Ticks and Preventing Lyme Disease

I want to thank David Shafer, one of our inspectors, for his suggestions on this month’s newsletter.

It’s that time of the year again when working outdoors in the spring can expose our employees to Lyme disease. In Manitoba, Lyme disease is spread by a little creature known as the blacklegged tick.

Lyme disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease if left untreated. Prompt removal of attached ticks should be within 24 to 36 hours and you can decrease the risk of infection dramatically.

Tick bites are usually painless, and most people do not know they have been bitten. When a person is infected, symptoms usually develop within one to two weeks.

Early Signs and Symptoms (3 to 30 days after tick bite)

  • Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
  • Erythema migrans (EM) rashes- Rashes that are located at the bite site and often are a red circle or oval shaped rash that can resemble a bull’s eye

Later Signs and Symptoms (days to months after tick bite)

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
  • Facial or Bell’s palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat (Lyme carditis)
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Problems with short-term memory

CIS can provide an early test kit for our employees upon request. If an employee tests positive, we encourage you to seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms develop. Early treatment usually results in a complete recovery.

Tick Bite Prevention

Determine your risk of exposure to ticks;

  • Ensure workers are educated to understand:
    • the risk of tick bites and Lyme disease,
    • how to identify blacklegged ticks,
    • how to prevent tick bites or minimize exposure,
    • how to treat a tick bite. What should workers do?
  • If possible, avoid long grass and low bushes;
  • Wear light-colored clothing to help find ticks more easily;
  • Wear closed-toed shoes, long sleeve shirts that fit tightly around the wrist, and long-legged pants tucked into your socks or boots;
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET to repel ticks. Apply to both clothes and skin. Always read the label and follow instructions for use;
  • Check for ticks on and under clothing and pay attention to the armpits, in and around ears, behind knees, areas with body hair, and the navel and groin areas;
  • Take a shower shortly after being outdoors;
  • Wash clothes promptly and put them in the dryer with heat to help kill any ticks that may remain;
  • Carefully remove ticks found attached to the skin. Gently use fine pointed tweezers to grasp the head of the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull slowly to remove the whole tick.
  • If any of the symptoms of Lyme disease develop, contact your doctor immediately.

If You Find a Tick on You

It is important to remove the tick as quickly as possible. Removing the tick quickly can prevent the spread of disease if the tick is infected. Use fine tip tweezers to remove the tick. Make sure the head of the tick is removed with the body. Save the tick in a zip lock bag or container in case it needs identified later if disease occurs. Wash the area with soap and water after the tick is removed as well as your hands. Apply antibiotic ointment to the area if the bite becomes irritated.


It is important to prevent tick bites. Proper prompt removal of any ticks that have bitten you will also protect you from getting infected from the bite. It is important to understand the symptoms of Lyme disease. Often times the disease is not diagnosed properly and this can lead to more serious issues.

CIS Employees,
As we move forward with the COVID-19 outbreak and following the CDC contact tracking protocol to determine exposure risks, we are encouraging you as a CIS employee to consider how you are tracking the co-workers around you in the event that you would become ill with COVID-19. We recommend documenting the other employees and contractors that you would need to identify as working in the area you have been in contact with in your daily logbook or tally book.

Cleveland Integrity Services has been on the front line of our Nation's well-being as they rely upon a secure and strong critical infrastructure—the assets, systems, and networks that reinforce our society. We want to thank you personally for being there with us as we support our nation. As your employer, it’s important to us to provide you with access to items that can assist you directly as we work through this Pandemic. In preparation for what we may face in the coming weeks, we wanted to provide you with access to what CIS has put in place and information of how you as an employee can see our plans, policies and procedures.

First and foremost, for your health and the health of others, please immediately report to your CIS on-site representative and CIS Human Resource or Safety Department any confirmed positive or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 of any workers assigned to a project that CIS is working on as soon as you become aware. If an employee has been exposed to COVID-19 and develops a fever and/or other symptoms, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, he or she should contact a healthcare provider for medical advice. Employees feeling sick should stay home.

Below are the programs that apply during this pandemic that you may find helpful:

• CIS Emergency Contact Numbers
• CIS Critical Infrastructure Letter
• CISA Critical Infrastructure Letter
• CIS Pandemic Response Plan
• CIS Risk Exposure Plan
• CIS Risk Mitigation Plan

You can find this information at the following locations:

CIS LMS at: https://eagle.litmos.com

CIS Website at: https://www.clevelandintegrity.com

Additional information is available about COVID-19 at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

If you are unable to locate these items or login into the LMS please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robert Taylor
Director of Safety
Office: 918-358-5735
Cell: 918-399-1750
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

March Near Misses

Crew was using a nylon belt with outer layer frayed and internal cords were visible. As tractor was tensioning belt crew member noticed and asked if the belt was bad.

Stopped work and pulled belt out of service. Showed crew belt and what was damaged. Pointed out crew member noticed and how important everyone has obligation to keep safety most important aspect of worksite.

Observed a laborer using a tag line while unloading pipe. What was observed was that the tag line was wrapped around his hands.

I stopped the work. Pipe was lowered and had a conversation with the foreman and all the laborers about using the tagline properly. I was also discussed in the Monday morning all hands meeting.

An operator was moving a Marooka Buggy one morning when the outside air temperature was approximately 10 degrees. This incident occurred very shortly after work started for the day. The Marooka steers by braking and skidding one track. This buggy is old enough the steering linkage is mechanical. The operator made a slight course correction, as he did so the steering linkage inside the units cowling broke. This left the buggy in a hard right turn with no way to stop the turn. Before the operator could get the machine shut down it struck the site perimeter fence. The operator was able to shut the machine down and stop all movement of the vehicle. One post and a section of top rail on the fence were damaged. Had the machine been in a tight area with personnel when this happened the result could have been much different?

Considerable discussions were had with all the contractors’ employees about working around heavy equipment, situational awareness, pinch points, and equipment inspections. Discussions were held about never assume a piece of equipment is going to do what you have in mind. Stay alert.

While an operator was helping to move and set up pipe for welders in the designated fab area it was noticed the spotter had not properly attached the lifting devise for the forklift. He had not inserted the safety pins nor did the safety chain that attaches to the frame or mast.

We stopped what they were doing have a conversation about paying attention to what you are doing and not trying to take short cuts. They hooked the devise properly and resumed work.

While opening a fence gap, one of the laborers put too much stress on the main post snapping it in half. This caused the gap to spring backward at a high rate of speed.

Luckily nobody was injured and the gap was repaired.

Failure to control traffic on county road. Contractor proceeded to unload a track hoe on county road without flaggers. Work was stopped and after mentioning to the foreman on site the need to have traffic control personnel they placed two flaggers with stop signs at each side of the equipment to stop traffic. Contractor will have flaggers every time they block the roads for anything.

Joint of pipe was rigged with stringing cables that were too short putting the fleet angle at 10 degrees. This caused the cables to be overloaded by 4080 pounds.

Job was stopped. Held a stand down meeting with the crew and explained how to calculate sling angle and how to calculate actual load on at that angle.

March Winners


100 – Jeff Lee
50 – Reane Travis
25 – Troy Rex Ditner
25 – Shelly Lankford
25 – David Nyegaard
25 – Anthony P

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