June is National Safety Month. Developed in 1996 by the National Safety Council (NSC), the annual observance is designed to help eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, as well as on the road, through leadership, research, education and advocacy. While safety is paramount in every aspect of life, the NSC focuses their efforts on these core safety areas: work, road and home. So, in the interest of brevity, we will do the same. Although, I would like to have seen “doghouse safety” included in the list.
Most workplace injuries and deaths result from unavoidable accidents or human error rather than lack of worksite safety. USA Today reports that the most common accidents occur from trip-and-fall incidents, moving machinery, fire and explosions, overexertion, violent acts, falling objects and falling from heights. My most common slip-and-fall accidents occur when I rush toward food.Wherever you work, reduce your risk of injury and illness by taking these 10 steps to be safe on the job:
- Know the risks.
- Reduce workplace stress.
- Take breaks.
- Don’t stoop down or twist.
- Use mechanical aids whenever possible.
- Baby your back.
- Wear protective equipment.
- Stay sober. Staying sober at work seems like a good idea for other reasons, as well.
- Discuss your concerns with your employer or human resources manager.
- Understand your rights.
- According to the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) report (2018), nearly 1.35 million people die in road crashes each year.
- More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among “vulnerable road users,” which are defined as: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
- Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.
- The Humane Society reports that 100,000 dogs die when they jump from the beds of moving trucks each year. My advice? Restrain your pet while you drive.
4 Crucial Road Safety Tips:
- Focus on Driving
Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road. Watch for pedestrians and motorcyclists and cyclists.
- Drive Defensively
Anticipate mistake other drivers around you might make. Maintain a two-second cushion between your own car and the one ahead of you.
- Take Time
Instead of multi-tasking, pull over to eat, read text messages or adjust the radio station or climate controls. Or just let your dog eat the food in your car. If it will save your life, we’ll make the sacrifice.
- Practice Safety
Secure your cargo so it won’t fly around the cabin if you suddenly apply the brakes. If items fall while you’re driving, leave them on the floor and retrieve them after you pull over. Keep things within easy reach. Wear your seatbelt. Secure children. Drive only when sober.
Home safety encompasses many areas. However, with summer upon us, water safety deserves extra attention. Accidental drowning statistics are alarming. The USA Swimming Foundation reports that nearly 90 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa from January through May 2018. More troubling, each year, an estimated 19 children drown during the July 4th holiday. Consider these figures:
- Between 2015 and 2018, 74% of drowning incidents involving children under the age of 15 occurred in residential locations.
- Young boys (under age 15) are twice as likely to drown than girls.
- Emergency departments treat some 6,400 pool and spa injuries in children every year.
- Contrary to popular belief, dogs can drown. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your pooch can swim!
How to Be Safe Around Water
- Don’t go in the water if you do not know how to swim. Take swimming lessons!
- Never swim alone.
- Take CPR classes
- Pay attention to the body of water to make sure it matches your skill level. For example, swimming in a pool is different from swimming in a lake or river. More strength is needed to handle currents in the ocean than in still waters.
- If you get caught in a current, resist the urge to fight it. Stay calm and float with it. Or swim parallel to the shore until you can swim safely to shore.
- Don’t swim unless a lifeguard is on duty.
- Dive only in familiar areas and of appropriate depth.
- Alcohol and water do not mix. In fact, alcohol contributes to half of all male teen drownings.
About the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training System
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