Keep Employees Safe Off-the-Job in August

August 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

A lot of workers will be taking vacation in August, so it’s still not too late for a safety meeting on off-the-job summer safety.
We’re a little over a month into summer, and by now it’s not unlikely that at least an employee or two has had a safety-related mishap off the job.
As we all know, despite the obvious differences, both on- and off-the-job accidents and injuries can produce a similar result—lost workdays. And that’s especially a problem during the summer months when so many workers are off the job on vacation.
Today, we decided to take a look at some suggestions for helping employees keep safe after work for the rest of the summer. Maybe you can use them for a safety meeting.
Chore Checks
The backyard can be a great place to unwind in the summer, but if employees engage in yard work and other chores around the house as well, they need to give careful thought to these potential dangers:
• Tree-trimming (not the Christmas kind) and gutter cleaning require proper placement of ladders and ensuring there is no contact with electrical wires. It’s also a good idea to have a helper on hand to steady the ladder.
• Digging in the yard to plant shrubs and flowers is a pleasurable task, but your electric company urges you to call them ahead of time, since a shovel contacting hidden wiring is a severe, possibly fatal, danger.
• Cutting tools and machines—axes, chainsaws, weed whackers, mowers, etc.—demand extreme care in their use. First of all, they should be in good condition, with any blades properly sharpened and firmly set. Then make sure you have room to work and that there is no likelihood of running into obstacles or throwing objects into the air (pebbles or toys from under the mower, for example). Sturdy shoes should be worn, as well as safety glasses, when appropriate.
Recreational Activities
Fun and games are a major enjoyment for any season, but summer seems to offer the greatest range of activity from horseshoes, tennis, or badminton, and golf to some that are more potentially dangerous, such as rollerblading, cycling, swimming, and boating. Here are some important reminders:
• Observe any local rules about when and where your activity is permitted, and obey any speed limits.
• Use appropriate equipment, such as helmets or life vests.
• Follow basic safety rules, including the use of buddy systems for swimmers and avoiding horseplay.
• Pay attention to the weather and know how to avoid being stuck in a storm, struck by lightning, or overcome by extreme heat. In the sun, avoid the hottest part of the day, if possible, wear a hat and sunglasses, use plenty of sunscreen, and drink plenty of fluids (preferably non-alcoholic).
Taking a Trip: Safety and Security
Even with the high cost of gasoline in most parts of the country, many vacationing employees will spend all or much of their time on the road. Here are some pointers on what they should do before leaving home and while they are traveling.
Before they leave the house, employees should:
• Make sure the stove, other appliances, and computers are turned off.
• Leave curtains and shades in their normal positions and use timers to turn lights on and off.
• Lock all doors and windows, and don’t forget the cellar. Never hide keys outside.
• Cut the lawn and arrange for another cut if away for a long time.
• Stop newspaper deliveries and ask a neighbor to pick up mail and check your house every few days.
• Give the car a safety inspection.
• If there’s a second car, leave it in the driveway so it looks like someone’s home.
Before they get on the road, employees should:
• Stow all stuff carefully, being sure that they can see out of the back window and that any items on the roof rack (e.g., bikes, canoe) are secure.
• Include an emergency kit with first-aid supplies, a flashlight, and flares.
• Require all passengers to buckle up.
• Try to drive more in daylight rather than at night when most accidents occur.
• Take rest stops every few hours.
• Pull over when tired or to check maps or make phone calls.

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