With June comes summer, sun, and, we hope, safety.
June is National Safety Month, an opportunity to help prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths at work, on the roads, and in our homes and communities. With the United States is seeing the highest number of workplace deaths since 2007 – more than 5,000 fatal workplace injuries in 2019 – this observance is more important than ever. Additionally, more than 42,000 people estimated to have died on the roads in 2020, the highest number of motor vehicle deaths since 2007, according to National Safety Council.
“Dangerous circumstances can present themselves everywhere during the summer days,” said David Cohn, managing partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles. “It’s important for each of us to do our part to keep ourselves, our neighbors, and our loved ones as safe as possible in June for National Safety Month, and beyond.”
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health and the National Safety Council highlights weekly work-focused themes of emergency preparedness, wellness, falls and driving. You can find more information on these themes below, with some tips courtesy of Chain | Cohn | Stiles:
The message here is, “prevent incidents before they start.” Emergency situations can happen at any time, making it a priority to be prepared for the unexpected before it happens.
- Research and prepare for natural disasters that may occur, like an earthquake.
- Create an emergency kit for both your home and car.
- Create a home emergency plan with your family and learn how to shut off your utilities.
- Be a good participant in emergency drills at work and school by following instructions and paying attention to lessons learned.
- Store important phone numbers, including those of family members, with other important documents in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box.
- Learn first aid and CPR for children and adults.
- Stock your emergency kits.
In the workplace, emergency situations can happen at any time including natural disasters, fires, active shooter situations or chemical or gas releases. Actively participate in workplace drills.
As the pandemic continues, employers play an important role in expanding operations and returning remote workers to physical workspaces, building trust around vaccines, supporting mental health and much more.
Additionally, getting enough sleep is important to do your job safely. Sleep plays a more vital role in ensuring the safety and health of workers and the people they serve. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep every day is key.
High stress levels, especially for prolonged periods of time, can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. Work-related stress can lead to risk of injury and depression, which contributes to absenteeism, presenteeism (workers going to work when they are sick), disability, and unemployment. Providing training for supervisors on approaches to reducing stressful working conditions can improve employee health, reduce turnover, and increase employee retention.
Falls remain a persistent but preventable problem in the workplace. In fact, falls are the No. 1 cause of construction-worker fatalities, accounting for one-third of on-the-job deaths in the industry.
The highest number of nonfatal fall injuries continue to be associated with the health services and the wholesale and retail industries. Overall falls are the third leading cause of unintentional-injury-related deaths for all ages and the No. 1 cause of death for those 65 and older, according to Injury Facts.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the U.S. All workers are at risk of crashes, whether driving light or heavy vehicles, or whether driving is a main or incidental job duty. Up to 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes involve human error. There are simple actions you can take to stay safe while driving:
- Buckle up every trip. It only takes a second to save a life.
- Do not drive drowsy. Stop and take breaks as needed.
- Focus on driving and stay alert. Other drivers on the road may be impaired, fatigued or distracted.
- Avoid impaired driving, whether by alcohol, lack of sleep or drugs, including over the counter and prescription medication.
- Avoid cell phone distracted driving, including hands-free.
- Make sure all occupants are properly secured in age-appropriate restraints.
- Never leave a child alone in a car and always keep your car locked when not in use.
- Regularly check your vehicle for recalls at CheckToProtect.org and stay up to date on the safety features in your car by visiting MyCarDoesWhat.org.
- Educate teens and all inexperienced drivers about the safety features present in the vehicle and how they work.
If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form at chainlaw.com.