Have a Safe & Happy Labor Day Weekend

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. Today Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers throughout the nation annually celebrating the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

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Throughout the year Close Range Safety Training Academy shares health and safety tips useful to our readers for all occasions.  Labor Day is, of course, no exception – so we’d like to send you some important refreshers on how to keep this holiday and any festive occasion both safe and fun for you and your loved ones!

If you’re celebrating outdoors, remember that it’s going to be a hot and sunny weekend so be sure to wear sunscreen and avoid heat related illness such as heatstroke. In our blog “Keep Summer Fun & Safe“, there are several tips to help you and your loved ones avoid the dangers of UV rays and our blog “Beat the Heat” discusses the dangers of exposure to extreme heat and how to play it safe!

Outdoor parties require planning to ensure a safe and good time is had by all! We shared the best way to plan your outdoor party in our blog “Backyard Bash Safety” at the beginning of this summer and we hope you have found it useful.  Even if you aren’t hosting a party, you can use the great tips in this blog as a guest too! And, it is even more important to keep safety in mind when there is a swimming pool on the property.  If youfamily-bbq2-768x512.jpg have a swimming pool or will be attending a party that has one, you want to be sure to read our blog “Swimming Safety for Children” and keep in mind that these rules can also apply to adults!

And before you fire up that grill, be sure you know the best ways to prepare your meat and grill by reading “Grilling Safety Tips” blog.

Sometimes, though, the best thing to do on a holiday weekend is to take a road trip or mini-vacation with your family! It’s a great time to bond, see and learn new things and enjoy your loved ones.  Statistics from the National Safety Council show that Labor Day Weekend is one of the busiest holidays on the freeways and highways of the US.

HERE ARE 5 IMPORTANT TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN TAKING A ROAD TRIP:
CR-Cars-Hero-Road-tripping-families-Sienna-06-16.jpg1) Make sure your vehicle is in proper condition prior to hitting the road – check your lights, fluids, belts, hoses, breaks, and the condition of your tires and battery beforehand. If you are not sure what to check, seek professional help.
2) Plan your route ahead of time by checking weather and traffic conditions along your path. Be sure to bring a map because even though technology and GPS systems are very helpful there are occasions when the signal is lost or unavailable.
3) Follow the posted speed limits and remember congestion on the roads may mean you’ll have to travel below posted limits. Drive smart and avoid road rage and distracted driving.  If you encounter wet weather on your journey, use the tips in our blog “Driving in the Driving Rain” to stay safe.
4) Be sure you are well rested before going on a long drive and even if you want to push through, if your body tells you you are tired respect it and take a break!
5) Be prepared for emergencies by packing a first aid kit, water and medications in your vehicle.

And, if you do plan to get away for a few days, be sure to
Secure your home properly with these 5 important tips:
1) Avoid posting you will be/are away on social media – this is basically advertising your home is vacant.
2) Make sure all locks on doors and windows are secured before you exit.
3) Have someone you trust collect your mail and newspapers in your absence so these items do not pile up outside your home indicating you are away.
4) Have timers on your lights so that they turn off/on at the regular times you would use them – giving the impression you are there.
5) Never leave keys hidden outdoors for people to find or for your house-sitter to be seen accessing.

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Remember that Labor Day is not only a long weekend for you to enjoy, but also the time of year Americans celebrate the hard work that you and your fellow citizens do! Stay humble and stay grateful for your privilege to work in this great country we call home by treating those who serve you the way you want to be treated when you are at work!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend,
Your friends at Close Range Safety Training Academy

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Ergonomics: Important to your Work Day & Every day!

According to the US Department of Labor, musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs account for about one-third of all injury and illness costs of U.S. businesses. MSDs are health issues that affect our movement or musculoskeletal system (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etc.) In recent years, research has focused on establishing the links between physical activity and health, largely overlooking the important distinction between sitting and physical activity. The opportunities for long term sitting in modern times, such as sitting in a car or sitting at a desk, are unavoidable. Statistics prove the average adult spends 50–70% of their day in seated positions.
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Here are some valuable tips to incorporate ergonomics into your workday:

  • Make sure that the weight of your arms is supported at all times. If your arms are not supported, the muscles of your neck and shoulders will suffer
  • Manage your head position by keeping the weight of your head directly above its base of support (neck). Don’t “crane” your head and neck forward.
  • Slouching puts more pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your back. Use the lumbar support of your chair and use good posture while seated to balance your body weight evenly. Move your chair as close to your work as possible to avoid leaning and reaching.
  • Your computer monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with the top edge of the screen at your eye level. The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so you don’t have to frequently turn your head and neck. Because lap top computers do not allow to arrange the keyboard and monitor this way, try to avoid using a lap top for an extended period. Also, be sure to rest your eyes periodically for several seconds by looking away from computer screens to view objects at a distance.
  • Do not crunch a phone between your neck and shoulder! Try to use a headset or speaker phone if need your hands free for other activities while on a call. Repeating the abnormal position of tilting your head toward your should can do permanent damage to your neck as well as creating other uncomfortable issues.
  • Your feet should not be dangling when you are seated. If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the backs of your legs, use a footrest or lower your chair.
  • Stay hydrated and active throughout the day by drinking the daily allowance for your weight in water and taking breaks form long term sitting (and repetitive activities) by doing some ergonomic stretching activities.getty_rf_photo_of_office_workers_doing_stretches_at_night.jpgRemember to stay healthy outside of the office as well by staying active on your time off with continued stretching activities, staying hydrated and enjoying your free time.  Apply more ergonomic tips to your household chores and other activities to keep your body fit!

 

Safeguarding Your Summer: Backyard Bash Safety 🏡 🎉

With summertime upon us, many are considering yard parties.  Fun in the sun, grilling, outdoor sports, and swimming all sound grand this time of year and that’s because it is grand!

Most outdoor parties come and go without a hitch, but unfortunately accidents do happen.  With that in mind, here are some simple ways to avoid accidents and host a worry free backyard bash:

  • outdoor-entertaining.jpgThoroughly inspect your yard for any things that could be a danger such as wasp nests, standing water (mosquito breeding grounds),anthills, holes, trip hazards, rotting trees or limbs that could fall, rusting equipment, low hanging electrical wires, or anything you can see as a danger – particularly to small children or adults who may be under the influence. (It’s a party, there will be alcohol!) Remove the hazards, cover them or flag them with reflective materials.
  • Be sure moving vehicles are away from your guests.  If possible, have a pedestrian entry to your party distanced from the parking.
  • Be prepared to accommodate children if your party is family friendly.  There’s more to this than just saying it’s ok to bring your children because once they are there if they are not occupied they will be underfoot and more likely to have or cause accidents.  Consider the age ranges and have play areas set up for little ones and some outdoor sports for the teens.  Be sure there are no choking hazards with any of the toys you provide.  Perhaps, ask guests in advance, what they recommend for their children or suggest their children bring their own entertainment to share.
  • Food safety is key to avoiding a party gone wrong! If your outdoor fun includes grilling hamburgers, play it safe by handling raw ground beef carefully. First, be sure you keep the meat cold (40 degrees F or less) until it is cooked. Second, cook ground beef to a safe temperature of 160 degrees F so that bacteria such as E. coli are killed. Poultry products, including ground poultry, should always be cooked to at least 165 °F internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer; leftovers should be refrigerated no more than two hours after cooking. When preparing food, never use the same dish for raw meats and foods that will not be cooked. Don’t let perishable food sit out while swimming or during other activities. If the temperature is above 90 degrees F, food is not safe to sit out longer than one hour! Keep hands and all utensils clean when preparing food.  To learn more about grilling safely, check out our previous blog about Backyard Grilling Tips.
  • Be responsible with alcoholic beverages.  Adult beverages go hand in hand with adults partying and there’s nothing wrong with that, but as a host there are certain precautions you should take to prevent any incidents caused by alcohol.  First and foremost you want to make sure none of your guests get behind the wheel after heavy drinking. Of course, it’s best to prevent heavy drinking if you are able.  Some easy ways to do that are;
    Make food more easily available than alcohol.  When your guests have a full tummy it slows the effects of alcohol and when alcohol isn’t right at the forefront of the party guests will likely drink less.
    Have a bartender or someone in charge of serving the drinks so that guests won’t be able to overpour the alcohol or consume it at a faster rate.
    To learn more about hosting a party with alcohol as well as being a guest who likes to consume alcohol, check out our Holiday Party Safety Blog!
  • If you have a swimming pool on your property, be aware of the dangers and kids-at-swimming-pool.jpghow you can prevent accidents. Prior to your party, make sure you have adequate anti-entrapment drain covers for your pool.  During your party, have a designated adult who knows how to swim watching over swimming pool activity at all times. Do not allow people who have consumed a lot of alcohol in or close to the pool.  If at all possible, have someone at your party who has been CPR/First Aid trained.  Learn more about swimming pool safety not just for your party, but for year round safety on the pool safety website.
  • Is your pet ready to party? Pet safety at parties is easy to overlook. Of course you want to include your pet in the festivities, but it’s important to honestly assess your pet before adding him or her to the guest list. If your pet is aggressive in any way, overly excitable, or very shy, he or she may not be a good guest at the party and may be better off at the sitters for the day.  Also, consider if any of your guests have allergies to pet dander.  And, lastly, consider if your beloved pet can avoid eating the wrong things at a party.  With so many guests and so many plates of food surrounding, your pet may snatch a bite of something you would never give him/her under normal circumstances or your guests may think it’s fun to give him/her some of the food available.  Some food that we humans enjoy is toxic to our furry friends, so be sure that if your pet is wandering around your party someone is 51dhlAusXTL._SL500_.jpgwatching over him/her carefully to be sure no dangerous food is gobbled up.
  • A first aid kit is always important to have on hand in any household, but most especially when the number of people on your property is larger than usual. To learn how to build a first aid kit for you home (as well as your for your vehicle) and for other helpful first aid information visit the Healthy Essentials Website.
  • Earthquakes happen! Obviously your party would be the worst time for one, but it’s always best to be prepared! If you and your quests should be outdoors in the event of an earthquake, remember to Move away from buildings, structures and utility wires. Once in the open, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Stay there until the shaking stops. When the shaking stops, look around. If there is a clear path to safety, leave and go to an open space away from damaged areas. If you are trapped, do not move around just call out for help so others at the party can locate you and assist.  Be prepared to “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” in the likely event of aftershocks.  Once safe, monitor local news reports for emergency information and instructions.  To learn more about earthquake safety and preparedness, please be sure to check out our earthquake safety blog for insightful information about preparedness and safety before, during an after an earthquake.

189f930fba5525b43a8a6d61fe82d65dThe best way to enjoy a party is safely.  Being prepared for emergencies and using preventative tactics is the easiest way to ensure a safe but great time for you and your guests.

Close Range Safety Training Academy shares helpful blogs about your safety and health regularly and we’d love for you to follow our blog! We look forward to you having a safe, healthy and happy celebration and life!

 

Have a Safe & Happy Halloween With These Safety Tips

When Walking

Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

Look left, right and left again when crossing

Put electronic devices down and keep heads up to pay attention to you and your children’s safety.

Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them and walk on sidewalks or paths.

If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision.

If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

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Keep Costumes Safe

Decorating costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.

Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 

When selecting a costume, make sure the costume is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

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Drive Safely

Slowing down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited and may move in unpredictable ways.

Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to see and be seen from greater distances. Common trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Don’t Be Tricked by Bad Treats

Follow these important tips to keep children safe from dangerous treats: 

Snacking: Children shouldn’t snack on treats from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating. Give them a light meal or snack before they head out – don’t send them out on an empty stomach. Urge them to wait until they get home and let you inspect their loot before they eat any of it.

Safe treats: Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

Food Allergies: If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Do not allow the child to eat any home-baked goods he or she may have received.

Choking hazards: If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.

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Gun Safety Starts at Home

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Civilian gun ownership has become a hot button topic in recent times.  Owning a gun requires extreme responsibility regardless of if you have a gun for your job, to protect your home, for hunting or sport.

If you have a gun or are considering purchasing a gun, it is important that you know how to use it properly.  The correct handling of a gun is not something to take lightly and requires professional training.  Without attending specialized gun training and practice at a proficient shooting range you put not only yourself at risk but also those around you.

Statistics are showing a continued rise in death and injury due to gun shots in the USA at an shocking rate of nearly 100 deaths per day and over 200 injuries per day.  Of these numbers, an alarming 15% is accidental due to lack of knowledge and improper storage.

Aside from proper training, proper storage is also incredibly important.  An estimated 2 million US households have loaded guns inside and many of these households also have children.  Storing guns out of the reach of children is imperative. Some simple and safe ways to store your firearms are:

  • keep unloaded firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault, or storage case
  • use a gun locking device
  • store ammunition separate from firearms; and double-check firearms to confirm they are unloaded when storing/removing them from storage.geob.jpg

Additionally, parents should educate their children about gun safety.  Gun violence in movies, on television and in video games has caught their attention.  They need to understand not to go looking around for guns, to STOP and tell an adult if a gun is found, and even if a gun looks like a toy, not to touch it.

Another disturbing statistic is that over 20% of the daily gunshot deaths/injuries in America are the result of suicide (or attempted suicide).  Multiple research studies show that firearm ownership correlates with suicide rates. This is likely because firearms are more lethal than nearly every other means of suicide attempt.  If you are depressed or are taking new medication to treat depression and you own a gun, please cautiously remove the gun from your property to be safely stored elsewhere or disposed of.  If you believe someone you love is suicidal and you know they own a gun, please speak with them about removal or contact your local police department for advice. If you would like to learn more about safely storing your gun while you are battling the clinical illness of depression please contact your local police department to learn the proper procedures for storing a gun that you own outside of your property.  Studies have shown that depression is a common factor among most assailants in mass shootings. Many times the shooter is far removed from their true selves and in the throws of clinical depression (which is often triggered by sudden life changes or medications and completely out of the ordinary for the assailant’s normal behavior).  (Learn 10 ways to identify depression here)

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If you or someone in your presence is ever shot, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Even if a bullet only scratches the surface of flesh it can still do harm! When a bullet strikes a person all of the bullet’s kinetic energy must be transferred to the target and when that happens the energy of the bullet is not only visible by torn flesh of the bullet hole but energy is also dissipated creating a cavity that expands, deforms tissues, and contracts all within a fraction of a second. Thus the damage a bullet imparts is much greater than the visible evidence on the outside of the body. It takes the care of physicians – specifically emergency physicians – to determine whether or not a person who is shot is going to need emergency surgery.  To reiterate, call 9-1-1 as quickly as possible when tending to a bullet wound and If the wound is bleeding you should attempt to apply a trauma bandage and control the bleeding through pressure. Keep the wound clean and protected and have the victim lie down and keep them calm until help arrives. If you’re a gun owner concerned about the possibility of a gunshot wound you should put together a first aid kit that includes trauma gear.

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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