National Safety Month (US)

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June is National Safety Month for the United States, and the National Safety Council uses this month to “raise awareness of what it takes to keep each other safe.”  During National Safety Month, the NSC concentrates on “reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.”

According to the NSC, preventable deaths are the 4th leading cause of death in the US, and are at a record high, with more than 146,000 lives claimed in 2015.

The top risks by age group are:

  • Under 12 Months: Mechanical Suffocation – over 2 preventable deaths occur per day
  • How to Prevent:
    • Do not let infants sleep in the parents’ bed; make sure they sleep in a crib
    • Infants need to sleep on their backs
    • Make sure to take stuffed animals and blankets out of the crib
  • Age 1-24: Traffic Crashes – About 21 preventable deaths occur per day
  • How to Prevent:
    • Wear your seatbelt always; make sure restraints are size-appropriate
    • Just because teens have their license doesn’t mean they can’t gain more experience from having someone older ride with them
    • Do not use any electronic devices while driving; even hands-free devices can be distracting
  • Age 25-64: Poisoning – More than 92 preventable deaths occur per day
  • How to Prevent:
    • Ask your health care provider if there are any alternatives to prescription pain medication
    • If you must use opioids, try to take the smallest dose for the shortest time
    • Never share prescriptions with friends and family!
  • Age 65 & Older: Falls – More than 69 preventable deaths occur per day
  • How to Prevent:
    • Use non-skid mats in bathtubs and showers
    • Install grab bars in the bathroom near the tub and toilet, and also near any stairs
    • Make sure every room and stairway is well lit

Workplace safety is also a big part of National Safety Month.  An average of almost 13,000 workers are injured on the job every day.  The most common types of injuries are sprains, strains or tears; soreness or pain; and cuts, lacerations or punctures.  35% of injuries resulting in lost work days are caused by overexertion, 25% by contact with objects and/or equipment, and 25% by slips, trips and falls.

Some tips to prevent workplace injuries are:

  • Avoid bending, reaching and twisting when lifting heavy objects
  • Take frequent, short breaks when doing repetitive motions
  • Store heavier objects close to the floor
  • Be aware of moving equipment/objects in your vicinity
  • Wear proper personal protective gear
  • Place the base of ladders or stepladders on an even, solid surface
  • Use good housekeeping practices; keep the work area free or spills

Visit the National Safety Council at http://www.nsc.org/act/events/Pages/national-safety-month.aspx for more tools and information.