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Summer Begins

- June 13, 2018 by Dan Heinen, ASP (View all posts by Dan)

With summer weather here for most of the country, BBQ’s, ball games, weekend trips, time on or near the water and other enjoyable outdoor activities will be taking place. For some parts of the country, these are seasonal activities and providing a few safety reminders to employees is a good idea.  In areas of the country where these activities are not seasonal, complacency can set in, so let’s not forget to remind those employees about safety either. We need to keep safety in mind both at work and at home, to insure we can continue to look forward to these things in the years to come.

  • BBQ – If using a charcoal grill and lighter fluid is used, use only approved charcoal lighter fluid. Not gasoline, or other flammable liquids, these can ignite in an unpredictable manner. Also, it leaves an unpleasant taste and potentially harmful residue on your food. If using a propane gas grill pay attention to the condition of your cylinder for rust, fitting to make sure they are securely attached, check for leaks around all fittings and with both styles of grills use only in a well-ventilated area.
  • Yard work/Outside Home Improvement – Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on hand or wear long sleeve shirts and full length pants to protect against UV rays. Also, make sure the clothing is proper for the type of work you are doing running a weed eater, or weeding a brushy area (think poison ivy, oak, sumac).
  • Insect repellant – Ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies can put quite the damper on outside fun.
  • Tools – Insure tools are in good and safe condition and used properly. Do not use screwdrivers as small pry bars. Extension cords are not ropes used to raise or lower tools. Call a utility locator service if you are going to be digging to prevent the possibility of severing a power, cable or telephone line and keep yourself tools and other equipment away from overhead power lines.
  • Boating – Have the proper amount and type of life jackets for each passage. Many states have laws requiring children under a specific age must wear one at all times. If you are by yourself and don’t like the full size personal floatation device (PFD), they do make a CO2 style that automatically inflates with immersion in water.  Once again, have sunscreen or long sleeves and pants to protect yourself and other from UV rays.
  • Alcohol – Use in moderation if enjoying alcohol. Don’t drink if using power tools as the job you working on might not be what you envisioned if you over consume! Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means you may increase the chances of dehydrating if not drinking plenty of other fluids.
  • Timing – Try to schedule the majority of your outside activities in the morning or evening before it gets too hot. Learn the symptoms of heat stroke and heat stress and what to do if you or someone close by may begin showing signs of either of them.

Last but not least, ENJOY! Have fun, whatever your project or activity is. Plan it with the thought the “safe way is the right way!”