It’s National Safety Month: Creating a Safety Culture Starts with YOU!

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. (Provided photo)

By Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation & President of Safe Kids Clearfield County

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 seven to nine 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 www.progressiveag.org. For more materials on National Safety Month, visit the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org.

Safe Kids Clearfield County is part of Safe Kids Worldwide (http://www.safekids.org/), a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children, the number one killer of kids in the United States.

For more information, please contact Judy Patterson, nutrition-safety advisor for Cen Clear, at 814-342-5678 Ext. 2264.

The coalition always welcomes new members and traditionally meets the third Tuesday during the months of January, March, May, July, September and November at 12 p.m. at Cen-Clear Child Services, 50 Bigler Rd., Bigler. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, July 16.

Donations to our local Safe Kids Clearfield County Coalition are tax-deductible and can help ensure the word about safe practices can be spread all year long. Connect with us on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ClearfieldCountySafeKids/.

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