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F l o ri d a D e p a r t me n t o f Tr an s p o r t at i o n

Jan u a r y 2 0 0 4

Industrial Safety Awareness Reporter


Everything we do affects our back. Unfortunately, the back is not very resilient. Once the back has been injured, it will never be as strong as it was before the injury. How many times a day do we lift, push, pull, stretch, and otherwise put a strain on our back? We do not strain our back intentionally, never the less, our back takes a huge beating every day. Prevention is the key to protecting our back from injury.

Back Injury Prevention


Safety Meetings


Body Mechanics
Understanding and Managing Stress 2

Body mechanics is nothing more than how to properly move and position the body for different activities in order to

prevent injuries. It is important to remember that our bodies do not stop functioning when we go home from work. We need to follow the same guidelines both at work and home. Our back is not, and is not supposed to be, “straight”. The natural position of the back is an “S” curve. This is referred to as the neutral position. To keep the neutral position and for good posture, we need to learn to maintain a straight line, from midline of the ears to the shoulders - to midline of the hips - to midline of the knees - to midline of the ankle. This means standing tall, pulling in our stomach, and tightening our buttocks. Think of it as a
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Work With a Safe Attitude Quiz 8

Safety Slogan Entry Form


Safety meetings come in all types and sizes, but most can be viewed as either formal or informal (or “tailgate”) meetings. Formal meetings are those meetings that are planned and announced in advance to provide groups of employees with information and training on specific issues, regulations, procedures, and hazard protections. When working out an advance schedule of safety meetings, other situations that call for safety meetings are likely

to emerge. They may include: Recent accidents Changes in unit or group safety trends New equipment, techniques, procedures, products or hazardous substances Management directives to emphasize safety requirements
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Safety Slogan Winners


Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings

state. Stress is not just caused by bad trols us. When our body reacts to stress. can help us take measures to control it before it con. Stress symptoms are your should be able to be recognized: body’s cry for help. use your energy to tackle the rest. our heart races. The following are some warning signs that events but good ones too. Keep trying different methods until you find your own coping style. our muscles tighten. Over 12% of all Workers Comp Claims cited the back/spine as the injured body part. Stress is serious business and it has many faces. What works to relieve stress for others may not work for you. and we become vulnerable to all kinds of things including feeling burned out and becoming susceptible to illnesses. The Safety Advisor is provided to increase the safety awareness of Florida Department of Transportation and 2002 FDOT Statistics.fl. Industrial Safety NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #1: Understanding and Managing Stress Understanding and managing stress in day-to-day life can help you be your Remember you can’t eliminate stress. Share with those close to you when you are under stress and that may RECOGNIZING STRESS: Knowing the early warning signs of too much stress help bring stress down to a level which is tolerable.htm George “Ed” Rice Jr. I am • Trouble falling asleep sure all of you have made a New Year’s Resolution • Persistent fatigue for a reduction of stress. Stress is simply our body’s way of responding to pressures. State Safety Program Manager Page 2 Sunil B Nath Manager. I wish you a healthy and happy 2004. Identify events that stress you. Over 20% or all direct costs incurred are attributed to back injuries.S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet. but you can plan to reduce it. 2002 FDOT Statistics. Remember that increasing your safety awareness helps reduce injuries and prevent accidents. Even minor signs of stress are • Restlessness and anxiety early warnings that you need to manage your stress • Inability to concentrate better. It is important how we handle day-to-day stress. In January the Safety Advisor will take a look at Back Injury Protection & Safety Meetings.Not all stress is bad. Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . • Lack of appetite • • • Over eating Tension headaches Muscle spasms CONTROLLING STRESS: • Relax your body • Exercise regularly • Get enough rest and sleep • Eat a balanced diet • Relax your mind • Rehearse for stressful events • Adjust your mindset • Get help if you need it Everyone copes with stress differently. But poorly managed stress can lead to emotional and physical problems.

You’ll probably use different formats for different topics or different audiences. not a negative. This has never been the purpose of safety investigations. Design cident or a near-miss in your unit or another Look at safety as a or it may even be a one-on-one meeting with workers who are failing to use.state. Hold impromptu sessions to honor workers who may have done an outstanding job with safety – cleaning up a hazardous spill correctly. etc. Other Meetings are Opportunities Look for other opportunities for safety meetings or for highlighting the use of safe procedures on the job.state. everyone wins.baggett@dot.S a f e ty Ad vi s or Look for ways to continually tie the safety message to workers' day-to-day activities. You can present the group or individuals with certificates honoring their achievement. FL. review the basics covered in a recent safety meeting by pointing out how they were followed—or ignored— recently on the job.fl. The more frequent a message is communicated.fl. Most of us are accustomed to a monthly safety meeting. Include safety in meetings called for other purposes.htm (Safety Meetings-Continued from page 1) Page 3 Florida Department of Transportation State Safety Office 605 Suwannee St MS #53 Tallahassee. or you can just credit them publicly for their efforts. and try to get workers to see it that way. & Copy Editor Keith Baggett keith. These “events” don’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Choosing a Safety Meeting Format Plan the format for each safety meeting to meet overall objectives and to get a particular topic message across. too. Seek out occasions to praise workers for incorporating safety on the job. the more likely it will be remembered. Examples might include a task performed safely and properly using toxic chemicals. but another possibility is holding annual or quarterly safety reviews to go over what has been covered in training and point out how it has translated into improved safety or productivity on the job. such as– (Continued on page 6) Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . Statistics show that those who PAY ATTENTION Tend to be injured far less often. for instance. are those where employees may be provided with some hands-on direction to show them how to do the job safely. When you ‘Make a Fuss’ About Safety. or “tailgate” meetings. carefully avoid ‘finger pointing’ or placing blame. or don’t seem to be aware of. and the people who practice safety count too. an acResearch. safe procedures in certain aspects of their job. For 32399-0450 Phone: 850 245-1500 Fax: 850 245-1552 SunCom 205-1500 Informal meetings. Publisher & Editor Sunil B. When analyzing an incident that resulted in an injury. Layout. Nath sunil. The idea is to make the point that safety counts.nath@dot.

htm Page 4 (Back Injury Protection-Continued from page 1) plumb line from the ears to the knees. move frequently (take micro breaks). place a pillow between your knees and keep your knees bent. When sleeping on your side. reaching. adjust your chair to fit the desk and use a footrest. If you push. Be willing to try something different – new recipes. and pushing. Keep the object in front of you and stay as close to the object as possible. Think about how often the object is used as well as the weight of the object. Place heavy and frequently used objects near waist height to reduce bending and twisting to reach the object. This technique raises the front of the pelvis and reduces the possibility of a swayback condition. you can injure your back if you do not maintain good back posture. it has been forced to exceed its ability to work. Try making small changes over a period of time. be realistic. Slouching can place an additional pressure of 150-300 percent on the back.fl. When a muscle is strained. and cannot find a way to correct the height. consider each object carefully in order to avoid reaching overhead or bending over. When attempting to change your lifestyle. Even while asleep. as this gives you more control and direction.state. A strain refers to a muscle. To sleep properly you need to: Use a firm mattress. Adjust your work surface height to keep from bending over while working. Many of us spend a large part of our day sitting. you should place one foot on a footrest that is approximately 8 inches high. maintain neutral position. This will keep our back in a natural “S” curve. Sitting in the correct posture increases weight on the spine by 30 percent versus Make a commitment to walk around the block everyday as opposed to running five miles. Most of us sleep between 6-8 hours per day. Changing Lifestyle Some simple changes to your lifestyle can help protect your back from injury. sleeping. Regular exercise can help you strengthen your stomach muscles. A little bit of change is better than none at all. Strain or Sprain? Strain and sprain both mean something has been stretched beyond its limits. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. The best lifting zone is between the shoulders and waist. A strain or sprain can occur in ligaments (fibrous bands connecting bones together) or in tendons (Continued on page 5) Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . or aerobics. and have adjustable work surfaces. This can cause the back to sway. not your back. Sleeping is very important to maintain physical and mental health. If your job includes long periods of standing. you can adjust the desk height by increments of one inch. lose a little weight. new sports. Place lighter objects higher or lower. Our back needs to be maintained in the neutral position when sitting. and increase your flexibility. meditation. When arranging your work area or the company storage room. Alternate from one foot to the other frequently. you can see over your load and use your legs. If you have a regular desk. which is important considering muscles are the spine’s workhorses. If your work area is a cubicle. Some possible solutions for proper sitting might include: have a chair with maximum adjustability. Place a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back.S a f e ty Ad vis or http://infonet. Use dollies or carts to move heavy objects rather than carrying them. Cut down on your food portions rather than going on a liquid or strict diet. Regular exercise can strengthen muscles and allow them to work harder longer. Pushing an object is much better for your back than pulling it.

Bending and twisting when lifting forces the spine into a position of weakness and removes the natural “S” curve of strength from the lifting process. keep your heels off of the floor and get as close to the object as possible. way to go up or down? Plan a rest stop. Get a good grip with your palms and make sure you have an adequate hold on the object. and persistent pain at the injury site. Establish a base of support . When you bend forward at the waist with legs straight. sitting. Make sure you have firm footing and your feet are a shoulder’s width apart.use a wide. Try moving it with your foot. if needed. Size up the load . Lift gradually with your legs without using jerky motions. you require the use of the muscles in your lower back and the weight of the object being lifted will include the weight of your upper body. ask for help. or a stair- Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . Source. This puts stress on your lower back muscles and may cause sprains and strains. your chances of an injury will be greatly a tripping hazard. Avoid common lifting mistakes and use proper lifting procedures. 4. 7. Move your feet in the direction of the lift. 8.don’t twist. the less force will be placed on your back. 5. 6. The distance between the load and the fulcrum (point of support) can be considered the distance between the body and the object being lifted.consider all possibilities. Always lift with your legs and not your back. The symptoms of strains and sprains are sudden. your chance of lower back injury is greatly reduced. sharp.check to ensure the load is stable and balanced. followed by swelling. tighten your stomach muscles and keep your head and shoulders up. A sprained ankle is a common example of a sprained ligament. Is the path clear? What is the weight of the load? How much stress will be placed on your back? Is there traffic. Common Lifting Mistakes Some common lifting mistakes are: Bending forward at the waist with legs straight. By using your leg strength. This will eliminate the need to twist at the waist. They may seem very simple but if you do all of them each time you lift. Keep the load close to prevent arching your lower back. Bongarde Communications & Parley International Eight Steps to Proper Lifting There are eight steps to follow in doing a safe lift. if you pulling. Plan the job . Learn to use good body mechanics. 3. You need to check the path of travel to be sure it is clear. but don’t rely on gloves because they can de-sensitize the fingers making you unable to feel the object. balanced stance with one foot behind the object and the other foot next to it. Summary You cannot always avoid lifting. and sleeping. You can use gloves to help maintain an adequate grip. Handling the load too far away from the body. a doorway to go through.htm Page 5 (Back Injury Protection-Continued from page 4) (bands of tissue attaching muscles to bones). Make some changes in your lifestyle. pushing. Using fast jerky motions. such as healthy eating habits and exercise regularly. including standing. you probably need to ask for help. Test the weight. 2. Pivot . Size up the load and if it is too heavy or bulky for you to lift alone. The best way to prevent back injuries is to develop good health habits. Failure to plan the lift. As you begin the lift. The closer the load is to your spine. Bend your knees. make sure you: 1. but it is important to know your body’s limitations and how to use proper techniques for protecting your back against strains and sprains. When you do a lift. Be certain you will be able to maintain a hold on the object without having to adjust your grip later. The back is like a lever system.S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet.

We have many safety videos If you have a digital or a video camera. use books and workbooks to reinforce the learning and to test how well workers have absorbed the information. Lectures are best when broken up with audiovisuals. you can make any topic more relevant by illustrating it with slides or videos of your work area. Perhaps a representative from an equipment manufacturer can demonstrate how a new piece of equipment works and answer questions. etc. If your audience is accustomed to reading and able to handle written question and answer Demonstrations Demonstrations should be included whenever possible in safety meetings. Nothing will get the attention of your audience like a familiar landmark or picture. etc. Programmed Instruction Programmed instruction—reading material and written exercises– can be effective supports to the other parts of your safety meeting. If you’re planning a safety talk on housekeeping. try to outline what you want to say rather than reading a whole presentation.htm & are happy to loan them out. You’ll probably also need to create some visuals as you go. Using hand-outs or quizzes can reinforce what is being learned.S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet. and/or hands-on participation. Take pictures of equipment. when you explain what they cover and what the information means. check with your District Safety personnel or with the State Safety Office. Slides. It’s a good way to define the what and why of your meeting and to outline what you’ll cover and how long it will take.fl. Look directly at your audience as you talk. Remember too.state. material safety data sheets.. videotapes. Hands-on Practice Hands-on practice is recommended whenever possible. Some also come with workbooks and other materials designed to reinforce the learning. It gives workers a chance to try out the methods. Not only is “a picture worth a thousand words”.. you want to focus on. It will be more conversational —and more interesting. but also these real-life examples are an excellent way to tie the training to on-the-job Page 6 (Safety Meetings-Continued from page 3) Lectures Lectures– where you or another speaker explain the information– should only be one part of your program. Outside experts on such topics as emergency response can provide valuable information and examples. Use real labels. If your Unit does not have any. The message is sure to be more personal when people see themselves and their work area and equipment highlighted in this way. But it should not be the only method of expressing the material unless it’s a very short meeting on a very limited and specific topic. Audiovisual Presentations Audiovisual presentations are a good way to get people’s attention and to demonstrate both the potential problems posed by your topic and the correct way to do things. etc. that you’re covering and it gives you a chance to see how they use them and make corrections on the spot in a no-risk environment. take pictures of good and bad examples. Have protective clothing and equipment with you as examples. (Continued on page 7) Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . equipment. than you don’t have to be a safety professional in order to address a safety meeting. and films are available on many safety topics and make effective contributions to a safety meeting. procedures. Other personnel may be able to participate & offer a different perspective on what may be a familiar subject. discussions. A large flip chart and felt-tipped marker are useful for highlighting or outlining information during the safety meeting. Show the correct way to perform an operation. You may want to invite top management to provide an introduction that underlines the importance of good safety practices to the Department. If you are going to be the main speaker.

If someone gives an incorrect response. First explain the procedure. give people a chance to voice different opinions. but be sure people get positive feedback when it’s deserved. 4. make a note of the question.S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet. Ask participants for examples of related problems they’ve had or ways they’ve handled situations like the ones under discussion. This will add recognition to the effort and provide a sense of satisfaction to the workers. It’s important. and/or outside experts in discussion sessions. Keep the discussion on the topic. then ask for questions. Setting Your Objectives Every safety meeting has its own specific objectives . approach. 2. that you or the other leaders always control the discussion so that it reinforces what is being covered in the meeting. Then follow up within a few days to see if they still know how to do the task correctly and to find out if they have any questions. If an answer is a matter of judgment. At the end of formal meetings on complex or especially important topics.the results you hope to achieve. call on people individually to respond. Use discussion periods to get a feel of how well participants understand the general and specific areas covered by the meeting and to determine whether you need to go back over some things or even have another Continually relate what you’re discussing to the job. a prepared list of safety tips on the subject. Stay with it until all workers have had a chance to try– and master– the new skill. Compliment good responses or observations. correct it without comment. Prepare ahead. etc. You don’t have to overdo it. find out the answer. But don’t hand them out until the end of the session or they will just be a distraction to participants. a safety newsletter. take it slowly. If there seems to be general difficulty with some specific tasks or concept. Open discussion doesn’t always come easily. you may want to give participants certificates stating that they completed the safety program. then allow each participant to try. involve other safety personnel.state. or equipment. It’s easy to wander into side issues that make no contribution to mastering the safety topic on hand. Prepare some questions to get the ball rolling. Don’t pass judgment on answers. Highlight key points. step by step. Here are a few hints for effective discussions: 1. If possible.fl. Discussion is good even when there is disagreement. Examples of useful handouts could include a copy of the agenda you covered or an outline of the topics. then demonstrate it. Give them immediate feedback on what they do right and immediate assistance when they have difficulties. and get back to the person who asked it. Such objectives might include: Developing a safety mindset (or safety culture) among workers Addressing the specific safety needs of your operations (Continued on page 9) Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . supervisors. 5. go back to the beginning and demonstrate again. Discussion Discussion is an excellent way to find out whether workers understand your message and to respond to any questions or problems. If you don’t have the information. 7. Always answer questions. Handouts Handouts covering the topic are very useful on-thejob reminders.htm Page 7 (Safety Meetings-Continued from page 6) When you’re conducting a session that includes hands on practice. If no one volunteers an answer. however. 6.

If you’re unsure about what to do. but focusing your attention on them while you’re working can lead to disaster. working through your breaks is a good Your comments are Page 8 The Safety Advisor is a monthly publication of the Florida Department of Transportation’s State Safety Office.S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet. You might look like a True or False 2. you don’t have to waste your workers’ time talking about safety.fl. True or False See next page for answers—► Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . even though it’s outside your area. Fooling around or showing off on the job is a great stress reliever and should be encouraged. http://www. Working without using personal protective equipment is an example of a bad attitude. If you see a hazard. It is designed to inform Department employees about safety practices both on and off the Everyone has personal problems and True or False 8. True or False 6. to email to several web sites. don’t ask a question.htm The Florida Department of Transportation's public web site. both public & internal.state. True or False 5. “What could go wrong here?” True or False 7. Access & Distribution of the Safety Advisor The monthly Safety Advisor is available from several sources ranging from your local Safety personnel. The Industrial Safety Infonet web site. True or False 4.htm Do you know of a subject that should be mentioned here? Call or write & let us know what you think! Work With A Safe Attitude Quiz 1. Safety is a team approach.state. If you’re getting behind.fl. It’s wise to take a good look at your surroundings and ask yourself. If you’ve got a competent crew.fl. The safety-conscious worker always makes an effort to stay focused and be aware of his or her surroundings. True or False 10. http://infonet. inter-office mail. you should do something about it. True or False 9. It’s estimated someone is injured on the job every: A) 10 years B) Three minutes C) Five months D) 18 seconds 3.state.

) False all are available from your District Safety personnel or from us here at the Sate Safety Office.) D 3. Materials Materials for a safety meeting. as we’ve discussed here. From safety videos. come in many False Answers 6.state.htm Page 9 (Safety Meetings-Continued from page 7) Providing smooth and safe introductions of new equipment.) False 2. procedures. Bureau of Business Reports Improving productivity by reducing accidents Reducing costs & lost production resulting from injury or illness Training employees to recognize and report hazards Bringing new employees into line with Department safety policies and practices Training employees to recognize and avoid unsafe practices Explaining how to prevent or minimize injuries on the job Training employees to respond to emergencies 2002 FDOT Statistics. Over 12% of all Workers Comp Claims cited the back/spine as the injured body part. and substances Reinforcing previous training Safety meetings will accomplish more if these objectives are stated clearly and understood by everyone in advance.fl.) True 4. Pick up the phone or send email & you might be surprised at just how many pholks want to help! Source: Supervisor’s Safety Meetings Handbook. to handouts & quizzes or electronic PowerPoint presentations.) True 5.) True 7. Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings Answers: 1.) True 9.S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet.) True 10.) False . FL.htm Page 10 From: _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ Florida Department of Transportation State Safety Office 605 Suwannee St MS #53 Tallahassee. 32399-0450 Attention: Industrial Safety Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings .S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet.state.fl. Slogans are judged on originality. Themes of the Month for 2004 January: April: July: October: Back Injury Prevention Safety Meetings Hazardous Materials Blood borne Pathogens Heat Stress Outdoor Hazards Fire Protection Personal Protective Equipment February: May: August: November: Fall Protection Traffic Safety Respiratory Protection Tool Safety Work Zone Safety Safety Committees Vehicle Safety Ergonomics March: June: September: December: Laboratory & Office Safety Materials Managing Stress Fitness/Nutrition Bike/Pedestrian Safety Holiday Safety Electrical Hazards PLEASE PRINT Safety Slogan for the month of ______________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Name: ___________________________________ Location/Office ______________________________ District: _______________________ Phone: ( ) _________________ Suncom: ____________________ THINK Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . Due to publishing requirements all entries should be received two (2) months in This should alleviate delays & allow us to get the Safety Advisor to you prior to the end of each month.S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet.htm Page 11 Safety Slogan of the Month Entry Form You are encouraged to submit safety slogans applicable to the monthly safety themes. pentameter & relevance to the month’s theme.

and the FDA has not recalled any lot of flu vaccine. As with any vaccine. but they are rare. redness or swelling where the shot was given. This is false. Flu vaccine is routinely tested for safety. flu vaccine is capable of causing some side effects. these are very rarely severe.fl. fever.S. purity. More serious reactions to the flu vaccine do occur.htm Page 12 Safety Slogan Winners First Place Safety meetings are not a chore You know good subjects are always in store! Roger Bolman Jax Maintenance D-2 First Place Lifting with your back can cause a strain You will know for certain when you feel the pain! Buddy Sparkmann Jax maintenance D-2 Second Place Come one. Something like a pallet jack Could keep injury from your back! Stanley Youngblood Jax Maintenance D-2 TR Slaughter III Jax Maintenance D-2 “Quotables” " The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." --Ben Franklin FDA and CDC Statement Concerning Rumors About Recalled Lot of Influenza Vaccine Rumors have been circulating that a "contaminated" lot of flu vaccine has been recalled by the FDA. Most side effects from flu vaccine are mild. and potency and all lots released have met these standards. While FDA and CDC are currently investigating several recent reports of possible significant allergic (Continued on page 13) Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . try a mechanical mode.state.. No contamination of any flu vaccine has been identified anywhere in the U. come all There’s a Safety Meeting down the hall! Second Place To lift a heavy load. or achiness.S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet. " --Ralph Waldo Emerson "Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame. such as arm

By fax to 850-245-1552 (SunCom fax 205-1552) or 2. Manager. The reactions reported.htm Page 13 (Continued from page 12) reactions to flu vaccine. please take a moment to fill out this brief questionnaire and send it either 1. suggest any problem with the flu vaccine. Are the Safety Advisor topics relevant to your day to day job? 2.S. it is important to note that the number and type of reactions reported to date are not unexpected.state. Do you have any questions regarding Industrial Safety programs and/or operations? Please feel free to include questions or comments. October and November are the best months to get vaccinated . Centers for Desease Control— Safety Advisor Customer Satisfaction Survey We are interested in your opinion! In order to better serve your needs. While serious reactions to flu vaccine are rare. each year about 114. However.however.S. do not. FL 32399-0450 Survey Questions Yes No 1.000 people die because of the flu. #53 605 Suwannee Street Tallahassee. Are the materials contained in the Safety Advisor sufficient for your safety meetings? 3. Industrial Safety Florida Department of Transportation Safety Office M. What would you suggest to improve the suitability of the Safety Advisor to our needs or to improve the overall quality? (Please be specific) ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ 4.000 people in the U. are hospitalized and about For more information about influenza. not all of which may have been caused by the administration of vaccine. Thanks for your time! You can reach us by mail at: Attn: Sunil Nath. at this time. go to http:// www.cdc. ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________ Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings .S a f e ty Ad vi s or http://infonet. Via US Postal Service to the address shown The flu vaccine is the best way a person can protect themselves and their loved ones against influenza. FDA and CDC will continue to investigate these and any other reports and will provide any further information as available. vaccination in December or later still provides considerable protection.

From: Florida Department of Transportation State Safety Office 605 Suwannee St MS 53 Tallahassee. 32399-0450 To: Back Injury Prevention & Safety Meetings . FL.