Every 3 minutes, someone dies from something 100% preventable. Help us stop the trend this National Safety Month: nsc.org/nsm #NSM
At some point, most of us have felt the effects of impairment: from losing focus and reaction time to just feeling different. Often, this impairment is the result of using substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs or marijuana, though we can also become impaired due to fatigue or other factors, such as personal stress. Whatever the cause, this gap between our normal state of mind and how we feel in the moment can put us at risk, especially on the job.
In order to stay safe, workers need to be sober, well rested and attentive. Losing sleep or using these substances can greatly impede a worker’s ability to focus, operate machinery and make sound decisions. Regardless of industry, losing focus on the job can have deadly consequences for individuals and their coworkers. Though many of these substances and behaviors are common, their risks are not always as well-known, leading to many injuries and deaths each year:
June 17- 21
For many of us, getting enough sleep each and every day is, unfortunately, rare. When we lose sleep one or two days in a row without catching up on those missed hours, we fall into a sleep debt. Sleep debt makes us fatigued, and fatigue is much more than feeling tired; it is an impairment that can put you and your coworkers at risk.
Researchers say you need seven to nine hours of restful sleep every day, but according to an NSC survey, 43 percent of working adults admit to sleeping less than seven hours a day.
Get better sleep
Just because you are in bed for seven to nine hours does not mean you are necessarily getting the sleep you need. Your bedroom should be designed with sleep in mind and you should leave any habits that might keep you awake in the other rooms of your home.
Harmful to sleep:
•Staring at phones, TVs, tablets and other screens
•Lying awake in bed for too long
•Uncomfortable bedroom conditions, including temperature
•Distracting lights and sounds
Helpful to sleep:
•Establishing a family bedtime routine or communicating with your family the importance of your sleep schedule
•Going to sleep and waking at the same times each day,
•Getting up when you need to, not repeatedly hitting snooze
While each of our jobs are different, for most of us, walking is part of our workday. Whether it’s walking the factory floor, taking a stroll outside during a break or getting from one meeting to another, we are on our feet at least part of the day. With all of that foot traffic, there is always the potential for a fall.
According to Injury Facts®, falls to the same level are a leading cause of preventable workplace injuries causing time away from work. While walking seems like a simple task, it’s been a leading cause of workplace injury for many years. We need to watch out for all of the hazards tied to walking just as we would any other part of our jobs that poses a safety risk.
The same way cell phones and other portable electronics can distract us behind the wheel, these devices can also distract us as we walk. Many of us have probably seen the viral videos of people running into walls, falling into mall fountains or tripping over potholes while using phones and wondered how this could ever happen, but distraction can take many forms.
The hazards you miss put you at risk. Learn to ‘see’ hazards and help prevent injuries this National Safety Month.
Hazards are all around us at work and home, and the threats can take many different forms. It can be a cord stretched over a walkway, a repetitive process, a worksite that is too cold or a burnt out lightbulb on an outside path. A hazard can be defined as any existing or potential condition that, by itself or by interacting with other variables, can result in death, injury, property damage or other loss. That’s why it is so important for all of us to always be on the lookout. If we can identify hazards early, employers can address them, fix them, and prevent injury and illness.
Working together, we can be one of our best defenses. Hazard reporting is a critical part of our safety program. Whether it's telling your supervisor, maintenance team, safety committee or sharing in a designated reporting system, it's best to report hazards as soon as they are noticed. Don’t assume that someone else has seen and reported it already, even if it seems obvious to you. It’s better to have multiple reports on the same hazard than none at all.
You are the expert of your job, your workstation, your routines and tools. If you notice something out of the ordinary, you should feel empowered to say something about it. Also, be sure to avoid the trap of complacency – when you’ve done something a thousand times it can be difficult to spot a lurking hazard.
Watch out for hazards at home
The same types of hazards that occur at work can also occur at home. Help give your loved ones the tools to identify hazards. You can consider yourself the safety manager of your home. Have your loved ones come to you with safety issues so they can be fixed before someone gets hurt. Hazards will always be out there, but if we recognize them and address them we can keep each other safe.