CMM Weekly News Recap-September 27, 2019
Insects and parasites were in the news this week. Outdoor workers and facility managers responsible for insect control need to keep their guard up against mosquitoes due to an increase in a rare mosquito-borne illness—equine encephalitis— that has lead to the death of 10 people in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) typically receives reports of five to 10 human cases of the disease each year, with about 30% of cases resulting in death. Symptoms of the illness include a high fever, chills, and nausea. Severe cases can cause brain swelling that results in seizures or a coma that can lead to brain damage.
Culprits even smaller than a mosquito—microscopic scabies parasites—are responsible for a scabies outbreak at a veterans’ home in Hawaii. Thirty residents and 29 staff members at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo, Hawaii, have exhibited symptoms of scabies, an infestation of the skin caused by microscopic scabies mites burrow that burrow into the upper layer of human skin to live and lay eggs. The home’s cleaning staff are enacting thorough cleaning processes in resident rooms and common areas to minimize the spread of the outbreak.
Another workplace threat, but one that is considerably larger in size than microscopic parasites, is bullies. Workplace bullies can range from bosses, who use their power to intimate others to verbal bullies who shame and insult with words. Passive-aggressive bullies use gossip, jokes, and sarcasm to hurt people while physical bullies will go so far as to use violent acts of physical and sexual abuse. If you’re dealing with a chronic bully who is disrupting your ability to work, thoroughly document the bully’s actions and check your company's antiharassment policies, which may have specific guidelines on how to report the bully's behavior.
Fortunately, not all this week’s news was bad. Some workers may find more money in their wallets next year due to a new law that will provide overtime pay to salaried employees who earn less than US$35,500 per year.Currently, salaried workers must earn under $23,7000 annually to be eligible for overtime pay. The new law will go into effect January 1, 2020.
Have a good weekend. Be sure to read CMM Daily News on Monday for the latest updates affecting the cleaning and maintenance industry.