- Never stick your hands in the snowblower! If snow jams the snowblower, stop the engine and wait more than 5 seconds. Use a solid object to clear wet snow or debris from the chute. Beware of the recoil of the motor and blades after the machine has been turned off.
- Proper supervision. Do not leave the snow blower unattended when it is running. Shut off the engine if you must walk away from the machine.
- Safe fueling. Add fuel before starting the snow blower. Never add fuel when the engine is running or hot. Do not operate the machine in an enclosed area.
- Avoid the engine. Stay away from the engine. It can become very hot and burn unprotected flesh.
- Watch the snowblower cord. If you are operating an electric snow blower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times.
- No tampering. Do not remove safety devices, shields, or guards on switches, and keep hands and feet away from moving parts.
- Watch for motor recoil. Beware of the brief recoil of motor and blades that occurs after the machine has been turned off.
- Keep children away. Never let children operate snowblowers. Keep children 15 years of age and younger away when snowblowers are in use.
- Understand your machine. Read the instruction manual prior to using a snowblower. Be familiar with the specific safety hazards and unfamiliar features. Do not attempt to repair or maintain the snowblower without reading the instruction manual.
According to one widely used theory (the transtheoretical model of behavior change), change occurs in five stages. Each stage is necessary before you can successfully move to the next, and stages can’t be hurried or skipped. The entire process can take a long time and may involve cycling back through earlier stages before moving on.
The five stages are:
- Precontemplation. At this stage, you have no conscious intention of making a behavior change, but outside influences, such as public information campaigns or a family member’s concern, may spark your interest or awareness.
- Contemplation. At this stage, you know that the behavior is a problem and at odds with personal goals (such as being healthy enough to travel), but you’re not committed to taking any action. You may weigh and re-reweigh whether it’s worth it to you to make a change.
- Preparation. You make plans to change, such as joining a health club or buying nicotine patches. You anticipate obstacles and plan ways around them. For example, if you’re preparing to cut down on alcohol and you know that parties are a trigger for you, you make a list of alternative activities you can do with friends, like going to the movies.
- Action. At this stage, you’ve changed — stopped smoking or lost weight, for example — and are facing the challenges of life without the old behavior. You use the strategies you came up with in the preparation stage.
- Maintenance. Once you’ve practiced your new behavior for six months, you’re in the maintenance stage. Here you work to prevent relapses, including avoiding situations or triggers associated with the old habit or behavior.
Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
via Heating safety tips.
The overlapping and often conflicting requirements of ADA, FMLA, Workers’ Comp and a plethora of state laws are an administrative nightmare. There are differences in eligibility, leave lengths, job reinstatement requirements, access to medical information, fit-for-duty certifications and so on. More than one law can affect the same situation and each must be considered. For this reason, a “silo” structure in which separate areas manage Workers’ Compensation, disability and health can be problematic, inefficient and duplicitous. Yet,at the same time, this quagmire adds to the challenge of integrating occupational and non-occupational RTW. Ultimately, the entire organization is responsible for the knowledge possessed by any part of the organization and an employer needs to determine the best process for its needs and circumstances.
The Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety should be etched in your memory forever. Let them govern your actions wherever and whenever you’re involved with firearms. In the woods. On the range. Or in your home. Please take time to review and understand these rules.
- Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
- Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.
- Don’t rely on your gun’s safety.
- Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
- Use proper ammunition.
- If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care.
- Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
- Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.
- Don’t alter or modify your gun and have it serviced regularly.
- Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using.
Safe and healthy employees are less likely to be injured while on the job and are vibrant, engaged, and high performing.
Safer and Healthier Employees…
… Are good for business and help improve the bottom line. Companies that have exemplary safety, health, and environmental programs outperformed the S&P 500 by between 3% and 5%.
… Create a happier, less stressful, and more prosperous business environment. According to a survey by Aon Hewitt, the National Business Group on Health, and the Futures Company, employees who reported having a strong culture of health at work were more likely to report being happy, less likely to report that stress has a negative impact on their work, and less likely to cite the work environment as an obstacle to health.
… Do better at their jobs and contribute more. Employers that have high employee engagement performed better than employers with low employee engagement in profitability, customer ratings, turnover, safety incidents, productivity, and quality. Engagement includes feeling like someone at work cares about the employee as a person and having the materials needed to do work right.
… Are absent from work less and more productive when at work. For every dollar spent on worksite wellness programs, absentee day costs were reduced by $2.73, and medical costs were reduced by $3.27.9 Research on chronic conditions and productivity estimates that presenteeism causes 18-91 lost work days per year and absenteeism causes 1-10 lost work days per year. Presenteeism costs more than absenteeism and medical expenses combined.
… Enjoy their jobs more, reducing turnover costs. Employees who feel supported by their employers are more likely to want to keep their jobs and will help attract and retain the best employees for the business. A study by the World Economic Forum found that 64% of employees who reported that their workplaces were active promoters of health intended to stay with their companies at least five years.
Here are a few other tips for driving in the snow:
- If you think you may be heading into snow or there is a possibility of driving in the snow, make sure you do a maintenance check on your vehicle before making the trip. Check the vehicle battery, belts and hoses, anti-freeze, oil, lights, brakes, heater and defroster and check the exhaust system for leaks which may allow carbon monoxide to enter the vehicle.
- Plan your route ahead of time and give yourself extra travel time. Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
- Wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement while at the wheel. Keep warm clothing available for when you exit the vehicle.
- Always clear any snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors and the roof before driving. After starting the vehicle wait for the interior windows to clear of fog so you will have appropriate visibility.
- Make sure there is sufficient windshield washer fluid in the vehicle reservoir and that it is rated for freezing temperatures.
- It takes longer to stop on slippery surfaces, so add additional time to the three-second rule.
- Know the proper handling procedures for a skidding vehicle.
- Slow down in snow and icy conditions, make turns slowly, and make all starts slow and smooth.
- Remember that bridges and overpasses may freeze before the regular travel lanes of a roadway. Watch out for black ice, areas of the roadway that appear black and shiny and where your vehicle can suddenly lose traction. Slow down in these areas and keep your foot off the brakes.
- If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. Wait for help to arrive. If you have a cell phone and are in an area with cell phone service, try calling for help. Try to always know your exact locations while driving.
- Keep your clothing dry. Wet clothing can lead to dangerous loss of body heat.
1. Focus on improvement. Although it’s tempting to only scrutinize the numbers when measuring a company’s progress, qualitative matters count. Look at how employees try to boost their efficiency or learn from past mistakes.
Creating successful employees involves managing them as people, not as numbers or assets. The level of sales a department brings in doesn’t necessarily reflect all the work employees do and their efforts.
2. Be available to employees. Don’t just tell employees what to do; be approachable when employees need help. Promote transparent communication and position management as a resource to employees.
Welcome employee feedback and encourage staffers to ask questions. Demonstrate that employees’ queries and comments are listened to.
3. Help employees accomplish their goals. Extraordinary bosses focus on the success achieved by every employee. Instead of trying to create a few rock star employees, effective bosses want each individual to achieve results.
Effective bosses also ensure that every employee sets up goals to support the company’s progress as a whole. Encourage employees at every level to use their talents to help the entire team achieve more success. This way, no one is left behind and each employee can reach his or her highest potential.
4. Be a coach and supporter. Don’t assume employees know how to do everything. Leadership in the workplace is about helping employees grow, improve and succeed.
Coaching employees can be effective because a boss gives real-time feedback and guidance. Research by Towers Watson shows highly engaged employees receive feedback from management regularly.
If employees are struggling in a certain area, step in and guide them. Sometimes employees can become easily overwhelmed by a new project, so don’t hesitate to lend support.
Management effectiveness can determine a company’s success. Great bosses make employees want to stay at their jobs, while bad ones prompt them to leave.
Of course, we don’t intend to harm anyone when we get behind the wheel during the holiday season. Yet traffic fatalities persist and myths about drinking live on—even though scientific studies have documented how alcohol affects the brain and body.
Because individuals are so different, it is difficult to give specific advice about drinking. But certain facts are clear—there’s no way to speed up the brain’s recovery from alcohol and no way to make good decisions when you are drinking too much, too fast.
So this holiday season, do not underestimate the effects of alcohol. Don’t believe you can beat them. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you choose to drink:
- Pace yourself. Know what constitutes a standard drink and have no more than one per hour.
- Have “drink spacers”—make every other drink a nonalcoholic one.
- Make plans to get home safely. Remember that a designated driver is someone who hasn’t had any alcohol, not simply the person in your group who drank the least.
Have a safe holiday season!
Here are some general hints for friends and family to help a smoker quit:
- Do respect that the quitter is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours.
- Do ask the person whether they want you to ask regularly how they’re doing. Ask how they’re feeling – not just whether they’ve stayed quit.
- Do let the person know that it’s OK to talk to you whenever they need to hear encouraging words.
- Do help the quitter get what they need, such as hard candy to suck on, straws to chew on, and fresh veggies cut up and kept in the refrigerator.
- Do spend time doing things with the quitter to keep their mind off smoking – go to the movies, take a walk to get past a craving (what many call a “nicotine fit”), or take a bike ride together.
- Do try to see it from the smoker’s point of view – a smoker’s habit may feel like an old friend that’s always been there when times were tough. It’s hard to give that up.
- Do make your home smoke free, meaning that no one can smoke in any part of the house.
- Do remove all lighters and ash trays from your home. Remove anything that reminds them of smoking
- Do wash clothes that smell like smoke. Clean carpets and drapes. Use air fresheners to help get rid of the tobacco smells – and don’t forget the car, too.
- Do help the quitter with a few chores, some child care, cooking – whatever will help lighten the stress of quitting.
- Do celebrate along the way. Quitting smoking is a BIG DEAL!
- Don’t doubt the smoker’s ability to quit. Your faith in them reminds them they can do it.
- Don’t judge, nag, preach, tease, or scold. This may make the smoker feel worse about him or herself. You don’t want your loved one to turn to a cigarette to soothe hurt feelings.
- Don’t take the quitter’s grumpiness personally during their nicotine withdrawal. Tell them that you understand the symptoms are real and remind them that they won’t last forever. The symptoms usually get better in about 2 weeks.
- Don’t offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they are using.