Three P’s of Safe Winter Driving

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Winter driving can be hazardous; especially in northern regions that get a lot of snow and ice. Like it or not but winter is coming soon and preparing to drive in adverse conditions is important. Additional preparations can help make a trip safer, or help staff deal with an emergency. It is important to remember the “Three P’s of Safe Winter Driving”; Prepare for the trip, Protect yourself and Prevent crashes on the road. To stay safe and on the road during inclement weather, experts advise keeping vehicles in top condition with frequent safety checks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that “failure to keep in proper lane or running off the road” and “driving too fast for conditions” are the two most frequent driver behaviors causing winter accidents. The NHTSA urges drivers to: check your battery, check your cooling system, fill your windshield washer reservoir, check windshield wipers and defrosters, check floor mat installation to prevent pedal interference, inspect your tires and stay vigilant while driving. Winter Driving Tips are available in the Online Resource Library and the NHTSA has additional recommendations; read more HERE.

Turn Clocks Back – Move Safety Forward

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Many regions fall back with daylights savings time and November 6th is the time to turn clocks back. Besides the benefit of getting an “extra” hour of rest 11/6 is also a good time to look at moving forward with the following safety reminders:

  1. Replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  2. Check fire safety monitoring systems
  3. Inspect fire extinguishers to ensure they are charged and current
  4. Inspect extension cords and ensure that they are only being used for temporary situations
  5. Protect electronic devices with surge protectors
  6. Review emergency plans; conduct a drill
  7. Inspect vehicles; change windshield wipers
  8. Ensure vehicles are prepared and equipped for winter
  9. Drivers should review these tips for driving at night from the National Safety Council (NSC)
  10. Stock up on ice melt and ensure snow shovels are in good repair
  11. Review back injury prevention for snow shoveling

Effective Aquatic Safety Drills

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Regular and unannounced drills are useful practices in maintaining a high level of aquatic readiness. These type of drills can help to reinforce victim recognition and scanning skills. Drills should be conducted to compliment monthly in-service training that includes an emphasis on victim recognition, scanning and the aquatic emergency action plan. Executing drills at different times of the day and week will help to ensure consistent practices whenever aquatic operations are offered; high usage times should not be avoided. All drills should be documented by an observer to record results and for later review. Read more HERE for information on effective aquatic safety drills.

Is Your Exposure Control Plan Up-to-Date?

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OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) requires an employer to implement an exposure control plan with details on employee protection measures in order to reduce or eliminate the hazards of occupational exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. The plan must describe how an employer will use engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, employee training, medical surveillance, hepatitis B vaccinations, and other provisions as required by the standard. The standard is one of the more common challenges for many nonprofits and is often only partially met or confusing to management. Common shortfalls are lack of a written plan (sample plan), failure to evaluate exposures by position, misunderstanding engineering controls such as sharps, lack of personal protective equipment, and failure to offer hepatitis B vaccinations to identified employees. However, it is not impossible to comply with the standard. Organizations should develop a written plan and address all the required elements. More information about compliance with this safety standard is available at the Online Resource Library and from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

National Fire Prevention Month

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October is National Fire Prevention Month and is a great time to make fire prevention a topic all around your organization. Safety training refreshers for staff, emergency procedure review, exit route planning, activities for children and emergency drills can be tied into the theme and strengthen your facility’s level of preparedness. For more information on fire prevention activity ideas contact your local fire department to foster a strong relationship or look HERE.

Plan for Drive Safely Work Week

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Driver behavior contributes to 94% of all traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), meaning nearly all crashes are preventable. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has launched its free comprehensive online toolkit to help prevent incidents and for employers to plan ahead for Drive Safely Work Week 2016. The October workplace campaign looks to improve the safety of employees and communities. Materials are available to help raise awareness and encourage employees to minimize risks on the road. Read more HERE.

Save Tiny Fingers

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26,000 fingers are amputated or broken in door accidents every year according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A study published by the American College of Emergency Physicians states that children younger than 5 years had the highest rate of finger amputations treated in hospital emergency rooms. Almost 75% of these amputations in young children resulted from their finger(s) getting caught, jammed, or crushed in a doorway during the opening or closing of a door. Youth-serving organizations and child care centers should review their facilities to see if these injuries can be prevented. Many organizations have found that the installation of products such as Pinch-Not and Fingersafe door safety products can help keep small fingers safe.