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

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