By: Donna Devita
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June is National Safety Month
June is the official start of National Safety Month! To help promote overall safety across the United States, the National Safety Council (NSC) alongside supportive organizations are dedicating an entire month to spreading safety awareness and providing public prevention techniques to reduce unnecessary accidents.
Every year in America…
- Nearly 5,000 workers are killed in occupational work accidents and 3 million suffer from work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Approximately 70 million individuals suffer from a sleep disorder that could potentially cause serious and fatal accidents.
- Over 40,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents and an additional 2 million are injured or disabled.
- Around 8 million people visit the emergency room to address injuries sustained from falling and 1 million of these are caused by slip-and-falls accidents.
Inspired by the slogan ‘No 1 Gets Hurt’ the NSC has done an exceptional job of developing a variety of materials highlighting the importance of prioritizing workplace and home safety as we continue into 2018.
How To Promote Safety This June
National Safety Month is a compact initiative addressing the most concerning safety issues Americans face every day. Each week of June is dedicated to educating the public on one of the top four most common causes of accidents that lead to unnecessary occupational and personal injuries and fatalities. Safety tips provided can equally be implemented in any environment to help prepare for emergency situations and prevent the occurrence of serious accidents.
Week 1: Emergency Preparedness
Natural disasters, national emergencies, and random criminal acts are often unpredictable but not impossible to prepare for. Creating and practicing an emergency plan can be extremely beneficial when it comes time to put it into action. The Occupational Health and Safety Association (OSHA) recommends creating an emergency response plan for each of the following, especially in the workplace:
- Natural Disasters and Weather
- Disease and Toxins
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive, etc.
- Shooting Threats
- General First Aid and CPR Emergencies
Scheduling drills on where to go for safety under each condition, or creating multiple emergency kits with all necessary items and tools, are also highly recommended safety practices. In emergencies where cellphone service or electricity is lost, downloading these useful disaster apps can be lifesaving when attempting to keep in touch with family and loved ones.
Week 2: Wellness
Most Americans tend to put their health aside when it comes to work and other ‘important’ obligations. But without getting enough rest and focusing on proper nutrition, these individuals are setting themselves up for long-term health consequences and an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Employers looking to promote healthier workplaces can implement wellness programs, including:
- Incentive programs for accomplishing fitness goals
- Scheduled group workouts
- Morning yoga groups
- Healthy recipe exchanges
- Walking challenges
- Quitting smoking support groups
One of the most important focuses when it comes to wellness week is sleep…or for most Americans, the lack of sleep! Sleep studies show fatigue significantly decreases an individual’s physical and cognitive ability to perform daily tasks and work obligations safely. Individuals suffering a consistent loss of sleep are at increased risk of:
- Car accidents
- Slip and falls
- Memory loss
- Poor judgment
- Slower reaction times
- Long-term health conditions
- Premature death
Educating employees on the consequences of insufficient sleep and providing resources on how to promote healthier sleep habits can improve an individual’s mental, physical, and emotional health, all while increasing their level of safety when awake.
Week 3: Falls
Falls are the third leading cause of unintentional-injury related deaths in the country and the number one cause of death for individuals 65 years and older. Falls can happen anytime and anywhere, as long as there are unsafe or unsteady obstructions present. NSC suggests using these tips to reduce the risk of fall-related injuries in your work or home environment:
- Remove tripping hazards in walkways, stairways, and doorways, such as clutter and electrical cords.
- Use non-slip adhesive on stairs and place non-skid materials in bathtubs to prevent slipping.
- Utilize nightlights throughout the home to prevent falls at night.
- Wear proper footwear to work, in your home and outdoors.
- Clean up any spills immediately to prevent slip and falls.
- Install grab bars in bathrooms and other areas necessary for individuals in need of support.
- Avoid distracted walking hazards such as loud headphones and cell phones.
Falls are one of the most preventable causes of injuries. Using this week as a reminder to fall-proof all areas of your workplace and home could mean the difference between life and death for yourself or others around you.
Week 4: Driving
Driving accidents are the single greatest annual cause of death for healthy Americans according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). It is are also the leading cause of death among children in our country, responsible for the loss of nearly 1,600 young lives every year. The brutal fact regarding vehicle accidents is 94 percent are caused by human error. In other words; most are completely preventable.
In the final week of National Safety Month, remind everyone around you about the dangers of reckless driving behaviors and actively practice NSC’s safe driving tips on the road:
- Avoid using cell phones or other electronic devices when driving.
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Always ensure you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts.
- Never leave children alone in the car.
- Always properly use child safety seats.
- Do not perform work task while behind the wheel.
- Check your vehicle for recalls and damages regularly.
If you have teen drivers, pay extra attention to their driving behaviors. It never hurts to give them a review on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, which are two leading causes of fatal vehicle accidents among young drivers.
Making CT Safer
It’s never too late to intensify safety policies in the workplace or to start preparing for emergencies in your home. For additional resources on how to protect your employees and family, check out NSC’s resource page for more information on National Safety Month topics and recommendations. Every Connecticut resident who prioritizes safety this month brings us one step closer to a safer, more enjoyable state.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the safety negligence of another, our winning team at Jacobs & Wallace is here to help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are dedicated to fighting for you, beginning with a free consultation to review your case. Contact us today to see how we can seek justice for your injuries and obtain the compensation you deserve.