Picture of a yellow and black safety banner that says safety first.

SAFETY: What You Need To Know

By Michael Tuley, Business and Industry Safety Coordinator

November Safety Awareness | November 2021

The month of November transitions us into cooler weather, major travel planning and family holiday gatherings.  The Fall Season creates beautiful changes in foliage, chilly autumn temperatures and festive foods.  It is very important to consider safety in all that we do and be prepared for the unexpected.  

With the cold weather settling in, be alert for fire hazards
- The U.S. Fire Administration reports more than 4,000 fires occur each Thanksgiving Day, usually in the kitchen.
- Never leave your food unattended while frying or grilling.
- Never place a frozen turkey in a hot oil fryer.  It will immediately boil over and spread burning oil everywhere!
- Avoid dangling accessories or loose clothing around cooking surfaces, especially open flames.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen and know how to use it.
- Space heaters need space.  Use caution when placing portable heating devices near combustible materials.  Also, maintain safe distances between heaters and loose clothing.
- Have your chimney or wood stove piping inspected, to insure they are in good condition and clear of exhaust build up.

Turkey safety
- Defrost your turkey properly.
- Thaw in the refrigerator (every 4-5 lbs. needs one day to thaw)
- Avoid slow cooking or partially cooking the turkey.
- Keep all preparation surfaces, cooking areas and utensils clean.

Thanksgiving is a social dinner
- Be careful when talking, joking, and laughing while eating.  Choking is a very dangerous possibility.
- Know how to perform abdominal thrusts and back blows to help relieve a choking victim.
- Be prepared to call 911 if anyone has difficulty relieving an airway obstruction.

Store leftovers properly to eliminate food poisoning
- When serving, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly, no more than two hours after food has been served.
- Reheated leftovers should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and gravy should be boiled.

Travel tips for Thanksgiving
- When traveling by car, check your vehicle: tires, brakes, battery, windshield wipers, engine cooling system and heater.  Always travel with a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, blankets, and emergency food.
- Always know where you’re going and have alternate routes based on traffic, road conditions and weather.
- Don’t post news that you’re out of town, especially social media.
- Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up your mail and watch your home.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
If you have questions concerning holiday safety or any safety concern, please contact me.

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

National Fire Prevention Safety Month | October 2021

The origins of National Fire Prevention Week came from two major fires in history that occurred on the same day, October 8th, 1871. The Peshtigo Wisconsin fire burned an area of 1875 square miles and it produced 110 mph winds, superheated to 2000degrees. This fire claimed more than 2500people and is the deadliest wildfire in recorded history. 

The second fire was known as the Great Chicago Fire.  This fire destroyed approximately 3.3 square miles and killed over 300 people. The city of Chicago was in a severe drought and most buildings and sidewalks were made of wood.  The Chicago FireDepartment had already responded to numerous fire calls all over the city, in the days prior to the major conflagration.  

The Original 1871 story in how this fire started, was blamed on Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lantern. In 1893, the reporter from the Chicago Tribune, Michael Ahern, who wrote the 1871 article, retracted the “cow-and-lantern” story, and admitted it was all fabricated.  Unfortunately, the legend of the fire origin had already been engrained in public perception.  Finally in 1997, the Chicago City Council officially exonerated the O’Leary Family, from causing the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. 

The theme for this year’s National Fire Prevention Week is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”. The focus of this message is educating children and adults about smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, their importance and how these sounds help save lives.  Fire Prevention Week is October 3-9 and fire departments all over the United States visit schools, businesses, and industries, to share the message of fire safety.  Please contact your local fire and emergency services agency to schedule a visit. 

Photo that says learn the sounds of fire safety with a picture of a dalmation dog in fire suit
Image of house showing locations of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers

The smoke alarms throughout your home help support a crucial role in keeping your family safe by alerting them to potential dangers.  The National Fire ProtectionAssociation recommends you test your smoke detectors monthly and replace the batteries every six months.  If you notice an occasional high-pitched chirping noise from your detector, it’s time to replace the battery.  Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms need to be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Remember to have a fire emergency response plan at home, that includes what to do if the alarm sounds, location of escape routes and a safe meeting place.  This plan should be discussed with your family and practiced, to ensure everyone is well prepared. 

If you have questions concerning home fire safety, emergency planning or any safety concern, please contact me.

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

Home Eye Safety Awareness Month | September 2021

Most of us may not think about wearing eye protection while at home; cleaning, cooking, doing yard work or working in the garage. The AmericanAcademy of Ophthalmology (AAO) reports that half of all annual eye injuries occur when doing these everyday chores. We know that 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable by wearing the proper eye protection and 78 percent of those injured were not wearing any protective eyewear. 

Prevent Blindness America has declared September as Home Eye Safety Awareness Month, to remind everyone of the hazards in their own homes that could damage the precious gift of sight. They also recommend that every household have at least on pair of American National Standards Institute (ANSI)approved eyewear. The eyewear should have the “Z-87 logo stamped on the frames and can be purchased inexpensively at hardware stores and home building centers. 

SAFETY TIPS
Almost 40 percent of all home eye injuries occur in the yard or garden. Debris from lawn mowers or power trimmers unexpectedly can enter the eye at a high rate of speed. PreventBlindness America offers these tips on how to protect your eyes while doing work in the yard: 
-      When mowing, wear safety glasses with side protection or goggles. Check your yard and remove debris before mowing.
-      When using a weed eater, wear safety glasses or goggles under a face shield.
-      Wear goggles when working with power saws or trimmers.
-      Turn off power tools when near an unprotected bystander, especially when young children approach.  Bystanders and helpers need eye protection when around tools that are in use.
-      Wear goggles to protect your eyes from fertilizers, pesticides, and other yard chemicals, including lime dust.
-      If you get a chemical in your eye, be sure to flush it thoroughly for at least 15 minutes and visit a healthcare provider as necessary. Try to avoid flushing the chemical into the unaffected eye.

In addition, household chemicals, including bleach or other cleaners, cause 125,000 eye injuries every year. Eye protection should be worn when using any chemical, and wash hands thoroughly before touching the eyes or face. 

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns about safety. 

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

Back to School Safety | August 2021

As summer draws to a close and children start heading back to school, family life can get very busy.  It is important to remember to share with your children, some key tips that will help keep them safe throughout the school year. 

Lunch Box SafetyTips for Traveling to and from School
Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school:

Walkers:
Review your family’s walking safety rules and practice walking to school with your child.
-       Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available; when on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
-       Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming.
-       Make eye contact with drivers before crossing and always cross streets at crosswalks or intersections.
-       Stay alert and avoid distracted walking.

Bike Riders:
Teach your child the rules of the road and practice riding the bike route to school with your child.
-       Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in a single file.
-       Come to a complete stop before crossing the street; walk bikes across the street.
-       Stay alert and avoid distracted riding.
-       Make sure your child always wears a properly fitted helmet and bright clothing.

Bus Riders:
Teach your children school bus safety rules and practice with them.
-       Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
-       Teach your children to stand 6 feet (or three giant steps) away from the curb.
-       If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, teach him or her to walk on the side of the road until they are 10 feet ahead of the bus; your child and bus driver should always be able to see each other.

Driving Your Child to School:
Stay alert for children, avoid distracted driving and watch for bus loading and unloading zones.
-       Obey school zone speed limits and follow your school’s drop-off and pick-up procedures.
-       Make eye contact with children who are crossing the street.
-       Never pass a school bus loading or unloading children.
-       The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.

Teen Drivers:
Car accidents are the number 1 cause of death for teens. Fortunately, there are some things we can do.
-       Teen car accidents usually occur because they are inexperienced; practice with new drivers every week, before and after they get their license.
-       Set a good example; drive the way you want your teen to drive.
-       Sign a new driver joint agreement that helps define expectations for parents and teens. 

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns about safety. 

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

Fireworks Safety | July 2021

Summer is a great time for outdoor activities and is well known for tasty barbecues, festive parades and beautiful firework shows. The NationalSafety Council encourages everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals. The use of fireworks at home poses significant hazards to life and property, and SAFETY must be top priority. 

In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to seek medical treatment, after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under the age of 20. Most of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives. There were an estimated 1200 injuries due to less powerful devices, like small firecrackers and sparklers. 

Additionally, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires. 

If you choose to buy legal fireworks and use them at home, please remember the following safety tips: 

- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
- NEVER hold lighted fireworks in your hands.- Never light them indoors.
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable/combustible materials.
- NEVER point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
- Never ignite devices in a container.
- DO NOT try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours BEFORE discarding.
- Keep a bucket of water or a charged water hose nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that do not go off, or in case of fire.
- Never use illegal fireworks.- Have a flashlight or other lighting available to help those who ignite fireworks.
- Be alert for falling ambers that can ignite dry grass, brush or structures. 

Sparklers Are Dangerous: Sparklers burn at about 2000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire ProtectionAssociation, sparklers alone accounted for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For Children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries. Keep a bucket of water nearby to dispose of used sparklers. 

We hope you enjoy all the festivities of summer by staying safe and helping reduce firework related injuries and deaths. 

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns about safety.

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

Heat Stress Awareness | June 2021

The National SafetyCouncil has set aside the month of June as National Safety Month.  Summer is a great time and is the most active vacation period of the year.  The sun is shining, and we are outdoors having a good time with family and friends.  Please remember to be aware of summer heat, and how to best avoid heat related injuries and emergencies. There are three heat stress conditions we need to know how to prevent, what to look for, and what actions to take. 

Heat Cramps
This condition can occur after just a few hours of physical exertion in the heat.  Our body is reminding us that we need more water to maintain physical activities.  We should hydrate! 
Prevention:  
- Try to acclimate to the environment gradually, so your body adapts to the heat.                      
-  Hydrate with water or sports drink before and during exercise.                      
-  Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day.                      
-  Wear light, loose clothing and use sunscreen.
Symptoms:  
- Painful muscle spasms usually in the legs or abdomen.
Treatment:  
- Get out of the heat and into the shade.                      
- Hydrate with water or sports drink.                      
- Stretch or massage the muscle. 

Heat Exhaustion
This condition can occur as we sweat, and dehydration begins.  We need to hydrate!  
Prevention:
- Same as heat cramp prevention.
Symptoms:
- Headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and cool, clammy skin.
Treatment:  
- Stop and rest.                      
- Hydrate and get into a cool room or shade.                      
- Loosen clothing and apply cool wet towels or pour cool water over the head. 

Heat Stroke
This is a serious condition when the body’s cooling system stops working and our core temperature rises to dangerous levels. If ignored, heat stroke can lead to death.  We must hydrate and cool our body core temperature quickly! 
Prevention:
- Same procedures as heat cramps and heat exhaustion.
Symptoms:  

- Red, hot and dry skin.                      
- Rapid, but weak pulse.                      
- Rapid, but shallow breathing.                      
- Confusion, faintness, staggering, hallucinations.                      
- Unusual agitation or coma.
Treatment:  

- Phone 911and seek medical attention immediately.                      
- Remove unnecessary clothing.                      
- Apply water, cool air, or icepacks on the neck, groin and armpits to accelerate cooling.                      
- Reduce body temperature by cooling the body as quickly as possible. 

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer.  Please remember to take care of yourself and others from the danger of heat related injuries and emergencies. Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns about safety. 

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

Water Safety Month in Oklahoma | May 2021

Things to Know About Water Safety

Ensure every member of your family learns to swim so they at least achieve skills of water competency: able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance then get out of the water safely. Employ layers of protection including barriers to prevent access to water, life jackets, and close supervision of children to prevent drowning. Know what to do in a water emergency – including how to help someone in trouble in the water safely, call for emergency help and CPR.

Why is Water Safety So Important?

It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in home pools and hot tubs, at the beach or in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams, bathtubs and even buckets.

Water Smarts
-
Know your limitations, including physical fitness and any pre-existing medical conditions.
- Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present.
- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size and the water activity.  Always wear a life jacket while boating, regardless of the swimming skill.
- Swim sober.
- Know how to call for help.
- Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in river.  Be aware of swift currents, ocean rip currents, water temperature, shallow or unclear water and underwater hazards such as vegetation and animals.

Swimming Skills
-
Know how to enter water that is over your head, then return to the surface.
- Be able to float or tread water for at least 1 minute.
- Be capable of swimming at least 25 yards.
- Know how to safely and rapidly exit the water.

Helping Others
- Pay close attention to children or weak swimmers you are supervising in or near water.
- Know the signs that someone is drowning.
- Know ways to safely assist a drowning person, such as“reach or throw, don’t go.”

How to Swim Safely in Rivers and Other Natural Environments
- Watch for unexpected changes in air or water temperature.
- Be weather aware: thunder, lightning and high winds.
- Recognize fast-moving currents, waves and rapids, even in shallow water.
- Avoid swimming near dams, underwater obstacles, rocks, brush and boaters.
- Be aware of drop-offs that can unexpectedly change water depth.

Please do your part to help eliminate preventable drownings through situational awareness, proper use of water safety equipment and knowing how to respond to water emergencies.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns about safety.

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

Spring Forward and Review Your Safety Checklists | April 2021

We recently moved our clocks ahead, and now it’s time to spring forward and review our home safety checklists.

Smoke Alarms: Three out of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Test your smoke alarms every month and replace the battery at least once a year. If the alarm makes a “chirping” sound, replace the battery immediately.

Smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and in the common areas on each floor of a home. Mount them at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms, no closer than 4 inches from the ceiling and away from windows, doors and ducts.

Smoke alarms can be interconnected wirelessly. That means, when on sounds, they all sound. Be sure to purchase smoke alarms with the label of a reputable testing agency, like Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Anything that burns fuel can potentially become a source of carbon monoxide, an invisible, odorless gas that can kill. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each bedroom and on every level of the home. The safety tips for CO detectors mirror those of smoke alarms; change the batteries, test them and interconnect them, if possible. Also, make sure vents for your gas appliances (fireplace, dryer, stove and furnace) are free and clear of snow and debris.

Family Emergency Plan: The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends every family have an emergency plan in place in the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event. Spring is a great time to review that plan with family members. Have a home and car emergency kit.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says an emergency kit should include one gallon of water per day for each person, at least a three-day supply of food, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, filter mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, and medicines. The emergency plan also should include:

- A communications plan to outline how your family members will contact one another and where to meet if it’s safe to go outside
- A shelter-in-place plan if outside air is contaminated; FEMA recommends sealing windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting.
- A getaway plan including various routes and destinations in different directions
- Make sure your first aid kit is updated

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

National Ladder Safety Month | March 2021

FROM STEP STOOLS TO EXTENSION LADDERS, MAKE SURE YOU’RE PUTTING THE RIGHT FOOT FORWARD.  

Every year, thousands of people suffer disabling injuries and over 300 people die in ladder-related accidents.  Designed to decrease these numbers and raise awareness of ladder safety, the American Ladder Institute(ALI) and its partners celebrate National Ladder Safety Month each March.  Mark your calendars to March 2021 and contribute to the growing reach and impact of this important movement. 

What is National Ladder Safety Month?National Ladder SafetyMonth is the only initiative dedicated exclusively to the promotion of ladder safety, at home and at work.  DuringMarch 2021, National Ladder Safety Month will bring heightened awareness to the importance of the safe use of ladders through resources like increased training, national dialogue, heightened awareness and more. 

The goals of National Ladder Safety Month:
- Decrease number of injuries and fatalities caused by the misuse of ladders
- Increase ladder safety training, demonstrated by an increased number of module views onladdersafetytraining.org and certificates issued by ALI
- Lower the rankings of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s yearly “Top 10 CitationsList”
- Increase the number of ladder inspector trainings
- Increase the number of companies and individuals that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders
- Spread overall awareness about ladder safety best practices, at work and in the home 

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu

National Burn Awareness Week | February 2021

National Burn Awareness Week during the first full week of February launches a campaign to protect against lasting and painful harm.

Each year in the United States approximately 400,000 people seek medical care for burns injuries. Most burn-related injuries are preventable.

While most burn injuries occur at home, approximately 10% take place in the workplace. And fire or open flame isn’t always the cause of the burn injury either. A large portion of cooking burns happen when a person comes in contact with a hot object or liquid instead.

Types of Burns

Thermal burns – The most common type of burn seen is caused by hot objects, fire, hot liquids, and steam. These include heating appliances, cooking, boiling water and fireplaces.

Cold burns – Also known as frostbite, these burns occur when the skin is exposed to frigid temperatures for a period of time or by direct contact to something very cold.

Friction burns – Rubbing our skin against a hard object can burn it. Sports injuries often cause minor friction burns from sliding across a floor. An example of more serious friction burns include those involving outdoor recreation and working around machinery.

Electrical burns – These burn injuries occur when a person comes in contact with an electrical current. The types of burns can range from minor to life threatening.

Radiation burns – These burns occur from sun exposure as well as X-rays or cancer treatment.

Chemical burns – When acids, solvents, detergents or other chemicals come in contact with our skin they can cause burns. It is critical know how to appropriately decontaminate chemicals that contact our skin and to be able to adequately flush our eyes in case of contact. If you experience a chemical exposure emergency, please call 911 or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.It’s important to take steps to prevent burns. For each type of burn, we can take steps to protect ourselves and others from injury.

Preventive Actions We Can Take

- Use open flame properly and keeping children away.
- Avoid loose fitting clothing while cooking and around heating devices.
- Provide adequate space around space heaters.
- Test hot liquids and keep them away from the edges of counters.
- Don’t cook while holding a child.
- Wear protective gear when handling chemicals.
- Wear appropriate gear for sports like helmets, elbow and knee protection.
- Follow work safety guidelines when using equipment.
- Wear clothing appropriate for the weather and take shelter when storms approach.
- Don’t use electrical appliances near water.

Please feel free to contact me anytime, if you have questions or concerns about safety.

Respectfully,
Michael Tuley
Business and Industry Safety Coordinator
(580) 310-2226 or mtuley@pontotoctech.edu