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Toolbox Talk - Preventing Chilblains

Posted By IAMU, Monday, February 12, 2018

Chilblains, also known as pernio, are the painful inflammation of small blood vessels in your skin that occur in response to repeated exposure to cold, but not freezing, air. Chilblains don’t usually result in permanent injury but can lead to infections, which may cause severe damage if left untreated.

According to the Mayo Clinic, no one knows exactly what causes chilblains. They may be an abnormal reaction of your body to cold exposure followed by rewarming. Rewarming of cold skin can cause small blood vessels under the skin to expand more quickly than nearby larger blood vessels can handle. This results in a bottleneck effect and the blood leaking into nearby tissues.

Symptoms of chilblains include:

  • Small, itchy red areas on your skin, often on your feet or hands
  • Possible blistering or skin ulcers
  • Swelling of your skin
  • Burning sensation on your skin
  • Changes in skin color from red to dark blue, accompanied by pain

If your skin is exposed to cold, it’s helpful to rewarm it gradually because sudden rewarming of cold skin may worsen chilblains.

To prevent chilblains:

  • Avoid or limit your exposure to cold.
  • Dress in layers of loose clothing and wear mittens and warm, water-resistant footwear.
  • Cover all exposed skin as completely as possible when going outside in cold weather.
  • Keep your hands, feet, and face dry and warm.
  • Keep your home and workplace comfortably warm.
  • Don’t smoke.

Tags:  Safety  Toolbox Talk 

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Toolbox Talk - Charging Vehicle Batteries Safely

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Batteries contain acid and can explode and/ or catch on fire. When a battery explodes, acid and explosive gases are released. When acid contacts the skin, extremely painful burns result. Blindness will likely result if this acid contacts the eyes.

Charging batteries may be hazardous, especially when connecting the battery charger to the battery.

Connecting the wrong polarity (red/+ to black/-) may cause a short-circuit which could result in explosion of the battery.

Connect red/+ to red/+ and black/- to black/- and always follow manufacturer’s operating instructions for charging.

  • Ensure the battery charging unit is de-energized before making your connections.
  • Once the connections are made, turn on the charging unit.

When batteries are being charged, small amounts of hydrogen are produced. Heat
and sparks can ignite this gas causing a fire or explosion. All smoking, open flames,
and spark-producing items such as grinders, welders, or other electrical equipment,
should be kept well clear of batteries. Surface leakage is a condition caused
when dust mixes with spilled electrolyte on the battery, creating a low resistance path that can cause the battery to “short” and potentially cause a fire.

Tags:  Safety  Toolbox Talk 

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Learn the 5 Facts You Need to Know About Black Ice

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Black ice — that thin coating of transparent ice on roadways, sidewalks, and parking lots — is treacherous. It’s hard to see, can build up quickly, and is extremely dangerous to both pedestrians and drivers. Learn more about black ice, including the five facts that you need to know, by clicking here to link to the EMC Insights article, “The Hidden Dangers of Black Ice.”

Tags:  Black Ice  EMC Insurance 

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Associate Member Spotlight - VHF Sales, Inc.

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, February 6, 2018

IAMU Associate Member VHF Sales, Inc. represents 10 of the world's best commercial-grade HVAC and heat recovery, co-generation equipment manufacturers. Two featured manufacturer lines represented are by AERCO International and MacroAir. AERCO condensing boilers and water heaters provide turndown ratios of up to 30:1 while providing 98% efficiency on natural gas.  This is accomplished by their patented technology.  AERCO also provides heat recovery co-generation systems for stack exhaust. MacroAir’s HVLS DC Fans are ready for solar or AC power and can be ordered in diameters up to 24 feet.  Please check out VHF Sale’s website at or contact Bruce Greiner at 515-986-3671 to learn about VHF Sales, Inc.’s high quality lines of commercial grade energy efficient equipment. 

Tags:  Associate Member Spotlight  Inc.  VHF Sales 

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Media Release Templete to Use for Insurance Trust Distribution Check

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, February 6, 2018

If you are an IAMU Safety Group Insurance Program participant and would like to let your local media know about your annual distribution check and what that means for your utility or municipality, IAMU has created a media release template that you can use. You can download the template, fill in your specific information in the yellow highlighted areas, and send it to local media. Some participants are opting to also supply media with an accompanying photo of the check presentation from their local insurance agent and/or presentation to their governing board or council.

If you would like to use the template, sign into the website. Go to Resources and then to Communication Tools & Resources where you will find “Insurance Check Media Release Template.”

Tags:  Insurance Trust  Media Release 

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