During National Safety Month, let’s take time to evaluate our safety habits and learn how we can stay safe at work.
June is National Safety Month
More than you may think, your safety on the job depends on you.
Do you always:
- Pay attention to safety training and apply what you learn to your job?
- Ask about any workplace safety issues you don’t understand?
- Keep alert for anything that could go wrong while you work?
- Focus all your attention on the job and avoid distractions?
- Take precautions and use assigned personal protective equipment?
- Make suggestions when you have ideas about how to improve safety?
- Refrain from fooling around and discourage others from doing so?
- Look out for co-workers’ safety as well as your own?
- Express your concern when you see a co-worker taking risks?
- Follow safety rules and obey safety signs?
- Report safety hazards you can’t safely correct yourself?
How did you rate?
To stay safe and prevent accidents, you need to be able to say “yes” to every one of those questions. If you had to admit to some “no’s,” you could be putting yourself in danger. Please put safety first on the job from today onward. We need everybody to pitch in and work together to prevent accidents and injuries.
The Painful Pinch: Pinch points and how to avoid them
Chances are that you’ve been the victim of a painful pinch. It could have been at work or at home. Maybe you pinched your fingers when closing a drawer or pinched your hands when carrying a big box through a door frame. If you were lucky, the injury wasn’t too serious. But pinch point injuries can be severe, and that’s why you need to be aware of the risks.
The first thing is to understand what pinch points—also called nip points—are. You can easily visualize them by thinking of a wrench, a pair of tweezers, a thumb and forefinger, or a lobster’s claw. These are all pairs of surfaces that can catch an object between them. Often, that catching is intended, as with the use of a wrench or tweezers. Not so, however, with a lobster’s pincer except, of course, by the lobster.
Some workplace pinch points are pretty obvious, such as rollers and other reciprocating parts on machinery. Other pinch points are less obvious and can cause injuries of varying severity, from something as simple as a blood blister up to and including death. For example, the rungs of an extension ladder can catch fingers, hands, or feet when sliding past each other.
What are the keys to avoiding pinch point injuries?
Be aware, be alert, and be careful!
Sharp mind, safe worker
Keeping your brain sharp and focused on the challenges you face at work helps you learn, solve problems, and become more proficient in your job. It also helps you keep alert, stay safe, and avoid accidents. Here are some ideas from AARP and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives about keeping your brain sharp:
- Get regular exercise. Being physically active keeps your body and mind fit.
- Eat a well-balanced diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep helps the brain remember and process information.
- Remain involved and connected with friends and family, and be active in the community.
- Keep your brain challenged. Be a lifelong learner, welcome challenges, pursue new interests and experiences, read, and do puzzles that engage the mind.
- Manage stress and maintain a positive attitude both on and off the job.
- Take care of your health, and see your doctor when you have symptoms of possible health problems.
Unhealthy choices like substance abuse and smoking can interfere with healthy brain function. Be smart and safe by making healthy, safe choices.
Facts about workplace safety
According to OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are more than 6 million workplaces and 93 million workers in this country, and on a typical workday:
- 17 workers are killed on the job by traumatic injuries
- 137 more workers die of occupationally-related illnesses
- 17,138 workers are injured
Annually, over 4 million U.S. workers suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Among the most common injuries are:
- Sprains, strains, and tears (427,740)
- Injuries to the back (250,870)
- Falls (234,450)
Over 5,000 employees die every year as a result of their work-related injuries or illnesses. Over 1,000 of those deaths are the result of highway accidents. And nearly 1,000 are the result of falls.
June is National Safety Month. Let’s pledge this month to work more safely and prevent accidents in our workplace.