How about starting off this year with a pledge for a banner safety year in your workplace?  We all start off with the best of intentions, but somehow, things happen and our plans go up in smoke!  OSHA reports that on a typical workday:

  • 17 workers are killed on the job (traumatic injury).
  • 137 more workers die of occupation-related injuries.
  • 17,138 workers are injured on the job.
  • Estimates show employers pay almost $1 billion per year for direct costs of workplace injuries.
  • There are hidden costs such as retraining employees and lost productivity due to workplace injuries.

These and many other reasons contribute to the idea that safety policies and procedures should be executed with good planning and follow-up.  First of all, new employees should have safety training from the very first day on the job.  They should understand safety basics and the particular hazards of their specific job responsibilities.

Companies should pay close attention to how many incident reports and safety complaints are issued:  if there is an increase in near-misses or accidents, what departments are involved, what types of injuries, or if there is a certain group that seems to be reporting more accidents or close calls.  Refresher training should be given to groups that have experienced mishaps.

Employees should know they have the right to voice complaints to their compliance officer, if they feel policies are not being followed.  It is the responsibility of the compliance officer to investigate the issues and correct them, if necessary.  Safety committee members should establish good safety and health programs that can help prevent worker compensation claims.

One of the key factors in workplace safety is providing the right Protective gear.  Employees should understand how their PPE works and why it is necessary to wear it at all times while on the job.  This is an important compliance issue and affects everyone if someone gets hurt due to not wearing his/her protective gear.

This is a great time to plan for flawless safety performances at work.  Hopefully, this time next year, you will be getting ready for another completely “accident-free work year”!
Good luck!


This is the perfect time to remind you to be very cautious when taking down Christmas lights and decorations.  The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission notes that thousands of persons are treated annually in emergency rooms, doctors’ clinics, and other medical facilities due to injuries caused from improper ladder use.  Since ladders are the most important apparatus you use when doing this type of work, we want to share this information with you, to help you be sure that you use the right kind:

  • Industrial – heavy duty with a load capacity of not more than 250 lbs. – Type I.
  • Commercial – medium duty with load capacity of not more than 225 lbs. (such as painting or other tasks) – Type II.
  • Household – light duty with load capacity of not more than 200 lbs. – Type III.
  • Stepladders – ideal for chores in the house or office.  A stepladder makes a good choice for many duties: they are easy to manage and take up little storage space.  Be sure to try it in the store before you purchase it, because you want to be sure it is comfortable and feels stable to climb.

Aluminum ladders are the most durable, but they conduct electricity.  Wood ladders are popular, but they eventually may rot.  The most durable and non-conductive ladders are fiberglass.  Always be sure to inspect stored ladders for cracks or breaks.

Other tips on the use of ladders include:

  • Don’t go higher than the 2nd rung on a stepladder or 3rd rung on a straight or extension ladder.
  • Never stand on top or on the paint shelf of a ladder.
  • Do not leave ladders unattended.  Children love to try them out!
  • Maintain 3-point contact while climbing a ladder. (Either 2 hands and a foot, or two feet and one hand.)
  • Stay in the center of the ladder at all times.
  • If you work in an office, or at home, please, please don’t use a chair to change a light bulb or reach something. Find the stepladder, it’s much safer!

According to OSHA, falls from step, straight, combination and extension ladders are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries.  As we all know, accidents happen at home, as well, and might have devastating outcomes.  Play it safe as you take down the trimmings; because time flies, you’ll soon be putting them back up again.

HELLO, 2010!

We are ready to bid 2009 farewell, and look forward to 2010!  We hope you all survived the holidays, and are ready to gear up for another year.  Let’s all hope that this year brings financial stability to our country, a chance for peace in order for our troops to come home, and a political establishment that will make good decisions for the entire country.  There are many hard-working Americans that just want us to all be on a fair playing field.  For those who are without work, let’s hope that you find a job soon.

Here are some interesting observances that January presents.  We’d like to pass them on:

  • National Birth Defects Prevention Month, (March of Dimes)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • Cervical Health Awareness Month
  • Crime Stoppers Month
  • Eye Health Month
  • Fiber Focus Month
  • Glaucoma Awareness Month (Prevent Blindness America)
  • Thyroid Disease Awareness Month

If you know someone who has any of the above health problems, get involved and see if you can help!  We call need to be “Crime Stoppers” every day and be more aware of things that happen around us.

Here’s a little “January Trivia”, Days of Interest:

  • 1st – New Years’ Day, Of Course!
  • 15th – First Superbowl game (Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 1967)
  • 18th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • 19th – Texas State Holiday – Confederate Heroes Day
  • 24th – California Gold Discovery Day, 1848, at Sutters Mill.
  • 25th – Elvis’ First #1 hit released, “Heartbreak Hotel”, 1956
  • 27th – Viet Nam Peace Accord, 1973.  End of the Viet Nam War.
  • 28th – U.S. Coast Guard was established in 1915.

We sincerely hope that 2009 was a good one for you and yours, and that 2010 will be even better!  Please make a pledge to work and play safely.  We wish a healthy, Happy New Year to you and yours!  Hello, 2010!


Every year at this time, we are looking forward to a new and better year.  We have high hopes that many of the bad things that happened in 2009 won’t be repeated.  Many of us are making New Year’s Resolutions; most of us will break them before the end of January!  Goals include losing weight, saving money, and improving our lives in different, ambitious ways.
Good luck to all of you that reach your targets in 2010!

In bidding a fond farewell to 2009, we can’t help but review many memorable things that it brought us:

  • New President, Barack Obama was inaugurated in January.
  • “Twitter-Mania” – a social network that allows you to express your views in 140 characters or less.
  • The new Yankee Stadium, which replaced The House That Ruth Built in 1923.
  • A huge commercial US Airways plane sitting in the Hudson River, with many of its 155 occupants standing on the wings.
  • Visions of Jamaican sprinter, Usain “Lightning” Bolt shatter his own world records in 100 and 200-meter sprints at the World Track and Field Championships in Berlin.
  • H1N1 Virus – originally called “Swine Flu”, later changed to the medical name in order to absolve pigs of the stigma involved.  This terrible illness started in Mexico in April, and quickly spread throughout the world.  In June, the World Health Organization declared it a Global Pandemic.  Almost 10,000 persons died worldwide due to this virus.
  • A shooting at one of our military bases, Ft. Hood, Texas, that resulted in the deaths of 12 soldiers and one civilian, and wounded 30 others.  How could that have happened?
  • Scandals: in politics, entertainment, sports world, and the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S history.
  • An historic healthcare debate and vote in Congress – with lots of work still ahead.

Famous persons that passed this year were: Walter Kronkite, Patrick Swayze, Ricardo Montalban, Ted Kennedy, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.  These are just a few that had an impact on many lives through entertainment, politics, or in the case of Mr. Kronkite, the most trusted news anchor in the U.S. for many years.

It’s hard to believe that nine years have already zipped by in this new century. It’s going to take all our villages to make 2010 a safe, sane year!  Wouldn’t it be great if there were no bad headlines at all?  How about these resolutions: no missing kids or missing persons, no wrong-way or distracted driving auto accidents, no pandemics, no wars, no taking chances or shortcuts, no standing on chairs rather than ladders, no going without P.P.E., (get the idea?) Wouldn’t it be great to live in a perfect world? We don’t, so there will always be challenges.

This year, as always, our concerns are to continue to provide helpful safety ideas involving the workplace, home, and other activities.  In addition to safety issues, we focus on encouraging our readers to keep their bodies healthy by exercise and diet.   Let’s try hard to be careful at work, play, behind the wheel, and anywhere else an accident may be lurking.