The week of Independence Day (4th of July) in the United States is a time of year for celebrations with fireworks, cookouts and sports. For some, it’s an opportunity to catch up on some yard work and home improvements. This week we will present some tips on how to participate in these safely by taking our workplace safety culture mindset with us.
Some states do not allow fireworks sales, and even in legal states some counties, cities and towns may not allow fireworks within their boundary limits. Check and make sure fireworks are legal in your area before you use them. Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper as they are for professional use
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse
- Never throw or point fireworks at another person
- Back up a safe distance after lighting the fuse
- Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse spent devices with plenty of water before throwing in trash
- Sparklers can burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals
Tuesday Yard Work
Don’t ruin your celebrations with a preventable injury while doing yard work around the house. Here are some yard work safety tips that can help you, and your family, avoid a trip to the emergency room.
- Know your equipment – Read the owner’s manual and safety information on all your tools. Check for recalls.
- Practice Ladder Safety – Make sure your ladder is set firmly on a level surface. Never set a ladder on boxes or other objects to reach higher places. Lock doors that open toward the ladder. Never stand on the top rung. Ask someone to hold and steady the ladder for you.
- Watch your children – Thousands of children are injured by lawncare tools. Keep small children indoors, don’t let kids younger than 12 years push a mower, and don’t let kids under 16 drive riding mowers.
- Check extension cords – Before use, check cords for cracks and seal with electrical tape. If you find frayed wires, replace the cord. Never run cord through puddles.
- Protect your body – Wear long pants to protect your legs from flying debris thrown from lawnmowers and weedeaters. Wear closed toed nonslip shoes. Use safety sunglasses to protect your eyes and ear plugs to protect from loud noise. Yard power tools can range in the 95 100 decibel noise level.
- Store tools and materials in safe places – A range of injuries are caused by stepping on, landing on, or being hit with garden tools. Store tools in safe, enclosed areas. Store chemicals, such as week killer and fertilizer, in hard to reach areas and seal the bags.
- Don’t dig without approval – Check with local utility companies before you dig trenches, holes or any other cavity in your yard.
- Be conscious of electricity – Don’t leave electrical tools plugged in when not in use. Make sure equipment is off before plugging in. Unplug equipment before repairing it.
- Get green smart – Be sure to know how to identify poison ivy, sumac, oak and other similar toxic plants. Know first aid measures if you get exposed to these plants.
What safety precautions at your workplace do you need to apply at home?
Wednesday Eating Outdoors Safely
Cookouts are very popular during the Fourth of July weekend for family and friends to get together while consuming mass quantities of wonderful food. As the host of these events, the last thing you want is for your guests to get sick by food poisoning. Food poisoning is caused by bacteria and grows rapidly in some foods like raw meat, dairy products, egg products, seafood, cold cuts, rice, pasta, and anything with mayonnaise. Here are some tips to prevent food poisoning from happening:
- Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill. Wash hands before and after handling meat and wash work surfaces, utensils, and the grill before and after cooking.
- Pack beverages in one cooler and perishable food in another. When guests replenish drinks, they won’t expose the perishables to warm air.
- Don’t cross contaminate by keeping raw meats, poultry, and seafood separated from the other food being served.
- Take salads, pates, dips, and other perishables out only when required. Take back inside when that part of the meal is over. Avoid leaving these items out in the sun for an extended amount of time.
- Keep cold foods cold. Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below to prevent bacterial growth.
- Contamination can also come from insects, animals, and dust.
- Invest in a meat thermometer and grill meats to the right internal temperature:
- 145°F – whle cuts of beef, pork, lamb, veal, and fish
- 160°F – hamburgers and ther ground beef
- 165°F – all pultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
- After cooking, put leftovers in fridge or freezer with two hours. One hour if temperature outside is above 90°F.
Thursday Stay Hydrated During Cookouts
During a cookout, the majority of your time is eating foods high in salt while standing outside on a hot day. This will increase your risk of dehydration. So while you are drinking beverages that increase your risk of dehydration, like sodas, energy drinks, and alcohol, remember to mix in beverages that will keep you hydrated:
- Sports drinks
- Eat fruits high in water content: Watermelon, grapes, grapefruit
Take a few moments this morning to share how you celebrate Independence Day, do your yard work, or enjoy your cookouts safely. What safety precautions at your workplace do you need to apply at home?
DOWNLOAD WEEKLY SAFETY BRIEFS - JUNE 2019 WEEK 4 (PDF)
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