Beat the Heat and avoid the Dangerous Side of Heat Exposure

The population of California grows annually by leaps and bounds.  Many newcomers will tell you the main reason for the move is the moderate weather.  Yes, Californians are blessed with mild winters and low humidity, but that doesn’t mean things don’t get extremely hot in California.

Anywhere you see hot summers you can expect people to suffer from heat related illnesses.  Californians are not exempt from this hazard and we’d like to teach all of our readers how to beat the heat no matter where you are!

Outdoor activities in hot weather and direct sun increase the risk of heat-related illness when overexposure occurs.  When the air temperature is near or warmer than one’s normal body temperature, cooling of the body becomes more difficult. Blood circulated to the skin cannot lose its heat so sweating then becomes the main way the body cools down. But, sweating is only effective when the humidity level is low enough to allow evaporation, and if the fluids and salts that are lost are adequately replaced. If the body cannot get rid of excess heat, it will store it. When this happens, the body’s core temperature rises and the heart rate increases. As the body continues to store heat, the person could suffer from heat related illnesses such as heat rash, heat stroke, exhaustion, or cramps. Usually, when someone is effected by heat illness they begin to have difficulty focusing, may become irritable or sick, and often lose the desire to drink. The next stage is usually fainting and could even result in death without accurate care or if the person is not cooled down properly.

USE THIS CHART TO HELP IDENTIFY SYMPTOMS AND
LEARN WHAT ACTION TO TAKE:

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Outdoor activities are safest when the heat index is <91°F and proper precautions are in place such as plenty of cool fluids available and an ice chest that also has ice packs ready to use. If activities cannot be avoided when the heat index is above 91°F be prepared with adequate amounts of fluids available for everyone who will be in the heat, make sure that everyone is dressed in light, breathable clothing and make sure there is a shaded or air-conditioned area everyone can escape to throughout the day.

Recently, we shared a blog about the importance of sun screen and some valuable tips.  Be sure to read this blog also to be fully safe not only from heat illness but also the dangers of UV rays.

Follow Close Range Safety Tips for blogs about your health and safety monthly and be sure to visit our website closerangetraining.com to see what classes we have to offer!

Keep Summer Sun Fun and Safe!

One of the benefits of the sun’s rays is your skin produces vitamin D naturally when you are in the sun.  If your skin is not prone to sunburn, you can enjoy the health benefits of the sun’s direct rays anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes on your arms, hands, and face two to three times a week to received the vitamin D-boosting benefits of sun. (Note that the sun actually has to penetrate the skin but exposure should be a maximum of 15 minutes before applying sunscreen to prevent damage to your skin.)

While there are lots of great reasons to get out into the sun, remember the ultraviolet rays of sunshine can damage your skin even in cool temperatures.  When summertime arrives we all find ourselves exposed to the sun more frequently.   Summer is a time for outdoor activity with family and friends, swimming, sunbathing and generally enjoying the uplifting weather. But, remember the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin after 15 minutes of direct exposure.

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Here are 5 key things to remember to protect your skin from the damage of ultraviolet rays:

  1. Seek Shade! Reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by enjoying the outdoors under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun.
  2. Dress Wisely.  In warm weather, we don’t want to be fully clothed because it will look and feel uncomfortable.  But, there are fashions made specifically to have a summertime style while still offering full protection.  For help picking the best UV Protective wear for you and your loved ones, visit this website to learn more.
  3. Wear a large brimmed hat. For the best protection, choose a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. And, if you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
  4. UV Rays can also harm your eyes – WEAR SUNGLASSES!  Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side. When purchasing sunglasses, be sure to read the label to ensure they offer a high level of protection from UV rays.
  5. USE SUNSCREEN! You should use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15. Sunscreen products can only be labeled “broad spectrum” if they have been tested and shown to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Only broad spectrum sunscreen products with an SPF of 15 or higher can state that they help protect against skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures. Sunscreens labeled with SPFs as high as 100+ are available. Higher numbers do mean more protection, but many people don’t understand the SPF scale. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. The higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. 

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!

 

🎁 This Father’s Day, Give the Gift of Safety ⛑

Preparedness items make ideal gifts by providing peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are ready for an emergency, such as losing power, breaking down in an automobile, or needing supplies and tools when time is of the essence. In addition, preparedness gifts serve as a reminder to make preparedness a priority.

OUR TOP 8 SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS GIFT IDEAS 

Roadside Assistance Kits

roadside-assistance-kitJust like your Dad taught you, breakdowns can happen anytime, anywhere. In addition to having the necessary equipment handy to change a flat tire, there are some other items you should always have on hand. But sometimes our greatest teachers forget to prepare themselves.  Is your father prepared for emergencies in his vehicle? Here are our top picks: AAA, Survival Supply,  and Global Industries

Hand-Crank Cell Phone Chargers 

CellChargerThere’s not much worse than being in serious situation with a dead cell phone. Keep your Dad safe with one of these options: American Red Cross, Eton, Or K-Tor. You’ll be worry free knowing your father can reach out to you or to emergency service providers without the concern of a dead cell phone. 

Hand-Crank Radios

RadioPerfect in the case of an outage! Your father can stay aware in inclement weather conditions or during serious issues with a hand-crank radio that requires no power but offers the same capabilities of the average transistor radio.  We think both Sangean and Eton make great and affordable models.

Gas or Solar Powered Portable Generators

PowerLiving in Southern California means we all face power outages during the hottest summer months.  Unbearable heat is a health hazard! Also, for many, the food in the refrigerator is no picnic to replace.  Having a gas or solar powered generator to keep electricity functioning during an outage can be a major asset during such times. Try one of these options: Gas – Sportsman, Power Pro, or Solar –  WEIYI, and Suaoki.

Flashlights 

flashlight-beamHere’s another item your father likely taught you to have on hand, but has he kept up with the latest updates to this common household item?  There are a variety of flashlights available today with a variety of features from waterproof, to solar, to hand-crank powered. Here are our favorites: Dynamo, American Red Cross, and Logix.

Computer Protection Programs

virusHelp Dad keep his computer healthy too! Anti-virus software, sometimes known as anti-malware software, is computer software used to prevent, detect and remove malicious software. Learn what the best programs available are here!

Identity Theft Protection Services

Identity-TheftIdentity theft occurs when someone uses one’s personal identifying information, without authorization, in order to perpetrate fraud or other offenses, such as obtaining loans, services or credit. To reduce that risk for your father, Identity Theft Protection Services are available. Learn what the best services available are here!

Medical Alert System

IMAG016If your father is elderly or lives alone, this really is a necessity!  Depending on your dad’s needs or capabilities, you will need to choose the best system suited for him.  Here is a comprehensive guide of what to look for when shopping Medical Alert Systems.


Make your dad proud and happy this Father’s Day by showing him that all his good advice about preparedness really did matter, and how much his safety means to you too! As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. These great gifts may not prevent incidents from happening, but they do prevent the stress of facing such circumstances unprepared.  

 

How to Help Our Heroes: Mental Health Resources for Veteran and Their Families

When we have a federal holiday, many of us focus on the opportunity to enjoy an extended weekend and our focus is on getting together with our loved ones or using our spare time to our advantage.  It’s easy to focus on the things we don’t get to do often and lose sight of the true meaning of Memorial Day.11377140_10152980829086775_5786723641010396236_n.jpgThis Memorial Day, we ask that you remember not only the fallen soldiers but also their families and the veterans among us today who suffer with the painful memories of war and their fallen brothers and sisters.

Statistics show an estimated 25% of people who served in the U.S. military have symptoms of at least one mental health condition, with more than 10% qualifying for a diagnosis of two or more mental illnesses frequently acquired while serving their country. Our military faces many challenges that we, as average citizens, cannot fathom such as; Extended separation from their loved ones, facing the harsh realities of combat, and head trauma as well as being obligated to press on in war under severe emotional stress.

According to the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research many veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from either major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.  Major depression is characterized by encompassing periods of low moods, loss of interest in activities that were once desirable, continuing fatigue, and other characteristics that minimize the victim’s quality of life, ability to work and even his or her ability to function in basic day to day activities.  Post-traumatic stress disorder develops as a result of exposure to traumatic events such as war and is identified by disturbing or altered thoughts and feelings, mental or physical distress triggered by trauma related cues, increased fight or flight responses, and recurring nightmares for extended periods of time.  Both illnesses are leading causes in substance abuse and suicide cases nationwide.

What can you do to help those who suffer as a result of war while honoring our fallen heroes this memorial day? 

  • Learn how to recognize mental illnesses in your loved one by knowing the signs and symptoms.  There are several resources available for your research such as The American Psychiatric Association, Mental Health America, or WebMD.com where major depression and PTSD are explained.
  • Know how to treat someone who is suffering. Offer unconditional love and support while avoiding trying to fix their problems on your own. Never advise a victim to “snap out of it” or “move on from the past” in these situations.  Be realistic in knowing that these things require patience and understanding and healing takes a very long time for some.  Definitely encourage professional help whenever possible, but do so gently without making a victim feel insulted, judged, or unwanted.  Always express understanding and encouragement as well as acknowledgement that their issues are as real as any other illnesses.
  • Promote and support treatment whenever possible.  Help them to understand that treatment isn’t modifying their personality but can greatly help relieve symptoms.  Offer help with locating a therapist or health care provider, preparing for their appointments, transportation when needed, and tracking symptoms.  Use mild reminders for both medication and motivation when you see they are not having success on their own.
  • Understand the crisis our nation is facing regarding military mental health. According to Dr. Joel Young numerous studies have documented the fact that our service members struggle to access mental health treatment. Dr. Young shares some of the disturbing challenges our military faces when in need of treatment such as professional consequences, inaccessible treatment and the lack of military mental health screenings in his informative article in Psychology Today.
  • Pursue all the resources available to help you help someone you love who is suffering mental illness as a result of time served. Mental Health America offers a comprehensive list of resources you can reach out to on their website (click here for a direct link).
  • Donate to charities that support the well being of our veterans. Here are a few great charities to send your donations to: Wounded Warrior Project, Cohen Veterans Network, America’s Military Charity, American Veteran’s Foundation, or check out this list of recommended charities from “The Street’s” charity watch for veterans.
  • If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave the person alone. In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

We at Close Range Safety Training Academy want to honor our fallen heroes this holiday and every day as well as all who have served in the U.S. Military.  We thank you for your service to our country.  We wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday weekend as you respect and remember our courageous veterans. Please follow our blog for more health and safety tips for you and your loved ones.

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⚠️⛑⚒ WORKPLACE SAFETY: Tips for Employees, Managers, & Owners


Recent statistics by OSHA report that 4690 workers were killed on the job in 2010 alone!
18% of those deaths occurred in the construction trades, with OSHA predicting that 437 of the 774 deaths in construction that year could have been prevented by keeping workplace safety tips in mind on the job.

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No Matter What Industry You Work In, Applying Safety Tips Can Prevent Accidents:

  1. Always follow the correct procedures.
  2. Never take shortcuts.
  3. Take responsibility and clean up if you made a mess.
  4. Clean and organize your workspace.
  5. Ensure a clear and easy route to emergency exits and equipment.
  6. Be alert and awake on the job.
  7. Be attentive at all times to your work surroundings.
  8. When in doubt, contact your supervisor or manager for instruction, guidance, or training.
  9. Never take risks when it comes to safety.
  10. Obey safety signs, stickers, and tags.
  11. Take short breaks when you keep up a repetitive motion for a long period of time, and sit, stand, or walk with good posture.
  12. Report serious injuries immediately to a supervisor and get emergency assistance.
  13. Keep things in perspective. Hazards may be limitless, so focus on the most likely risks first.
  14. Keep Correct Posture To Protect Your Back: If you work at a desk, keep your shoulders in line with your hips to avoid back problems. If you’re picking things up, use correct form so your back doesn’t get hurt. Avoid stooping and twisting. If possible, always use ergonomic designed furniture and safety equipment so everything you need is within easy reach.
  15. Use Tools And Machines Properly: Take the proper precautions when using tools, and never take shortcuts. Taking shortcuts is one of the leading cause of workplace injury. It’s a huge safety risk to use scaffolding as a ladder or one tool in place of another for a specific job. Using tools the right way greatly reduces the chance of workplace injury.
  16. Keep Emergency Exits Easily Accessible: In case of an emergency, you’ll need quick, easy access to the exits. It’s also recommended to keep clear access to equipment shutoffs in case you need to quickly stop them from functioning.

Teamwork

Remember: Teamwork Matters

Always keep the communication lines open with your co-workers, employers, or employees in order to promote and maintain a safe environment.

  1. Immediately notify others of any (new or old) hazards that you perceive.
  2. Be alert to hazards that could affect anyone— not just yourself; in this respect, maintain a team mentality at all times.
  3. Report a hazardous condition immediately to your manager, supervisor, or owner.
  4. Be conscious as to what others are doing around you, and do your best to ensure you don’t pose a hazard to them (and vice versa).

Tips for Managers & Employers

If you’re an employer, invite and involve your employees in safety planning; obtain their insight, give and take suggestions, and ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

It’s up to facility managers and business owners to get their employees onboard with workplace safety efforts, encouraging them to become active members in the process. Share with them the workplace injury statistics and the inherent risks their job presents to them on a daily basis. Provide incentives that reward them for exemplifying great workplace safety behavior. These simple initiatives really do make all of the difference.

For more information about workplace safety for employees and employers, please visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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