We know that the world we live in isn’t perfect, but it seems that 2011 has had more than its’ fair share of bad news around the world.  There has been so much unrest in parts of the world because people had been persecuted for years; thanks to the internet, Facebook, and Twitter, they were able to bring attention to their dilemma to the rest of the world, which brought about much change. 

“Protests” seemed to be a popular word in 2011, and almost everyone was protesting something.  In the Middle East, there were revolutions against leaders, which resulted in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.  Other leaders were either killed or ousted by those who had been oppressed by their governments for years.  The Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East also caused Moammar Gadhafi, brutal leader of Libya, to meet his demise.  Citizens of these countries hope to see an establishment of greater democracy. The United States Navy Seals were successful in taking out Osama bin Laden, who had boasted that he masterminded the destruction of the World Trade Center September 11, 2001.  The new World Trade Center Memorial opened in September, to honor thousands who lost their lives that tragic day, and reports are that more than 10,000 people visit the memorial daily.

Natural disasters also prevailed throughout the world.  Tornadoes happening at unusual seasons of the year, volcanic eruptions, and devastation brought about either by too much water, (flooding), or not nearly enough (drought).  Along with the drought came horrific wildfires, costing the lives and property of countless citizens and wildlife.  

In Japan, a 9.0 earthquake, resulted in a tsunami, killing 15,843 persons.  Their nuclear plants were badly damaged, which caused fallout of a different type, in addition to the destruction of homes and businesses.  Turf battles still go on in Mexico, with the powerful cartels shipping drugs to the United States.  Many innocent Mexican citizens and Americans have lost their lives to these cartels.    North Korea lost their leader, Kim Jong-il just recently; his third son, Kim Jong-un will replace him.  South Korea and the world are anxious to see how the new North Korean leader will act toward South Korea. 

On our home front, there was the Casey Anthony trial, which kept persons tuned to their televisions to listen to the allegations made that she took the life of her beautiful daughter, Caylee, age 2.  Anthony was found not guilty; however, many felt that justice was not served for the child.  Recently, the Penn State scandal brought to the forefront the abuse that young boys suffer at the hands of someone they trust, such as a coach.  That accused coach is Jerry Sandusky.   He has not come to trial yet, but hopefully justice will be served for the many young men that allege they suffered assault by him. 

In Tuscon, Arizona, we learned that our representatives in Congress may not even be safe in their own backyard, so to speak.  U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot at a “Congress on the Corner” meeting in front of a grocery store.  The perpetrator was a mentally unstable young man.   Six people died and fourteen others were wounded.  Representative Giffords is making a remarkable recovery, but still has a long way to go.  It is hoped by all that she can return to Congress. 

Good news for the U.S. and allies this month was that the Iraq war was officially over, and troops got to come home!  We honor our faithful men and women who served in Iraq and continue to do so in other countries, fighting for freedom from oppression of their citizens.  

Of course, the economy was one of the biggest stories of the year.  This included many countries, not just the United States.  One thing for sure:  we need to get back to the basics of balancing our budgets, and operating openly and honestly.  People need to trust financial institutions, and political leaders.  This will be a big year of campaigning for the U.S. Presidency and other offices; most of us are prepared to hear the things we want to believe will be done.  Sadly, that’s usually not the way it turns out.  Our representatives and President are there to serve the citizens of our country and do what is best for the country.  It is sad that it takes millions of dollars of campaign money to get a job.  There should be a limit to what is spent on campaigns, so the battlefield is even.   It seems obscene that so many people can’t find a job – any job, during this time of their lives,  yet all that money is being spent to become their leaders. 

There are so many persons who try to keep us safer, that we owe a debt of gratitude, such as firemen, law enforcement, rescuers and first responders, physicians, nurses, and healthcare providers.  Let’s hope that 2012 will bring a more peaceful world.  Maybe there won’t be as much “bad” news, but instead, some “good” news.  Somehow, the good news makes the back page.  Let’s all try to change that by being good citizens and helping others to focus on the positive.

 Please drive safely this New Year’s week-end and celebrate the end of 2011.  It is the wish of Blog4Safety and parent company, Texas America Safety Company that you will have good health, a job, peace, prosperity, and happiness in 2012.


Christmas is a time of wonder, but it can be costly if safety is ignored.  A recent tragedy in Connecticut reminds us of the many things we must be cautious about when using a fireplace.  Two fatal mistakes may have cost the lives of the three little girls and their grandparents who died Christmas morning when a century-old Victorian mansion went up in flames and turned into a death trap.  This report is from the New York Post.

Fire marshals in Stamford, Conn., said the homeowner’s boyfriend, contractor Michael Borcino, put still-smoldering embers from a yule log into some kind of a bag — and then left it leaning against an outside rear wall of the $1.7 million house.  Marshals said the embers had not been doused with water.  On the other side of the wall was a mud room.  When the wall caught fire between 3 and 3:30 a.m., the five people sleeping on the second and third floors had no warning — because there were no functioning smoke detectors.

City official Ernie Orgera said a modern “hardwired” smoke detection system was being installed as part of ongoing renovations. But it hadn’t gone online in the five-bedroom home, which was built in 1895. And there was no evidence that battery-operated detectors had been in use.  The home’s owner, Madonna Badger, and her boyfriend, Michael Borcino, were the only survivors of the fire, despite making every effort to save her children and parents.

Another cause of home fires during this season are Christmas tree fires.  Many persons enjoy keeping their decorations up until after New Year’s Day.  The National Fire Prevention Association recommends getting rid of the tree when it is dry.  They should not be kept in the home, garage, or around the house once they become dry.

The NFPA also suggests the following ideas to reduce the risk of holiday light fires and keep equipment in good condition for next year:

  • To unplug electric decorations, use the gripping area provided on the plugs. Never pull the cord to unplug a device from electrical outlets. Doing so can harm the cord’s wire and insulation and even lead to an electrical shock or fire.
  • As you’re putting away electrical light strings, inspect each for damage. Throw out light sets if they have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Do not place a damaged set of lights back into the storage box for next year’s use.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap the lights around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place where they cannot be damaged by water or dampness. Also, keep them away from children and pets.

Please check your smoke detectors and replace the batteries if necessary!  It’s going to be a long winter.  Take all the safety precautions regarding fireplaces seriously.  Dispose of ashes properly, and wet them down, away from the house.  Do not leave a fire burning in the fireplace when you go to bed.  Practice fireplace and candle safety and other ways to prevent fires.  It only takes one spark to cause devestation.


Every New Year, we tell ourselves we are going to do better in the coming year.  At least, I do, but then it is hard too follow up and keep our promise to ourselves.  Some of the most popular things that are listed on my resolutions are:

  1. Planning to lose weight;
  2. Getting more exercise;
  3. Getting more sleep;
  4. Being more productive;
  5. Being more patient;
  6. Driving more carefully;
  7. Turning off the cell phone in the car;
  8. Being more punctual for jobs, appointments;
  9. Trying not to be as forgetful, 
  10. Keeping up with things better.

These are things that are important to me; however, when it comes to losing weight, it seems it hasn’t been important enough to give up desserts, which are my downfall.  So, here we go, one more year, one more time; let’s all try to do better! 

Here are some facts that might help us all realize why we need exercise and proper diet:

  • Significant health benefits can be gained by moderate physical activity, and greater benefits can be gained by additional physical activity.  At least 30 minutes a day is needed, which can be broken down in 15-minute increments if necessary.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S.  Inactive people are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as regularly active people.
  • Poor diet and inactivity can lead to overweight/obesity.  Have you ever sat in a mall and noticed how many obese people there are?  Many are young people, who have probably preferred junk food to healthy food most of their lives.  We are certainly not judging, but obesity can lead to risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, gallbladder disease, and diabetes.
  • Nearly 60 million Americans are obese.  More than 108 million adults are either obese or overweight – meaning around 3 out of 5 Americans carry an unhealthy amount of excess baggage.
  • Not having enough time for exercise is one of the causes many people don’t get enough activity.  Young people should take advantage of physical education at school and get some kind of extra exercise.  Too many spend hours in front of their video games and television, which can get them into a sedentary rut. 
  • Workplaces should have safe places where their employees can work out on breaks, or at lunch.  Some worksites have walking trails on location, which gives their workers a chance to enjoy the outdoors and get a break from being inside all day.  Others have actual fitness centers for their employees.
  • Other health risks associated with physical inactivity are Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  We once thought these to be age-related; however, they are now diagnosed in children and teens. 

This year I am going to print out my resolutions and post them where I won’t forget what I promised to do this year.  My dog Buddy is getting older, and he doesn’t want to walk as far as he used to.  So, I have used this as my excuse to go back into the house, as well.  I am going to put him back in, and continue to walk at least as far as I used to.  It is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and plan my day. 

Good luck on your New Year’s resolutions.  After all, the definitions of resolutions are: decree, resolve, promise, solution.  And isn’t that what will happen, if we keep them?  May you have a safe, happy, prosperous, and healthy NEW YEAR!


In an article from OSHA’s “Quicktakes” December newsletter, here’s an interesting report regarding fall protection.  OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer, Tony Nozzi, was doing a November inspection of an Illinois worksite as part of a Local Emphasis Program on Falls, when he noticed a roofing contractor’s employees and a building restoration employee working on a church roof without any fall protection.  Before leaving the worksite, Nozzi made sure that all employees put on harnesses and lanyards and secured themselves with rope grabs before he left the worksite. 

Shortly after he was gone, an employee who worked for the building restoration company was assigned to power wash the church steeple.  Soon after he started his work, he slipped and slid down the church’s pitched roof.  Thankfully, the lifeline became tight on the lanyard, stopping him right before the edge of the roof.  The fall protection equipment prevented serious and potentially fatal injuries, and the employee was then able to walk back up the roof  toward the steeple and safely complete his work. 

This is a classic example of why those who work at heights should always use fall protection.  Companies should have a good fall protection plan in place.  If we knew we were going to fall, we would be sure to wear the proper equipment at the time, but because we don’t know, we should be inclined to do all we can to keep from getting hurt.  There are three elements included in fall protection that are equally important, and if one of these elements fails or are neglected, the system will fail, and serious injury or death can happen.  The three elements include: safety harness, lanyard and the anchor point. 

Years ago, a positioning belt, fitting around a person’s waist, was thought to be adequate fall protection; however, now, a full body harness is required.  The harness should be worn snugly against the body without slack in any part.  A person could fall out of the harness if worn too loosely.  Safety leaders should ensure that the proper length lanyard is used with the harness.  Height and height of the work platform should be considered when calculating lanyard length.  A three-foot safety margin should be figured in the selection of the lanyard.  

Foremost, rapid rescue should be a major portion of the fall protection system.  If rescue does not begin within 7 or 8 minutes of the fall, consequences could be deadly.  If a person is suspended in an upright position after a fall, it is very dangerous.  The restrictions of the safety harness can alter blood flow.  A person could pass out in as little as 5 minutes and the situation could become grave in as few as 15 minutes. 

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that falls at work are one of the leading causes of death caused by trauma.  OSHA requires fall protection for anyone in industrial environments working four feet above ground, and in maritime occupations, the requirement is 5 feet.  Construction workers must use fall protection if they are working at least 6 feet off the ground.  Last, but not least, the harness, D-rings, snaps, should be inspected regularly and replaced when necessary.  The equipment should meet OSHA standards.  So, save lives by providing the right equipment, and ensuring that it is used. 

Source: OSHA, DOL, ehow.com




We’ve all seen holiday horror stories from fictional ones like National Lampoon or real ones like Black Fridays gone bloody.  But did you know that there are many things that can happen to the real life average American that aren’t seen on television?  To give you an idea, we have gathered the 10 most common holiday accidents to help you better avoid them.

  • Fire – It is the season where a roaring fireplace is a must.  However, that fireplace can lead to loads of injuries in damage.  In 2006, holiday fires were thought to have caused nearly one billion dollars in damage.
  • Candles – The most common source of these fires were candles.  While holiday candles are a must, so is putting them out.  It is also important to not put anything flammable near them or set the candle holder anywhere it can be easily knocked over.
  • The trees – Did you know that the elegant Christmas tree is the most likely item to catch fire when it is started?  Fresh trees look and smell beautiful but can literally be a ten foot tinderbox.  Keeping flames, including smokers away from the tree just makes good holiday sense.
  • Falls – They happen to the best of us, especially when the drinks are flowing and the room is full of people.  With thousands of people visiting the ER every year during the holiday season for falls, it makes more sense than ever to watch where you are going, where others are going, and just to take your time getting there.
  • Frying – Americans deep fry everything, and the holidays are just all the more reason to break out the fryer.  This can include everything from potatoes to turkeys.  If firing up your fryer this year, do it outdoors, on concrete, and keep an extinguisher handy if the worst happens.
  • Drunk Driving – With holiday drinks occasionally loaded with liquor, it can be easy to forget that the eggnog isn’t just made from eggs.  Keep your mind on getting home safely, not that holiday drinking.  Designated drivers are also a good idea.
  • Icy roads – You don’t want to be incapacitated by alcohol to suffer this holiday-related hazard.  Freezing rain, snow, and more can make yesterday’s safe road today’s automotive slip and slide.  Proceed with caution, and be extra careful if your car has rear wheel drive.
  • The mall – With the holiday frenzy in full swing, it can also be easy to have an accident at the mall.  Aside from the mobs associated with huge sales, there are other hazards.  Wet floors, broken escalators, and people doing the walk-and-text have led to more mall mishaps.
  • The lights – Have you spent hours untangling holiday lights?  You might just be one of the 12,000 ER visits due to holiday-related cuts, shocks, and more.  Any lights with exposed wires or cut glass should just be chucked as new lights are cheaper than a hospital visit.
  • Shocks – Need an outdoor extension cord but only have an indoor one?  What’s the harm?  With the possibility of both a serious electric shock and burning down your house, there can be considerable harm.  Using the wrong type of cords, bulbs, or products that aren’t waterproof can also cause big holiday damage.

This article was sent to us today, December 24th, by Brooke Stafford, a nursing practitioner student and also a writer for  Family Nurse Practitioner Degrees. The site helps students find the right nurse practitioner degree to fit their needs.

Thank you, Brooke, for this informative article.  The ten safety reminders that you have written about also apply after Christmas, as well, in taking down trees and decorations.  We know the malls will be packed with shoppers either exchanging gifts or looking for more bargains.  So we need to pay attention to the tips you sent us!   Please stay in touch, and good luck in your studies in the health field.


To all those who are celebrating this season, Blog4Safety, and our parent company, Texas America Safety Company, wish you the Happiest of Holidays!  We are very blessed to have great and loyal customers, and readers from all over the world.  The sharing of articles that have come from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom have helped spread the word about safety at work, home, and play, and for that, we are thankful.  We also appreciate hearing from our readers.  We will return Monday for more safety tips for the last week of 2011.   Until then, stay safe.  Merry Christmas!

Pat Brownlee

Blog4Safety –  Texas America Safety Company


In the United States and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the winter season is the day of the year when the Sun is farthest south (on December 21st or 22nd). This day is known as the Winter Solstice.  According to the calendars that I have seen, today, December 22nd is the First Day of Winter, the shortest day of the year.  The length of time elapsed between sunrise and sunset on this day is a minimum for the year. In the United States, there are only about 9½ hours of daylight on this day.  A common misconception is that the earth is further from the sun in winter than in summer.  Actually, the Earth is closest to the sun in December, which is winter in the Northern hemisphere.

Here is an explanation of winter weather terminology from the American Red Cross:

Winter Storm Outlook
Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.

Winter Weather Advisory
Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.

Winter Storm Watch
Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.

Winter Storm Warning
Life­threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

Dress appropriately for the conditions outside; if the temperatures are extremely low, hypothermia can occur.    Those who are required to work in outdoor conditions should be trained about cold-induced illnesses and injuries.  Clothing should be layered to adjust to changing temperatures.  It is important to wear clothing that will keep water away from the skin.  Wearing the right gloves to keep hands warm, and additional protection, such as winterliners are a must for those who are exposed to the elements.

Some suggestions from OSHA includes that workers should be allowed to take frequent short breaks in warm dry shelters to let the body warm up.  Energy is needed in order to keep muscles warm, so avoid exhaustion or fatigue.  Drinks with caffeine should be avoided, but instead drink warm, sweet beverages, (sugar water or sports-type drinks).  If workers have predisposing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or hypertension,  they are at increased risk.  Also, older workers or those that are in poor physical condition also may be at risk.

What can happen to the body, and ways to help:

Frostbite – This results in deep layers of skin and tissue; pale, waxy-white skin color; skin becomes hard and numb; usually affecting the fingers, hands, toes, feet, ears, and nose.  If this occurs, the person should be moved to a warm, dry area and not left alone.  Do not rub the affected area, because that can cause damage to the skin and tissue.Seek medical attention as soon as possible.  To properly treat frostbite, warm the skin slowly, by placing the affected area in a warm (105 degree water bath), which usually takes 25-40 minutes.  Warming too fast can cause tissue damage.

Hypothermia – Normal body temperature drops to or below 95 degrees; fatigue or drowsiness; uncontrolled shivering; cool bluish skin, slurred speech; clumsy movements; irritable, irrational or confused behavior.  If they become drowsy or confused, wrap them in warm blankets and keep them awake.  Call for emergency help, as this is a very serious condition.  Treatment is about the same as for frostbite; however, do not rub the person’s body or place them in a warm water bath, as it could stop their heart.

Regardless of the reason to be outdoors this winter, whether working, shoveling snow, skiing, or bobsledding, be prepared by wearing the right apparel.  We hope this will be a safe winter for everyone.  Pay attention to weather advisories before driving.  Allow extra time to arrive safely at your destination.


The industrial environment is challenged with trying to prevent accidents at the workplace.  Just think how much they must spend on personal protective equipment, training, and if an accident happens – loss of work and productivity, insurance claims, material damage, loss of life, and much time spent writing accident reports.  Because everybody acts of their own free will, sometimes it isn’t easy to get them to follow what you want them to do.  Ironically, those same people are the cause of most accidents!  If your workers don’t obey the rules that you have established, or don’t wear their protective equipment, or don’t practice good safety when they aren’t being supervised, chances are something will probably happen, and it won’t be good!  The key to controlling accidents is safety awareness; this type of safety awareness is critical in any construction site.  One unsafe act can bring your safety record down in a few seconds.

What is a good way to deliver your safety message?

Researchers have found that people remember 50% more in what they see than in what they hear. Promoting safety through visuals is a very effective way to get people’s attention.  Most people enjoy posters that are humorous.  Pleasant thoughts generate more receptive learning.  Using humor drives a point that is so easy to understand when done correctly.  Cartoons can illustrate dangerous situations, which might be impossible to capture on film in real life.

Check out a couple of examples of the safety posters found at tasco-safety.com:




The first poster, PPE ONLY WORKS IF YOU WEAR IT – depicts work boots, respirator, earmuffs, hardhat, glasses, earplugs, and gloves, all in one picture.  It reminds employees to wear the specific things that are required to keep them safe in their work.

Good luck to all safety instructors in getting the message across.  We hope the posters will help get the attention of your workers.  It’s also good to stock up on several and post different ones on a periodic basis, so employees will be watching for new ideas.


Many times, when the holiday season begins, we have mixed emotions.  The season can be a time full of joy, cheer, parties and family gatherings. But for many people, it is a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures and anxiety.  More reasons that some persons feel blue could be the stress of preparation for a number of guests, financial constraints, or the fact that they may be unable to be with friends and family.  We should think of the families of our military, who are far away from home.  They certainly have a right to dread the holidays.

People may also develop other stress responses such as headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating and difficulty sleeping. Even more people experience post-holiday let down after January 1. This can result from disappointments during the preceding months compounded by the excess fatigue and stress. Work-related stress may appear more as the holidays approach.  You don’t want to let the holidays become something you dread.  Holiday triggers many “downers” – from financial pressures to personal demands.

Ways to overcome these feelings instead of having a complete meltdown are:

  • Plan ahead of time and stick with plans.
  • Positive thinking that you will have a good time during the holidays.
  • Have a social support network.  Spend time with family or friends, and make good friends, who are there for you, good or bad.  Be a friend.  Have a pet.  Volunteer for a good cause, to help those in need.  Visit a church and make friends there.  Be a good listener and be there when someone needs you.
  • Exercise.
  • Think of all the things you have to be thankful for.

Coping with Stress & Depression During the Holidays

  • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Don’t put the entire focus on just one day (i.e., Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.)
  • Remember the holiday season does not banish reasons for feeling sad or lonely; there is room for these feelings to be present, even if the person chooses not to express them.  My dad loved Christmas, and I am always sad that he and my mother have been gone for so many Christmases.  It is a very natural thing to miss those we loved dearly.  But they wouldn’t want sadness during this time of the year for the family, so we just move forward and remember the great times we had.
  • Leave yesterday in the past and look toward the future. Life brings changes.
  • Enjoy activities that are free, such as taking a drive to look at holiday decorations, going window shopping or making a snowperson with children.
  • Be aware that excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
  • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
  • Call someone you haven’t heard from in a long time.
  • Save time for yourself!

We spend many hours each day working with other people; one of the best gifts we can give them is the gift of compassion.  If they are having trouble dealing with work issues during the holiday season, offer to listen and help if you can.  Sometimes folks need professional help.    Be there for them if you can.  Everyone deserves happiness.  You might just help them shake off the “Holiday Blues!”

Source: Mental Health America; Mayo Clinic


It seems the only time the word “hazing” is brought to our attention is when something horrible happens to a young person bent on joining some type of organization.  Just recently, the death of a Florida A&M drum major has been ruled a homicide, as reported by the state medical examiner’s office.  The young man had bruises to his chest, arms, shoulder, and back, as well as internal bleeding, which caused him to go into shock, which killed him.  The hazing occurred on the band bus, where he was found unresponsive, according to witnesses. 

Over the past several years, hazing cases have emerged.  A spot in the marching band is coveted and many bands are as revered as much as the sports team.  In 1998, a clarinet player from Ocala, Florida, said he was paddled around 300 times, sending him to the hospital and leaving him physically and emotionally scarred.   In 2001, a MU band member suffered kidney damage because of being beaten with a paddle.  In 2008, according to an AP release, two first-year French horn players in Southern University’s marching band had to be hospitalized after a beating.  In 2009, 20 members of Jackson State University’s band were suspended after being accused of hazing.  Now, Florida A&M is going to be taking steps to ensure that they can create a safe environment for the entire school community and that this will never happen again at FAMU.  One of the most important things for parents is the assurance that their children are going to be safe when they join a high school or college group.  Years ago, we were initiated when we entered high school as freshmen.  We had to wear silly things, or sing to a football hero, etc., but there was never the violence that is associated with hazing, as it seems to be now, in many cases.  We aren’t saying it happens in all groups, but there should be rules established to prevent injury or possible death to new members.

According to StopHazing.org, there are three types of hazing: Subtle Hazing; Harrassment Hazing; and Violent Hazing.  Here’s an explanation of each type.  See if any of them are familiar to you or someone you know: 

Subtle Hazing: Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new and other members of the group or team.  Subtle is termed as such because this type is often taken-for-granted or accepted as harmless.  Some examples of this type of hazing are:

  • Deception.
  • Demerits.
  • Requiring new members to perform duties not assigned to others.
  • Socially isolating new members.
  • Silence periods with implied threats for violation.
  • Line-ups and drills on meaningless information.
  • Name calling.
  • Requiring new members to refer to other members with titles, while they are identified with demeaning terms.
  • Expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession.

Harassment Hazing:  Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group.  It confuses, frustrates and causes undue stress for new membership.  Here are some examples:

  • Threats or implied threats.
  • Verbal abuse
  • Asking new members to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire.
  • Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude, or humiliating acts.
  • New members being told to perform personal service to other members.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Sexual stimulation.
  • Depriving new members of bodily cleanliness.
  • Be expected to harass others.

Violent Hazing:  Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.  Some examples:

  • Forced or coerced drug or alcohol consumption.
  • Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault.
  • Branding.
  • Forced or coerced ingestion of vile substances or concoctions.
  • Burning.
  • Water intoxication.
  • Expecting new members to abuse or mistreat animals.
  • Public nudity.
  • Bondage.
  • Requiring illegal activity.
  • Exposure to cold weather or extreme heat without appropriate protection.
  • Abductions or kidnaps. 

The problem of hazing is very complex, with no “easy answers.”  Every individual has an important role to play in helping to solve the problem of hazing.  We all must build awareness and develop intervention strategies to eliminate harmful hazing.  There’s no group worth being in to go through this type of humiliation and possible injury.  Hazing extends far beyond college fraternities and sororities, school groups, athletic teams, bands, and the military.  The activities of these groups should concur with fraternal law, ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution.   Educational institutions owe it to their students to ensure their safety.