7 Tips for Night Shift Workers – Staying Alert, Awake, and Stimulated

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Working nights can be stressful and taxing, both physically and mentally…especially if you’re unprepared. Here are some ways to help keep you working at your best and feeling as rested and energized as possible:

Stay Hydrated

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Drinking lots of fluids will help keep you alert. Cold fluids are preferred. Stop drinking 2-3 hours before you expect to go to bed to prevent getting up in the middle of the night and interrupting your sleep to use the restroom.

Caffeine

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If you use caffeine, drink it at the start and mid-point of your shift. Try not to drink caffeine within 6 hours of your expected bedtime, as it may keep you awake.

Drink hot coffee in a thermos.

Avoid drinking coffee when you don’t need any, so that caffeine will be more effective when you do need it to be. 

What to Eat

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Avoid eating large meals before or during your shift. These types of meals may cause you to feel sluggish or sleepy after.

Avoid sugar or other high-carb foods before and during your shifts, this will prevent the “crash” you will feel after the initial burst of energy wears off.

Bring small snacks to your shifts, as opposed to large meals (veggies, pretzels, yogurts, nuts, fruits, peanut butter, cold meats and cheeses are some of the preferred snacks of night shift workers).

Sucking on hard candies, mints or chewing gum may help you stay awake and more alert.

For more info on a healthy diet for working the night shift, click here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/318221-night-shift-diet/

Keep Moving 

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Working out prior to your shift gets your blood flowing, which can help keep you awake and more alert. It will also help you sleep better when you do go to sleep. Do some jumping jacks or run in place for a couple minutes to get your heart rate up and blood pumping. This 2-Minute workout can boost your energy and keep you fit:http://darebee.com/workouts/2minute-workout.html

Avoid Getting “Too” Comfortable

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Sitting on a harder surface may help you be less likely to doze off.

Splash cold water on your face.

If possible, opt to stand for part of your shift.

Avoid putting a blanket on your lap.

Stay Well Lit

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Keep a light on in your work area or station at all times if possible.

Keep Your Brain Engaged

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Run through emergency scenarios in your head.

Listen to music, if possible.

Complete a crossword puzzle or Sudoku on your break to keep the mind stimulated and active.

Know your Danger Zone

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2:00am – 4:00am is the peak time people report feeling most tired. Be aware of this and plan ahead.

 

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Distracted Driving Kills – Pay Attention and Drive Safely

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AAA now states that “distracted driving accounts for 25 to 50 percent of all accidents”.

According to www.distraction.gov, more than 70% of licensed drivers in the USA admit that they read and text while driving. Texting is not the only distraction while driving. Some people put on makeup, turn to face their passengers instead of the road, look at their radios while operating them, eat, smoke and many other simple distractions.

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Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2014 alone, 3,179 were killed in distracted driving crashes.

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Distracted driving is anything that can momentarily take our attention away from driving our vehicle.  Because texting requires mental, visual and muscle attention, it is an extremely alarming distraction. The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipu­lating handheld devices increased from 1.7% in 2013 to 2.2% in 2014. Since 2007, young drivers (age 16 to 24) have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than adult drivers.

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a variety of creative campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving working with numerous partners, including AT&T’s poignant campaign against texting and driving. Many states have laws banning texting while driving, so not only is it dangerous but it may be illegal.

Sites like www.itcanwait.com provides ideas on how to disengage from the texting distraction while driving.  If you send “#X” before you start your engine, your friends will be alerted that you are driving and that the next text can wait.  An idea is to draw an X on your thumb to remind you to “#X” before you put your vehicle in Drive.

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With so many distracted drivers on the road currently (statistically nearly 50% of people on the road at any moment) we all need to pay attention for not only our own safety but also for the people we love.

Earthquake Safety: Before, During, and After

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If you live in an area at risk for earthquakes, there are way to prepare to reduce your chances of injury or property damage.

Preparing for earthquakes involves learning what to do before, during, and after the quake.

BEFORE

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Learn what to do during an earthquake and practice these actions through family or workplace drills.

In each room of your home and work, identify the safest places to “drop, cover, and hold on” during an earthquake.

Assemble an emergency supply kit holding the supplies that you and your family or co-workers would need to survive without outside assistance for at least 3 days following an earthquake. (Make additional, smaller kits to keep in your car.)

List addresses, telephone numbers, and evacuation sites for all places frequented by family members (e.g., home, workplaces, schools). Include the phone number of an out-of-state contact. Ensure that family members carry a copy of this list, and include copies in your emergency supply kits.

Train in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). We are a proud provider of American Red Cross First Aid, CPR and AED Training.

Find out where you could shelter your pet should it become necessary to evacuate your home.

Ensure that family members and co-workers know how and when to call 9-1-1, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how, where, and when to shut off your utilities (water, natural gas, and electricity).

Prepare your home and workplace by securing property. Visit FEMA’s website for detailed instructions on securing your property.  http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1420417719892-b9b41636569f3c41eea88e70ddfae2e2/FEMA528.pdf 

DURING

If you are inside a building: Stay where you are until the shaking stops. Do not run outside. Do not get in a doorway as this does not provide protection from falling or flying objects, and you may not be able to remain standing.

Drop down onto your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down.

Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.

If you are in danger from falling objects, and you can move safely, crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table.

If there is low furniture or an interior wall or corner nearby, and the path is clear, these may also provide some additional cover.

Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as light fixtures or furniture.

Hold on to any sturdy covering so you can move with it until the shaking stops. Stay where you are until the shaking stops. 

If you can’t get down on the floor, identify an inside corner of the room away from windows and objects that could fall on you.  The Earthquake Country Alliance advises getting as low as possible to the floor. People who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices should lock their wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

If you are in bed: Stay there and Cover your head and neck with a pillow. At night, hazards and debris are difficult to see and avoid; attempts to move in the dark result in more injuries than remaining in bed.

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If you are outdoors: Move away from buildings, structures and utility wires. Once in the open, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Stay there until the shaking stops. This might not be possible in a city, so you may need to duck inside a building to avoid falling debris.

If you are in a vehicle: If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly and safely as possible and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that the earthquake may have damaged.

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AFTER

When the shaking stops, look around. If there is a clear path to safety, leave the building and go to an open space away from damaged areas.

If you are trapped, do not move around.

If you have a cell phone with you, use it to call for help.

Tap on a pipe or wall, whistle, or call out so that rescuers can locate you.

Once safe, monitor local news reports for emergency information and instructions.

Be prepared to “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” in the likely event of aftershocks.

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

 

 

Be Safe On Labor Day – Backyard Grilling Safety Tips

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Did You Know:

  • Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns.
  • In 2014, 16,600 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills
  • A failure to clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire in one –fifth of all grill structure fires (19%). In 17%, something that could catch fire was too close to the grill
  • Leaks or breaks were the factor in 11% of grill structure fires and 23% of outside and unclassified grill fires
  • Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts
  • Five out of six (83%) grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas while 13% used charcoal or other solid fuel.

Click here to watch a short video on Home Barbecue and Grill Safety

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