Baby formula shortage, New Mexico wildfire, and mental health awareness

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What’s going on in EHS this week? Find out with Safety at the Frontline! 

Tune in on Mondays to get the latest safety news with Frontline’s podcast. We’re covering the top EHS news, along with some quick and useful tips, so you can stay safe and keep rocking on the frontlines. 

Baby formula shortage 

The US is going through the worst baby formula shortage in decades. 

The shortage is due to a contamination problem at an Abbott factory that produces a good amount of the Similac formula. Abbott voluntarily shut down their factory in February, when consumer complaints started coming in about contaminated formula which was linked to the death of two infants. To this day, the plant has been shut down and we still don’t know why Abbott and the FDA haven’t come to an agreement that would allow the plant to continue producing formula. 

New Mexico wildfire continues 

Around last month, a wildfire broke out in New Mexico that still hasn’t been contained and unfortunately isn’t showing signs of slowing down. The fire, so far, has burned more than 260,000 acres which means more than all the acreage lost to wildfire across New Mexico last year. 

Extreme fire weather and wind conditions are continuing to fuel wildfires as a smaller fire also broke out in California, destroying more than 20 homes last Wednesday. 

We hope moisture and rain hit the west soon and our hearts go out to everyone affected by the tragic fires and to the firefighters who are working to contain them. 

How mindfulness may help offshore oil and gas workers 

To end on a lighter note, May is both electrical safety and mental health awareness month! Mental health isn’t the first aspect that’s considered when talking about workplace safety, but according to the University of Houston’s research, that may need to change

The researchers developed a mindfulness training program that targets well-being and situation awareness through mindfulness practice which may help improve the safety of offshore oil and gas workers. 

According to the study, offshore oil and gas workers who regularly practice mindfulness may experience less fatigue and emotional and psychological strain – all while increasing their situational awareness and productivity.