National Safety Month is upon us once again. It was created in 1996 by the National Safety Council. Each week in June is focused on educating individuals on certain topics. This year’s focus is on teen driving, falls prevention, overexertion, and distracted driving. Each of these is a problem that can be reduced by education and this is exactly why the National Safety Council is providing information for everyone.
Teen Driving: June 1st-7th-Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death in teens according to the NSC. These crashes are avoidable the majority of the time because they are caused from inexperience, the use of alcohol, cell phone use, and speeding. There are many things we can all do to eliminate many of these problems. The first one is educating the teens about the following suggests the NSC. Parents need to enforce punishment on teens that do not wear their seatbelt. It falls on the parents to teach the teens that this is the best way to prevent injury or even death in an accident. Next you need to explain to them that they do not need to be talking on the phone, texting, or fiddling with the stereo while they are driving. If you eliminate these distractions the teen will pay more attention to the road. Teach them to pull over to the side of the road if they receive a call they need to take. Also texting can wait until they arrive at their destination. Have them pick one radio station or CD to listen to before ever pulling the car into drive. These are all distractions that can be taken care of now! The NSC also suggests that you spend time behind the wheel with the teen driver to ensure that they are driving safely. They will gain experience from this and you can give them pointers while they drive. You should also tell them about the risk of driving under the influence. You can explain to them that they are not just risking punishment; they are risking their lives and the lives of many other people. Many teens also jump in the car with friends and are allowed to go places. It is your responsibility as a parent to know who they are with and know if they are safe. Talk to your teen and find this information out. If they don’t want to be forthcoming with the information don’t let them go. The NSC also suggests that you set a curfew because teens are more likely to have an accident at night when they have passengers in the car. With all of these tips there is one more to give. You need to set a good example for your children. If you are talking on the phone, applying makeup, or even speeding these are all bad examples!
Falls Prevention: June 8th-14th-Falls can happen anywhere at any time to anybody. The NSC says “Falls are a leading cause of injury and deaths in our homes and communities.” The majority of deaths from a fall were in people 65 and older in 2007 according to the NSC. There are many tips that you can use to help prevent falls at home. First you should always keep floors clean and clutter free. If you have too many things on the floor, you will be easily tripped. You should always make sure there is proper lighting throughout the home. This will make it easier to see where you are walking. This is essential on stairways so you do not trip on the steps or miss one. You can eliminate falls in the bathroom by using a skid-free rug. You can also install handrails to make it easier to climb stairs both inside and outside the home. When you are trying to reach high places you should only use a step stool. Do not use anything that is potentially unsteady to climb on. These are just some of the ways that you can prevent falls in the home.
You will also need to be aware that falls at work can happen too. According to the NSC falls account for 8% of workplace fatalities and are the leading cause of work related deaths. There are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of a fall. First of all wear proper footwear. For example if you work at KFC as a cook, you should have non-skid shoes to help prevent falls. As always keep walkways and work areas clear of clutter. Another example of this is that at Wrangler, we were always told to keep empty cardboard boxes in the appropriate places to prevent tripping. If they were left in the walkways in the plant, you could easily trip over them. You should always clean up spills immediately. At Wrangler, we had to notify our supervisor if there was grease on the floor, they would then call a mechanic and the janitor to clean it up and fix what was leaking. When floors are kept clean and dry you will not be able to slip and fall. As the same with the home, lighting should be proper so you can see where you are stepping. Workplace safety starts with you!
Overexertion: June 15th-21st-Overexertion is number three in the top causes of emergency room visits for unintentional injuries according to the NSC. There are many things that you can do to prevent overexertion. First of all you need to be warmed up before you do heavy lifting. This will prepare your body for the task you are about to perform. You should lift with a partner when necessary. Do not try to lift large, bulky, or heavy objects by yourself. Do not stretch to reach something if there is a tool to help you. If you start getting tired, take a break. These are all tips to prevent overexertion at home.
You can also overexert yourself at work. According to the NSC back injuries are the leading workplace injury! There are ways to prevent injury at work. First of all always lift with your knees and legs. Do not lift using your back. Also you should never twist when lifting objects. Also keep them close to your body to prevent back injuries. You should try to make smaller loads to prevent injury; this will make it easier on your body. If you have a pallet jack, this is a great tool to help move large loads. Stack items instead of trying to carry them side by side. If you have an office job, your chair should be the proper height to prevent strain. One of the easiest ways to prevent injury is to be physically fit and properly rested. These are all tips that can keep you from overexerting yourself at work.
Distracted Driving: June 22nd-28th-According to the NSC 80% of all crashes are caused by distracted drivers. Distractions include other passengers, cell phones, being tired, and even the stereo. If you have to take a call while you are driving, you should always pull over to the shoulder and park. Do not use hands free phones either because taking a phone call while driving is still a distraction. Do not drive when you are tired, you will be more likely to dose off, but also unaware of your surroundings. Limiting the people that ride with your teen will also help prevent accidents. Another common distraction that I have seen is the woman drivers that are putting makeup on using the rearview mirror. There is a time and a place for that and while you are driving isn’t that time. Another distraction is when drivers are trying to change the radio station or putting a CD in the stereo. One more example is when someone is trying to find something in either the console or glove compartment in the car. If you have to find something then, just pull over! It’s not just your life you are playing with!
In conclusion I think that National Safety Month was a great idea. If more people become aware of all the safety information that the NSC has put together we would all be better off. All of these tips are easy to incorporate into our daily lives. Take into account that you will not only be saving yourself, but you will be keeping others from getting hurt too.
Answers Corporation, “National Safety Council”. Answers.com
National Safety Council, “Distracted Driving Tip Sheet”. NSC
National Safety Council, “Falls at Home Tip Sheet”. NSC
National Safety Council, “Falls at Work Tip Sheet”. NSC
National Safety Council, “Overexertion at Home Tip Sheet”. NSC
National Safety Council, “Overexertion at Work Tip Sheet”. NSCNational Safety Council, “Teen Driving Tip Sheet”. NSC