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Texting While Driving is Still One of Today’s Biggest Problems

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We should all know by now that not only is texting and driving a bad idea but is probably also against the law where you live. A federal ban on texting and driving was enacted in 2010 and 46 states have laws in place about using mobile devices while behind the wheel of a vehicle. A new law outlawing the practice in Mississippi will go into effect on July 1, 2015. The dangers of texting while driving should be common knowledge by now but apparently it bears repeating. Despite the laws in place and the number of warnings, texting while driving remains one of the biggest dangers on the road today.

It seems that every week there are reports of a new tragedy that could have been easily avoided happening on the road. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nine people are killed each day as a result of distracted drivers and over 1,000 people are seriously injured. Some of the main culprits that contribute to distracted driving are using a mobile phone, texting or eating. The CDC outlines three major types of driving distractions and they include: visual distractions that take your eyes off the road, manual distractions that take your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions that take your mind off of driving.

Did you know that someone using their phone while driving is 23 times more likely to have an accident than someone that isn’t? In fact, a study cited by the Huffington Post found that there’s a 1 in 4 probability that any given car crash involved a cell phone in some way. There were 3,328 people killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012 and another 421,000 people were injured. That’s almost half a million people injured as a result of something that might not have happened if people stopped texting while driving.

In the year 2000, Verizon Wireless became the first wireless carrier to support state legislation for the banning of all hand-held cellphone use while driving. That’s 15 years of supporting safe driving initiatives like the Responsible Driver Action Plan while continuing to be one of the industry’s leaders when it comes to safety outreach. The company developed its Responsible Driver Action Plan as part of its efforts which included the incorporation of responsible driving messages in customer communications and company advertising.

There are even apps now specifically to help drivers resist the temptation of their phones on the road. One of them is SafelyGo, which will automatically receive and respond to your calls while you’re on the road. This way you can keep your eyes on the highway while your phone makes sure you stay connected during your trip. With these kinds of advances in technology, there’s no excuse to be using your mobile device in the car. It’s not just about your own safety; it’s about everyone around you.

Ways to Increase Workplace Safety Awareness in the Workplace

There is no such thing as being too safe. As technology continues to evolve, so do the potential hazards and risks that threaten the safety of each and every employee and work place. With respect to this notion, there are always new ways to increase workplace safety awareness. Here are five proven ways to effectively improve safety awareness and reduce the risk of incidence:

1) Increase Safety Training and Awareness Courses

Safety training will help employees become more situationally aware and as a result decrease the likelihood of accidents. The point is simple, less accidents create more time to focus on corporate goals and initiatives which in turn will improve productivity. As new methods emerge, outdated safe practices are often proven to be obsolete or ineffective compared to modern theories and methodologies. Thus, it is imperative for safety awareness to be the fabric of the workplace.

2) Improve Awareness of Spill Kits

In the event of a spill of hazardous materials, improving workplace awareness of spill kits can prevent and mitigate a potentially horrific disaster. Along with fire prevention and extinguishment devices, spill kits can stop the spread of contaminants from further adversely affecting the workplace. In addition spill kits can also contain components which can be utilized to protect and aid workers affected by chemical spills as well.

3) Enhance Employee Knowledge of Fire Extinguishment Materials

Knowledge of fire extinguishment materials can sometimes be the difference between a small contents fire and a massive building conflagration. Fires double in size every minute, in addition to the implementation of a fire evacuation plan, knowledge on how and when to properly use the different varieties of fire extinguishers can be a great aid in improving safety.

4) Implement an Action Plan

In the event of an emergency, an action plan can assure all employees and workers are protected from potentially deadly consequences. In the event of an accident, the implementation of recovery policies and procedures can serve as a framework to handle the most complex of scenarios. From these action plans, a course of action and a chain of command can be established, seamlessly streamlining all facets that require action. It is important employees know what to do in a variety of emergency situations. In the event such an incident were to occur, a prepared team is more equipped to effectively and safely handle all the challenges that accompany.

5) Establish Efficient Practices Through Continuous Improvement

When workers know how to work safely, they establish continuity. Continuity can lead to innovative methods to complete a task, faster and better. These methods can be documented in to the form of standard operating procedures or workplace practices. Continuous safety is virtually synonymous with continuous improvement, which in turn results in identifying and implementing better and safer ways to do the same job. In addition to efficiency, there are less accidents and workers are more cognizant of hazards that accompany various material handling applications.

Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon.

Health and Safety Tips for Tradies

Every day, tradies build, create, design and install equipment and infrastructure people rely on to make their lives easier and more comfortable. The many demands of the work, including the many physical and labour-intensive tasks that are performed, mean there are some specific health and safety considerations unique to those working as a tradesperson. Since tradies rely on their physical and mental health to do their job well, below are some tips specific to tradies that can assist with staying healthy and safe while on the job.

Schedule Regular Visits to the Physio

Because of repetitive movements like lifting and muscle strains arising from working in challenging environments, tradies have a higher risk of physical injury than other workers. Because of this, it’s essential that tradies make regular appointments with a physiotherapist. Physio will provide physical therapy to help ensure on-the-job comfort and limit time off work due to injury. A good physiotherapist will also be able to monitor and address any muscle problems before they have a chance to worsen.

Always Use or Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Whether it’s a plumber, electrician, mechanic or builder, trade workers rely on a number of tools, equipment and machinery to get the job done effectively and safely. Using personal protective equipment means wearing gear, like goggles, hardhats and steel-capped boots, when using power tools to prevent injury. It’s important tradies always wear or use any safety equipment that assist with ensuring safety while doing their job duties. It also helps to know you’re working with the safest, best quality tools from a specialist supplier like AEG.

Limit Exposure to the Sun

The majority of tradies work outdoors in the sun, which dramatically increases the risk of developing skin cancer. It’s crucial to stay safe in the sun by wearing sunscreen and looking at ways to limit exposure. This could involve a number of strategies, including starting work earlier in the day or moving any duties to shaded areas where possible. Especially in warm climates, it’s important for tradies to consider what they can do to reduce exposure to the sun, helping to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Ditch the Tradie Diet

The diet of the tradie has a reputation for being anything but healthy. Instead of munching on the same daily meat pie and chocolate milk combo, tradies would benefit from limiting their calorie intake and boosting their fruit and vegetable quota. Additionally, the after-work or ‘knockoff’ drinks that tradies are known for could become a weekly ritual instead of a daily one. As well as feeling better and healthier, steering clear of the typical tradie diet will also have benefits for any trade worker’s waistline and wallet.

Drink More Water

Leading on from the diet point, it’s also important tradies make sure they keep their fluids up since they are particularly prone to becoming dehydrated while performing physical work. It’s essential trade workers, especially those working outdoors, stay hydrated – not with a cold beer but through drinking good, old-fashioned H20. Staying hydrated will improve concentration, as well as helping to reduce heat-related stress and overexertion. There’s little doubt this will help tradies perform their jobs more effectively and safely.

These are just some of the ways those working a trade can stay safe and healthy while on the job. Ultimately, the major responsibility for staying healthy and safe rests on the individual – the same individual who will also reap the benefits of doing so.

Avoiding Asbestos Hazards in the Workplace

Asbestos was a popular naturally-occurring mineral commonly used in household products and building materials a few decades ago. Today however, it can only be found in a few materials and products, and those that do contain it have to be labeled as such.

A number of homes and buildings that were constructed during the 1970s up to the late 1980s are still standing today. While they don’t really pose a threat to health so long as the asbestos fibers are not disturbed, asbestos hazards in the workplace are still very much around, especially when the job requires constant handling of this dangerous mineral.

So how can employees avoid asbestos hazards in the workplace?

1. Being and staying informed
It is the employer’s job to provide information and trainings to employees, especially when the task requires the said employee to be exposed to asbestos. Companies need to comply with government standards and rules in keeping the working environment safe for their employees. However, workers also have a general duty to take care of their own health so as not to compromise the health and safety of other workers. This involves, but is certainly not limited to, the knowing the company’s policies, and staying informed by constantly checking for updates, especially regarding health and safety in the workplace.

2. Using proper equipment correctly
Equipment that allows workers to properly deal with asbestos-containing products can be expected of an OSHA-compliant company. Nevertheless, it is the worker’s responsibility to know how to use the provided equipment, and use them correctly. Failure to comply with the company’s standards and policies, particularly with the use of safety-providing equipment, may lead to health hazards, or worse, fatalities in the occupational setting.

3. Getting certified.
Safety training and certification is a necessity for workers whose daily tasks puts them at risk for exposure to asbestos. Asbestos may not be easily identifiable, and its fibers are also so tiny that they are not easily seen by the naked eye.

When released into the air, they can be inhaled into the lungs, or settle on articles of clothing which allows them to be taken out of the workplace and possibly into the worker’s home. Getting trained and certified is a necessity in order to protect not only the worker’s health and safety, but also the health and safety of those who work in the company as well as their families.

4. Helping to identify risks.
When the presence of asbestos is suspected, the worker should follow company protocol in order to have the risk identified and assessed. Part of a worker’s responsibility is to report both identified and unidentified risks, as well as participating in the implementation of risk control measures.

Employers have a duty to do what they can to ensure that their employees’ health and safety are protected at work. This includes making sure that workers are not exposed to substances that could be detrimental to their health, such as asbestos. By doing so, employees are able to work in a safe environment without risking their health. On the other hand, employees also need to do their part in keeping free from asbestos exposure. Keeping safe in the workplace is a collaborative effort.

Visit theasbestosinstitute.com for more information. This comprehensive training center seeks to educate and protect clients through a diverse group of classes and training seminars.

Safety in the Office is Directly Tied With Cleaning

Every office environment needs to be cleaned and sanitized in order to ensure the safety and health of all employees working there. Regardless of what the nature of the work you do in the office is, you have to make sure it is safe. That way people will not only feel good about the work they do in the office, but also they will be more productive.

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When it comes to maintaining the safety of people, while they work, everything plays an important role. That said, office cleaning is very important, just as it is important to maintain a certain standard about cleaning. That will ensure that all health standards are maintained and that there is no risk to human health. Here are certain points that prove that work safety is tied to cleaning:

Clean equipment – the equipment in any office should be regularly cleaned in order to ensure that it functions properly. This is especially important for machinery that requires human operators and that people often work around. In order to ensure that the equipment functions properly and that it is most efficient, it needs to be maintained by professional cleaners most of the times. If that is not done, there is always danger of machinery not working properly, which poses a threat to the work process and those who are involved in it.

Reduce the clutter – a cluttered working environment poses a real danger to everyone working there. When there is too much stuff lying on the ground and on the desktops, accidents can happen. People often times require a lot of space to work effectively, and when that is not the case, their productivity will be hindered. When there is no clutter in the office, the work process will be smooth and people will not accidentally bump into things that get in their way.

Careful with the cleaning substances – a good number of cleaning solutions are truly harmful for human health. This is why if you hire a professional cleaning company you have to make sure that their substances and solutions are non-toxic and they pose no risk for human health. You want to make sure that the office cleaners utilize green cleaning methods and eco-friendly solutions. Ideally you want to have efficient cleaning service that will get the job done fast and efficiently.

Cleaning practices – you want to ensure that any cleaning practices in the office are carefully designed so that they pose no risk for anyone. This includes putting warning signs of wet floors, safety instructions on how to utilize cleaning equipment and written rules of how cleaning the office environment should be done.

Safety in the Office is Directly Tied To Cleaning

Cleaning the office is an important part of the work process, as it is the only thing that can guarantee a safe and clean environment. The aforementioned aspects of cleaning should always be maintained as they are essential in ensuring there are no risks for the people working in the office.

For more cleaning tips go to this site

Respiratory Safety Tips and Guidelines

There are plenty of hazardous jobs out there, ranging from cutting materials and grinding them, producing dust in the process, to welding which produces toxic fumes, mixing chemicals and various other types of work during construction and other jobs that produce and use toxic substances. The side effects of working with such chemicals or in such conditions will often include a number of symptoms such as shortness of breath, burning sensations, dizziness, and in the worst case scenarios even unconsciousness and death. Keeping yourself safe when working in such conditions is a serious business, so you will need to ensure you know what you’re doing, lest you end up sick or worse.

Respiratory Safety Tips and Guidelines

• Ensure your equipment fits you, as there are different sizes available and you need to make sure yours is the right one, especially when you work with chemicals. There is a good reason why it’s a bad idea to have beards, sideburns, stubble or even moustaches, as they will be a problem when you’re using a respirator of any kind. You need to ensure you’ve tested the fit to verify the seal before entering a hazardous environment. Eye glasses may also affect the fit, so you may want to have corrective lenses on your eyes instead so they won’t get in the way. Cold temperatures will create valve sticking, fogging, and stiff rubber on masks and so on.

Choosing the right respirator is up to you, as there are different ones used for different types of hazards. You need to make sure you use the right kind for the right situation. You need to ask yourself if any other ways of countering the hazard will work out first. Make sure you’re fully aware of what it is and how you can deal with it. You need to know that an unknown composition of the atmosphere you’re about to breathe can be extremely dangerous, flammable or even deadly. You can use disposable masks for dust such as sawdust and so on, but they will not work well with concrete dust and finer particles. They will work well when you need to do cleaning for construction, or maybe even simple house cleaning, carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and so on if you’re allergic to dust. You need to make sure you always use a full gas mask for hazardous chemicals that may also act as eye irritants or worse. Always, absolutely always make sure you have a tight seal and you’ll do just fine.

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• Air purification devices are fairly common in the construction world, but they do possess their own limitations as well. They do not protect against oxygen deficient atmospheres, since they will require the resupply of air, they also cannot be used for entry into dangerous atmospheres such as those of hydrogen sulfide. You also cannot use them with substances with poor warning properties, such as those extremely dangerous, no odor, no eye irritation or respiratory irritation substances such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide, which are fairly hard to detect by ordinary means. Be aware of what you’re dealing with as much as possible and use the right filters for the right situation.
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Protective Clothing and Work Safety during Plumbing

Before you begin working on any DIY projects or plumbing repairs, you would do well to review some of the simple basics concerning safety. By following certain methods you will spare yourself injury and failure as well as being able to complete your projects on time. The following safety tips should be followed no matter what type of project you’re after:

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• Stay informed
You need to check the local building and plumbing codes before you start working on your project. Knowing what you can do to make things work that way will keep things professional and safe when you need to be careful.

• Eye protection
Work only with safety glasses if you need to do any plumbing work done, especially if you suspect you may have anything that could potentially endanger your eyes. Any work that involves using a drill, snaking a drain, hammering, working under a sink or using a reciprocating saw will pose a danger and potential hazard for the eyes. Sometimes small objects, droplets of sewer water and so on may fly into your eyes if you lack proper protection, so make sure that never happens.

• Hand protection
You would do well to focus on wearing proper protection for your hands at all times when you work. Hands will often come into contact with different chemicals, sewer water and more when you work on plumbing. If your hands have any scratches you may risk infection, not to mention handling things that way is simply unsanitary. Whenever you use a drain machine of any sort, you would do well to use leather or latex gloves to protect yourself from the germs of your drain lines. Good drain gloves will not only protect your hands, but it will also become a good habit to handle tools with them for added safety.

Protective Clothing and Work Safety during Plumbing

• Lung protection
You will need to work with a face mask if you want to protect your lungs. Sanding, sawing and more are sometimes needed when you work on some plumbing projects, not to mention the unpleasant smell of sewer gases that would be filtered through a mask so you won’t have to inhale it.

• Being careful
You would do well to be extra careful whenever you’re handling any tools, as you will need to follow the manufacturer’s suggestions if you want to succeed. Many people are often injured when they don’t keep both hands on the power tools they use, not staying vigilant as they work and so forth. Don’t be one of them and keep your eyes open and your hands steady.

• Get some help
Having someone to give you a hand when you need it will make completing your tasks far easier to handle. Running a drain machine for example means you will need to have two hands on the cable, as well as someone else unplugging the machine when you’re done, not to mention other tasks that need more than a single pair of hands. This will be very useful whenever you deal with plumbing emergencies, as you never know what you may need.
Read more helpful practical tips go at: http://www.plumbingservicesplumbers.co.uk/bayswater-plumbers-W2/local-plumbers-bayswater.html

DIY Construction Safety Tips and Guidelines

DIY construction efforts take quite a bit of effort, but they should never be hurried along at the expense of safety. You would do well to keep that in mind so you can prevent any accidents you may face. You can get things done even without hiring builders, a building team in most cases, such as bathroom and kitchen fitting, wallpapering, tiling and even brick work. Think ahead and use the following tips to get yourself prepared for the building jobs ahead in a productive and safe manner:

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• If you use poorly designed tools and equipment of low quality, then chances are things WILL break at some point and you may get hurt in the process, not to mention the long term health hazards that may lead to. Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tendonitis, white finger and so forth are something you do not want to deal with.

• You should never carry a tool by its cord or doing so with its hoses. Even though this may seem like a good idea at some point, you would do well to avoid it as much as possible. Keep the cords away from any oil, water, heat and sharp edges to avoid any damage. Look for power tools that have lower vibrations overall and make sure you protect your ears and eyes from harm by using goggles and ear protection.

• You must make sure you have tools that don’t conduct electricity or heat so you can do your job well.

• Make sure you maintain a good posture while you work and use the tools as intended to avoid accidents during your renovation or construction efforts.

• You need to make sure you keep people away from any areas where you operate machines, especially if they have no business there and it poses danger to yourself and them.

• You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings while you work, especially when it comes to low clearance areas, obstructions of all sorts and any obstacles that end up in your path so you won’t trip and hurt yourself or worse. This happens more often than you may think.

• You need to pay even more attention when you’re using scaffoldings, as this is a pretty dangerous place to be when you work, even on the best of days. Make sure its erected on a nice and solid surface and that the scaffolding itself is strong enough with more than sufficient weight capacity, at least four times the weight you believe it will need to take.

DIY Construction Safety Tips and Guidelines

• You must never support any scaffoldings or planks on an uneven surface or with uneven objects that simply don’t have a good footing.

• Keep scaffoldings away from any power lines to stay on the safe side during work, especially when you’re alone and you have no other builder present working along you.

• No matter what building service you do, never use a damaged scaffold, regardless of how much in a hurry you are or how small a job you feel you need to do. Make sure you have a good and solid footing on a sturdy scaffold and use the proper guardrails, mid rails and toe boards when you work.

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Eye Protection Safety Tips and Guidelines

Were you aware that each day the US there are more than 2000 eye injuries happening across the country? A lot of these accidents happen because of falling or flying objects, most of which are even smaller than a pin. You need to make sure you keep yourself safe whenever you work, so you would do well to keep a few things in mind as you go about your day. Most workplace injuries of this kind will happen whenever there is no need for safety eyewear or when its left to the individual workers to decide whether they need it or not. A lot of these injuries also happen due to poor cleaning practices in the workplace, especially when you’re handling dangerous chemicals. Cleaning services and professional cleaners in general will alleviate this type of issue up to a point, but vigilance is necessary in all situations regardless of that. The following checklist of tips will give you more information on what you can do to make accidents like that something easily avoided:

Eye Protection Safety Tips and Guidelines

• Creating a safe environment

You will need to focus on minimizing hazards from falling or unstable objects by securing all areas against such possibilities. Make sure you have your tools and safety features in place and secure at all times. You should also always ensure people know how to use their tools safely and properly to avoid accidents, as well as never allowing bystanders inside hazardous areas at all times.

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• Using workplace safety practices

You should always remember to shake, brush and vacuum all dust from hardhats, your forehead or your hair before you remove your protective eyewear. This will help protect your eyes from dust when you remove them. You should also work on cleaning your eyewear on a regular basis as well as never rubbing your eyes with dirty hands.
No matter how much you fight against such issues, sometimes accidents do happen and you need to focus on dealing with the accidents as they happen:

• Specks on the retina

You should never rub the eye that was affected, as this would only make the problem worse. Flush it with lots of clean water instead and see a doctor if your problems persist and the speck doesn’t wash out.

• Dealing with foreign objects, punctures and cuts
Unlike the previous example, you should avoid washing the affected eye as you may worsen the situation. Avoid trying to remove the object and look for medical attention as soon as possible, since you will be in need of delicate medical help.

• Dealing with chemical burns

Flush the eye with water or some other drinkable liquid as soon as possible and open the eye as widely as you can. Keep flushing for the next 15 minutes even as you look for medical help. If you work in a location that handles dangerous chemicals, chances are there will be an eyewash station you can use to do this.
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