Halloween is fast approaching, and as the days get shorter and the nights get colder, the scariest monsters aren’t ghouls and goblins, but new safety concerns. Trick-or-treating and costumes make this holiday a favorite among children (and some adults), but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that Halloween is one of the top three days of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, while the Center for Disease Control estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a vehicle on Halloween than any other day. Fortunately, with proper gear and good housekeeping, we can keep the night safer for trick-or-treaters of all ages.
Heat season in New York City officially began October 1, meaning landlords are required to provide tenants with heat once the outside temperature dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night. While this season is great for pulling out the flannel and cozying up with hot apple cider, there is also an increased danger of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, which can be generated by fireplaces, furnaces, and stoves.
Every September, approximately 50 million students around the United States return to elementary and secondary schools. Of those 50 million, half of them take the bus every day. While buses are safer than driving or walking to school, accidents can and do still happen. Much like we give toolbox talks on the jobsites, we should make sure we have school bus talks with our kids before they go off to school.
Thousands of thunderstorms form across the United States every year as part of the average weather cycle. Thunderstorms bring lightning, heavy rain, high winds, and in some cases, hail. Since being struck by lightning is more likely to send you to the hospital than turn you into the Flash, it’s important to know what to do before, during, and after a storm.
The average high temperatures in New York City and Philadelphia during July and August are in the mid-to-upper-80s, but as this summer has proved, it often feels a whole lot hotter. Even for those of us not working on a jobsite, the daily tasks of commuting to work, performing chores around the house, and getting in regular exercise can be exhausting and, possibly, dangerous. So grab a glass of water, and let’s talk about heat illnesses.
We can all agree there is nothing better than sun and surf during the warm summer months; according to the US Lifesaving Association, American beaches received over 370 million visitors in 2015, more than the population of the United States! However, in the same year, over 95,000 swimmers had to be rescued. While beaches are places of recreation, it is just as important to pay attention to signage on the shore as it is on the jobsite. Lifeguard’s flags can indicate everything from rough water to dangerous wildlife and are crucial to swimming safely.
Having a Blast with Safety
Americans take the phrase “the rockets’ red glare” to heart around the Fourth of July, but the omnipresent displays of red, white, and blue fireworks can be dangerous if not handled properly. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 230 people a day go to the emergency room with firework-related injuries in the month surrounding July 4. New York State legalized the sale and use of certain fireworks only last year, making this a relatively new safety issue. These devices are technically explosives, and we should take all necessary precautions when using them.
Home improvement projects, sports leagues, and sandy beach vacations draw Americans outdoors for significant amounts of time during the summer months. Still, even short exposures to the sun—even in winter—require vigilant skin protection measures. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage one’s skin in as little as 15 minutes. Understanding the risks and taking small but significant steps to protect yourself will allow you to enjoy the beautiful weather while keeping safe from harm.
Memorial Day marks the official start to barbecue season, meaning burgers and dogs are back on the menu. While summer foods certainly are delicious, grills themselves can be hazardous if not handled properly. Firefighters respond to over 8,000 grill fires annually, which can cost millions in property damage, serious injury, and even death. Much like we have pre-construction, construction, and close-out plans, we should make sure we know how to safely handle grills both before, during, and after cooking.