Safety Starts with You

97% of all accidents are preventable.  

The first step in safety is choosing to be safe.  Safety is not only important at work but also at home, in the car or anywhere you might be.

At Work

  • Wearing your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Hearing and eye protection, high visibility vest/shirt, gloves, apron, steel or composite boots
  • If you see something that you feel is unsafe do you let your supervisor know?
  • Do you know how to lift properly?
  • Practice good housekeeping.
  • Follow all safety procedures.
  • Do you make sure you have the right tools and equipment and that they are in good working order?
  • Do you insure that your equipment is guarded properly?
  • Organize your work area so you do not overexert yourself.
  • Dress and hydrate appropriately based on the heat and cold conditions?
  • Do you make sure you are properly trained to do your job and use your equipment?
  • Do you always watch for fork lift traffic and give them the right of way.  If you drive a fork lift do you always watch for foot traffic and give them the right of way.
  • Fire safety.  Do you keep your area free of wood shavings and dust? Do you know where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it?
  • Do you fully engage in morning stretches and re-stretch after breaks?
  • Electrical cords.  Do you make sure cords are not frayed or wire open to the elements or water.  Do you insure that your equipment is direct wired?
  • Lock Out/Tag Out.  Do you know how to use Lock Out/Tag Out and insure that your equipment is locked out when repairing?

At Home

  • Is your home equipped with smoke alarms, carbon dioxide alarms, and fire extinguishers?  Ground fault circuit interrupters on electrical outlets in the bathroom and basement?
  • Do you protect your family from falls which is the leading cause of accidents in the home?  Think about ladders, tubs and shower, stairs and decks.  Are there sturdy railings on all stairways, even in the basement and outdoors?  Is there a non-slip surface on the floor of the shower and bathtub?
  • Security.  Do you have deadbolts on your doors?  Is lighting adequate in all traffic areas, including sidewalks, entrance areas, basements and stairways?
  • Are chimneys for wood burning stoves and fireplaces cleaned yearly?
  • Are any flammable liquids such as gasoline and paint thinner stored in approved covered containers, in well ventilated areas? Are they kept far away from sources of ignition, such as cigarettes and pilot lights?
  • Close drawers and cabinet doors immediately after use to prevent tripping accidents and head injuries.
  • Turn handles of pots and pans always toward the center of the stove, not the edge of the stove where they can be reached by children or accidentally contacted by someone passing by.
  • Mark glass doors at eye level to prevent someone from accidentally walking into them.
  • Is the house safe for children, even if they only visit occasionally? Are all medicines and cleaning materials stored well out of reach of children? Are stairways barricaded so youngsters cannot fall down them? Are electrical outlets covered by child-proof plugs?
  • Post emergency numbers at each telephone or on the refrigerator. Is the house address and telephone number posted there as well?
  • Do you hold regular family fire drills? Does each member of the family know how to escape from his or her bedroom and where to meet outside?
  • Do you insure small children are not left unattended around open pools or garden ponds?
  • Protect your family from mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Roll up garden hoses properly after use so they don’t become tripping hazards.
  • Do you wear PPE (gloves, ear plugs, steel toe boots, safety glasses etc.) when using lawn mowers, chain saws or other lawn equipment and make sure your equipment is in good repair?
  • When using chain saws, avoid making cuts while standing on a ladder: leave the aerial acrobatics to the professionals.  Be aware of your center of gravity: don’t overreach.  Shut off the engine prior to removing branches stuck in the teeth of your machine.  With chainsaws, always be conscious of the possibility of kick back.  Never cut towards you or your body.

In the Car

  • Keep 100% of your attention on driving at all times – no multi-tasking. Don’t use your phone or any other electronic device while driving. 
  • Slow down. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident. 
  • Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing, and expect the unexpected. Assume other motorists will do something crazy, and always be prepared to avoid it. Keep a 2-second cushion between you and the car in front of you.  Make that 4 seconds if the weather is bad. Discipline yourself to look not only at the car in front of you but the car in front of them as well.  When you see brake lights ahead of the car in front of you start breaking as well.

Plan ahead – Build time into your trip schedule to stop for food, rest breaks, phone calls or other business. Adjust your seat, mirrors and climate controls before putting the car in gear.  Pull over to eat or drink. It takes only a few minutes.

Practice safety – Secure cargo that may move around while the vehicle is in motion. Don’t attempt to retrieve items that fall to the floor. Have items needed within easy reach – such as toll fees, toll cards and garage passes. Always wear your seat belt and drive sober and drug-free.

Don’t allow children to fight or climb around in your car – they should be buckled in their seats at all times. Too much noise can easily distract you from focus on the road. 

Avoid driving when you’re tired. Be aware that some medications cause drowsiness and make operating a vehicle very dangerous.

Always use your turn signal and use caution when changing lanes. Cutting in front of someone, changing lanes too fast or not using your signals may cause an accident or upset other drivers.

Be extra careful while driving during deer season.

Fuad Hasanovic

Fuad is the Brand Management Specialist at Kamps. He is experienced in Thought Leadership Marketing and Blogging, and holds an MBA from Davenport University.


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