Falls are a persistent hazard found in all occupational settings. A fall can occur during the simple acts of walking or climbing a ladder to change a light fixture or as a result of a complex series of events affecting an ironworker 80 feet above the ground. According to the 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 605 workers were killed and an estimated 212,760 workers were seriously injured by falls to the same or lower level.
In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.
Coronary artery disease can cause a heart attack. If you have a heart attack, you are more likely to survive if you know the signs and symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away, and get to a hospital quickly. People who have had a heart attack can also reduce the risk of future heart attacks or strokes by making lifestyle changes and taking medication.
*Regular inhalation of dust from grain bins, silos, milk vats and manure pits can cause respiratory issues such as bronchitis and other dangerous cardiac conditions. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth can reduce risk.
*Farm vehicles such as tractors and all-terrain vehicles cause many injuries, particularly among children. Wearing a seat belt and helmet can help prevent traumatic brain injuries or even death. Children should be supervised and given only age-appropriate tasks and access to vehicles and other farm gear.
*Grain augers are one of the most dangerous pieces of farm equipment. Broken bones, electrocutions and amputations can occur if augers aren’t handled properly.
*Livestock is another common source of injury. Cattle and other farm animals can bite, kick, ram or trample someone without warning. Stay attentive and alert.
*Working long days and evenings in the field can cause dangerous levels of fatigue. Farmers may experience shortness of breath, stroke or heart attack. Try to take breaks, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep.
*Only enter a grain bin or gravity wagon when absolutely necessary, especially when grain is flowing. You can quickly become trapped and suffocate. If you must enter a grain bin, use a body harness and safety line secured outside the bin, and always have someone watching in case you are entrapped.
*Take special care to avoid falls, another common farm injury and the source of not only broken bones, but head injuries and other physical trauma.
*Protect eyes from debris whipped up by farm machinery.
An additional tip, one that applies to non-farmers as well: Please be extra cautious driving near farm machinery on the roadways, farm vehicles need to travel slowly on occasion so give them a break.
Aerobic exercise is the key for your head, just as it is for your heart. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. Endurance athletes commonly experience the restorative power of exercise, and this has been verified in clinical trials that have used exercise to treat anxiety and depression.
How can exercise contend with problems as difficult as anxiety and depression? There are several explanations, some chemical, others behavioral. The mental benefits of aerobic exercise have a neurochemical basis. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.
Behavioral factors contribute to the emotional benefits of exercise. As your waistline shrinks and your strength and stamina increase, your self-image will improve. You’ll earn a sense of pride and self-confidence. Your renewed vigor will help you succeed in many tasks, and the discipline will help you achieve other lifestyle goals. Exercise and sports also provide opportunities to enjoy some solitude or to make friends and build networks.
Harvard Men’s Health Watch notes that you should exercise nearly every day. That doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym. But it does mean at least 30 minutes of moderate activity. And if you need more help with stress, consider autoregulation exercises involving deep breathing or muscle relaxation.
- Put on protective clothing and equipment to protect your eyes, ears, and skin.
- Take brief rest breaks throughout the day to help lower stress and strain on the eyes and muscles.
- Eat healthy meals and snacks.
- Educate yourself about health and safety.
- ALWAYS wear a Fall-Arrest System FAS/Full Body Harness meeting TMA Standards even during ascent and descent. Be aware that single strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer allowed Fall- Arrest devices and should not be used. Failure to use a FAS could result in serious injury or death.
- ALWAYS read and understand the manufacturer’s WARNINGS & INSTRUCTIONS before using the treestand each season. Practice with the treestand at ground level prior to using at elevated positions. Maintain the WARNINGS & INSTRUCTIONS for later review as needed, for instructions on usage to anyone borrowing your stand, or to pass on when selling the treestand. Use all safety devices provided with your treestand.
- NEVER exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer. If you have any questions after reviewing the WARNINGS & INSTRUCTIONS, please contact the manufacturer.
- ALWAYS inspect the treestand and the Fall-Arrest System for signs of wear or damage before each use. Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts. Destroy all products that cannot be repaired by the manufacturer and/or exceed recommended expiration date, or if the manufacturer no longer exists. The FAS should be discarded and replaced after a fall has occurred.
- ALWAYS practice in your Full Body Harness in the presence of a responsible adult prior to using it in an elevated hunting envornment, learning what it feels like to hang suspended in it at ground level and how to properly use your suspension relief device.
- ALWAYS attach your Full Body Harness in the manner and method described by the manufacturer. Failure to do so may result in suspension without the ability to recover into your treestand. Be aware of the hazards associated with Full Body Harnesses and the fact that prolonged suspension in a harness may be fatal. Have in place a plan for rescue, including the use of cell phones or signal devices that may be easily reached and used while suspended. If rescue personnel cannot be notified, you must have a plan for recover/escape. If you have to hang suspended for a period of time before help arrives, exercise your legs by pushing against the tree or doing any other form of continuous motion or use your suspension relief device. Failure to recover in a timely manner could result in serious injury or death. If you do not have the ability to recover/escape, hunt from the ground.
- ALWAYS hunt with a plan and if possible a buddy. Before you leave home, let others know your exact hunting location, when you plan to return and who is with you.
- ALWAYS carry emergency signal devices such as a cell phone, walkie-talkie, whistle, signal flare, PLD personal locator device and flashlight on your person at all times and within reach even while you are suspended in your FAS. Watch for changing weather conditions. In the event of an accident, remain calm and seek help immediately.
- ALWAYS select the proper tree for use with your treestand. Select a live straight tree that fits within the size limits recommended in your treestand’s instructions. Do not climb or place a treestand against a leaning tree.Never leave a treestand installed for more than two weeks since damage could result from changing weather conditions and/or from other factors not obvious with a visual inspection.
- ALWAYS use a haul line to pull up your gear and unloaded firearm or bow to your treestand once you have reached your desired hunting height. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Prior to descending, lower your equipment on the opposite side of the tree.
- ALWAYS know your physical limitations. Don’t take chances. Do not climb when using drugs, alcohol or if you’re sick or un-rested. If you start thinking about how high you are, don’t go any higher. NEVER use homemade or permanently elevated stands or make modifications to a purchased treestand without the manufacturer’s written permission. Only purchase and use treestands and Fall-Arrest Systems meeting or exceeding TMA standards. For a detailed list of certified products, contact the TMA office or refer to the TMA web site at http://www.tmastands.com.
- NEVER hurry!! While climbing with a treestand, make slow, even movements of no more than ten to twelve inches at a time. Make sure you have proper contact with the tree and/or treestand every time you move. On ladder-type treestands, maintain three points of contact with each step.
- taking or using alcohol or drugs,
- selling drugs, or
- affected by the after effects of indulging in alcohol or drugs outside of the workplace during non-work time.
Additionally, the goal of a drug-free workplace program, as they have traditionally been developed, is to encourage an employee with a substance abuse problem to seek treatment, recover, and return to work.
When you drive defensively, you’re aware and ready for whatever happens. You are cautious, yet ready to take action and not put your fate in the hands of other drivers. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 90% of all crashes are attributed to driver error.
Following these defensive driving tips can help reduce your risk behind the wheel:
- Think safety first. Avoiding aggressive and inattentive driving tendencies yourself will put you in a stronger position to deal with other people’s bad driving. Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front. Always lock your doors and wear your seatbelt to protect you from being thrown from the car in a crash.
- Be aware of your surroundings — pay attention. Check your mirrors frequently and scan conditions 20 to 30 seconds ahead of you. Keep your eyes moving. If a vehicle is showing signs of aggressive driving, slow down or pull over to avoid it. If the driver is driving so dangerously that you’re worried, try to get off the roadway by turning right or taking the next exit if it’s safe to do so. Also, keep an eye on pedestrians, bicyclists, and pets along the road.
- Do not depend on other drivers. Be considerate of others but look out for yourself. Do not assume another driver is going to move out of the way or allow you to merge. Assume that drivers will run through red lights or stop signs and be prepared to react. Plan your movements anticipating the worst-case scenario.
- Have an escape route. In all driving situations, the best way to avoid potential dangers is to position your vehicle where you have the best chance of seeing and being seen. Having an alternate path of travel is essential, so take the position of other vehicles into consideration when determining an alternate path of travel. Always leave yourself an out — a place to move your vehicle if your immediate path of travel was suddenly blocked.
- Follow the 3- to 4-second rule. Since the greatest chance of a collision is in front of you, using the 3- to 4-second rule will help you establish and maintain a safe following distance and provide adequate time for you to brake to a stop if necessary. But this rule only works in normal traffic under good weather conditions. In bad weather, increase your following distance an additional second for each condition such as rain, fog, nighttime driving, or following a large truck or motorcycle.
- Keep your speed down. Posted speed limits apply to ideal conditions. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your speed matches conditions. In addition, higher speeds make controlling your vehicle that much more difficult if things go wrong. To maintain control of your vehicle, you must control your speed.
- Separate risks. When faced with multiple risks, it’s best to manage them one at a time. Your goal is to avoid having to deal with too many risks at the same time.
- Cut out distractions. A distraction is any activity that diverts your attention from the task of driving. Driving deserves your full attention — so stay focused on the driving task.
A backover incident occurs when a backing vehicle strikes a worker who is standing, walking, or kneeling behind the vehicle. These incidents can be prevented. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 70 workers died from backover incidents in 2011. These kinds of incidents can occur in different ways. Click on the link to learn more.