The Rapp Sheet

by Craig Rapp in Safety Matters

Each year the National Safety Council designates certain months to focus our safety efforts. April and June are two such months.

April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. This year marked the 10th anniversary of this important safety month. We still lose roughly 90 Americans to auto accidents and injure about 700 in distracted driving crashes every day in the United States.

We all have loved ones, friends and/or co-workers who have been affected by loss from a vehicle accident. Severe weather, like icy conditions or fog, is one thing, but a distracted driving accident is something altogether different. Why? Because it is avoidable, every time.

June also has a moniker: National Safety Month. It is time to use NSC resources to promote the safety and health of your employees and/or customers for an entire month. Last year, the NSC sought to focus the month on 1) Hazard Recognition, 2) Slips, Trips, Falls, 3) Fatigue and 4) Impairment.

June 2020 looks a bit different.

June 1-7 is Emergency Preparedness week. Recently I wrote an article on the importance of knowing CPR. Well, the first week of June stresses that in particular. A quick read of the OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.151 will tell you there is not a designated amount of people who must be trained.

The regulation: “1910.151(a) The employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health. 1910.151(b) In the absence of an infirmary, clinic or hospital in near proximity to the workplace, which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available.”

No clear guideline is in place, so you will have to evaluate your facilities and employee distribution to determine who needs training.

The week of June 8-14 is set aside for Driving Safety. As I stated earlier, April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month. However, driving is a serious enough concern that it also gets a spot in June.

One bright spot you probably will not hear on the nightly news is the NSC’s estimates that motor vehicle deaths dropped 2% in 2019. They also dropped 2% in 2018 and 4% in 2017. That is all great news. According to the NSC, fatalities are estimated to have dropped more than 13% since 2018 in the District of Columbia (-21%) and in six states: Alaska (-16%), Connecticut (-14%), Nevada (-14%), New Hampshire (-30%), South Dakota (-21%) and Vermont (-31%). If you are from one of these places, you have my personal kudos.

Continue to encourage your employees to wear their seat belts, drive sober, put down their cell phones and avoid fatigue driving.

The week of June 15-21 covers ergonomics. Ergonomics is a term not many have heard for a while. It means the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment. According to the NSC, poor ergonomics can lead to overexertion, the leading cause of preventable workplace injury. Listening to your body and properly setting up your workstation can reduce your chance of injury. Employers are encouraged to observe and review their employees’ working conditions and make necessary adjustments. Fit the job to the human, not the human to the job.

June 22-30 is the week to encourage Employee Engagement. Complacency kills, and complacent employees may be unaware of the hazards around them. Getting employees engaged can improve an organization’s safety culture and performance. Safety Committees are a great place to start. An engaged employee will quickly see the need for safe work practices once they learn how accidents affect insurance rates and OSHA recording. If you do not have a committee in place or you are interested in starting one, give us a call and we will help you out.

Each year companies are encouraged to share downloadable materials with employees, to create blog posts and distribute newsletters with information pertaining to this special month. The NSC will have plenty of material for June starting in May for you to use. I encourage you to visit nsc.org frequently to find the materials.

Telcom Insurance Group sends out this material as well, usually in our monthly risk management material. If there is anything you need or if you have any questions, please call, text or email me or any of our staff.

Craig Rapp: 903-424-7453 or csr@telcominsgrp.com