The safety issues
we’re going to cover in this issue apply to both your workplace and home.
That’s because it’s almost impossible to differentiate between the two. Ultimately, no matter where your injury occurred, you may be
unable to work and your family must accommodate your needs.
The one thing you
can probably count on in Oklahoma is that it will be scorching in July and
August and, if you have to be outside, you must be prepared:
Heat stress is
a condition in which the total net heat load on your body from internal heat
production and external sources exceeds your body’s capacity to cool
Although tolerance to heat varies from person to person, heat strain will generally decrease a person’s judgment and workmanship.
surrounding air temperature is below your body temperature, increased
airflow (using fans) can be a great way to avoid heat stress.
When the surrounding air temperature is above your body temperature,
increased airflow just transfers more heat to your body!
symptoms start out mild, but grow serious if left unmonitored and untreated.
Dizziness, headache, nausea, confusion, and a loss of strength are
serious signs, and the victim should be given immediate attention.
First aid for
heat cramps or spasms calls for massage or pressure on the muscle that is
cramping. Small sips of water
will help cool the victim’s body. Move
the victim into the shade or a cooler (not a cold) place.
A victim of heat exhaustion may be sweating, clammy, flushed or pale, dizzy, weak, or nauseated, with rapid and shallow breathing, headache, vomiting, or fainting. Move the victim to a cooler place with feet raised and loosen tight clothing. Give sips of cool water and call emergency medical personnel—especially if there is vomiting or fainting.
means the body is in crisis. Call
medical help immediately! Move
the victim to a cool area, lying with feet raised.
If possible, soak the victim with cool water. Use a fan or cold packs
(even cold drink cans) if available. Administer
CPR if breathing has stopped.
takes 4-7 days for your body to acclimate to unusual heat. You should frequently replace lost fluids by drinking water
or electrolyte-enriched drinks. Even though you may not be thirsty, your
body can lose as much as three gallons of water a day in hot weather.
Every campus has
established tornado and severe weather procedures because it has a population of
students, employees, and visitors who must be protected from harm.
It’s the responsibility of every employee to know and immediately
follow the procedures established on your campus.
Have you discussed and practiced severe weather procedures with your family?
If the siren or
other community warning is activated when you and your family are at home,
immediately seek shelter in the lowest level of your home (if you haven’t
already gone to a storm shelter because of the severe weather).
in your home, avoid spaces with glass surfaces on any out-side walls (doors
can be closed to augment protection). Bathrooms
without windows, closets, or interior hallways offer you the best
If you are
caught out in the open, move at right angles to the tornado.
Try to reach shelter. If
there is no time to escape or find shelter, lie flat in a ditch or
depression—avoiding areas subject to flooding in heavy rains.
If you are in a
vehicle, leave it at once and follow the directions above.
They come in all
shapes and sizes, but in the summer there is one insect you should be prepared
light-colored, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants tucked into your socks,
especially when you are in woody areas and in tall grass. Dressing against
ticks can be difficult when trying to dress to prevent heat stress!
protection, spray your arms and legs with an insect repellent containing
DEET (up to 50% for adults and 20% for children).
You should use repellents only for a day or two at a time.
(Pregnant women should avoid tick-infested areas.)
clothing and skin after being in tick territory.
If you find a tick in your skin, use sharp, pointed tweezers to grasp
the tick as closely to the skin as possible and pull straight out, gently
but firmly. Clean the bite with
alcohol and save the tick for identification.
Watch the bite
for several weeks—this is when first symptoms of Lyme disease will
develop. Within 30 days, if a
circular bull’s-eye rash develops at the site of the bite, consult a
doctor. You may also experience
flu-like symptoms—fever, headache, and muscle pain. However, not all
victims of Lyme disease exhibit these initial symptoms.
Do you wear safety
glasses when mowing, weeding, or edging? Do
you climb a ladder to reroof or clean gutters?
Do you use a chainsaw or crafts-man tools?
Do you fill your mower with gasoline?
When you first purchased the equipment you use for home projects, you
probably read the manuals. Have you re-read the safety guidelines?
Nearly one-third of
skin cancers occur on the face and neck. In the sun, you should wear a hat with
a brim; especially during the hours of 10 am to 2 pm. Apply a generous amount
(at least a half-ounce) of sunscreen. Sunscreen that protects against UV-A and
UV-B is most desirable—the old-fashioned crème, zinc oxide, is making a
come-back because it shelters the skin from all rays.
Also remember that, even with sunscreen on, you can’t bake all day
without the possibility of some skin damage.
Keep A Safe
Chances are, you
will do more driving in the summer than in the winter—both on and off the job.
When you are behind the wheel, please remember these important issues:
You are sharing
the road with other vehicles and pedestrians.
Please be courteous.
Be a defensive
driver and stay alert. Anticipate
and allow for the unexpected! Look
for careless drivers and give them clearance.
buffer zone around your vehicle that allows you enough
time to react to conditions around you.
Be aware that
your mood can affect your driving. Please
recognize your state of mind and compensate for it.
simply not worth the risk for a few minutes saved.
If a situation
causes you to doubt your ability to drive safely, let somebody else drive or
don't travel at all.
While You Travel
These tips are not everything you need to know about safe travel but, at a minimum, they may save you some trouble.
your property on the metal detector in airports, be sure that no one is
in front of you to hold you up in passing through. (Some scams allow confederates,
stationed at the end of the conveyer, to steal your property while you are
patiently waiting in line for someone to move through the detector.)
Beware of distraction scams, where someone jostles
you, asks for the time or change, or accidentally squirts you with ketchup
while an accomplice makes off with your property. Don’t sit your luggage
down without watching it or holding it.
At public phones, airline, hotel, or car rental desks, place your
belongings on the counter in front of you.
Never leave valuable items, such as purses,
briefcases, or portable computers, in the passenger compartment of a vehicle—if
they must be left in a vehicle, lock them in the trunk (but that doesn't
mean they're safe).
Keep purses zipped and near your body.
Sew buttons or snaps into pockets holding wallets (or wrap rubber
bands around the wallet so it's harder to slip free).
Use money belt/bags/pouches, etc.
Split up your money—credit cards and traveler’s checks—between your
person and your luggage.
After dark, avoid areas that are not well lit.
If you are being followed, go to light or people.
Carry a noise-making device with you.
When walking along a street, walk on the side
facing traffic to see approaching persons or vehicles.
Walk purposefully—projecting an assertive image.
Driving on long
trips, combined with fatigue and monotony, will cause you to lose your concentration.
Open a window, change your eye contact with the road frequently, and take
a minimum of a 10-minute break every 2 hours.
Have at least one passenger stay awake when others are sleeping.
Never rely on coffee or "stay awake" drugs to keep you
alert. The cost of a hotel
room will be cheaper than the cost of a collision!
Find out what parts of town locals consider
risky and avoid them.
While driving, keep your vehicle doors locked
and your windows rolled up. Inspect the interior of your vehicle before entering to ensure
that no one is hiding inside. Check
for loiterers outside before leaving your vehicle.
Have your car or house key ready before getting to the door.
Keep your vehicle in good repair, and always
refuel at half-tank.
Let someone know where you're going, the general
route you will take, and when to expect you back—particularly when traveling
to unfamiliar destinations.
In unfamiliar locations, drive on well-traveled
Have change in your car or a cellular phone
for telephone calls.
If someone is following you, drive to a police
station, fire station, or open business to seek help.
If you are afraid to exit your car, sound your horn to attract attention.
If you see occupants of a stopped vehicle seeking
assistance do not stop—instead, call for help from nearby.
If your car breaks down, raise the hood, get
back in your car, roll up the windows, and lock the doors.
If someone stops to help you, do not get out; instead, ask that a
call for assistance be made.
tactics are to run into your car at a stoplight or sign and then jerk your
door open (often from the passenger side) or to "tap" the target
vehicle from the rear (when the two vehicles are the only ones on the road). If struck by another vehicle in an isolated area at night,
remain in your vehicle. Depending
on circumstances, signal the other driver to follow you to an occupied,
well-lit area where it will be safe to stop. Remain in your locked vehicle,
roll down your window slightly, and instruct the other driver to call police.
Always stop at locations where there is light and people.
If faced with a car-jacking, give up your vehicle
without a struggle—nothing is worth your life!
Whenever possible, ensure that your hotel room
has a peephole, a deadbolt, or a chain.
Read and follow the emergency procedures posted
on the back of your hotel door.
It's wise to locate the emergency exit in the
hotel, note the quickest direction to that exit, and count the number of
doors between your door and the exit (in case of heavy smoke).
Keep your room key at your bedside so you can
grab it if you have to leave quickly (if exits are blocked, you then may
have to return to your room).
Observe airline personnel when they announce
Plan ahead what you will do if you must evacuate
a plane or bus (count the number of rows between your seat and the nearest
exit in case visibility is poor).