Often, we hear on the news about imported toys containing lead that is harmful to children. But for workers at many construction sites, lead is a very common hazardous component. Contact can come from inhaling dust and fumes, and may be ingested when hands are contaminated by lead dust.
To “get the lead out”, workers should do the following:
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment: gloves, and clothing.
- Be sure to wash hands and face after work, and always before eating.
- Never enter eating areas wearing protective equipment.
- Use respirators, and be alert to symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, loss of motor coordination, headaches.
- At work, ensure adequate ventilation – stand upwind of plumes.
- Use dust collection equipment and employ wet methods to decrease dust.
- Never wear exposed work clothes away from work.
- Use correct cleaning methods and wash clothes daily.
Drivers falling asleep behind the wheel of an automobile or truck are major problems we all face. Typical characteristics of crashes involving this driving hazard are:
- Late night/early morning hours
- Late afternoon (older drivers)
- Occur on high speed highways
- Driver doesn’t attempt to avoid crash
- Likely to be serious accident
- Single vehicle leaving roadway
A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in conjunction with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Association showed that drowsiness was greater during night hours (midnight to dawn). The time of day of drowsiness was more a factor than total of hours driven. The study also revealed drivers need to be given the opportunity to obtain adequate sleep. (Average sleep time was 5.2 hours). Two major findings were: inadequate sleep and tendency for drowsiness at night.
In another study, young male drivers were more prone to sleepiness while driving, as well as shift workers. The young male drivers were not as interested in resolving the problem (inexperienced drivers contribute to many fatal accidents); however, the shift workers would welcome ways their employers could make the drive home safer for them. Fatigue and drowsiness can be a fatal combination; if employers could provide transportation for their shift workers who are not safe to drive, it would be of great benefit to the employee and employer.
Lawmakers should be made aware that the placement of rumble strips along the sides of highways have been shown to be effective to alarm or awaken sleepy drivers as their vehicle is going off the road. This is one small countermeasure to combat drowsy driving.
Ways to prevent drowsy driving:
- Plan ahead and get sufficient sleep before trip
- No drinking alcohol, even small amounts (it’s against the law)
- Limit driving between midnight and 6 a.m.
- Ask passenger to drive, when you feel sleepy
- Stop in a safe place for a 15-minute nap
- Consume caffeine equal to 2 cups of coffee
- Avoid driving too many hours per day
We hope this article didn’t put you to sleep, and that you will drive safely!
Thousands of students will soon start moving to the college of their choice, and there will be many things on their minds. We have a few tips that will help make the move into that apartment or dorm room a little easier and safer:
- Plan ahead. Organize your move and take only the things you really need.
- Get help: most parents and friends will be happy to help you with your move, and any extra hands will get you settled in sooner.
- Know how to lift properly, and don’t pack boxes too heavy. Avoid back injuries. No one wants to start new classes with a bad back, let alone miss all the campus activities!
- Wear comfortable shoes. It may sound funny, but when you get older, you will understand!
- Don’t forget to take important records. Having your medical information is important.
- Take old phone numbers so you can still get in touch with folks back home.
- If you are on medication, ask your physician to transfer your prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice.
- Visit the city of your school early if possible, in order to familiarize yourself to new surroundings.
- Be sure to pack a Survival Kit! Non-perishable food, paper plates, bottled water, a few towels, linens, and pen and paper to list things you forgot, will come in handy until you have time to purchase groceries, and other items you need.
- Remember to take a tool kit with the basics: hammer, nails, screwdriver, etc. Pack flashlights, one for your room and one for your car.
One last thing, be sure to use the “Buddy System” when walking on campus at night. Stay safe, and have a wonderful school year!
Accidents and disasters such as storms or fires can, and usually do, happen without much warning. Most of us have some sort of action plan made up, at least in our heads, of what to do in such situations. Things such as escape routes, locations of first aid kits, safety areas in storms, etc. But how many of us who own animals or pets have really thought about what to do concerning them during these times?
Before a disaster hits, a list of qualified animal rescuers should be developed to serve as first responders. Only trained disaster personnel experienced in animal behavior should attempt to rescue animals, in this case, dogs. Untrained volunteers should contact the designated animal control officer for assistance. Some helpful tips for animal (dog) rescues:
- Pets should be evacuated with their owners, if possible.
- Always use extreme caution when approaching animals.
- Attempts to capture distressed animals can be dangerous.
- Some dogs may show aggressive behavior in desperate situations.
- If the dog is afraid or in pain, he may show warning signs: ears up, hair on back standing up, barking and showing teeth.
- Sometimes it is appropriate to use sedation.
- Put something between you and the dog, such as a trash can lid.
- Dog repellent may be used.
- Wear appropriate bite-resistant gloves.
- Maintain a first aid kit, properly equipped.
- Carry flashlights to search for abandoned dogs.
We thank all the dedicated animal rescuers for their efforts in disastrous times.
School bells are ringing again, and a whole new set of parents and students will be on the roads, rushing to get their little ones to school on time! Experienced parents and students will also be hitting the streets again.
We ask you to make this “New School Year’s Resolution”:
“I will take no risks to endanger the safety of my child or other children. I will drive safely this entire year, even if I am late to work or my child is tardy.”
The consequences of an accident far outweigh the consequences of being delayed.
Safety tips to keep in mind when taking/picking up your child:
- Plan ahead, and allow extra time to deliver your child to school on time.
- Young children may dart into path of cars, so watch, watch, watch!
- Don’t assume that your child is safe in a crosswalk; tell them to stop and look both ways, if not accompanied by a crosswalk guard.
- Be familiar with school zones and speed limits at your child’s school.
- Do not let your cell phone, palm, or other wonders of technology distract you from the primary goal: the ultimate safety of your child and other children.
- Motorists need to obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
- Be sure to stop for school buses that have stopped to load or unload passengers.
- When you are backing out of your driveway, be sure to watch for kids hurrying to school, either walking or on their bikes.
We take many things for granted in our daily routines: our jobs, families, and health. A blunder caused by rushed, careless driving could alter many lives, so slow down, and drive carefully!
Whether it is in your shop at home, or your regular job is woodworking, there are many hazards to be considered. Proper protective equipment must be utilized to minimize danger. Most woodworking machines now have guards that come as standard equipment. If yours does not, install one. There are fixed, adjustable, and self-adjusting types of guards. Each one has its own advantages and limitations. It is always important to provide a guard or barrier that prevents access to the danger area.
In industries, workers should be trained to understand controls on machines, how to stop equipment in emergencies, and taught safety procedures for special set-ups.
Good housekeeping must be practiced to keep dust from collecting in order to control fire and explosion hazards. Engineered control technology is proper exhaust ventilation and correct use and storage of flammable materials.
Dangers of woodworking include:
- Skin disease from exposure to finishing chemicals
Utilizing personal protective equipment, such as hardhats, gloves, earmuffs, earplugs, safety shields, and goggles will help reduce or eliminate the dangers of woodworking.
Did you know that your knee is the largest joint in your body? It can also be a joint with much pain, when it is aggravated through an on-the-job injury, sports/recreational activities, age, osteoporosis or arthritis. The knee is connected to the tibia and fibula (lower leg bones) and the femur (upper leg bone) by ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which very often become sprained or strained.
Whether you engage in sports, landscaping, or many other industrial occupations, which cause strains on your knees, there are ways to prevent some knee injuries:
- Wear protective equipment,knee pads, shin guards, etc.
- Always warm up and cool down
- Weightlifting strengthens muscles
- Braces, rest, and/or physical therapy relieve stress on knees
- Avoid prolonged, repeated pressure on knees
Our knees are a very important yet complicated part of our anatomy. In order to keep going as long as possible, we need to take care of them, beginning at a very young age.
We all have to deal with a little stress, some of us, more than others. Sometimes stress can be a good thing- it can enhance your productivity. However, too much stress can create or worsen physical and emotional problems. Try to manage your stress levels through a healthy lifestyle and simple tension-reducing activities.
See if this will help in your every day life:
- Exercise regularly; aim for 30 minutes every day.
- Eat right. Protein-containing foods and those that contain Vitamins A, B, and C protect us from stress.
- Develop a positive attitude.
- Talk things out; don’t hold feelings in.
- Understand that every crisis gives you an occasion to grow and learn.
- Have a support network of people you can count on for help.
- Stretch away tension; there are stretching exercises that can be done at your desk.
This one gives us the shivers just thinking about it! But there are many folks who work in snake territory, and probably already know what to do. Here are just a few reminders to ensure your safety and facts you might not know:
- A snake’s striking distance is about one-half the total length of the snake.
- If bitten, note the color and shape of the snake’s head to assist with treatment.
- Wear boots at least 10” high.
- Snakes enjoy sunning on fallen trees, limbs or other debris.
- Be careful where you place your hands and feet when removing debris. Wear heavy gloves.
- If you see a snake, step back and let it go on by.
- Bite victims should be kept still and calm to slow the spread of venom.
- Apply first aid: lay the person down so the bite is below the level of the heart, and cover bite with a clean, dry dressing. Never cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom.
In the state of Texas, there are four venomous snakes: copperhead, cottonmouth (water moccasin), coral, and rattlesnake. It is wise to be familiar with the types of snakes that inhabit your part of the world, in order to be prepared.
Many folks feel “the only good snake is a dead one”, but remember, snakes play an important part in the balance of nature.
People can get hurt at home, on the job, in the car, at the park, or anywhere.
Do you have the proper materials to stop a serious bleed?
Do you have the right thing to give a person who has been stung by a bee or wasp?
What do you do if someone gets a foreign object in their eye?
If you don’t have the answer to these questions then you probably need to get a good first aid kit. First aid kits today contain a variety of different items for all types of injuries. Many of the larger kits will contain CPR masks, eye wash, instant cold packs, as well as large gauze pads for deep cuts in addition to the basic creams and bandages.
There are even smaller bag-type first aid kits that can easily be kept on the handles of a bicycle for the average tumble.
In a car accident, one of the most common causes of death is anoxia, which is the lack of oxygen supply. If you have a proper first aid kit with an instruction booklet on how to use the CPR equipment, you can save lives.
Whether you are in an area prone to earthquakes or tornados, first aid kits are essential for every walk of life and for every location in the world.