Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer Safety


The weather is getting warmer, more people are getting outside, and overall everyone is seeming happier. Yes, it is indeed approaching summertime fast! With the sun staying out longer and the weather getting warmer, there are many things to do to enjoy the season of summer. However, just like any other season of the year, it is very important to make sure to always consider the safety aspect of any activities you do.

How about biking? Biking is a hobby of many people because not only is it a fun and efficient way to get around, but it is also very good for your health. However, just like jogging in the streets, there are safety precautions that should be taken to ensure that you have a fun and safe time while riding, these include:

  • Wearing helmets to greatly reduce the risk of brain injury. 
  • When riding at night, always wear reflective clothing, a headlight, and add a rear reflector to your bike.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
  • Follow the rules of the road, and obey all traffic signals and signs.
  • Use directional hand signals when turning.

Swimming at pools or lakes is another very common summer activity. Swimming is a fantastic exercise, plus it is also very fun to get together with friends and family and soak up the sun while staying cool in the water. Here are some tips on staying safe when swimming:

  • Swim at places that have lifeguards when possible.
  • Always use the buddy system by swimming with a friend.
  • Always check local weather conditions and warnings before swimming. Avoid dangerous conditions like thunderstorms or strong currents.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before and during water activities as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70 percent of deaths associated with water recreation.

Soaking up the sun is a very healthy thing as sunlight gives our bodies vitamin D. However, when in excess, exposure to the sun can cause sunburns which can in turn lead to skin cancer. Here are some tips on how to obtain just the right amount of sunlight to stay healthy:

  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Be sure to reapply your sunscreen as directed.
  • Wear protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses to minimize the effect of the sun’s rays.
  • Sweating in the heat of the sun requires you to stay hydrated so keep water or sports drinks on hand if you know you will be out in the heat for an extended amount of time.

Thank you for your time and attention! Let’s make it safe this Monday!

Phil Kwitek
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, May 12, 2014

Listen Here


Loss of hearing is a very common occurrence in America. Approximately 30 million Americans are affected by hearing loss, and 1/3 of those cases are noise induced (NIOSH).  Also 50 million Americans also have tinnitus or ringing in the ears. This ringing is an early sign of noise related hearing loss. In 2008 around 2 million American workers were in working conditions that put them at risk for hearing loss. The most commonly affected group in 2007 was workers in the manufacturing sector (NIOSH).

Workers that are around loud machinery constantly are at a very high risk of losing their hearing. The highest amount of noise that and ear can be exposed to throughout an 8-hour workday is 85 dBA. When the noise level increases by 5 dBA the exposure time that a worker can handle is cut in half. When the average circular saw runs at 105 dBA it isn’t uncommon for workers using power tools all day to have issues with their hearing. This is why ear protection is so important to workers and their employers.

Hearing protectors come in five styles: muffs, foam, pre-molded, custom, and canal caps. Each type of hearing protectors has its advantages. One of the most common forms of ear protection, in the workplace, is the foam earplug. They are very inexpensive and very easy to use, but they aren’t good for daily use because they do not last for an extended period of time. Another option is using earmuffs. Earmuffs are better for jobs that require the user to remove their ear protection constantly because they are simple and quick. A few downsides are the fact that they cause sweating, and they can become uncomfortable after repetitive use or if the user wears glasses. When it comes to a comfortable fit the best option is to purchase ear molds. If someone uses ear protection everyday, and wants a comfortably fitting ear molds are a good match. They are easy to use, they last a long time, and they are adjustable for maximum noise insulation. The downside is that there is a fitting procedure required in order to make the ear molds, they need to be kept clean, and they must be tested every two year to make sure they are functioning properly.  In the long fun ear molds can be worth the extra money.
With hearing loss being such a common issue in the workplace, it is important that all workers are using the correct hearing protection. Hearing loss is 100% preventable, and there is no excuse for a worker not to be using any sort of ear protection especially with all the option available to them.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Lucas Wertish
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Take the Extra Step to Safety


We've all heard the common saying, “the first step is admitting you have a problem.” We spend a substantial amount of time writing safety tips for you, but all of this is useless unless you can stop and identify the potential safety issues in your workplace or home that need to be addressed. It’s important to be able to identify safety and health issues that could be relevant for your situation. 

Some questions that OSHA recommends asking are:

  • Do you or your co-workers have injuries or health complaints?
  • Who has been hurt or affected? 
  • Where do these complaints generally occur? 
  • What could be causing these problems?

Common issues in the workplace are: 

  • Slips and falls,
  • Injuries with moving machinery,
  • Fire,
  • Violence,
  • Chemicals,
  • Physical conditions (noise and temperature),
  • Repetitive muscle strain (Carpal tunnel, back injuries, and knee injuries).

Strategies for finding and addressing any issues:

  • It’s important to walk around your workplace and try to notice potential safety issues. 
  • Be sure to ask the employees if they've noticed any potential dangers that need to be addressed. 
  • Ask yourself if you can completely eliminate the hazards you find; if not, how can you control the risks so harm is less likely? 
  • Once you finish assessing your workplace, make sure you keep records of your findings and what you did to solve any potential hazards. 
  • Set up a plan to reevaluate your workplace safety at least twice a year. 

Here at Lift’N Buddy we value your safety and the safety of the people around you.  Safety isn’t something to put on hold; admit that you have a potential problem and do not wait to address it. Figure out what potential problems exist and do something to fix them. 

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company