Have You Been Affected by the Equifax Data Breach?

Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the U.S., announced a data breach that affects 143 million consumers. The hackers accessed Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers.

Learn more about this breach  and what you can do if you’re concerned about identity theft.

Concerned about other types of scams or fraud? Find tips to protect yourself at USA.gov.

Hurricane Harvey Recovery


“Over the past week, as the people of the Gulf Coast deal with the unprecedented effects of Hurricane Harvey, we have seen heartbreaking moments of tragedy, of lives lost, homes destroyed and neighborhoods left in ruin, as well as remarkable acts of heroism and compassion as the first responders and people of Texas and Louisiana help each other survive.

If you’re a homeowner, renter or business owner facing the overwhelming task of cleaning up water-logged debris and starting over again, SBA has five steps to help you recover.”

Need help planning for Fire Prevention Week?

Fire Prevention Week Toolkit
“If you need help planning your fire prevention week activities, let USFA help. We have created a Fire Prevention Week Toolkit with free downloadable and customizable materials to compliment your activities. (https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/fpw.html)

We have also created new escape plan social media cards.
(https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/media/social.html#escape)

Spotlight on hoarding
As we search the media each day for civilian fire fatalities, we have noticed an increase in mentions about hoarding conditions. These conditions can make it difficult for firefighters to gain access to a home and for the occupants to get out. USFA compiled studies and information on the problem of hoarding to help make your communities aware of the problem. (https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/civilian-fatalities/incident/reportMap)”

New Video Addresses Tank Gauging Hazards


“NIOSH and the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch (CDPH-OHB) have released a video to help protect oil and gas extraction workers from hazards they face during oil tank gauging — manually measuring the level of oil in storage tanks. The 13:25 video, “Protecting Oil and Gas Workers from Hydrocarbon Gases and Vapors,” discusses the health and safety risks involved with this activity and how employers and workers can reduce injuries and fatalities from exposure to toxic gases and oxygen-deficient atmospheres.”
Read more here!

Fake Solar Eclipse Glasses: Your Community May Be at Risk


“Millions of Americans will watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse and have already purchased (or will) eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers to do so. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dont-fall-for-phony-eclipse-glasses/) Some of these people may be at risk from counterfeit glasses and viewers sold by disreputable vendors trying to cash in on this rare event. Watching the eclipse with fake protective gear can cause permanent eye damage, making this a community risk reduction issue.

Only glasses and viewers verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet ISO 12312-2 are safe to use when viewing the eclipse. This standard requires glasses and viewers to be thousands of times darker than typical sunglasses.

It may be hard to tell the difference between genuine protective gear and fake glasses/viewers as some counterfeit makers are placing ISO labels on them. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has guidance to help eclipse watchers determine if their eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers are safe. (https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso-certification) In addition, NASA recommends that eclipse watchers refer to the AAS’s website for a list of reputable vendors selling solar glasses and viewers. (https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters)

Fire and EMS departments: You can help alert community residents to the dangers of these fake glasses and viewers by spreading the word through appropriate communications channels, especially social media.

How to view the 2017 solar eclipse safely

Remind community residents that they can experience the eclipse safely, but it is vital that they protect their eyes at all times with the proper solar glasses and viewers. NASA safety tips for watching the eclipse.” (https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety)

See How the Electric Power Industry is Lighting the Way for Safety and Health Programs


“A new case study, released by the electric power industry, shows the integral part safety and health programs play in keeping electrical workers safe on the job. It highlights strategies for management leadership, worker participation, proactive approaches for finding and fixing hazards, and coordination at multi-employer worksites, including:

National Grid’s tactics to demonstrate the company’s commitment to safety efforts, increase executive knowledge of issues and challenges, and find opportunities for executive influence and support.

Eversource Energy’s efforts to ensure that its workforce has a personal interest in recognizing risks, speaking freely, and reporting any identified hazards.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s process for systematically finding and fixing hazards before workers begin their tasks and strategies for coordinating with government agencies, contract crews, and their own employees to complete their work safely.

Crew leader conducts pre-job briefing with workers.
Eversource management (at right) waits to be fully briefed and signed into the work area, while the crew leader finishes a pre-job brief with other workers.
For more examples you can use to help build your safety culture, check out the full document at: https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/docs/SHP_EEI_Case_Study.pdf.

If you have examples of how safety and health programs impact your business or organization to share, contact us at safeandsoundcampaign@dol.gov. “