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environmental health, Military

Safety Precautions For Flooded Areas

Climate change has made rural and urban areas more prone to flash floods. In some places, improper waste disposal has also aggravated this worsening situation. Floodwaters and standing waters can expose a person to multiple health risks such as infectious diseases, viruses, injuries, and even chemical hazards. In the case of flooding, remember the following precautions:

Evacuate to a safe place
Do not underestimate flood waters. It is always better to relocate to a safe area before the waters rise. On the way to the evacuation area, be sure to avoid driving through disaster areas, as it could be more risky. In times like these, prioritize people and pets instead of belongings.

Image source: Newsweek.com

Secure the home
Before leaving the house, turn off electricity, water, and gas. Doing this will prevent further damage and injury, especially when floodwaters get into the property. To secure belongings, be sure to lock the doors and shut the windows.

Practice proper personal hygiene
In case of immersion or contact with floodwater, one should quickly wash and disinfect the parts of the body that have been exposed to prevent the spread of illnesses and infections. Personal items that have been contaminated by floodwater or sewage should be disposed immediately. Parents should also teach their children proper hand washing before and after meals.

Image source: Euronews.com

After the disaster, people should wait until the waters have subsided before going back to their homes and offices. This will prevent them from coming into contact with contaminated water and other elements that could cause further injuries.

Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., is a scientist officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. He has more than 12 years of service in the field of epidemiology and occupational safety and health, with extensive experience in biological defense activities and infectious disease outbreak investigation. Visit this page for more information on Capt. Sanders.

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Uncategorized

How To Avoid Airborne Diseases

Airborne diseases are diseases that can be caught by simply breathing. They can be spread by an infected person by coughing, sneezing, or spewing nasal and throat secretions into the air. When an infected person does the mentioned actions, the virus becomes airborne and could potentially land into other people, infecting them in the process. Examples of airborne diseases include the common cold, influenza, mumps, measles, and whooping cough. If there is an outbreak of an airborne disease in your area, here are some tips to avoid contracting airborne diseases.

Flying Risks and Prevention Tips: Airborne Diseases
Image source: healthxchange.sg

For people who do not have the disease, avoid close contact with people who show symptoms of the spreading disease. This also means knowing what the disease is and what symptoms show on infected people.

At home, one could install a UV air purifier, preferably ones that are EPA and FDA certified. This can help eliminate pathogenic organisms lingering in the air if someone at home has been infected with the disease.

If you are the one infected and would like to minimize the spread of the disease, it is best if you stayed at home until you fully recover . If you must be around other people like family members, wear a face mask to prevent spreading germs. When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth to mitigate the spreading of germs into the air. And always wash your hands, especially after sneezing or coughing.

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Image source: en.wikipedia.org

Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., formally held the position of Director for Safety, Environmental Compliance and Emergency Management in Federal Occupational Health (FOH/PSC). He was tasked with overseeing department-wide safety, environmental compliance, and emergency response policy. For more information on airborne diseases, visit this <ahref=”https://plus.google.com/104923054597514670331″>website.

 

Military

Getting ready for disasters: The role of engineers in city fortification

Countless cities and towns all over the world are vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. Making these massive settlements strong enough to withstand such calamities takes a lot of effort. Thousands, if not millions, of people, have to come together constantly to make sure a city is prepared for the next big disaster.

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Image source: vricon.com 

In city fortification, government officials, scientists, researchers, and the public all the roles to play. But arguably the most critical roles are reserved for the engineers. City, climate, and structural engineers are all very active in coming up with plans in how to make a city stronger. They also know how to use the best technology at hand to create stronger structures that can withstand traumatic impact.

The world has seen the effects major disasters have had on places in the United States after major hurricanes over the past decades. The truth of the matter is the consequences would have been far more devastating had city engineers not been present.

Take for instance the country of Haiti that sustained hundreds of thousands of casualties after an earthquake in 2010. With poor urban planning, houses collapsed one on top of the other, and over 3 million Haitians were affected.

Engineers are there to make sure bridges don’t collapse, and buildings don’t break into a million pieces. But if these structures do fall, engineers also plan for ways that will cause minimal loss of life and property.

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Image source: telegraph.co.uk

Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., is an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and has rendered over 10 years of service in occupational safety and health. For more articles like this, check out this page.

environmental health

The Basics Of Environmental Compliance

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As we near the end of the 2010s, and with climate change becoming a more pressing issue globally, we’ve to keep in mind that environmental compliance goes beyond sticking to the rules. More important than abiding by the instructions of and treaties between governments is devising a feasible environmental management plan.

Environmental compliance means conforming to various standards, laws, and regulations imposed on companies. It includes other requirements like permit to operate in particular areas. With the growing global awareness of environmental issues, many governments have put in place systems to secure compliance. Corporations are now integrating environmental compliance in their performance goals and priorities

Compliance requirements usually include, but are not limited to, the preparation of routine compliance reports to be submitted to concerned authorities; the management and scheduling of monitoring programs in affected areas; the thorough pre-processing and calculation of data for compliance; and the validation of such gathered data.

Image source: safety-environmentalhelp.com

Given that such requirements can be laborious and complicated, there has been an increase in software systems for managing environmental compliance, commonly referred to as Environmental Data Management Systems or EDMS. Companies looking to utilize such EDMS must ensure that the software is historically proven effective and offers a variety of features such as transparency, a thorough database for tracing data, and a powerful, high-performance engine.

Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., currently serves as the Director of Safety, Environmental Compliance and Emergency Management for Federal Occupational Health, Program Support Center at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and as the Chief Scientist for the U.S. Public Health Service. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Military

What Does Vector Mean In Biology?

In the field of medicine, the term “vector” has traditionally referred to any “organism that does not cause disease itself, but which spreads infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another.” An example would be how certain species of mosquitoes serve as vectors for dengue fever or malaria.

Therefore, vectors are agents of disease or transporters of parasites. As a conduit, the vector gets no benefit and sometimes loses fitness because of the arrangement. Studying vectors allow scientists to know more about the life cycle of parasitic and infectious diseases, helping us in controlling and ultimately preventing them from spreading.

Image source: 123rf.com

Distinguishing the biological vector from the mechanical one is important. While the former works on the host animal by having pathogenic organisms develop and multiply before being transmitted to the next host, a mechanical vector is an animal vector not essential to the life cycle of the parasite.

When used in gene therapy, a virus itself may serve as a vector if it has been re-engineered and used to deliver a gene to its target cell. In this sense, it is better known as the “cloning vector,” as it becomes the vehicle for delivering genetic material such as DNA to a cell.

Image source: bbsrc.ac.uk

Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., is an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. He has rendered more than 12 years of service in occupational safety and health. For more on Captain Sanders’ work and interests, visit this page.

Uncategorized

Their Contribution To Society: Making The Workplace Safe For Persons With Disabilities (Pwds)

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recognizes that persons with disabilities (PWDs) are “key actors in the transformation of our world.” As such, their economic contributions as workers should be protected. This starts with making the workplace considerate and responsive to their needs.

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Image source: CNN.com

The United States Department of Labor, meanwhile, takes fervent steps to protect the livelihood of the disabled. Nondiscrimination laws for the disabled are in place, and reasonable accommodation of the needs of the disabled is often expected in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) are basic legislation to this end.

The U.S. also has an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enact protections for the disabled. The agency implements the law stating that no disabled person should be refused employment on the basis of disability.

The law defines explicitly “reasonable accommodations” of disabled workers through the following means: making facilities friendly and accessible, allowing flexible schedules such as part-time work, providing assistive technology, modifying policies, and adjusting work positions.

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Image source: GoGovernment.org

The employer is expected to have a dialogue with the employee outlining the latter’s needs and company provisions answering to such. Summarily, this move takes to heart the stipulation in OSHA for employers to create a safe and hazard-free environment for their employees. This obligation extends not only to employers of PWDs. Every employer is expected to fulfill this. Furthermore, the Labor Department conducts workplace inspections to ascertain that such laws are followed.

Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., is an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), and has rendered more than 12 years of service in the occupational safety and health. For similar reads, click here.

 

Military

Joining the ranks: How to get into the U.S. military

If you are interested in entering the United States military as an officer or enlisted member, there are a number of eligibility requirements to abide by. The rules can be confusing as there are different regulations are governing enlisting and officer programs, but here are basic guidelines to keep in mind.

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Image source: TodaysMilitary.com

To join the enlisted ranks, in general, one must be a U.S. citizen or a Green Card holder. Non-citizens must speak, read, and write English fluently and currently live in the country.

In addition, one must be in good health, between 17 to 40 years of age (different branches have different age requirements), have a high school diploma (some offices will accept a GED), and pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. In the Air Force and Navy, the minimum test score is 50, while it is 45 for the Coast Guard, 32 for the Marines, and 31 for the Army.

To join as an officer, one must also have attended college. Officers are managers of the military, and most officer programs are very competitive, with many who qualified have master’s or higher degrees.

If there are conditions that may disqualify a specific candidate, a recruiter may ask a military command to overlook them through a waiver, which includes medical, mental health, criminal, education, moral, and age. Note, however, that there are no guarantees that one will obtain a waiver.

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Image source: Pixabay.com

Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., is an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), where the Surgeon General had appointed him as Chief Scientist. He has had more than 12 years of service in the field of occupational safety and health. Read similar articles here.