It's hard to believe, but it's been a year already since I last shared a list of off-the-beaten-path safety tips. Here are some more home safety tidbits to help add spice to your safety meetings or newsletters.
In the Kitchen
Tests have shown that using a commercial oven cleaner containing non-methane hydrocarbons (which can cause cancer) can drastically affect your home's indoor air quality in just 90 minutes. In addition to making sure your house is well-ventilated, it's a good idea to stay out of the kitchen for a while after using one of these products. Cleaning your oven right before leaving for work or going shopping might be the best option.
In the Nursery
If you have a child seven-months-old or older, be careful about how you change his or her diapers. According to a study by a Massachusetts poison control center tots at this age have the strength and dexterity to grab the objects around them and put them in their mouths. Particularly hazardous: All the toxic substances that surround the changing table - powder, wipes, shampoo, ointment, oil, etc. Keep a close watch on open safety pins, too.
In the Home Office
Transformers generate heat while they're operating - even those which plug into a socket to operate electronic equipment such as a lap-top computer. Ensure adequate ventilation and switch transformers off when you're not using them.
In the Yard
If someone is electrocuted by contacting overhead power lines, do not even get close to them. If you attempt to sever the contact with a nonconductor, such as a stick or a piece of clothing, the current may jump the gap to you! Stay away and call for help.
In the Garage
Are you planning to buy a gas can? For most households, a 2.5 gallon can is more than sufficient. Look for a tip-proof container of non-corrosive metal or plastic and a flame arrester (a fine wire mesh in the spout). The can should also have a place to store the pouring extension.
In the Wiring
If your house and appliances have all been purchased within the last decade or so, chances are that they all fit perfectly well together. But if the house and electrical contents are of varying vintage you may have 2-slot electrical receptacles and 3-prong plugs. The ideal solution is to have an electrician bring your house wiring up to today's code requirements. If you have your service updated, you may be able to get up to 20 percent premium reduction from your fire insurance agent.
In the Bathroom
Don't turn your bathroom into a library. Restrict your toilet time to 5 minutes per sitting, if you can. Sitting on the toilet can put undue pressure on your blood vessels, leading to hemorrhoids. So bowel specialists advise patients not to use the toilet for anything other than strictly business.
In the Bedroom
(It's not what you think.) If you use an electric blanket to keep you warm in bed, don't cover it with a bedspread or other blankets while it's turned on.
Remember: safety training doesn't have to be boring. Until next time, keep workers safe and keep safety fun!
If you'd like to spend a day with Richard and learn how to get fantastic results with your safety and health program, sign up for his next public seminar. It's on Friday, November 3, in Chicago at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare. For more details and to register go to: www.adlassociates.com/safety_richard_hawk.htm
Every 135 minutes someone dies from
By Catherine Jones
What does this number represent?
Answer: The number of home fires reported in the United States in 2004.
October 8 to 14 is National Fire Prevention Week. If you're planning a safety talk on fire prevention for your workers, here are some other residential fire statistics you might want to mention:
- 3,190 deaths in the US in 2004 were caused by residential fires
- Every 79 seconds a home structure fire is reported in the US
- Every 135 minutes someone dies from a home fire in the US
- Every 32 hours someone dies from a home fire in Canada
- 70% (approximately) of residential fire deaths occur in homes that have either no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm.
(Source: National Fire Protection Association)