Personal Safety & Environmental Awareness
While most of us will go through our entire lives without the misfortune being the victim of a robbery or violent act, it is prudent to keep personal safety in mind as we move through our day-to-day routines. The following information is a portion of a longer presentation, but should still convey some valuable insight, tips, and information.
Awareness of your environment includes being mindful of where you are and where you are going, but also being concious about the condition of your envrionment. Tripping or slipping in a hazardous environment can compromise your personal safety.
- Is the area well lit? Do you feel comfortable?
- Are there other people around? What are they doing?
- Are there hazards present? Ice? Water? Snow? Something you might trip on?
We need to assess our environment and act appropriately. If the area is slippery, we should tread carefully. If there are people loitering in the area that make us nervous, we should avoid them or report their activity to the police or security.
The ideal target for a would-be attacker is unassertive, inattentive, distracted, and unaware of their surroundings. Keep this in mind as you move through your day-to-day routine:
- Keep your head up and be vigilant of your surroundings at all times.
- Make friendly eye contact with people you pass by. This simple and friendly gesture is natural and non-threatening, but it sends two messages: First, you are asserting yourself as being aware of your environment and confident, and second, you are making note of the appearance of people around you. Keep in mind that, generally, criminals want to be anonymous and unrecognized. Eye contact removes this anonymity.
- Keep any personal music players (MP3 players, iPods, etc.) at a reasonable volume, even better, keep one earphone out so you can hear what is happening around you.
- Don't lose yourself in texts or emails on a smartphone while walking; this distracts you from your environment and makes you a potential target.
- Be aware of who is around you and what they are doing; is their behaviour normal for the area they are in?
- Be one step ahead of yourself as often as possible: if walking through a parking lot to your vehicle, have your keys out and ready before you reach your vehicle.
There are many situations in which we become more vulnerable than others; being distracted looking for keys in a purse or bag in a parking lot or responding to texts or emails on a smartphone are just two examples. Our attention is drawn away from our surroundings and we are open to being approached without notice.
IF YOU ARE ATTACKED...
As mentioned at the onset, the reality is that most of us will not be the victims of violence, but if the unthinkable should happen we need to be prepared.
- If someone tries to steal your bag or other personal items, consider your health and safety first; items can be replaced, your life cannot.
- Make lots of noise and attract attention. Be as specific as possible in your calls for help. If possible, pick someone out in your immediate area and ask them to help. (e.g. "You, in the red shirt, please call the police!"). By putting the impetus to act on a specific person, you greatly increase the odds that they will in fact assist. (See the Bystander Effect for more information).
- If the offender remains in the area, run away, get to a safe place as quickly as possible and call for help - call 911.
- Head to a busy street, a shop, or a gas station - anywhere in which you feel you will be able to get assistance.
- Try to get a good description of the offender and report the description to the police or security as quickly as possible, preferably without discussing it with others as this may cloud your recall of the individual.
If you feel your life is in jeopardy, fight for it. When you believe the alternative is death or serious physical harm, fight off the attacker with all your effort.
Taken from: http://www.concordsecurity.com/news/personalsafety/
Click back to top
School security is one of the most sensitive issues facing school staff, administrators, and parents today. No one wants a repetition of headline-hitting crimes that come to mind from recent years. Students have the right to have a safe place to be educated. Teachers and administrators have the right to a safe work environment. Maintaining a balance between having a user-friendly, welcoming school climate and a facility, which is secure from unwanted intruders, should be the goal.
Common sense measures that require little or no funding can go a long way in helping to create a safe environment for all. Having one main entrance in use during the daytime makes the monitoring of guests much easier. All other exterior doors should be locked to those on the outside, but easily opened from the inside. Signs should be placed directing all visitors to the main entrance. Upon entering the school building, guests should be immediately directed to the office and greeted by a receptionist. Establishing a sign-in and sign-out procedure for visitors is an inexpensive but indispensable practice. Educate parents and staff early and often regarding access control policies and the importance of everyone following the rules every time.
Consistency is of greatest importance. Students must be trained to not open doors to strangers, other students, or even adults they may know. All visitors trying to gain access must be directed to the main entrance to gain entry to the school. Playgrounds should only be accessible from inside the school building. Parking areas should be separate from play areas.
Staff should be clear about procedures and be encouraged to greet and challenge visitors, questioning who they are, and what they are doing. Staff should be regularly reminded of their responsibilities. Again, consistency is key.
A clear plan of action should be established and practiced with students and staff in the event an intruder enters the building unwelcome. The established procedure should be posted in classrooms so that substitute staff will also be aware of his or her responsibilities.
Students should understand that practicing for such an event does not mean that the event is anticipated. Practicing intruder drills should be common and comfortable to students, just like fire drills. Parents who are educated about such drills can also help to make students more comfortable by discussing procedures at home.
As students, parents, and staff work together, it is possible to achieve an environment, which promotes safety for all while ensuring that guests who belong feel welcome.
Mandt System -
Click back to top
Making the Case for Safety Awareness
If a survey were taken, asking what single factor has the greatest impact on safety, the results surely would reflect a number of opinions. I believe that increased awareness will have the greatest impact on safety.
I think we can agree that we equally are vulnerable when it comes to maintaining our safety. No matter the safety programs your employer uses or your individual perception of what constitutes safety, understand that the ultimate responsibility for your safety rests with you.
Heinrich, back in 1931, attributed 88 percent of all accidents to unsafe acts. The actual number may be closer to 100 percent when you take a hard look at unsafe conditions and find that many of them are the result of human actions or inaction.
I believe that we have a problem when it comes to keeping people safe. Despite the everyday bumps and bruises, many of us continue to believe that everything is okay, even though we can’t seem to stop accidents from occurring.
We always can do more to improve safety performance, something safety professionals work at every day, and constantly are frustrated that accidents keep occurring despite their best efforts. As a safety professional, I felt that frustration for many years.
As I look back over the early days of my work life, I’m amazed at how little “safety” was even mentioned. You were hired and went to work, with little or no safety orientation.
I never got hurt or witnessed anyone else get hurt until my next-to-last job in industry as an environmental and safety manager. Two employees suffered severe injuries – one a crushed hand – and the other a severely lacerated hand. Even with safe operating procedures in place and the presence of machine guarding, both endured significant lost workday injuries as a result of miscommunication in one instance, and an attempt to override machine guarding in the other.
Having retired as a full-time safety professional, I’m no longer frustrated on a day-to-day basis by recurring accidents and incidents and now can look at safety with more objectivity, and offer what I believe to be an unbiased view of the reasons for accidents and why safety does not always mean safe.
Experience has convinced me that just about all accidents and incidents are the result of some form of human error. While employers are required by law to provide a safe working environment and can be cited for not doing so, unsafe/hazardous conditions that lead to accidents and incidents often can be traced to actions or inactions on the part of individuals.
This can include failure to report or correct an unsafe condition, failure to take required precautions or ineffective or improper equipment maintenance. When the prevailing impression is that we don’t need to concern ourselves about safety because the “safety people” will keep us safe, we are misleading ourselves.
The key word when it comes to safety is RISK. Risk is a measure of the consequences of our actions. More specifically, in terms of safety, it tells us how severely a hazard can impact us. Risks posed by hazards or unsafe conditions in the workplace can be evaluated. To accurately evaluate risk, you need to compile a complete list of all of the possible hazards that can be encountered in the workplace.
Then, ask a cross-section of the workforce to evaluate the risk of each hazard. This is done by rating the severity of potential outcome (from negligible (1) to catastrophic (4)); calculating the probability of the hazard occurring (from highly unlikely (1) to will occur frequently (5)); and evaluating the potential for exposure to the hazard (from few employees (1) to many employees (3)). Add the three numbers to produce a “risk factor” for each hazard. Decide what level of risk you can live with, and establish methods to lower the risk of the most hazardous first.
And remember, just eight causes account for nearly all accidents and incidents: overexertion; struck by person or object; struck against person or object; slips/trips/falls; caught in or between; ergonomic/repetitive motion; contact with; and moving equipment. Before there is a cause, there is, more often than not, a risk factor that was ignored.
I speak from the viewpoint of a former manager of safety compliance for a large company that received many national, corporate, regional and local safety awards, but still could never get anywhere close to “zero accidents.”
You can’t completely eliminate every lapse in judgment made by employees. But by evaluating risks and encouraging employees to be aware of their work conditions and the way they do their jobs, you can minimize the number of safety lapses that can lead to injuries and illnesses.
People are imperfect, make mistakes, take chances, take shortcuts, don’t think before they act and can contribute to most accidents and incidents. The solution? Address the reasons for accidents by raising your awareness of workplace risks.
Being safety aware is the most effective approach to improving workplace safety.
Joseph Werbicki is a Safety Consultant/Safety Trainer with over 30 years of safety management experience. He can be reached at jwerbicki@comcast
Click back to top
Lightning Safety Awareness
When the clouds roll in...
WHAT IS A LIGHTNING STRIKE?
Lightning is a discharge of the electricity produced by a thunderstorm. As the thunderstorm develops, many small particles of ice within the storm clouds bump together. These collisions create a positive charge at the top of a cloud and a negative charge at the bottom. As this continues, a second positive charge builds up on the ground beneath the cloud. It is concentrated around the highest objects such as hills, trees, buildings, equipment and even people. When the difference between the electrical charge in the cloud and on the ground becomes great enough to overcome the resistance of the insulating air between them, an electrical current flows instantly. This is a lightning strike.
The safest location during lightning activity is inside a fully enclosed and substantially constructed building such as a house, office, school or shopping area.
These are safest because of the electrical wiring and plumbing they contain. Should lightning strike, the electrical current will travel through the wiring or plumbing into the ground. When such a building is nearby, always seek shelter there first.
Unfortunately loggers do not often work close to buildings and therefore other alternatives must be considered. Sheds, weather shelters, hunting blinds, tents and other partially open or small structures are not safe as they lack the electrically grounded components of larger buildings. They are intended for sun or rain protection only. Do not seek shelter from lightning strikes inside these structures.
The second safest location during lightning activity is inside a fully enclosed car, van, truck or bus with a metal roof and metal sides. The electrical energy of a lightning strike to these vehicles is carried to ground by the conducting outer metal surfaces. This is called the skin effect. Do not seek safety from lightning strikes in vehicles with fiberglass or plastic body shells or in convertible top vehicles as they do not offer skin effect lightning protection.
Heavy forestry equipment such as a skidder, loader, feller buncher or forwarder with a fully enclosed rollover protective structure (ROPS) offers the advantage of the skin effect and is therefore safe in electrical storms. However, machines with a rollover canopy only are not safe against lightning strikes as they are open to electrically conductive rainwater and do not benefit from the skin effect. Operators of these machines must exit the cab and get to a safer location.
Rubber tires on motor vehicles and heavy equipment do not increase safety from lightning strikes. Lightning has already traveled a great distance through the air to strike the vehicle. In comparison, a few inches of rubber offers absolutely no additional insulation.
To summarize, if you are outside and see lightning or hear thunder, get inside. Run to the nearest building, motor vehicle or fully enclosed ROPS cab immediately.
If you are already inside a building, don’t watch the storm from open windows or doorways. Stay in inner rooms. Stay well away from corded telephones, electrical appliances, lighting fixtures, radio microphones, electrical sockets and plumbing pipes and fixtures.
If you are already inside a motor vehicle or fully enclosed ROPS equipment cab, stay inside. Don’t step outside of the vehicle to move to another shelter. Very dangerous electrical pathways to ground may go through you. Shut down all operation, turn off the engine and close the doors and windows. Sit squarely in the seat with your hands in your lap and feet flat on the floor mat. Do not touch any metallic objects referenced to the outside of the vehicle including door and window handles, control levers, foot pedals, the steering wheel and cab interior walls. Do not touch radios or telephones connected to an outside antenna.
- If you are caught outside and have no where else to go:
- Avoid wide open areas where you project above the surrounding landscape.
- Seek shelter in a low place, such as a ditch, ravine, valley, canyon or cave.
- Get away from open water such as ponds or streams.
- Do not take shelter under any isolated tall trees or small groups of trees.
- Seek shelter amongst the dense, thick growth of the shortest trees.
- Avoid entering any small enclosures or shelters.
- Do not seek shelter under motor vehicles or heavy equipment.
- Keep clear of any materials that can conduct electricity such as wire fences and gates, metal pipes, poles, rails and tools. 9. Stay at least 15 m (50 ft) away from metal objects such as a fuel tank, vehicle or machinery.
- Stay at least 5 m (16 ft) apart from anyone else so that lightning won’t travel between you.
- Do not use a telephone except for emergencies.
If you feel your skin tingling, your hair stands on end, if light metal objects vibrate or you hear a crackling sound, lightning is probably about to strike. You only have a few seconds to act:
- Put your feet together. Crouch down in a baseball catcher’s position. Hold your head down. Cover your ears to protect them against the noise of the thunder.
- Do not lie flat on the ground. By touching as little of the ground as possible, the lightning may not move across the ground to you.
What if a co-worker has been struck by lightning?
- You can touch the victim immediately; there is no residual electrical charge.
- Call your local emergency response telephone number immediately.
- If the victim has no pulse, their heart has stopped or they have stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation immediately. Use a portable defibrillator if one is available.
- If possible, move the victim to a building as soon as possible. Remember, you can get hit by lightning too.
To further increase your awareness about lightning safety, see the following web sites:
National Weather Service Lightning Safety
National Lightning Safety Institute
Taken from: http://www.tigercat.com/safety/lightning-safety-awareness/
Click back to top
Click on images to view videos
Here is a test of observation- Click on image to play video
Websites you may want to check out:
Click back to top
It's Your Turn
We would love to hear from you....
Share your thoughts on some of the articles or website provided for you. .
If you have appreciated this newsletter, we would like to know. Even if you have not agreed with some articles or information, we want to know. The Mandt System® is a learning approach and together we learn. Click here to email your comments to us as we very much appreciate hearing your thoughts..
Click back to top
You are receiving this email as you have completed our opt-in response, you have been an administor or you have been certified as a Mandt System® Instructor. To opt-out click here reply unsubscribe.