By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
June is upon us, which means it is time to celebrate National Safety Month! During the entire month of June, the National Safety Council, along with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, encourages you to learn about a new safety topic each week and we challenge you to adopt safer practices while at home, work or at play.
Week 1 focuses on Hazard Recognition: All too often, we become complacent or immune to hazards all around us. Training yourself to spot hazards will help you notice and create a solution to the problem to avoid risk of injuring yourself or others. From lighting, air quality and overexertion at work to the accessibility of prescription medications and cleaning products at home, potential hazards are everywhere. Therefore, ask yourself, “what risks aren’t you seeing?”
Week 2 focuses on Slips, Trips & Falls: Did you know that more than 8 million preventable fall injuries occurred in 2017? We have all heard of distracted driving, but with cell phones and other advancements in technology, distracted walking is now a thing. Although they may seem harmless to you, spills, clutter and other tripping hazards should be cleaned up immediately, as they may not be as obvious to someone else.
Week 3 focuses on Fatigue: Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Are you one of them? Chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue are a dangerous combination that can lead to incidents and injury, as well as other health issues like depression, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Little changes like stretching and taking breaks during the workday, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and trying to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night can have positive effects on your health. This may seem easier said than done, but by securing a comfortable environment and turning off electronics, lights and other distractions that may stimulate the brain, you are preparing yourself for a restful night’s sleep. You should also avoid caffeine and adopt stress management techniques, like an exercise regimen, yoga or meditation to get you to a relaxed state.
Week 4 focuses on Impairment: When we think of impairment, we often associate with drugs or alcohol, but driving while drowsy is no different. No level of impairment is safe. With the legalization of cannabis, for both recreational and medicinal purposes, and prescribed opioids on the rise, new safety concerns are emerging at both work and at home. Many workplaces value the safety of their employees and therefore have a zero-tolerance policy. Don’t risk it or take a chance! Failure to comply may not only cost you your job, but more importantly your life or the life of someone else.
Since 1913, the National Safety Council has been working to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Progressive Agriculture Safety Days has also been on a mission since 1995 to provide the education, training, and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. Many of the topics highlighted during National Safety Month are some of the lessons children learn about when they attend a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Find out if one will be taking place in your community this year by visiting http://www.progressiveag.org. Looking for a safe investment? Help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 41444 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.
For more materials on National Safety Month, visit the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org
Photo: At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, vision impairment goggles help simulate what it feels like to drive impaired from being either under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving while drowsy.