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7 Driving Hacks Every Driver Needs to Know

7 Driving Hacks Every Driver Needs to Know

Great Auto Safety Information!

Just Jenn

These are seven driving hacks that, by the looks of local parking lots and trucks at the bottom of Lake Winnebago, every driver on the road today definitely needs!

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“Samsung ‘Safety Truck’ Makes It Easier For Drivers To See The Road Ahead Before Trying To Pass”

It’s as simple as that: a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, films the oncoming traffic, and sends the image to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back.

This way, the driver stuck behind the vehicle can have a better understanding of whether is safe to overtake or not.

A brilliant idea that seems obvious in retrospect: thing is, nobody had ever tested something similar to what Asian technology behemoth Samsung has been experimenting with recently.

If implemented, the system could be a game-changer. A pilot test was run in Argentina, one of the countries with the most dangerous roads in the world, with 12.4 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year, according to the 2014 edition of the Road Safety Annual Report.

Most of these accidents occur on two-lane roads and particularly in situations of overtaking; so this kind of technology could indeed prove something of a boon for drivers.

“Another advantage of the Safety Truck,” the Korean manufacturer writes in a post on Samsung Tomorrow (the Samsung Electronics official global blog), “is that it may reduce the risk of accidents caused by sudden braking or animals crossing the road.”

OSHA “Winter Storm Safety”

Winter storms create a variety of hazards and can have lingering impacts on everyday tasks and work activities. According to the National Weather Service, about 70 percent of injuries during winter storms result from vehicle accidents, and about 25 percent of injuries result from being caught out in the storm. Learning about how to prepare for a winter storm and avoid hazards when one occurs will help keep you safe during the winter season.

Employer Responsibilities and Workers’ Rights

Each employer is responsible for the safety and health of its workers and for providing a safe and healthful workplace for its workers. Employers are required to protect workers from the anticipated hazards associated with the winter storm response and recovery operations that workers are likely to conduct.

OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers. The OSHA at a Glance [117 KB PDF*, 3 pages] publication provides information on the strategies and programs OSHA uses to promote worker safety and health. For additional information on Workers’ Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA’s Compliance Assistance Page, Workers Page and Publications.

It is important to monitor weather sources to be informed when a winter storm is possible and to be familiar with the terms used to describe the likelihood, immediacy, and conditions of a potential storm. The box below provides information on the types of winter storm watches and warnings.

Winter storm watch: Be alert, a storm is likely.

Winter weather advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.

Frost/freeze warning: Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops, or fruit trees.

Winter storm warning: Take action, the storm is in or entering the area.

Blizzard warning: Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill–seek refuge immediately.

Wind chill: Wind chill is an estimation of how cold it feels outside when the effects of temperature and wind speed are combined.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides multiple ways to stay informed about winter storms.

NOAA Weather Radio is a network of radio stations that continuously broadcast weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office. The NOAAWatch website also provides information on the weather outlook.

If you are notified of a winter storm watch, advisory or warning, follow instructions from your local authorities.

Preparing your vehicle for the winter season

If you must drive during a winter storm, it is important to prepare your vehicle to reduce the chances of a weather-related incident and to prepare an emergency kit.

During the winter season, it is advisable to maintain at least a half tank of gas in the vehicle. Inspect the vehicle to ensure the following systems are operating properly:

  • Brakes: Brakes should provide even and balanced braking. Also check that brake fluid is at the proper level.
  • Cooling System: Ensure a proper mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water in the cooling system at the proper level.
  • Electrical System: Check the ignition system and make sure that the battery is fully charged and that the connections are clean. Check that the alternator belt is in good condition with proper tension.
  • Engine: Inspect all engine systems.
  • Exhaust System: Check exhaust for leaks and that all clamps and hangers are snug.
  • Tires: Check for proper tread depth and no signs of damage or uneven wear. Check for proper tire inflation.
  • Oil: Check that oil is at proper level.
  • Visibility Systems: Inspect all exterior lights, defrosters (windshield and rear window), and wipers. Install winter windshield wipers.

Also carry an emergency kit in the vehicle with the following items:

  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Cellular telephone or two-way radio
  • Windshield scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Flashlight with fresh/extra batteries
  • Extra winter clothes
  • Shovel
  • Tow chain
  • Matches
  • Traction aids (bag of sand or cat litter)
  • Emergency flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Road maps

For more information, see the National Safety Council’s Winter, Your Car and You [45 KB PDF, 2 pages]. (2009, April).

Response & Recovery

While most workers can stay inside during a winter storm, some workers may be required to go into the storm. These may include utility workers; law enforcement personnel; firefighters; emergency medical personnel; federal, state and local government personnel; military personnel; highway personnel; and sanitation workers.

Some of the hazards associated with working in winter storms include:

Driving/Vehicle Hazards

For information about driving safely during winter, visit OSHA’s Safe Winter Driving sheet.

What should I do if a winter storm strands me in my vehicle?

Stay in the vehicle. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards. You may become disoriented and lost in blowing and drifting snow. Display a trouble sign by hanging a brightly colored cloth on the radio antenna and raising the hood. Turn on the vehicle’s engine for about 10 minutes each hour and run the heat to keep warm. Also, turn on the vehicle’s dome light when the vehicle is running as an additional signal. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation.

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Do minor exercises to keep up circulation. Clap hands and move arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long. If more than one person is in the vehicle, take turns sleeping. For warmth, huddle together. Use newspapers, maps, and even the removable car mats for added insulation. Avoid overexertion since cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a vehicle can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse. Be aware of symptoms of dehydration.

Frostbite and Hypothermia

What is frostbite?

Frostbite is a severe reaction to cold exposure that causes freezing in the deep layers of skin and tissue. Frostbite can cause permanent damage. It is recognizable by a loss of feeling and a waxy-white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, nose, or ear lobes. For more information, see OSHA’s Cold Stress Safety and Health Guide, or OSHA’s publication, The Cold Stress Equation (also available as a 21 KB PDF, 4 pages).

What is hypothermia?

Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops to less than 95°F. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory lapses, frequent stumbling, drowsiness, and exhaustion. For more information, see OSHA’s Cold Stress Safety and Health Guide, or OSHA’s publication, The Cold Stress Equation (also available as a 21 KB PDF, 4 pages).

What can be done to avoid frostbite and hypothermia?

· Recognize the environmental and workplace conditions that lead to potential cold-induced illnesses and injuries.

· Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses/injuries and what to do to help those who are affected.

· Train the workforce about cold-induced illnesses and injuries.

· Select proper clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions.

· Layer clothing to adjust to changing environmental temperatures. Wear a hat and gloves, in addition to underwear that will keep water away from the skin (polypropylene).

· Take frequent short breaks in warm dry shelters to allow the body to warm up.

· Perform work during the warmest part of the day.

· Avoid exhaustion or fatigue because energy is needed to keep muscles warm.

· Use the buddy system (work in pairs).

· Drink warm, sweet beverages (sugar water, sports-type drinks). Avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate) or alcohol.

· Eat warm, high-calorie foods like hot pasta dishes.

Who is at increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia?

Victims of hypothermia are often (1) elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating; (2) babies sleeping in cold bedrooms; (3) people who remain outdoors for long periods – the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.; and (4) people who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs. Victims may also include people with predisposing health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension, people that take certain medication (check with your healthcare provider and ask if any medicines you are taking affect you while working in cold environments), and people in poor physical condition or who have a poor diet. For more information, see A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety.

How do I treat a person with frostbite or hypothermia?

If frostbite or hypothermia is suspected, begin warming the person slowly and seek immediate medical assistance. Warm the person’s trunk first. Use your own body heat to help. Arms and legs should be warmed last because stimulation of the limbs can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure. Put person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket. Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim something with caffeine in it (like coffee or tea) or alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, can cause the heart to beat faster and hasten the effects the cold has on the body. Alcohol, a depressant, can slow the heart and also hasten the ill effects of cold body temperatures.

Shoveling Snow

What hazards are associated with activities to shoveling snow?

Shoveling snow can be a strenuous activity, particularly because cold weather can be taxing on the body, and can create the potential for exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries, or heart attacks. In addition to following the tips for avoiding frostbite and hypothermia, such as taking frequent breaks and drinking fluids (while avoiding ones with caffeine or alcohol), there are a variety of other precautions workers can take to avoid injuries while removing snow. Workers should warm-up before the activity, scoop small amounts of snow at a time, push the snow instead of lifting where possible, and user proper form if lifting is necessary: keeping the back straight and lifting with the legs.

Slips and Falls

How do I walk safely on snow and ice?

Where appropriate, clear walking surfaces of snow and ice and use salt or its equivalent. In addition, the following precautions will help reduce the likelihood of any injuries:

· Walking on snow or ice is especially treacherous and wearing proper footwear is essential. A pair of well insulated boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months.

· When walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway, take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction.

· When walking on a sidewalk which has not been cleared and you must walk in the street, walk against the traffic and as close to the curb as you can.

· Be on the lookout for vehicles which may have lost traction and are slipping towards you. Be aware that approaching vehicles may not be able to stop at crosswalks or traffic signals.

· At night, wear bright clothing or reflective gear, as dark clothing will make it difficult for motorists to see you.

· During the daytime, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards.

Repairing Downed or Damaged Power Lines and Removing Downed Trees

What hazards are associated with repairing downed or damaged power lines?

The work activities involved with repairing downed or damaged lines entail many of the activities involved in installing and removing overhead lines and in general maintenance on overhead lines. The crucial difference is that in emergency conditions, such as winter storms, there are unknown hazards and the potential for changing hazards as work progresses. Under these conditions workers must be extra vigilant and cautious.

Potential hazards include:

· Electrocution by contacting downed energized lines, or contacting objects, such as broken tree limbs, in contact with fallen lines.

· Falls from heights.

· Being struck or crushed by falling poles, towers or parts thereof, tree limbs, ice accumulation on lines, towers and poles.

· Being injured in vehicular accidents when responding to an emergency situation.

· Burns from fires caused by energized line contact or equipment failure.

What protective measures should be utilized when working on or around downed or damaged power lines?

Assume all power lines are energized and stay well clear of any downed or damaged power lines. Establish a safe distance from the lines and report the incident to the responsible authority. Only properly-trained electrical utility workers should handle damaged power lines.

Electrical utility workers should first assess the hazards present in order to minimize the chances of exacerbating the situation. Ideally the lines involved should be de-energized, but this may not be possible in all situations.

When working on downed or damaged power lines, electrical workers should utilize proper electrical safety work practices and personal protective equipment, as usual. However, as mentioned previously, extra caution should be exercised when working in winter storms, due to the adverse conditions present.

What hazards exist during removal of downed trees during a winter storm, and what safety precautions should be taken?

Clearing downed trees is a critical job during a winter storm. When winter storms occur, downed trees can block public roads and damage power lines. Emergency crews are often sent out to clear downed trees during a winter storm.

Potential hazards include:

· Electrocution by contacting downed energized lines or contacting broken tree limbs in contact with fallen lines.

· Falls from trees.

· Being struck or crushed by falling tree limbs or ice.

· Being injured by emergency equipment such as chain saws and chippers.

Proper PPE including gloves, chaps, foot protection, eye protection, fall protection, hearing protection and head protection should be worn by workers using chainsaws and chippers to clear downed trees.

Only appropriate power equipment that is built to be used outdoors and in wet conditions should be used. All saws, chippers, and other tools should be used properly and according to their intended application. It is important that all equipment is well-maintained and functioning correctly in order for use. In addition, all equipment should have proper guarding, working controls, and other safety features as installed by the manufacturer.

Powered Equipment and Snow Blowers

What are the potential hazards of using powered equipment and snow blowers, and what precautions should be taken?

It is important to make sure that powered equipment, such as chain saws or other power tools, are properly grounded. When performing maintenance or cleaning, make sure that the equipment is properly guarded and is disconnected from power sources.

Snow blowers commonly cause lacerations or amputations when operators attempt to clear jams. Never attempt to clear a jam by hand. First, turn the machine off and wait five seconds, and then use a long stick to clear wet snow or debris from the machine. Keep your hands and feet away from moving parts. Additionally, refuel a snow blower prior to starting the machine; do not add fuel to a running or hot engine.

Clearing Snow from Roofs and Working at Heights

Following a winter storm, workers should employ standard protections when working at heights and should also be aware of the potential for unexpected hazards due to the weather. Employers should provide and ensure the use of fall protection and provide and maintain ladders. In addition, workers should use caution around surfaces that have been weighed down by snow, as they may collapse. For more information, see OSHA’s Hazard Alert: Falls and Other Hazards to Workers Removing Snow From Rooftops and Other Elevated Surfaces.

Additional Resources:

Winter Storms and Extreme Cold. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Cold Stress Equation. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Also available as a 21 KB PDF, 4 pages.

Cold Stress Safety and Health Guide. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Winter Storm. American Red Cross.

Winter Weather Safety and Awareness. National Weather Service.

Winter Weather. NOAAWatch – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Winter Weather. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Winter, Your Car and You [45 KB PDF, 2 pages]. National Safety Council (NSC), (2009, April).

Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety. US Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC Checklist: Winter Weather Supplies for Your Car. Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Checklist and Tips for Safe Winter Driving (PDF). National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

Cold Stress. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH Fast Facts: Protecting Yourself from Cold Stress (PDF). National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOSH)

NOAA Weather Radio. A network of radio stations that continuously broadcast weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office.

Outdoor Safety Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Winter Weather Checklists Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Winter Your Car and You. National Safety Council (NSC), (2009, April)

NIOSH Climate Change and Occupational Safety and Health Topics

These People Whip Out Their Phones In A Movie Theater. They Never Saw It Coming! (Re-Posted Due to High Demand)

Here at EHS Safety News, we love stories that make a powerful point. This is just that. In less than 2 minutes, these movie goers will get an unexpected surprise. People really need to learn the true consequences of this message.

How do you think you would have reacted to this? Comment below!

These People Whip Out Their Phones In A Movie Theater. They Never Saw It Coming!

Here at EHS Safety News, we love stories that make a powerful point. This is just that. In less than 2 minutes, these movie goers will get an unexpected surprise. People really need to learn the true consequences of this message.

How do you think you would have reacted to this? Comment below!

Employees Driving In Illinois? What Employers Need to Know

James L. Curtis, Erin Dougherty Foley, and Craig B. Simonsen

Effective January 1, 2014, the Illinois Vehicle Code, at 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2, was amended to prohibit driving while using an electronic communication device, including hand-held wireless telephones, hand-held personal digital assistants, or portable or mobile computers.

The amendment provides for exceptions including the use of hands-free devices, two-way radios, and electronic devices capable of performing multiple functions as long as these devices are not used for a prohibited purpose.

The law establishes a graduated fine scale for repeat offenses. A first offense for driving while using an electronic communication device is not considered a moving violation.

Under the current Code provisions, cellphone/wireless use while driving, including a hands-free device, is prohibited for drivers under age 19, except in the case of an emergency to contact a law enforcement agency, health-care provider or emergency services agency. Cellphone/wireless use by drivers 19 and over is prohibited unless using a hands-free device.

The newly enacted law does not address employer liability specifically, but another portion of the Illinois Vehicle Code does.

Under the Hands Free Act, if one of your employees is not complying with the new Illinois law and is operating his/her vehicle while on company time, then the employer could be held liable for the employee’s non-compliance. Section 16 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states that individuals who engage in the commission of a crime (and under the Hands Free Act operating a mobile phone without a hands-free option is considered a misdemeanor), or individuals who “aid or abet” in the commission of that crime can be held liable.

More specifically, the Vehicle Code states:

Sec. 16-202. Offenses by persons owning or controlling vehicles. It is unlawful for the owner, or any other person, employing or otherwise directing the driver of any vehicle to require or knowingly to permit the operation of such vehicle upon a highway in any manner contrary to law. (625 ILCS 5/16-202.)

In other words, if one of your employees is driving his own car and using his/her phone in violation of the Act, but is doing so while working for your company (i.e., on the clock, driving between job sites or project locations) and gets into an accident during this time, the Company *may* also be responsible for any injuries or damages under a legal theory called respondeat superior. If the employee is found to have been acting “in the scope of his employment” at the time of the accident, the employer *may* be liable for that employee’s conduct, because the employee was “at work.”

What does this mean to employers with employees that are driving the roads of Illinois? A great deal! The statute (625 ILCS 5/16-202) allows for the imposition of criminal penalties if the employer directs or otherwise knowingly permits an employee to act in violation of the law.

The enactment of this amendment provides Illinois employers with the opportunity to publish (or create) a policy that tells employees that they are NOT to talk on their mobile phones while on company business and in the car UNLESS they can do so in compliance with this new law. (Please note that Illinois already has a statute in place that bans texting while driving.) While having such a policy does not bar employer liability, having a strongly worded policy could help mitigate the risk of any liability. It is also a great opportunity to train employees and their managers about the dangers of “distracted driving” and the reasons why employees should only use their phones if they can do so using the “hands free” options outlined in the statute (speaker phone, blue tooth, etc.) on devices that have the ability to be activated by pressing the *one* button (i.e., answering and ending a call).

If you have any questions about this new amendment or policies related to banning distracted driving, please contact any of the authors, a member of Seyfarth’s Workplace Policies and Handbooks Team, or your Seyfarth attorney.

Source: Seyfarth Shaw Law Firm

OSHA “Winter Storm Safety”

Winter storms create a variety of hazards and can have lingering impacts on everyday tasks and work activities. According to the National Weather Service, about 70 percent of injuries during winter storms result from vehicle accidents, and about 25 percent of injuries result from being caught out in the storm. Learning about how to prepare for a winter storm and avoid hazards when one occurs will help keep you safe during the winter season.

Employer Responsibilities and Workers’ Rights

Each employer is responsible for the safety and health of its workers and for providing a safe and healthful workplace for its workers. Employers are required to protect workers from the anticipated hazards associated with the winter storm response and recovery operations that workers are likely to conduct.

OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers. The OSHA at a Glance [117 KB PDF*, 3 pages] publication provides information on the strategies and programs OSHA uses to promote worker safety and health. For additional information on Workers’ Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA’s Compliance Assistance Page, Workers Page and Publications.

It is important to monitor weather sources to be informed when a winter storm is possible and to be familiar with the terms used to describe the likelihood, immediacy, and conditions of a potential storm. The box below provides information on the types of winter storm watches and warnings.

Winter storm watch: Be alert, a storm is likely.

Winter weather advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.

Frost/freeze warning: Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops, or fruit trees.

Winter storm warning: Take action, the storm is in or entering the area.

Blizzard warning: Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill–seek refuge immediately.

Wind chill: Wind chill is an estimation of how cold it feels outside when the effects of temperature and wind speed are combined.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides multiple ways to stay informed about winter storms.

NOAA Weather Radio is a network of radio stations that continuously broadcast weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office. The NOAAWatch website also provides information on the weather outlook.

If you are notified of a winter storm watch, advisory or warning, follow instructions from your local authorities.

Preparing your vehicle for the winter season

If you must drive during a winter storm, it is important to prepare your vehicle to reduce the chances of a weather-related incident and to prepare an emergency kit.

During the winter season, it is advisable to maintain at least a half tank of gas in the vehicle. Inspect the vehicle to ensure the following systems are operating properly:

  • Brakes: Brakes should provide even and balanced braking. Also check that brake fluid is at the proper level.
  • Cooling System: Ensure a proper mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water in the cooling system at the proper level.
  • Electrical System: Check the ignition system and make sure that the battery is fully charged and that the connections are clean. Check that the alternator belt is in good condition with proper tension.
  • Engine: Inspect all engine systems.
  • Exhaust System: Check exhaust for leaks and that all clamps and hangers are snug.
  • Tires: Check for proper tread depth and no signs of damage or uneven wear. Check for proper tire inflation.
  • Oil: Check that oil is at proper level.
  • Visibility Systems: Inspect all exterior lights, defrosters (windshield and rear window), and wipers. Install winter windshield wipers.

Also carry an emergency kit in the vehicle with the following items:

  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Cellular telephone or two-way radio
  • Windshield scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Flashlight with fresh/extra batteries
  • Extra winter clothes
  • Shovel
  • Tow chain
  • Matches
  • Traction aids (bag of sand or cat litter)
  • Emergency flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Road maps

For more information, see the National Safety Council’s Winter, Your Car and You [45 KB PDF, 2 pages]. (2009, April).

Response & Recovery

While most workers can stay inside during a winter storm, some workers may be required to go into the storm. These may include utility workers; law enforcement personnel; firefighters; emergency medical personnel; federal, state and local government personnel; military personnel; highway personnel; and sanitation workers.

Some of the hazards associated with working in winter storms include:

Driving/Vehicle Hazards

For information about driving safely during winter, visit OSHA’s Safe Winter Driving sheet.

What should I do if a winter storm strands me in my vehicle?

Stay in the vehicle. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards. You may become disoriented and lost in blowing and drifting snow. Display a trouble sign by hanging a brightly colored cloth on the radio antenna and raising the hood. Turn on the vehicle’s engine for about 10 minutes each hour and run the heat to keep warm. Also, turn on the vehicle’s dome light when the vehicle is running as an additional signal. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation.

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Do minor exercises to keep up circulation. Clap hands and move arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long. If more than one person is in the vehicle, take turns sleeping. For warmth, huddle together. Use newspapers, maps, and even the removable car mats for added insulation. Avoid overexertion since cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a vehicle can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse. Be aware of symptoms of dehydration.

Frostbite and Hypothermia

What is frostbite?

Frostbite is a severe reaction to cold exposure that causes freezing in the deep layers of skin and tissue. Frostbite can cause permanent damage. It is recognizable by a loss of feeling and a waxy-white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, nose, or ear lobes. For more information, see OSHA’s Cold Stress Safety and Health Guide, or OSHA’s publication, The Cold Stress Equation (also available as a 21 KB PDF, 4 pages).

What is hypothermia?

Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops to less than 95°F. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory lapses, frequent stumbling, drowsiness, and exhaustion. For more information, see OSHA’s Cold Stress Safety and Health Guide, or OSHA’s publication, The Cold Stress Equation (also available as a 21 KB PDF, 4 pages).

What can be done to avoid frostbite and hypothermia?

· Recognize the environmental and workplace conditions that lead to potential cold-induced illnesses and injuries.

· Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses/injuries and what to do to help those who are affected.

· Train the workforce about cold-induced illnesses and injuries.

· Select proper clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions.

· Layer clothing to adjust to changing environmental temperatures. Wear a hat and gloves, in addition to underwear that will keep water away from the skin (polypropylene).

· Take frequent short breaks in warm dry shelters to allow the body to warm up.

· Perform work during the warmest part of the day.

· Avoid exhaustion or fatigue because energy is needed to keep muscles warm.

· Use the buddy system (work in pairs).

· Drink warm, sweet beverages (sugar water, sports-type drinks). Avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate) or alcohol.

· Eat warm, high-calorie foods like hot pasta dishes.

Who is at increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia?

Victims of hypothermia are often (1) elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating; (2) babies sleeping in cold bedrooms; (3) people who remain outdoors for long periods – the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.; and (4) people who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs. Victims may also include people with predisposing health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension, people that take certain medication (check with your healthcare provider and ask if any medicines you are taking affect you while working in cold environments), and people in poor physical condition or who have a poor diet. For more information, see A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety.

How do I treat a person with frostbite or hypothermia?

If frostbite or hypothermia is suspected, begin warming the person slowly and seek immediate medical assistance. Warm the person’s trunk first. Use your own body heat to help. Arms and legs should be warmed last because stimulation of the limbs can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure. Put person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket. Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim something with caffeine in it (like coffee or tea) or alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, can cause the heart to beat faster and hasten the effects the cold has on the body. Alcohol, a depressant, can slow the heart and also hasten the ill effects of cold body temperatures.

Shoveling Snow

What hazards are associated with activities to shoveling snow?

Shoveling snow can be a strenuous activity, particularly because cold weather can be taxing on the body, and can create the potential for exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries, or heart attacks. In addition to following the tips for avoiding frostbite and hypothermia, such as taking frequent breaks and drinking fluids (while avoiding ones with caffeine or alcohol), there are a variety of other precautions workers can take to avoid injuries while removing snow. Workers should warm-up before the activity, scoop small amounts of snow at a time, push the snow instead of lifting where possible, and user proper form if lifting is necessary: keeping the back straight and lifting with the legs.

Slips and Falls

How do I walk safely on snow and ice?

Where appropriate, clear walking surfaces of snow and ice and use salt or its equivalent. In addition, the following precautions will help reduce the likelihood of any injuries:

· Walking on snow or ice is especially treacherous and wearing proper footwear is essential. A pair of well insulated boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months.

· When walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway, take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction.

· When walking on a sidewalk which has not been cleared and you must walk in the street, walk against the traffic and as close to the curb as you can.

· Be on the lookout for vehicles which may have lost traction and are slipping towards you. Be aware that approaching vehicles may not be able to stop at crosswalks or traffic signals.

· At night, wear bright clothing or reflective gear, as dark clothing will make it difficult for motorists to see you.

· During the daytime, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards.

Repairing Downed or Damaged Power Lines and Removing Downed Trees

What hazards are associated with repairing downed or damaged power lines?

The work activities involved with repairing downed or damaged lines entail many of the activities involved in installing and removing overhead lines and in general maintenance on overhead lines. The crucial difference is that in emergency conditions, such as winter storms, there are unknown hazards and the potential for changing hazards as work progresses. Under these conditions workers must be extra vigilant and cautious.

Potential hazards include:

· Electrocution by contacting downed energized lines, or contacting objects, such as broken tree limbs, in contact with fallen lines.

· Falls from heights.

· Being struck or crushed by falling poles, towers or parts thereof, tree limbs, ice accumulation on lines, towers and poles.

· Being injured in vehicular accidents when responding to an emergency situation.

· Burns from fires caused by energized line contact or equipment failure.

What protective measures should be utilized when working on or around downed or damaged power lines?

Assume all power lines are energized and stay well clear of any downed or damaged power lines. Establish a safe distance from the lines and report the incident to the responsible authority. Only properly-trained electrical utility workers should handle damaged power lines.

Electrical utility workers should first assess the hazards present in order to minimize the chances of exacerbating the situation. Ideally the lines involved should be de-energized, but this may not be possible in all situations.

When working on downed or damaged power lines, electrical workers should utilize proper electrical safety work practices and personal protective equipment, as usual. However, as mentioned previously, extra caution should be exercised when working in winter storms, due to the adverse conditions present.

What hazards exist during removal of downed trees during a winter storm, and what safety precautions should be taken?

Clearing downed trees is a critical job during a winter storm. When winter storms occur, downed trees can block public roads and damage power lines. Emergency crews are often sent out to clear downed trees during a winter storm.

Potential hazards include:

· Electrocution by contacting downed energized lines or contacting broken tree limbs in contact with fallen lines.

· Falls from trees.

· Being struck or crushed by falling tree limbs or ice.

· Being injured by emergency equipment such as chain saws and chippers.

Proper PPE including gloves, chaps, foot protection, eye protection, fall protection, hearing protection and head protection should be worn by workers using chainsaws and chippers to clear downed trees.

Only appropriate power equipment that is built to be used outdoors and in wet conditions should be used. All saws, chippers, and other tools should be used properly and according to their intended application. It is important that all equipment is well-maintained and functioning correctly in order for use. In addition, all equipment should have proper guarding, working controls, and other safety features as installed by the manufacturer.

Powered Equipment and Snow Blowers

What are the potential hazards of using powered equipment and snow blowers, and what precautions should be taken?

It is important to make sure that powered equipment, such as chain saws or other power tools, are properly grounded. When performing maintenance or cleaning, make sure that the equipment is properly guarded and is disconnected from power sources.

Snow blowers commonly cause lacerations or amputations when operators attempt to clear jams. Never attempt to clear a jam by hand. First, turn the machine off and wait five seconds, and then use a long stick to clear wet snow or debris from the machine. Keep your hands and feet away from moving parts. Additionally, refuel a snow blower prior to starting the machine; do not add fuel to a running or hot engine.

Clearing Snow from Roofs and Working at Heights

Following a winter storm, workers should employ standard protections when working at heights and should also be aware of the potential for unexpected hazards due to the weather. Employers should provide and ensure the use of fall protection and provide and maintain ladders. In addition, workers should use caution around surfaces that have been weighed down by snow, as they may collapse. For more information, see OSHA’s Hazard Alert: Falls and Other Hazards to Workers Removing Snow From Rooftops and Other Elevated Surfaces.

Additional Resources:

Winter Storms and Extreme Cold. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Cold Stress Equation. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Also available as a 21 KB PDF, 4 pages.

Cold Stress Safety and Health Guide. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Winter Storm. American Red Cross.

Winter Weather Safety and Awareness. National Weather Service.

Winter Weather. NOAAWatch – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Winter Weather. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Winter, Your Car and You [45 KB PDF, 2 pages]. National Safety Council (NSC), (2009, April).

Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety. US Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

New Safety Products: “Lit Safety Vests and Signs‏”

 

IMG_0117

We are a new Colorado Company looking to make the work place safe for our construction, police and other safety workers. We have been on Channel 9’s Gadget segment with Greg Moss. Please take a look at our videos.

We can put your logo on the back or the front of the vest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMAxW7DEzCE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vUvTz74hbE

We can save your workers lives with these lit safety vests. This is for those moments where you need everyone to know where you are. Fellow Police Officers, Highway construction workers, airport personnel and others, motorists will see your team from more than 75 feet to make the proper adjustments. You can wash the vests, and the panels are flexible. They can hold a charge for up to 13 hours.

The panels can be charged from any wall socket or your laptop. You can customize your vest with your logo with up to 40 sq inches of area to light up. Gammabrite is a game changer in the safety industry.

We can also light up the sides of any vehicles for visibility.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndxr6gDWnI4

We have 3 former police officers that are part owners of this company. Explanation of the product below

Unlike reflective tapes, an electroluminescent lamp emits light by the direct conversion of electrical energy into light through energized phosphors. Although electroluminescent lamp technology is not new, Gammabrite broke through restrictive barriers that limited the growth of electroluminescent technology.

Gammabrite® is

  • A breakthrough Next Generation electroluminescent lamp
  • 3-dimensional, elastomeric, membranous Polymer Thick Film (PTF)
  • Printed directly on almost any surface
  • A polyurethane ink structure

Gammabrite® features…

  • Light is printed only where needed, minimizing wasted material
  • Unique pliability of the thin, rubber-like material, allows light to be placed directly under keypads for maximum, uniform brightness with no loss of tactile feel. Gammabrite has withstood over ten million actuations in previous cell phone industry tests.
  • Cool and power efficient, it emits no heat, Gammabrite consistent lighting can be applied for virtually any purpose where applied illumination can add benefits – such as; displays, keypads, indicators, or simply for brand identification.
  • Gammabrite can be compression or in-molded onto plastics and other substrates thereby providing light into multiple applications previously unattainable.
  • Durability ensures operation in harsh outdoor working environments
  • Viewable from long distances, can be used as a standalone lighting source or in conjunction with reflective tapes. Unlike reflective tapes, it can be seen from any angle.
  • Can be applied directly to the garment/product as heat transfer, or in conjunction with other materials.
  • Is machine washable and dryable, Gammabrite useful life span virtually exceeds the life span of most garments. Up to 30 washes.
  • Is an active light source, unlike reflective tape that requires an external light source to function effectively.
  • Offers unprecedented design flexibility with thin, cool, lightweight, pliable, moldable lights that stand up to harsh and active outdoor lifestyles.
  • Can be applied to any substrate including (but not limited to) fabrics, mesh, leather and vinyl ,heat transfer or direct print (soon)
  • Can be designed in multiple colors in any shape or size
  • Can be programmed to be animated, flash in random or specific patterns
  • Rechargeable batteries can be designed into the power pack for complete assurance of product performance in outdoor use. 6 hours solid light or 12 hours blinking.

Pete McKenna

VP of Sales

GammaBrite

14251 E Fremont

Englewood, CO 80112

(M) 303-350-5823

(E) pete@gammabrite.com

www.gammabrite.com

 

Top 10 List Of The Most Deadliest Driving Distractions

Of the more than 65,000 people killed in car crashes over the past two years, one in 10 were in crashes where at least one of the drivers was distracted. That’s according to police report data analyzed by Erie Insurance in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a nationwide census of fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Erie-Insurance-Distracted-Driving-Infographic

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off your primary task of driving safely,” said Doug Smith, senior vice president of personal lines at Erie Insurance. “We looked at what law enforcement officers across the country reported when they filled out reports on fatal crashes and the results were disturbing. We hope the data will encourage people to avoid these high-risk behaviors that needlessly increase their risk of being involved in a fatal crash.”

The analysis, which looked at data from 2010 and 2011, showed police listed the majority of drivers who were distracted as “generally distracted” or “lost in thought.” Police also listed several more specific types of distractions.

Below are the top 10 distractions involved in fatal car crashes:

Rank Distraction Type Percentage of
Distracted Drivers
1 Generally distracted or “lost in thought” (daydreaming) 62%
2 Cell phone use (talking, listening, dialing, texting) 12%
3 Outside person, object or event, such as rubbernecking 7%
4 Other occupants (talking with or looking at other people in car) 5%
5 Using or reaching for device brought into vehicle, such as navigational device, headphones 2%
6 Eating or drinking 2%
7 Adjusting audio or climate controls 2%
8 Using other device/controls integral to vehicle, such as adjusting rear view mirrors, seats, or using OEM navigation system 1%
9 Moving object in vehicle, such as pet or insect 1%
10 Smoking related (includes smoking, lighting up, putting ashes in ashtray) 1%

Smith added that because FARS data on distraction is based largely on police officers’ judgment at the time of the crash, and because some people may be reluctant to admit they were distracted when being interviewed by police after a fatal car crash, the numbers are difficult to verify and may, in fact, under-represent the seriousness and prevalence of driving distractions.

The data is meaningful, however, because unlike surveys in which consumers self-report the types of distracted behaviors they engage in, the FARS data is based on actual police reports on fatal crashes.

Safe Driving Tips for This Holiday Season

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for travel as people are leaving town to visit with family and friends.  Automobile travel is always a popular choice as it is generally more affordable than other transportation and allows your schedule to be more flexible.

Even if you are planning to stay in town for the holidays, the roads can be more dangerous due to harsh weather conditions and even other drivers that are in a hurry to get to their destinations.  Take a look at some winter driving tips to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Ice and snow can cause you to slip and slide, dangerous business when it comes to driving. Give yourself about three times as much room for stopping as you normally would to prevent accidents.
  • Wear your seat belt.  While this precaution can save your life, it can also save you a ticket.
  • Remove snow and ice from your windows before driving anywhere.  You should have 360 degree unobstructed views from your driver’s seat before driving anywhere.
  • Store an emergency kit in your car.  With unpredictable weather this time of the year, you never know when you’re going to need it.  Be sure to include blankets, a flashlight, a shovel, salt, an ice scraper, and flares.

Unfortunately, while safety precautions can help reduce your risk of accident, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong.

Video Source: Sussex Safer Roads®  http://www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk/

 

 

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