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.
During the hurricane season, our concern in the Birmingham area is not storm surge but rather the effects of tornadoes as they make landfall.

As hurricanes impact the coastal communities directly with storm surge, flooding, and high winds, inland communities such as Birmingham and surrounding areas face spin-off tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, lightning, and flooding. People are killed and lives are changed forever due to the effects of hurricanes on inland communities.

Hurricanes can bring weather that may cut your power off and contaminate your drinking water. They can also create a scenario that would force you to evacuate your home and community. Emergency workers may not be able to access your community if it were to be impacted by the effects of hurricanes.

Are you prepared for these types of stressful events? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Homeland Security have prepared resources to help people prepare for hurricanes and aid in their awareness. The same information can be used to prepare for other emergency response events.

NOAA: Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready
Hurricanes at ready.gov


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Safety for our sight is an ongoing concern. Everyone, whether doing research, maintenance, healthcare, etc., should protect their eyes. An involuntary movement of the eye, a blink, is part of several reflexes that we use to protect our eyes. Something as simple as sunglasses can help ensure that your vision remains intact and your sight uncompromised. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.

Sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear designed primarily to prevent bright sunlight and high-energy visible light from damaging or discomforting the eyes. Prolonged exposure to sun can lead to a variety of ailments, including skin cancers or glaucoma. Sunglasses can also deter sand, dust and wind. They can sometimes also function as a visual aid.

If you enjoy spending time in the Alabama sun, you’ll be able to see through the glare when wearing a good pair of polarized sunglasses. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side.

Reference: CDC
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Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Temperatures are rising across the country and many cities are feeling the heat of 100 degrees or more. With the addition of humidity, some areas will begin to experience extreme heat. During extreme heat, it is important to stay cool.

Extreme heat causes more deaths than hurricanes, tornados, floods and earthquakes combined. Heat related illnesses occur when the body is not able to compensate and properly cool itself. The great news is extreme heat is preventable by following a few tips: