Safety is always a concern. Lately, it is probably at the forefront of most people’s minds considering the risks we are now facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
June is National Safety Month, so it is important to learn about common hazards in order to prevent them. Health and safety organizations around the nation have created initiatives to improve safety in every aspect of our lives, including at home, at work, on the road, and in our communities.
This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) invites each of us to make at least one change to improve safety this month. It is crucial that we learn about challenge areas and opportunities, as well as practical suggestions for keeping everyone safe. Consider making at least one change in honor of National Safety Month.
How Can I Practice Safety at Home?
The home is seen as a safe haven; however, many people, including children, get injured every day at home. The most common injuries at home result from slip and fall accidents. Keep walkways clear, stair railings secured, and try to keep toys and other small items off the floor when they are not being used. It is vital to keep your home safe when other people come over as well.
Another significant risk of injury is from over-the-counter and prescription medications. Follow theses safety tips to avoid problems with medications:
- Store prescriptions securely: Most prescriptions must be stored in a cool, dry place. Designate a safe storage spot for medications and use it exclusively to keep medications. Occasionally, medications must be refrigerated. Make sure to store in the proper temperature.
- Do not use if expired: Medications typically expire after a year. Periodically check the expiration date and dispose of old medications consistent with local requirements.
- Be mindful of dosing regimens: It can be easy to lose track of when and how to use medications for optimal effect. Use pill boxes to sort pills and make it easier to remember when to take medicine.
Household cleaning agents can be toxic if ingested and may also cause burns to the eyes or skin. Keep household cleaning agents in closed containers. When there are children in the house, make sure they cannot reach these items. If a child appears to have ingested a household cleaning product or other toxic material, immediately call a poison control hotline.
How Can I Practice Safety at Work?
Workplace injuries are on the rise. According to the National Safety Council, from 2009 to 2017, workplace deaths increased by 18 percent.
Many workplace injuries can be avoided. Workplaces have many different hazards and safety concerns, so it is important to always be safe while working. The following are some safety tips for staying safe at work:
- Pay attention to your surroundings: Slips, trips, and falls, as well as overexertion and back strain are the most prevalent workplace injuries. You can reduce the chance of getting injured by noticing your surroundings and being thoughtful about how you are doing your job. Use hand rails and avoid slippery floors when walking around the workplace. Use proper lifting technique to minimize back strain. These simple efforts can make a big difference.
- Practice tool safety: Inspect tools before use, and do not use if broken. Use the right tool for the job. Do not use electrified power tools in wet locations.
- Use proper personal protective equipment (PPE): Safety gloves, glasses, and respirators can prevent injury but only if they are the correct equipment. Figure out how to properly select, use, store, and clean the equipment to optimize their effectiveness. Employers are obligated to provide PPE when needed, as well as proper training on how to wear, clean, and store it properly.
How Can I Stay Safe While Driving?
Driving involves its own form of unavoidable risks. You cannot control what others do on the road. Some useful tips for safe driving are worth taking the time to review and consider:
- Keep on top of maintenance: Brake pads and tires regularly need to be replaced to enable you to stop properly in time and to avoid hydroplaning in wet weather, and other hazardous road conditions.
- Pay attention to traffic signals and signs: Do not try to rush past a yellow traffic signal. Adhere to limits posted on signs that alert drivers to sharp turns, pedestrian crossings, speed limits, and more. Car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities. While driving, always be alert.
- Maintain safe driving distances: Time how long after the vehicle in front of you has passed a marker, such as a telephone pole. A good rule to follow is that you should be at least two seconds behind. In bad weather, maintain a greater distance to enable enough time to maneuver or stop.
- Avoid distracted driving, drunk driving, and drowsy driving: Each of these will inhibit reaction time and increase the chance of being in a serious car accident.
- Take a defensive driving class: Driver improvement clinics in Virginia offer classes on how to avoid accidents. Taking the class will not only provide important tips and techniques, it will also offer the chance to reduce car insurance costs.
What Can I do for my Community?
Each community is unique, and it is important to explore opportunities to feel connected to your community. Try to pursue interests outside of work. Connection and recreation keep the mind and body healthy and strong. The following contains a few ways you can remain active in your community:
- Do an outdoor activity to improve conditioning and wellness: Find a park nearby that offers a recreational opportunity that you enjoy. Hobbies, such as bicycle riding, walking, hiking, fishing, are often available. Consider trying a new activity and invite a friend.
- Keep your mind fresh and engaged: Take advantage of public offerings, such as libraries where you can borrow books and movies for free. See if they offer classes, book clubs, or other ways to connect with your neighbors.
Some communities are struggling with health crises. Consider advocating for local elected officials to establish policies and programs to better serve your community in resolving these problems.
COVID-19 Outbreaks and Safety
COVID-19 outbreaks remain an issue and a second wave of infections is possible. Infectious outbreaks can erupt quickly, and there may be a need to honor local restrictions, such as limits on access to parks or other public spaces. Pay attention to local board of health notices and municipal ordinances. Being aware of your local situation will help minimize the risk of spread.
In general, to minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19, wear a cloth face covering, frequently wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, and maintain at least six feet away from others.
Opioid Drug Addiction Continues to Increase
Many communities are facing an ongoing opioid crisis. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that over three million Americans that are 12 years old or older misuse prescription pain relievers.
Advocate for public services to address the opioid epidemic. Heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl are all being sold illegally and have resulted in too many deaths. If your community is impacted by the epidemic and you want to help, then contact local elected officials and encourage them to do more. Suggest better outreach to educate children of the dangers and educate parents of warning signs of addiction. Encourage greater access to naloxone for treating overdoses and for facilities to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to recovering addicts.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help me?
Even while practicing safety, accidents can still happen due to no fault of your own. If an accident does occur due to another person’s negligence, it is advisable to seek legal counsel. An experienced lawyer will evaluate your case and help you obtain compensation for your injury.
Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyers Defend Accident Victims
If you were injured in your community, on the road, or in someone else’s home, then you may be facing extraordinary costs for medical bills. One of our dedicated Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers can help you with your case. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we have successfully represented numerous accident victims. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.