The UAB Department of Occupational Health & Safety's mission is to ensure that our customers have a safe workplace by providing them with the service and knowledge necessary to protect themselves, the UAB community, and the environment.

mosquito image
public domain mark image by James Gathany
As warmer weather nears, it is important to remain vigilant in preventing tick- and mosquito-borne diseases as you plan your outdoor excursions.

Along with the continued risk of contracting diseases already established in the U.S., climate change and increased globalization are expanding the geographical range of key vectors, such as the mosquito species that transmit chikungunya and zika virus.

Most vector-borne diseases have no cure so, when traveling into your back yard or beyond you’re only left with the choice of an ounce or a pound of prevention.

Fortunately, we can all take steps such as:
  • use an effective insect repellent on skin and clothing
  • wear long sleeves and long pants (when it's not too hot)
  • take care of our yards to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs
  • reduce brush, tall grasses, leaf litter, and harborage where ticks may like to hang out
Specific types of viruses and bacteria transmitted in this manner are described on the CDC Division of Vector-Borne Diseases website.

The CDC also provides educational information on approved repellents and other methods for preventing tick and mosquito bites.

OH&S Safety Short: Fight the Bite
beach little pockets of light 250x166
cc icon attribution small 2.0cc icon noncomm small-2.0cc icon share alike-2.0 image by David Gunnells
Each year, an estimated 100 people die in the surf zone waters of the United States. A majority are due to rip currents.

As you are planning your Spring Break trip to the beautiful gulf coast beaches or an exotic location somewhere else in the world, take into consideration the potential dangers from rip currents. Know what to do to avoid them altogether and if you happen to get caught in one – know what to do to survive. Don’t be a statistic!

The National Weather Service has prepared an excellent guide for beach and sun hazards.

Get all of your preparedness information including a list of useful items to put in your “go bag” at uab.edu/emergency.
1960s safety goggles image
cc icon attribution small 2.0cc icon noncomm small-2.0cc icon no derivative works 2.0 image by CHF
Proper eye protection is essential to reducing eye injuries. It only takes a small particle, piece of dust or metal, or a chemical splash to permanently damage an eye.

Remember to wear proper safety glasses, goggles or face shields. Follow the guidelines your employer provides or that are provided with the tools or materials you're using.

National Safety Council: Protecting Your Eyes from Injury
Prevent Blindness America: Workplace Safety Quiz