want to pass on two of MnDOT’s online resources for public safety responders as reminders. Both would work well for roll call training or indoor training during the cold weather:

There is no doubt the cable median barrier on 35E saved me from a severe injury or worse.

Up next: A Table-Top Exercise to Discuss Responding to Check-the-Welfare Call

Stay safe,

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Save the Dates for the 2017 Safety & Loss Control Workshops

The dates and locations have been announced for our 2017 Safety & Loss Control Workshops. These annual workshops offer training and information on a wide range of topics, with a focus on risk management for our member cities. 

Once again this year, we will be offering a police track during our morning sessions. More details will follow soon. Here is this year’s schedule:

March 29—Mahnomen
March 30—Alexandria
April 5—Morton
April 6—North Mankato
April 12—Rochester
April 18—St. Cloud
April 20—Brooklyn Park
April 25—Cohasset
April 27—St. Paul

Up next: High Tension Cable Median Barriers—Thankfully It Was There!

Stay safe,

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bloodborne Pathogens with Liz Tadsse

Time for some Q&A and a review on bloodborne pathogens with League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) Loss Control Consultant Liz Tadsse.

Q: Liz, what is the definition of a bloodborne pathogen?

A: Pathogenic microorganisms are present in human blood or other potentially infectious materials and can cause disease in humans.

Q: Which diseases are the most common? 

A: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Q: What constitutes an “exposure?” More specifically, does one of our first responders getting another person’s blood on their hand meet the criteria of an exposure?

A: It must involve skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may happen during the performance of an employee’s duties. Getting blood on your hand only becomes an exposure if you have a cut or open wound on your hand.

Q. What should a person do if they have a significant exposure to HIV or hepatitis?

A: Immediately report the incident to the employee’s supervisor and seek an immediate assessment and treatment from your employee health unit. If anti-HIV medication is indicated, it should be taken as soon as possible in order to reduce your risk of developing HIV.

Q. What preventative measures are appropriate? 

A. Preventative measures include using barriers such as gloves, gowns, and eye protection as appropriate. It is important to have safe handling procedures for needles and sharp instruments, as well as using devices with safety features if possible. Hepatitis B virus is largely preventable through vaccination.

For more information, here is a link to OSHA’s fact sheet on bloodborne pathogens.

Up next: A Quick Preview and Save the Date for the 2017 Spring Safety and Loss Control Workshops

Stay safe,