It's always a good time to re-assess how you are working to reduce risks of injury at home, on the road, and at work.
Most people have a reactionary approach to safety preparation in their everyday lives. After all, who needs more items on their to-do list? The truth is that any homeowner who has experienced an unexpected flood or any driver who has found themselves with a dead battery will tell you that being proactive about safety is worth the time.
So we’ve put together a one-stop-shop for you — a 12-step Safety Checklist for every part of your life!
Home Safety Checklist
1) Put Together an Emergency Preparedness Kit
A disaster supplies kit should be prepared well in advance of an emergency and should contain supplies you’d need to survive for 72 hours after you’ve grabbed it and fled your home. These include food, water, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. [More info via ready.gov]
2) Fall-Proof Your House
Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department. To prevent slips and falls:
1. Clean up all spills immediately.
2. Remove tripping hazards (paper, boxes, books, clothes, toys, shoes) from stairs and walkways.
3. Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas.
[Full fall prevention tip list via the National Safety Council]
3) Cooking Safety
Cooking has long been the #1 cause of home fire injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Agency.
1. Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
2. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
3. If you have a developing fire, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
[Full cooking safety tips via the NFPA]
4) Emergency Detectors
A smoke detector may seem old-school, but it’s still around because it saves lives. Check regularly to make sure all your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors have working batteries and keep one of each in the bedroom. [Head to NFPA’s Smoke Alarm Central for more tips]
On the Road Safety Checklist
1) Don’t Text or Talk and Drive
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, cell phone use is involved in 1.6 million auto crashes each year that cause a half million injuries and take 6,000 lives. Before you drive, turn off your cell phone or heed AT&T’s It Can Wait Campaign and text your friends #x before you drive. [More stats and info on Distracted Driving via the CDC]
2) Keep Calm and Avoid Road Rage
According to the NHTSA, 66% of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving. If you find that you’ve offended another driver and they make an aggressive motion towards you, do not react or retaliate. Remain calm, stare straight ahead and save a life. [More info via safemotorist.com]
3) Get Regular Safety Checks
It does not matter how many episodes of Top Gear you’ve seen, unless you’re a mechanic, you need to have a professional check your car. An effective safety check includes: tire check and realignment, fluid check, signal check and a basic electrical check (including the battery). [More driving safety tips via the NHTSA]
4) Avoid Drowsy Driving
Nearly one in ten licensed drivers report having fallen asleep or nodded off while driving within the past year; 46% report having done so at least once in their lifetime, according to AAA. We offer these tips to avoid drowsy driving:
1. Get plenty of sleep (at least seven hours) the night before a long trip.
2. Stop driving if you become sleepy; someone who is tired could fall asleep at any time – fatigue impacts reaction time, judgment, and vision, causing people who are very sleepy to behave in similar ways to those who are inebriated.
3. Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles.
4. Drink a caffeinated beverage - and remember it takes 30 minutes for caffeine to kick in!
[For more tips for staying awake while driving, head to aaafoundation.org]
Work Safety Checklist
1) Prevent Work-Related MSDs with Ergonomics
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)—including tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and lower back injuries—are one of the leading causes of workday injury and illness. Good posture is important as an employee, and employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. Make sure you provide ergonomic chairs or standing desks that will ensure employees work with a proper posture and be mindful of their physical needs and thresholds. [Tips on constructing an ergonomic process via OSHA]
2) Fire Safety at Work
Have a fire plan in place for your worksite, and make sure everyone in the office understands it fully. Having a fire drill every now and then is a good way for employees to keep escape routes, meeting spots, and procedures in mind. Know where all the fire extinguishers are throughout your worksite and know how to use them. [Full list of tips via LoveToKnow]
3) Workplace Safety is a Team Effort
Educate everyone in the workplace about the safety requirements and consider posting a list of workplace safety tips. Workplace safety training will help them reduce or eliminate injuries and illnesses from occurring in the workplace. [More tips via complianceandsafety.com]
4) Report Unsafe Conditions and Accidents
Reporting an unsafe work condition is not complaining; it’s the crux of workplace safety. There has to be an open line of communication between management and the employees–accidents happen. If one does, or if you notice an unsafe working condition, report it to management immediately. [More info on staying safe at work via the National Crime Prevention Council]
Let’s work together this month to spread a message that lasts all year. We can protect each other and keep each other safe, no matter where we are.