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July is UV Safety Month

SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, WRAP!

Planning a trip?  Going for a swim?  Or just enjoying the sunshine?  Don't forget the American Cancer Society's sun safety tips, which can protect you and those you love while outdoors.  Most skin cancers are preventable if you follow a few simple steps to shield your skin from harmful ultraviolet or UV rays.  Remember these tips before you head outside:

  • Slip on a shirt, preferably a dark colored one with tightly woven fabric and long sleeves.
  • Slop on sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more.
  • Slap on a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Wrap on sunglasses and protect your eyes from the sun.
  • Stay in the shade, particularly between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Knowing the correct way to apply sunscreen is a crucial step in this sun safety routine.  For the best effect, apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before stepping outside.  A palm-sized amount of sunscreen should be enough to cover an average adult's arms, legs, neck, and face.  For best results, most sunscreens need to be reapplied every two hours, and after swimming, sweating heavily, or toweling off.

Check your local UV index daily, a scale of 1-11+ that measures the amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching the ground during an hour around noon each day.  The higher the number, the greater your risk for UV exposure.  On a high-UV day, UV rays can begin to cause sun damage to a fair-skinned person within 15 minutes without skin protection like sunscreen.  The UV index can be found at the National Weather Service at weather.gov.

Remember, protecting yourself and those you love from the sun reduces your risk of skin cancer.  While largely treatable, skin cancer can be deadly.  According to the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2008, more than one million skin cancers will be diagnosed this year, and 11,200 people will die from skin cancer.

Knowing how to limit exposure to UV radiation is the key to a healthy and fun sun experience.

(Source:  American Cancer Society)

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us and with it comes the traditional turkey dinner. However, the improper storing, cooking, and serving of roast turkey can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria like salmonella, which can cause food borne illness.

Safe food handling of turkey and other holiday foods is essential in preventing food borne illness. Here are some tips to share with your family for preparing a Thanksgiving bird safely:

  • Thaw the frozen turkey in the refrigerator. Allow one day for each five pounds of turkey. A twenty-pound turkey will take about four days to thaw. Hint: Remove neck and giblets from inside the bird as soon as possible to hasten thawing.
  • Do not thaw on the kitchen counter. If you do not have time to thaw in the refrigerator, you may thaw it in cold water, provided that the turkey is in a leak-proof packaging, it is submerged and the water is changed every half hour. Allow 30 minutes per pound of turkey to thaw in cold water.
  • Cook fresh turkeys within two days, thawed ones within four days.
  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw poultry. Wash all knives, cutting boards and utensils also after using for raw poultry.
  • Read and follow the cooking directions on the label. Cook turkey until it is done (165°F). Do not slow cook overnight at low temperatures or partially cook. Some turkeys come with pop-up thermometers. They are to be used only as a guide to doneness. Take the temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure the temperature is over 165°F.
  • Stuffing should not be prepared a day ahead and the turkey should not be stuffed until ready to cook. A quicker, safer method is to cook the stuffing separately in a casserole, using some of the pan juices to flavor and moisten the stuffing.
  • Eat the meal as soon as it is prepared. Do not leave leftovers out on the counter or table after dinner. Cut the meat off the bones and put it in shallow containers in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat all leftovers to 165°F. Use your meat thermometer. Gravy should be brought to a rolling boil.
Follow these simple tips to help assure your family and guests a safe Thanksgiving Day.
Setting the Example

Setting a good example is not a "put-on."  It's simply working safety into your daily routine at home and on the job.  When we all work safely, everyone's job is safe and their future more secure.

New employees certainly benefit by seeing operations conducted the safe way.  As you all know from experience, people new on the job take a while to adjust and to discover who they are in the overall set-up of the organization.  New employees who have never held a job before or were employed by a firm that had a weak safety program probably will need considerable safety instruction.  We'll attempt to give it to them, but naturally, they also observe and seek advice and information from fellow workers.  These early impressions of you and your safety operations will be at least partially formed through these contacts and observations.

On the other hand, newcomers formerly employed by a firm that emphasized safety will probably think more of you personally if you measure up to the caliber of people they are accustomed to working with.

"Don't do as I do; do as I say" is a pretty tired expression, and it got tired because we all have repeated it many times - not just verbally but through our actions, and actions speak louder than words.  When we leave our safety glasses resting on our foreheads rather than in place over our eyes, or when we kick an empty milk carton under a bench rather than pick it up, we're selling safety but it's a useless soft sell.  Our actions are saying, "I believe in wearing eye protection but not in protecting my eyes; and I know trash can cause a tripping accident, but it isn't important enough to make me pick it up."

There's another angle to setting good examples.  Too often people dress to impress others with their good taste rather than their knowledge of safety.  Wearing rings, bracelets, and other ornaments is dangerous around machinery and in many other jobs where it is possible for jewelry to be caught by moving parts of machinery, thus cause injury to the wearer.  Long sleeves, floppy pant legs, and long hair can be hazardous on some jobs too.

So we should always dress for the job.  Our image as a fashion expert may suffer, but it will give way to the more important and more beneficial image of safety.

Maybe some of us feel we are already setting good examples for safety, but maybe this self-image isn't too accurate.  Think just for a moment - isn't it strange that we always think about having the nice things happen to us and when we think about an accident, it's usually happening to someone else?

Accidents are a reality.  Make your personal safety just as real and you'll have a good chance of not becoming the other person to whom accidents are always happening.

We also might remember that our children some day will be entering the work force.  And they, like the newcomer on the job, can benefit by our actions that exemplify safety consciousness.

Most of us try to demonstrate to our kids how to cross streets or how to light matches when they are of age.  If, through the years, your kids learn from you how to use a ladder correctly, or that it's good practice to keep tools in their proper places or that there's a right way to lift things, you've given them an additional opportunity for the better life the future promises.

(From:  http://www.safetytoolboxtalks.com)

Holiday Safety

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree 

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are approximately 500 Christmas tree fires every year, resulting in more than 20 deaths, 117 injuries, and $20 million in damage. There are steps that you can take to reduce the chances that your family will be affected by this type of tragedy.

A dried-out Christmas tree can be totally consumed by fire in less than 30 seconds. When picking out your tree, select the freshest looking one--needles should be hard to pull from the branches, the trunk butt should be sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.

"Resistant" label. Although this label does not mean the tree will not catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.

For a real tree, use a stand with a water reservoir and keep the reservoir filled.

Lights out

Decorative lights add a festive touch to our homes during the holiday season, but can be dangerous when improperly assembled or used.

Only use lights that have been tested for safety. You can identify these by a "UL" label from Underwriters Laboratories.

Check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.

Check light labels to be sure that they are suitable for outdoor use if you intend to use them in the yard or on your home's exterior.  Never use indoor lights for this purpose.  Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, walls, and other supports to protect them from wind damage.

Be careful how you string your Christmas tree lights: Keep all bulbs turned away from gifts and paper ornaments.

Indoor lights strung carelessly in windows can cause curtains or drapes to ignite.

Do not overload electrical outlets.

Candle with Care

Candles are a traditional and beautiful art of the season, but they are still a direct source of fire in your home. Keep all candles a safe distance from other things, and in a place where they cannot be knocked down or blown over, or reached by little ones and pets. Never use lighted candles on a tree. Always use non-flammable holders.

Wrap it up

Dispose of gift wrap soon after opening presents. A room full of paper lying around on the floor and furniture is yet another holiday hazard. Do not burn wrappings in a fireplace; they may ignite suddenly and cause a flash fire.

What's cooking?

Holidays mean lots of cooking and lots of eating, and there's more to worry about than just gaining those extra pounds! Keep ranges clean and free of grease. Turn pot handles away from the front of the range so pots won't be knocked over. Wear appropriate clothes when cooking; roll or tie back long or loose sleeves or accessories. Keep children away from the range at all times. Never leave the kitchen unattended when food is cooking.

Give space heaters space

An adequate clearance of at least 36" from any combustible surface. Make sure the heater meets UL testing and is used properly.

Party safely

Costumes and decorations should be flame-retardant or non-combustible. Take extra care with smoking materials and always cool the contents of ashtrays before disposing. The use of alcohol and smoking can be a deadly combination.

The holidays are busy with activities designed to make people feel joyful, compassionate and generous. By taking the time to make your holidays safe, you are giving the gift of safety.

Happy holidays and best wishes in the new year

Learn to Be Tire Smart

Many drivers take their tires for granted, following the philosophy, "if it isn't broken, don't fix it." Yet tires are an important part of your vehicle and must be maintained in order for you to drive safely. That's why the Rubber Manufacturer's Association recommends these important maintenance routines for your tires, especially important before hazardous weather arrives.

Pressure

It is important to have the proper air pressure in your tires, as under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure. The "right amount" of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner's manual. When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool--meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to increase as you drive.

Tread

Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch in order to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. An easy test: place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you are driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire. While you are checking the tire tread, also look at the sidewalls for any cuts or bulges. These could be signs of impending tire trouble. If you see any, you should have the tire checked further by a professional technician.

Alignment

Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread wear and should be corrected by a tire dealer. Front-wheel drive vehicles, and those with independent rear suspension, require alignment of all four wheels. Built-in tread wear indicators, or "wear bars," which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber, will appear when the tread is worn down.

Properly cared for tires can last a long time — usually from 40,000 to 80,000 miles, depending on the application.

Be prepared for storms. It's up to you!

Each year, many people are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and severe thunderstorms despite advance warning. Some did not hear the warning, while others heard the warning but did not believe it would happen to them! The following preparedness information, combined with timely severe weather watches and warnings, could save your life. Once you receive a warning or observe threatening skies, you must make the decision to seek shelter before the storm arrives. It could be the most important decision you will ever make.

What You Can Do Before Severe Weather Strikes

  • Develop a plan for you and your family at home, work, school, and when outdoors. The American Red Cross offers planning tips on their Web site: www.redcross.org/services/disaster/keepsafe
  • Identify a safe place to take shelter. Information on how to build a safe room (shown in the photos below) in your home or school is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at: www.fema.gov/
  • Have frequent drills.
  • Know the county in which you live or visit. The National Weather Service issues severe weather warnings on a county basis.
  • Keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
  • Have a NOAA weather radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warnings.
  • National Weather Service watches and warnings are also available on the internet. Select your local National Weather Service office at www.nws.noaa.gov/organizational.html or go to the National Weather Service Home Page at www.nws.noaa.gov.
  • Listen to radio and television for weather information.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors. Watch for signs of approaching storms.
  • If severe weather threatens, check on people who are elderly, very young, or physically or mentally disabled.

What You Can Do When Threatening Weather Approaches

Lightning Safety Rules

  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
  • Move to a sturdy building or car. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles. Stay away from tall objects such as towers, fences, telephone poles, and power lines.
  • If lightning is occurring and a sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard top automobile and keep the windows up. Avoid touching any metal.
  • Utility lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones only in an emergency.
  • Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.
  • Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.

If Caught Outdoors And No Shelter Is Nearby

  • Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
  • If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your toes. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground. Do not lie down.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

Tornado Safety Rules

  • In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
  • If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of automobiles.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately for safe shelter.
  • If caught outside or in a vehicle, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
  • Be aware of flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes. You should leave a mobile home and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or a storm shelter.

Flash Flood Safety Rules

  • Avoid walking, swimming, or driving in flood waters.
  • Stay away from high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines, or culverts. If it is moving swiftly, even water six inches deep can knock you off your feet.
  • If you come upon flood waters, stop, turn around, and go another way. Climb to higher ground.
  • Do not let children play near storm drains.

Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not possible.  Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado such as a dark, often greenish sky, large hail, or a loud roar similar to a freight train.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service

Take a Seat, Not a Fall

Falls are a common office accident, and can cause disabling injuries. One of the main culprits, according to the National Safety Council, is the chair you sit on. While people are exposed to chairs all day long, they don't think of chairs as a fall hazard and so are less cautious than they would be around, for example, stairs.

To prevent chair falls:

  • Always keep the base of the chair completely on the floor.
  • Most office chairs are equipped with casters for use on carpeted surfaces. For other surfaces, speak to your retailer or manufacturer for appropriate custom selection.
  • Don't scoot across the floor while sitting on a chair or lean sideways from the chair to pick up objects on the floor.
  • Don't lean back in the chair and place your feet on the desk. It is possible to fall over backwards. Don't lean so far back that the wheels or legs lift up off the floor. Leaning can cause the chair to slip out from under you, cause structural damage or can loosen important connections that can cause the chair to fall apart.
  • Make it a habit to place a hand behind you when sitting to ensure the chair is in place.
  • Sit into the center of the seat rather than the edge to avoid a sudden fall. Avoid backing up too far without looking or kicking the chair out from under.
  • Never stand on a chair in order to reach overhead objects. Chairs should not be used in place of ladders.

It is important to take adequate precautions to prevent injuries before they occur. These tips can help you maintain the safe use of your office chair.

Why Hand Washing is Important

Preventing sickness during the winter months

With everyone crowded indoors during the winter months, colds and flu don't want to be left out in the cold. One of the best ways of preventing these illnesses from getting a toehold on your family's health is also amazingly simple: Get your gang to wash their hands!

Hands are the most common spreaders of germs, reports Nancy Bock, Vice President of Education and Meetings at The Soap and Detergent Association. Because they are often warm and moist, hands provide the perfect place for germs to live. Frequent hand washing--before and after food preparation, after coughing and sneezing, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and playing with pets--can stop germs in their tracks. It's also a good idea to wash your hands when returning home from school or work so the germs from the outside world don't settle in.

Here's how to properly wash your hands:

  • Wet hands with warm running water. Then apply soap.
  • Rub hands together vigorously to make lather and scrub all surfaces. Continue for 20 seconds, which is about how long it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice through.
  • Rinse well under warm, running water.
  • Dry hands thoroughly using paper towels or an air dryer. If possible, use paper towels to turn off the faucet.

To make hand washing more appealing to children, purchase colorful, child-friendly soaps in interesting shapes or foaming hand soaps designed to dispense a single "dose."

Hand sanitizers and hand wipes are easy, convenient, and portable. They are the perfect alternative when soap and running water aren't available.

Winter Weather Safety

Stay warm

  • Wear the right clothing. Clothing should protect you from cold, wind, and precipitation and should also provide ventilation and be breathable.
  • Protect head, feet, hands, and face. Keep dry.
  • Cover your head. Up to 40 percent of body heat can be lost when the head is exposed.
  • Footgear should be insulated to protect against cold and dampness.
  • Dress in layers, wearing warm, waterproof/water resistant clothing.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for frostbite or hypothermia.

Avoid slips and falls

  • Walking on snow or ice is especially treacherous and wearing proper footwear is essential.
  • Wear a pair of well-insulated boots with good rubber treads for walking during or after a winter storm.
  • When walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway, take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction.
  • When you must walk in the street, walk against the traffic and as close to the curb as you can.
  • Be on the lookout for vehicles that may have lost traction and are slipping towards you. Be aware that approaching vehicles may not be able to stop at crosswalks or traffic signals.
  • Walk carefully inside buildings when you have wet boots. Brush snow off wet boots. Walk carefully on wet floors.
  • At night, wear bright clothing or reflective gear, as dark clothing will make it difficult for motorists to see you. During the daytime, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards.

Use care when shoveling snow

  • Shovel fresh snow. Freshly fallen, powdery snow is easier to shovel than the wet, packed-down variety.
  • Push the snow as you shovel. It's easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
  • Don't pick up too much at once. Use a light shovel, a small shovel, or partially fill a large one.
  • Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. Your shoulders, torso, and thighs can do the work for you.
  • Take it slow. Shoveling can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically, so pace yourself. Be sure to stretch out and warm up before shoveling.
  • Dress warmly. Remember that extremities such as the nose, ears, hands, and feet need extra attention during winter's cold
Winter Driving Tips

Reduce your speed according to road conditions. Drive cautiously and accelerate gently.

Never lock your brakes on icy roads. You will lose steering control. If you do skid, remember to turn into the direction of the skid.

Increase the space between your vehicle and others. You need more distance to stop safely on slippery surfaces.

Because the earth does not insulate them, bridges and highway overpasses tend to freeze before the rest of the road and can be very slippery.

If it is snowing, start slowly. Test your brakes by tapping them gently to see how much traction your tires have.

Make sure your windshield wipers and defroster are in good condition.

Before driving, remove ice and snow from your vehicle. Clear all windows, windshield wipers, headlights, and brake lights. Clear ice and snow from your vehicle's roof so they do not blow off while you are driving and create hazards for drivers behind you.

Keep your fuel tank at least half full to prevent the fuel line from freezing.

Make sure you fill your windshield washer reservoir with a cleaning solution that will not freeze.

Keep a blanket, flashlight and a small shovel in your trunk.

Fire Safety Month

Every year college and university students experience a growing number of fire-related emergencies. There are several causes for these fires; however, most are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) offers these tips to help reduce and prevent the loss of life and property in dormitory and university housing fires.

The Facts

In cases where fatalities occurred on college campuses, alcohol was a factor. There is a strong link between alcohol and fire deaths. In many adult fire fatalities, victims were under the influence at the time of the fire. Alcohol abuse often impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts. Cooking is the leading cause of fire injuries on college campuses, closely followed by careless smoking and arson.

The Cause

Many factors contribute to the problem of dormitory housing fires.

  • Improper use of 911 notification systems delay emergency response.
  • Student apathy is prevalent. Many are unaware that fire is a risk or threat in the environment.
  • Evacuation efforts are hindered since fire alarms are often ignored.
  • Building evacuations are delayed due to lack of preparation and pre-planning.
  • Vandalized and improperly maintained smoke alarms and fire alarm systems inhibit early detection of fires.
  • Misuse of cooking appliances, overloaded electrical circuits and extension cords increase the risk of fires.

Safety Precautions

  • Provide students with a program for fire safety and prevention.
  • Teach students how to properly notify the fire department using the 911 system.
  • Install smoke alarms in every dormitory room and every level of housing facilities.
  • Maintain and regularly test smoke alarms and fire alarm systems. Replace smoke alarm batteries every semester.
  • Regularly inspect rooms and buildings for fire hazards. Ask your local fire department for assistance.
  • Inspect exit doors and windows and make sure they are working properly.
  • Create and update detailed floor plans of buildings, and make them available to emergency personnel, resident advisors and students.
  • Conduct fire drills and practice escape routes and evacuation plans. Urge students to take each alarm seriously.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets and make sure extension cords are used properly.
  • Learn to properly use and maintain heating and cooking appliances.

There is no doubt that the beginning of the year is a hectic time for students who are adjusting to being away from home for the first time, or moving into their first apartment. It is also the time of the year for students to consider fire safety, so that they can take steps to prevent fires from happening and, if a fire does occur, they are prepared to get out safely.

(from the United States Fire Administration Web site: www.usfa.fema.gov)

National Campus Fire Safety Month

What is Campus Fire Safety Month?

It is a nationwide effort to raise fire and life safety awareness on campus. September is designated as "Campus Fire Safety Month."

More students perished from campus-related fires in the last school year than during any of the years monitored by Campus Firewatch since 2000.

A total of 113 college students died in campus-related fires between January 2000 and August 12, 2007, including 20 during the 2006-07 school year, according to Campus Firewatch, a monthly newsletter devoted to campus fire safety issues. The number of fatalities had been declining until last year's spike.

To help raise awareness, the U.S. Senate and 15 states have designated September as "Campus Fire Safety Month." August and September are typically the worst time of the year for fatal campus-related housing fires. "Unfortunately, most college students do not realize how quickly a fire can occur, and most have not received fire safety education since elementary school," said Mike Halligan, President of the Center for Campus Fire Safety. "We hope through Campus Fire Safety Month that students will realize they are not invincible, that fires do happen in campus-related settings," Halligan said, "and that students should take steps to protect themselves no matter where they live."

Campus Firewatch reported that 81 percent of the fires occurred in off-campus housing, while the others fall evenly between residence halls and Greek housing. These fires are not confined to any particular region, either. Campus fires have killed college kids in 39 states since the year 2000.

The newsletter also determined four common factors in a number of these fatal fires:

  • Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
  • Missing or disabled smoke detectors
  • Careless disposal of smoking materials
  • Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption

"It's difficult to regulate a college student's drinking or smoking habits, particularly if they are living off campus," Halligan said. "But students--and their parents--can be sure there is a working smoke detector in the residence if they purchase their own. Smoke alarms cost less than a textbook, and they save lives." Statistics prove that smoke alarms work. Since they were introduced to consumers in the mid-1970's, smoke alarms have helped reduce fire fatalities by nearly 50 percent.

"A working smoke alarm is an effective life-saving tool by providing the necessary warning in home fire situations," said John Drengenberg, Consumer Affairs Manager for Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the not-for-profit product safety testing organization. Currently there are two prevalent technologies used in smoke alarms - photoelectric and ionization, each demonstrating superior performance characteristics depending on the specific fire scenario, Drengenberg said.

UL strongly believes that utilizing both technologies optimizes detection and permits consumers the best available escape times in residential fire situations. UL is consistent with the U.S. Fire Administration's position on the installation and use of smoke alarms.

Working smoke alarms can double your chances of surviving a fire.

(Information from UL Web site)

Preventing Eye Injuries

According to the National Safety Council, August is Eye Injury Prevention Month.

About 900,000 preventable eye injuries occur each year! This means that if a few eye safety precautions are used almost one million eyes could be saved from potential blindness every year. Nearly half of all eye injuries occur around the home or during leisure activities.

In the home

  • Take special care when using cleaning products or harsh chemicals. Read all the instructions before use. Wash hands well after use.
  • Wear safety goggles when using powerful chemicals to protect your eyes from splashes and fumes.
  • Make sure that spray nozzles point away from you before pressing the nozzle.
  • Use grease shields on frying pans to decrease spattering.

In the workshop

  • Always wear goggles or safety glasses.
  • Read the instructions for all tools and chemicals before using and follow directions for proper usage, observing any special precautions.
  • Keep all tools and power equipment in good repair.
  • Extinguish cigarettes or matches before working around flammable materials or opening the hood of a car.

Around the yard

  • Pick up rocks and twigs before mowing the lawn.
  • Keep children and others out of the area where you are mowing.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles especially when chopping wood or trimming bushes and trees.

When playing sports

  • Observe safety rules when you play.
  • Wear safety glasses, especially for racquet sports such as tennis, squash, and racquetball. Eye injuries are common in these sports.
  • Wear protective head helmets or face protectors, when appropriate, especially for sports such as ice hockey.

Around fireworks

  • Explosive fireworks are extremely dangerous and should not be used.
  • Never allow children to ignite fireworks.
  • Do not stand near others when lighting fireworks.

A special word about children's safety

Children are especially vulnerable to eye injuries. Protect your child's vision by teaching him or her safety rules:

  • Never look directly into the sun, even while wearing sunglasses.
  • Carry scissors and sharp objects carefully and correctly, and never point them at anyone.

If you are aware of potential hazards and follow a few safety precautions, you may save your sight or the sight of a loved one.

Beat the Heat

The hot season is upon us and it is time to be watchful for symptoms of heat stress and heat stroke, also known as sunstroke, heat exhaustion, heat rash or heat fatigue. Heat stress results from exposure to high temperatures and/or humidity, lack of fluids, restrictive clothing, and heavy workload. Heat stress is preventable.

Signs of heat stroke could be: visible sweating, increased heart rate, clumsiness and confusion, and unexplained irritability.

Signs of heat exhaustion could be: fatigue, weakness, blurred vision, dizziness, headache, and loss of body water and salts.

Signs of heat fatigue could be: brief fainting and blurred vision.

To avoid heat stress, get acclimated. Get used to the heat, always re-acclimate yourself after a vacation or returning from sick leave. Stay conditioned, get proper sleep, exercise, and have healthy eating habits.

To beat the heat, drink plenty of fluids. Cool water is the best. Try to avoid carbonated drinks as they can cause cramps. Avoid alcohol. These liquids can dehydrate your body. Plan your activities. Save the most strenuous work for the cooler parts of the day. Stay cool. When hot, look for a cool spot. Dress cool. Wear loose-weave, cotton fabrics that allow your body to breathe. Rest often. Get sufficient rest, sleep, and nutrition. Get in shape.

Sun Sense

Overexposure to the sun is the principal cause of most skin cancers. There are more than a million new skin cancers being diagnosed each year in the United States. The risk increases for those who are heavily exposed to the sun in their occupations, such as farmers and road/construction workers. Outdoor recreational activities, such as swimming, skiing, golfing, and jogging have an increased risk as well. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen whenever in the sun. Beware of overcast days when the sun's damaging rays can still reach you.

Have a safe and healthy summer!