Choking and suffocation is the third leading cause of home and community death in the United States. Foods are responsible for most choking incidents. But for children, objects such as small toys, coins, nuts or marbles can get caught in their throats. Choking can cause a simple coughing fit or something more serious like a complete block in the airway, which can lead to death.
Although choking can occur in people of all ages, children under the age of three are particularly vulnerable. Older adults also have an increased risk of choking on food.
Many serious accidents have happened when someone thought a machine or the power to it was safely off. “Lock-out tag-out” is a way to protect yourself and others by ensuring that machines remain completely, temporarily off. Without a lock-out tag-out system there is the possibility that a machine will unexpectedly start up, either because of stored energy which was not correctly released or through the actions of someone starting the process without realizing that it isn’t safe to do so.
The lock-out tag-out standard requires that hazardous energy sources be “isolated and rendered inoperative” before maintenance or servicing work can begin. These energy sources include electrical (either active current or stored as in a capacitor), pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and the force of gravity. It is important to remember all of the energy sources must be “isolated and rendered inoperative.” Overlooking an energy source has proved fatal on several occasions.
via Lock-out Tag-out.
As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons is reminding consumers about the dangers of using fireworks.
In 2013, more than 26,500 people sustained fireworks-related injuries, and more than 10,500 needed to visit an emergency department, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The most common injuries were to hands and fingers (41 percent); head, face and ears (19 percent); trunk (15 percent); and legs (13 percent). About 600 injuries were related to sparklers and about 400 injuries were related to bottle rockets.
Safety tips offered by AAOS include:
- Check with your local police department to determine which types (if any) of fireworks are legal.
- Never buy or use illegal fireworks.
- Only adults should light fireworks.
- Have water nearby in case of a fire.
- Wear safety eyewear when using fireworks.
- Never try to relight fireworks.
- Keep young children away from fireworks, including sparklers, which can reach temperatures of more than 1,000° F
- Never handle fireworks if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Strategic human resource management is the process of linking the human resource function with the strategic objectives of the organization in order to improve performance. Adopting an HR strategy that is concerned with the organization’s larger mission and goals has multiple advantages and benefits for the company.
- Helps Evaluate HR Policies – The premise of strategic HRM is that the company’s policies and procedures related to employees should fit into the organization’s broader strategic plan. Developing these links between HR and strategy has the distinct advantage of helping the organization to evaluate its current HR policies and to replace outdated or inefficient policies with ones that promote a better workplace environment and employee relations. As the company evaluates its HR policies, it can use the strategic plan’s aims and objectives to evaluate each HR process. Those that fall out of the strategic vision can be reformulated or discarded in favor of better ones.
- Team-builiding – Strategic HRM also helps to foster a sense of team spirit and camaraderie within the organization. A company’s strategic vision will ideally rely on input from a broad range of stakeholders including managers, employees, customers and investors. Creating an HR strategy that aligns with this sense of open communication can have the major benefit of helping stakeholders feel like their opinions are valued and meaningful to the company’s owners and executives.
- Helps Monitor Progress – While the strategic vision of the company can influence the creation and evaluation of HR policies, the reverse can also be true. Human resources can help the organization monitor its progress toward achieving its stated goals and objectives in the strategic plan. Much of the strategic plan is likely to rely on the cooperation and support of employees and individual departments or functions within the organization. HR has a key role to play in making sure that all of these components of the strategic plan are implemented in a timely and effective way. The advantage of this marriage between strategy and HR management is that the company’s executives and its HR function are consistently monitoring one another’s progress and tweaking processes for the benefit of the company and its employees.
- Keeps the Organization Legal – A final advantage of the human resource management strategy is in keeping the organization compliant with laws relating to employees, salary, insurance and the like. The laws and policies governing business are complex and can vary between jurisdictions, but HR has a key role to play in making sure that the organization’s strategic plan is not only presently legal but is also amendable enough that it can adapt to changing times and changing legal circumstances.
via The Advantages of the Human Resource Management Strategy | Chron.com.
To stay safe walking, follow these rules of the road:
- Walk Facing Traffic: If there is no sidewalk and you must walk on the side of the road, choose the side where you are facing oncoming traffic. In North America, this is the left side of the road. This gives you the best chance to see traffic approaching closest to you and take evasive action when needed.
- Cross Safely: Mom was right: look both ways before crossing any street. At controlled intersections, it is wise to cross only when you have the pedestrian crossing light, but even then, drivers and bikers may have a green light to turn and won’t be expecting you to be in the crosswalk. Make eye contact with any drivers who may be turning. Give them a wave. Make sure they see you. In a car-walker interaction, you can only lose.
- Walk Single File: Unless you are on a sidewalk separated from the road or a wide bike lane, you should walk in single file. This is especially important on a road with lots curves, where traffic has only a split second chance of seeing you before hitting you. While it can be enjoyable to walk down the road two to three abreast chatting merrily, drivers don’t expect it and you may lose your best walking buddies.
- Stay Aware of Bikes and Runners: Share the road and path with bikes and runners. Bike riders should alert you when approaching from behind with a bike bell or a “passing on the left/right.” Listen for them, and move to walk single file, allowing them to pass safely. Runners should also call out for passing. Bike-walker collisions can result in broken bones or head injury for either — and you aren’t wearing a helmet.
- Be Visible: Wear bright colors when walking in daytime. When walking at night, wear light-colored clothing and reflective clothing or a reflective vest to be visible. Drivers are often not expecting walkers to be out after dark, and you need to give them every chance to see you, even at street crossings that have crossing signals. Be just as cautious at dawn or twilight, as drivers still have limited visibility or may even have the setting or rising sun directly in their eyes.
- Be Predictable: Make a practice of staying on one side of the path while walking rather than weaving randomly from side to side. Watch your arm motions, or you may end up giving a black eye to a silently passing walker, runner or biker.
- Keep the Volume Down: Don’t drown out your environment with your iPod. Keep the volume at a level where you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners. Your audiologist will also thank you.
- Hang Up and Eyes Up: Chatting or texting on a mobile device while you walk is as dangerous as doing those things while driving. You are distracted and not as aware of your environment. You are less likely to recognize traffic danger, passing joggers and bikers or tripping hazards. Potential criminals see you as a distracted easy target.
- Walk Dogs on Short Leashes: I’ve seen many tragedies of dogs running out in to traffic or getting into a fatal dog fight either off leash or on a very long leash. Don’t trip up other walkers or bikers with poor control of your pet. Keep your pet and yourself safe by learning proper leash walking.
- Know When to Stop Walking: Heat sickness, dehydration, heart attack or stroke can strike walkers of any age. Learn the symptoms of medical emergencies and carry a cell phone to dial 911.
- Be Aware of Stranger Danger: Choose your walking route for paths frequented by other walkers, joggers and bikers. If you see someone suspicious, be prepared to alter your course or go in to a store or public building to avoid them. Acting alert and aware can convince bad guys to choose an easier target.
via 11 Walking Safety Rules of the Road.
Negligent hiring claims are preventable if employers do their job which is to ensure that employees and customers have a well-organized, safe work environment. In this work environment, people have a right to a reasonable expectation that they will not be injured or harmed. Customers have the right to the same expectation.
If a hiring decision made by an employer results in an employee who injures or harms a customer, coworker or any individual who comes into contact with the employee through work, the employer can be charged with negligent hiring.
A negligent hiring claim is made when the filer believes that the employer should have known about the employee’s background. In these claims, the filer attempts to prove that the injurious behavior was to be expected based on past behavior that demonstrated that the employee was dangerous, untrustworthy, a sexual predator, or a thief, to name a few possible claims.
Employers are most vulnerable to negligent hiring claims if they fail to:
- do a criminal background check on potential employees,
- check employment and personal references,
- check employment history and attempt to speak with former supervisors,
- validate college degrees,
- perform drug screening in particular industries,
- require physicals in some occupations,
- perform credit checks for some jobs,
- check driving records and history for some occupations, and
- confirm that other claims made by the applicant, such as why he left a prior employer, why he had a two year employment gap, why he worked at four companies in two years, and so forth, are true.
via Negligent Hiring Claims.
When someone is injured, the effects go beyond that person and extend to family members, friends, neighbors, employers and communities. The key to preventing injuries is making simple changes to your lifestyle – recognizing where most hazards are and how injuries can occur when participating in different activities.
Below are a few of the many strategies to prevent injuries:
- Stay off your cell phone when you are driving. Your safety practices directly influence the safety practices of your children.
- Get trained in first aid, CPR and AED online or in a classroom.
- Check and if necessary, change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
- Properly dispose of unused and expired medications.
via Safety at home, Safety in your home, Household Safety | National Safety Council.
Employers that have employees on the road should be aware of the hazards they face and how to keep them safe. Here are 10 facts employers need to know:
- In 2005, 43,443 people were killed and 2,699,000 were injured in 6,159,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes. Daily that represents 17,000 reported crashes and 119 deaths.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all age groups from 3 to 33 years of age. Crashes are the 3rd leading cause of years of potential life lost for all ages combined.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S.
- A typical driver in the U.S. travels 12,000 to 15,000 miles annually and has a one in 15 chance of being involved in a motor vehicle collision each year. With most fleet drivers traveling 20,000 to 25,000 miles or more each year, they have a greater crash exposure.
- The most dangerous part of the day for any employee is the time they spend in their vehicle witha crash occurring every 5 seconds, property damage occurring every 7 seconds, an injury occurring every 10 seconds, and a motor vehicle fatality occurring every 12 minutes.
- Forty-one percent of the average vehicle miles traveled per household are from commuting to and from work (27%) and driving on work-related business (14%).
- In 2000, the economic cost of crashes to employers was $60 billion resulting in 3 million lost workdays. Two-thirds of the cost ($40 billion) was from on-the-job crashes while one-third ($20 billion) was from off-the-job crashes for employees and their benefit-eligible dependents.
- The average on-the-job crash costs an employer about $16,500 or just under $0.16 per mile driven. Crashes involving injuries cost substantially more — $504,408 for a fatal injury and $73,750 for a nonfatal injury.
- With over 90 percent of motor vehicle crashes caused by human error, employers with high roadway exposure are at risk for a serious crash resulting in a lawsuit against their organization. Damages awarded to plaintiff’s making negligence claims against companies are at an all time high, settlements of $1 million or more are not unusual.
- The development, implementation, enforcement, and monitoring of a strong driver safety program can protect an organization’s human and financial resources. Such a program allows an organization to be proactive in controlling crash risks and is the first line of defense against the potentially staggering costs from motor vehicle crashes involving employees.
via 10 Facts Employers Must Know – Network of Employers for Traffic Safety.
Make Water Safety Your Priority
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
- Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
- Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
- Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
via Water Safety Information | Tips for Kids & Adults | American Red Cross.
Built a stronger, more effective team—and give your organization the ultimate competitive advantage
In theory, teamwork is simple. Most of us already know what it requires. But in practice, teamwork is difficult. Building a team is a process, one that requires remarkable levels of discipline, courage, and persistence.
For a team to be truly effective, it must overcome the five dysfunctions as outlined by Patrick Lencioni in his best-selling The Five Dysfunctions of a Team:
- Absence of Trust. Members of great teams trust one another on a fundamental, emotional level, and they are comfortable being vulnerable with each other about their weaknesses, mistakes, fears, and behaviors.
- Fear of Conflict. Teams that trust one another are not afraid to engage in passionate dialogue around issues and decisions that are key to the organization’s success.
- Lack of Commitment. Teams that engage in unfiltered conflict are able to achieve genuine buy-in around important decisions, even when various members of the team initially disagree.
- Avoidance of Accountability. Teams that commit to decisions and standards of performance do not hesitate to hold one another accountable for adhering to those decisions and standards.
- Inattention to Results. Teams that trust one another, engage in conflict, commit to decisions, and hold one another accountable are very likely to set aside their individual needs and agendas and focus almost exclusively on what is best for the team.
via Wiley Workplace Learning :: 5 Dysfunctions of a Team – Overview.