Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks are a 4th of July Tradition.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), there were an estimated 9,600 fireworks related injuries during the Fourth of July season in 2011.  Most of these injuries would not have occurred if the fireworks had been used under close adult supervision and if some basic safety steps had been taken.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season:
  • Know your fireworks; Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • Have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
  • Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
  • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks and use them only in the manner in which they were intended.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
For more safety tips visit

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

National Safety Month - Overexertion

Did you know - overexertion is the third leading cause of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for about 3.2 million emergency department visits.

These injuries can easily be prevented by encouraging good ergonomic practices. The most common injuries resulting from overexertion are strains (tendons or muscles) and sprains (ligaments), especially of the lower back. These injuries usually involve moving materials, for instance, reaching for or lifting a load from one spot to another, transferring the weight of a load to a carrying position, or lowering a load to the ground or handing it to someone.

As with all preventable injury, awareness and foresight are the best medicine. Make sure you’re familiar with any overexertion hazards present in your home or office. Causes of overexertion to watch for include:
  • Heavy lifting
  • Bending at the waist (especially repeatedly, for a long time or with twisting)
  • Pushing/pulling
  • Long-term poor posture (while either sitting or standing)
  • Sitting while absorbing vibration through the body (as in truck driving)

These causes can be exacerbated by personal conditions like aging (with its loss of flexibility), poor physical condition and weight.

Once you’re aware of its causes, the key to preventing overexertion is to assess the situation and to work smart and comfortably, not hard. Ergonomic tips for avoiding overexertion include:

  • Use good lifting techniques
  • Avoid twisting or overextending your reach
  • Properly position chairs and workstations
  • Use devices like dollies, hand trucks, and pallet jacks
  • Know your physical limits
  • Manage personal factors by reducing stress, staying hydrated, keeping fit, and getting a good night’s sleep.
 More information is available from OSHA.

Monday, June 24, 2013

National Safety Month - Ergonomics

National Safety Month, an annual observance to educate and encourage safe behaviors around top causes of preventable injuries and deaths. This weeks theme focuses on Ergonomics.

Ergonomics involves designing the job environment to fit the person and is
important to take into consideration at work, but also while working on projects
at home. It’s about learning how to work smarter and preventing conditions such as

Ergonomic conditions are disorders of the soft tissues, specifically of the muscles,
nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs.
These conditions are often caused by factors such as:
  • Overexertion while lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching
  • Repetitive motions
  • Working in awkward positions
  • Sitting or standing too long in one position
  • Using excessive force
  • Vibration
  • Resting on sharp corners or edges
  • Temperature extremes
Remember, these can occur from activities at work, such as working on an
assembly line, using heavy equipment or typing on a computer. They also can
result from activities at home like playing video games, helping someone move,
participating in hobbies such as sewing or through home repair projects.

Know the signs
Ergonomic conditions are best dealt with when they are caught early.
Common symptoms include:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Tenderness
  • Clicking
  • Loss of grip strength
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to see your physician or
an occupational physician as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pain.

More information is available from OSHA.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Home Safety Month

In addition to be National Safety Month - June is Home Safety Month.

According to the CDC, more than 9 million children between birth and age 19 are seen for injuries each year in U.S. emergency departments, and injuries are the leading cause of death among children in this age group.

Home Safety Month is an ideal time to learn about the top causes of child injury and the steps you can take to prevent them.

  • Install and maintain smoke alarms in your home.
  • Develop and practice a family fire escape plan.
  • Set your water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  • Use safe cooking practices, such as never leaving food unattended on the stove.

  • Install a four-sided isolation fence, with self-closing and self-latching gates, around backyard swimming pools.
  • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and get recertified every two years.
  • Supervise young children at all times around bathtubs, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water.

  • Use playground equipment that is properly designed and maintained, and that has a soft landing surface material below.
  • Use home safety devices, such as guards on windows that are located above ground-level, stair gates, and guard rails.
  • Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, like stairs and playground equipment.

  • Store medicines and other toxic products such as cleaning solutions in locked or childproof cabinets.
  • Put the poison control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone.
  • Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.

For more information visit the CDC Web-site.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

National Safety Month - Emergency Preparedness Week

National Safety Month, an annual observance to educate and encourage safe behaviors around top causes of preventable injuries and deaths. This weeks theme focuses on Emergency Preparedness.

Your home or work routines can be disrupted with little or no warning by natural disasters, fires or other catastrophic events. It's important that you and your family are prepared as help may not always be available. During large community wide emergencies, first responders – police, fire and emergency medical services may be overwhelmed with numerous calls for help or even physically unable to reach your location due to blocked roads.

Plan Ahead
Man-made and natural hazards occur routinely in the United States. On average, nearly 70 Federal disaster declarations are issued annually. It is important to identify and learn about the hazards most likely to occur in your community. Make a plan and share this information with your loved ones to prevent needless confusion and worry.
  • Determine the safest course of action for you and your family for each hazard. In some situations, it may be better to stay where you are, also called sheltering in place. This would be necessary during a tornado or hazardous chemical release, for example. Sometimes, leaving an area to escape danger or evacuation is the safer course of action in situations such as a fire or hurricane. 
  • Stay informed. Know how your community alerts citizens in an emergency. It may be an emergency broadcast on the radio or TV. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door. If available, sign up for your community's emergency text or email alert system.
  • Plan for your family’s comfort during disasters. Severe weather, earthquakes, flooding and other emergencies may cause utility outages. Prepare a kit that can meet your household’s basic needs (food, water, etc.) for 72 hours. Don't forget a kit for your car. 
  • Practice with your family what to do in an emergency. Conduct regular drills for the most common hazards such as a fire, tornado or earthquake.
  • Know how to keep in touch. Local telephone service may be interrupted. Sometimes, it is easier to send a text message or contact a family member in another state. Each family member should know how to make contact to advise that they are safe.
More information is available at

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

National Safety Month - Employee Wellness

National Safety Month, an annual observance to educate and encourage safe behaviors around top causes of preventable injuries and deaths.

This week motivates the public to make educated decisions in regards to their health and wellness. With busy schedules and lifestyles, keeping the mind, body and soul healthy can be a major challenge. These tips to healthy living can help you meet that challenge:
  1. Get Physical – Exercise not only helps you build muscle, lose weight and gain self-confidence, but it's vital in maintaining a healthy heart. And, don't think you need to spend hours at the gym to achieve a new physical you. From strength training and cardio workouts, to walking the dog or taking the stairs – anything that gets your heart pumping will benefit your health.
  2. Stress is a Mess – Over time, stress can lead to serious health issues such as obesity, depression and even death. Wellness experts at Moen suggest that when you start seeing red, instead think blue – as in blueberries. Antioxidants found in the tasty fruit fight stress hormones. Also, don't forget to breathe. Inhaling a deep breath for 5 seconds then exhaling for another 5 seconds can help clear your mind and enhance blood circulation.
  3. LOL, Laugh Out Loud – Build your immune system through laughter! Health-increasing hormones like endorphins are released into your body when you laugh. Additionally, laughter works your abdominal muscles.
  4. Eat Healthy – We know we should eat healthy, and with new online tools it’s a no-brainer. The new MyPyramid program (, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allows you to choose the ideal proportions or foods and food groups to eat according to your body size and structure.
  5. Get Plenty of Zzzzzz’s – Between work, family and extra activities, it’s sometimes difficult to get the necessary 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Be sure to avoid caffeine or exercise right before bed. Instead, try reading a book or mediating.
  6. What’s Up, Doc? – Going to the doctor only when you’re sick isn’t going to cut it. For both your physical and mental well-being, it’s wise to have a routine annual physical examination. Especially if your family has a history of health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, getting regular check-ups can help prevent or detect serious health issues.
  7. Yoga-tta Do It – Yoga, an ancient practice of stretching and breathing techniques, has become a popular exercise for both men and women. In addition to releasing positive energy, yoga prevents injuries, promotes flexibility and can add relief to a stressful day. In fact, according to the book, Real Men Do Yoga, PGA golfer David Duval practices yoga every day. So, if it’s good enough for professionals, it may be an excellent addition to your weekly stress-relief routine.
  8. The Right to Recreation – You schedule meetings and appointments each week, so why not schedule time for recreation? Be sure to set time each week for activities you enjoy. Whether it’s dinner with family and friends, or taking the phone off the hook and curling up with a good book, be sure to block out time on your calendar with activities that you enjoy and will rejuvenate you.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sun Safety Week

June 2 - 8 is Sun Safety Week.

Did you know -Insect Repellants reduce sunscreen’s SPF by up to 1/3. When using a combination, use a sunscreen with a higher SPF.

Other Sun Safety Tips Include:
  • Over exposure to the sun’s harmful rays can result in sunburns which increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, check your local UV Index which provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. The UV Index forecast is issued each afternoon by the National Weather Service and EPA.
  • Seek the shade whenever possible! The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so remember the shadow rule when in the sun: If your shadow is short it’s time to abort and seek the shade!.
  • Don’t be deceived by color or cost of Sunglasses! The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the darkness of the lens or the price tag. While both plastic and glass lenses absorb some UV light, UV absorption is improved by adding certain chemicals to the lens material during manufacturing or by applying special lens coatings. Always choose sunglasses that are labeled as blocking 99-100% of UV rays. Some manufacturers’ labels will say “UV absorption up to 400nm.” This is the same thing as 100% UV absorption. Look before you choose!
  • Sunburn doesn’t only happen during the summer! Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn. Protect yourself year round by using sunscreen with protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and an SPF of 15 or greater. Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen on the exposed areas of your skin whenever possible! 

Block the Sun, Not the Fun!