CHECKING THE WAKE Safety E-Newsletter SPECIAL EDITION
June 2011 Volume 3, Number 9
JUNE IS ‘NATIONAL’ SAFETY MONTH!
by Teresa S. Boucher
The goal of National Safety Month is to raise public awareness of the top safety issues: Unintentional Injuries and Death: • Unintentional injuries and deaths in the United States are at unacceptable levels. • Motor vehicle crashes, falls and overexertion remain leading causes of preventable death and injury. • The cost of unintentional injuries to Americans and their employers exceeds $693 billion nationally, or $5,900 per household, and causes great suffering among individuals and their families. Safe Teen Driving • Each day, there are more than 15 crashes involving drivers between the ages of 15 to 20. You do not need to have a teen driver in your home to be affected. • In fact, 2 out of 3 people killed in crashes involving teen drivers are people other than the teen driver – including passengers of teen drivers, occupants in other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other Leading Causes of Unintentional Injuries Overexertion is the third leading cause of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for about 3.3 million emergency department visits. Whether at work or home, you can take steps to prevent overexertion.
Motor vehicle crashes!
• Step 1 - Stretch your muscles or warm up lightly before you lift something or move something heavy or perform a strenuous activity.
• Step 2 - Lift heavier objects by holding the object close to your body and bending your legs to move it up and down. Keep your back straight and avoid bending it while you lift. • Step 3 - Avoid bending, reaching or twisting when you lift things. Approach an object straight on, and ask for help if you feel it is necessary. • Step 4 - Pace yourself when you are performing any strenuous activity. Take breaks when necessary and stop if you feel your body can't handle the strain. Falls
• Falls are another of the leading causes of unintentional injures in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.6 million visits to the emergency department. • Adults 55 and older are more prone to becoming victims of falls, and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. • The number of fall deaths among those 65 or older is 4 times the number of fall deaths among all other age groups. Cell phone use behind the wheel • Cell phones use is a growing concern. • According to CTIA – The Wireless Association, in 1995, cell phone subscriptions covered only 11% of the U.S. population. • By 2010, that number grew to 93%. • As the number of cell phone users continues to increase, so does the number of drivers distracted by cell phones.
Cell phone use behind the wheel!
Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot????
Let’s talk a little bit about Sun and Heat Exposure: During late spring and summer many people like to spend time outside in the sun for fun or work. But overexposure to the sun can damage the skin and could cause skin cancer. Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash are possible when your become overexerted in the heat. Put your health first in order to enjoy the summer. • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep your head and face cool. This will also provide added protection from 2
damaging sun exposure. Baseball caps provide little protection except to the face. A hat should protect the neck, face and ears. • Wear a long-sleeved shirt at all times. It should be light colored and loose fitting except when working around machinery. • Carry a source of water with you. Take drinks frequently—every 15 minutes. • Take frequent breaks in the shade or in a cool environment during the hottest times of the day. • Adjust gradually to working in the heat over a period of 10-20 days. • Someone suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke should be moved to a cool environment, offered sips of water, if conscious, and provided with attention from emergency medical personnel. • Wear sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15. Make sure children are also adequately protected. Heat illness includes a range of disorders that result when your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle. DID YOU KNOW? The human body is constantly engaged in a life-and-death struggle to disperse the heat that it produces. If allowed to accumulate, the heat would quickly increase your body temperature beyond its comfortable 98.6° F. Who is at risk? Heat-related illness can affect anyone not used to hot weather, especially when it's combined with high humidity. Those especially at risk: • Infants, young children, elderly and pets • Individuals with heart or circulatory problems or other long-term illness • Employees working in the heat • Athletes and people who like to exercise (especially beginners) • Individuals taking certain medications that alter sweat production • Alcoholics and drug abusers
HYDRATE OFTEN! 3
Heatstroke Heatstroke is the most serious and life-threatening heatrelated illness. In certain circumstances, your body can build up too much heat, your temperature may rise to lifethreatening levels, and you can become delirious or lose consciousness. If you do not rid your body of excess heat fast enough, it "cooks" the brain and other vital organs. It is often fatal, and those who do survive may have permanent damage to their vital organs. Symptoms of heatstroke • The victim's body feels extremely hot when touched. • Altered mental status (behavior) ranging from slight confusion and disorientation to coma. • Conscious victims usually become irrational, agitated, or even aggressive and may have seizures. • In severe heatstroke, the victim can go into a coma in less than one hour. The longer the coma lasts, the lower the chance for survival. What to do 1. Move person to a half-sitting position in the shade. Information and recommendations are compiled from sources believed to be reliable. The National Safety Council makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances. Last Revised: 04/09 2. Call for emergency medical help immediately. 3. If humidity is below 75%, spray victim with water and vigorously fan. If humidity is above 75%, apply ice packs on neck, armpits or groin. Heat Exhaustion Heat exhaustion is characterized by heavy perspiration with normal or slightly above normal body temperatures. It is caused by water or salt depletion or both (severe dehydration). Heat exhaustion affects workers and athletes who do not drink enough fluids while working or exercising in hot environments.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: • Severe thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. • The affected person often mistakenly believes he or she has the flu. • Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke. Other symptoms • Profuse sweating Profuse Sweating!! • Clammy or pale skin • Dizziness • Rapid pulse • Normal or slightly above normal body temperature What to do 1. Sit or lie down in the shade. 2. Drink cool water or a sports drink. 3. If persistent, gently apply wet towels and call for emergency medical help. Rapid Pulse! Heat Cramps Heat cramps are painful muscular spasms that happen suddenly affecting legs or abdominal muscles. They usually happen after physical activity in people who sweat a lot or have not had enough fluids. What to do 1. Sit or lie down in the shade. 2. Drink cool water or a sports drink. 3. Stretch affected muscles.
Get in the shade!! Checking The Wake Editor: Teresa S. Boucher (410) 293-9827:Desk (410) 293-2548:Fax
The responsibility for Safety in all facets of our lives, really rests in all of our hands.”