Effective Aquatic Safety Drills


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?


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


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


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


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.


It’s Better to Miss One Game than the Whole Season


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed the Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions and to help ensure the health and safety of young athletes. The Heads Up initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion for coaches, parents and athletes. A concussion is an injury that changes how the cells in the brain normally work. The potential for concussions is greatest in athletic environments where collisions are common. Concussions can occur, however in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity. As many as 3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions occur in the United States each year.

Preparing for Allergy Emergencies



An emergency care plan should be prepared for all participants in programming that have food allergies. The Food Allergy Research & Education Center (FARE) recommends using their Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan, which outlines recommended treatment in case of an allergic reaction, is signed by a physician and includes emergency contact information. This document presents critical information including allergen(s), symptoms and treatment instructions in an easy-to-follow format—critical in an anaphylactic emergency. The document also allows the user to upload a photo. The plan is also available in Spanish. The plan should be used for youth and adults enrolled in day, resident and family camp programs as well as child care, afterschool and any other program where the organization assumes the responsibility for an individual’s care.