Off the Job Safety Never Takes a Break

Did you know that more accidents occur outside of work? It’s true. According to the National Safety Council, nearly three-fourths of medically consulted injuries take place off the job.

Since OSHA doesn’t follow us out the door, many companies have expanded their workplace health and safety programs to include employees’ living rooms and leisure activities. These programs foster employee engagement, while increasing productivity and accident prevention on the job – and at home.

Corporations such as Travelers have made around-the-clock safety a core principle of their corporate culture.  Countless companies have introduced illness and injury prevention programs to encourage healthy and safe lifestyles that in turn have reaped reductions in sick time, as well as better control of insurance premiums for both employer and employee alike.

By no means all-inclusive, following are some safety tips for you and your loved ones.
Wear Your Gear! There’s nothing like a ride on the open road or nature trail to get that adrenaline pumping. As a protective parent, you drill it into your kids’ heads to wear their gear before riding off on their journey. But do you follow your own rules? Or are you more concerned about the embarrassment of helmet head or how the gear will clash with your outfit? Don’t fall short in setting the example. And of course, continue to nag and plead – whatever works! On a serious note, many states have laws requiring helmets be worn by drivers and/or passengers of motorcycles and bicycles. Yet there are way too many reported injuries of helmetless adults and children. Ditto for knee and elbow pads to cushion falls. Our advice: Just do it! And for new and veteran drivers alike, defensive driver safety courses in your local or online community are just a click away!

Catch Some Zzzzs. Being tired after a long day’s work is not uncommon. What is common is how lack of sleep diminishes your alertness, concentration and safety practices the next day.  Small missteps such as forgetting to bring milk home or being involved in a parking lot fender bender often extend into decreased productivity and motivation. Even worse, serious injuries and accidents! Should insomnia persist, it may be related to a lingering work issue or a medical condition. If work-related, speak to your boss. Otherwise, pay a visit to your doctor. It never hurts to play it safe.

Home Office Offenses. You leave your office, but not the work. You find yourself hauling home files to complete the “first thing in the morning,” to meet that project deadline, Unfortunately, your home office is often a minefield of offenses that contribute to reoccurring backaches, sore elbows, throbbing wrists and eye strain. Minor modifications, such as ergonomically designed keyboards and seating, adequate lighting and reducing caffeine consumption can make a major difference to increasing productivity, comfort, health and safety. Beyond the inherent physical benefits, these adjustments are easy-to-implement and will optimize your focus on the getting the work done efficiently.

Protect Against Poisons. Carbon monoxide detectors protect against this odorless and colorless gas. Got toddlers? Childproof your home and secure those everyday household cleaners on high shelves. Take a deep breath and put on a face mask and googles before spraying insecticides. If you’re taking prescription medications, read the dosage label carefully. And yes, request and learn how to use those infuriating, yet important child-resistant safety caps!

You Won’t Believe This! Okay, maybe you would. Has your teenager or “someone” you know ever mowed the lawn wearing flip-flops? Maybe you’ve scratched your head watching the neighbor unclog his snow blower while in power mode. And don’t get me started on unsupervised, wobbly ladders. These are just a few of the “Don’t Try This at Home,” health and safety hazards.  Share your workplace safety training with your family and friends.

Digital signage in the workplace is a great vehicle for promoting home safety awareness. Strategically publishing content at the end the day, shift or week places “Safety First” in everyone’s mind, while heightening the probability for safety discussions to continue at the dinner table.

Read More About It: The National Safety Council has an abundance of information on accident prevention and safety training at work – and in the home. Additional workplace safety tips in the home are also offered by AIHA.

Barry Lee Cohen
April 26, 2017

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