Vol 9, No. 8, November 2008
THOUGHTS & QUOTES
for marathon man!
It is November 4th as I put
together this issue of SN&N. It was November 4th, 2002, that
my son Philip was diagnosed with testicular cancer. We have recently
updated the Philips
Story page with pictures from his current hobby
of training for and competing in a marathon. On October 19th,
he ran in his first full marathon and completed it in just over
4 ½ hours. He wasnt necessarily competing so much
with others as he was with himself to be able to say that he
did it! His cancer ordeal was certainly a marathon of a different
sort. He is happy to be able to say that he ran that marathon
successfully and is a cancer survivor. Wishing you a happy, healthy,
and safe Thanksgiving.
Just a reminder to get those
young guys to read Philips
Story and check out the TC information pages highlighted
Updates from October SN&N
Spanish Back Strain & Other Safety Topics (Posters/Novellas)
The New York Center for Agricultural
Medicine and Health offers a series
of safety publications in helpful new formats -- posters,
pocket cards, and photonovellas (similar to a comic book format).
Many of the topics in the series are offered in English, Spanish,
and Creole. All the topics are accessible from the main topic
page, except back safety.
- Back Strain (novella and pocket card)
- Footware Safety
- Hearing Safety
- Heat and Sun Safety
- Ladder Safety
- Lyme Disease
- Mechanical Hazards
- Personal Hygiene
- Poison Ivy Safety
- Processing Line Safety
- Safe Lifting and Carrying
- Safety Glasses
- Sharp Tool Safety
- Tractor Safety
- West Nile Virus Safety
Thanksgiving Biggest Day for Plumber Calls
day after Thanksgiving is the number-one day for calls to plumbers,
and Christmas isn't far behind. It makes perfect sense: too many
cooks in unfamiliar kitchens; too many cooks wondering how many
potato peelings can go into the disposer; too many cooks thinking
that it is OK to pour lots of turkey grease down the drain; too
many guests using too many facilities; too many kids finding
it fascinating to flush their action toys! Here
are some holiday pointers to keep in mind to avoid clogs, cold
showers, and mega-plumber charge$!
During the Holidays
A trip to the emergency room
can put a damper on any holiday, and one of the top reasons people
make this trip is because of fall-related injuries. Standing
on a chair to get those last minute decorations in place before
the relatives arrive? Using a ladder for the first time in a
year to hang lights from the eaves? The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention have estimated that between
2000 and 2003 over 17,000 people were treated in emergency
departments as a direct result of holiday decorating and similar
activities. Half of all these injuries involved falling from
a ladder or a ladder subsitute, and these incidents resulted
in a significant number of fractures, puncture wounds, or strains.
This is a good time to review
and/or demonstrate the
proper way to use ladders. Keep in mind that the ladder itself
can present hazards to inexperienced or rushed users, including,
splinters (from aging wooden ladders), pinches (watch your fingers),
bruises (watch where your going), and strains (from improper
The American Academy of Oethopedic
Surgeons offers som excellent advice:
Do not drink and decorate!
Hazards During the Holidays
What goes up must, come down!
One holiday hazard people might not think about is the danger
of falling objects. Businesses may be especially vulnerable
to incidents as they attempt to store as much merchandise as
possible for the holiday shopping season. It may not be surprising
that most of these incidents occur between October and January,
but it may be surprising that there are thousands of these incidents
These in-store incidents generally
result in injury to the head, feet, back, neck, or shoulders.
for incidents of this sort have increased with the increasingly
popularity of "retail warehouse" operations. These
operations are often housed in tall, single-story buildings that
permit "high stacking", which has become a visual trademark
of the business. Even a light object falling from these high
shelves can carry a significant force when it strikes an object
or individual below.
Customers (and workers) are
exposed to these falling object hazards when merchandise is stacked
improperly or when merchandise is removed improperly, creating
an unstable situation. Customers may be aware of the danger of
falling merchandise in a general way, but there is usually no
explicit warning that such a hazard is present. Businesses may
stock and unstock shelves without the aid of warning signs, barricades
or spotters, creating the impression that these activites are
routine and "safe", thus increasing the risk of exposure.
Injuries have occurred when merchandise was "pushed through"
by customers or workers in the next aisle.
Given the number of incidents,
merchandise has become an important specialty in the area
of premises liability law.
to the Farm or Acreage
"Over the hills and through
the woods, to grandmothers farm we go..." Even in
the Garfield Cartoon, Jon, Garfield, and Odie often go to visit
the family on the farm for the holidays.
Over the holidays one may have
family and friends visiting your farm or acreage who are not
familiar with the hazards that may be present in a rural setting
or where agricultural operations are conducted. Now may be a
good time to do a walk-around with family members to point out
situations that you are all too familiar with, but someone new
may not realize are hazards.
Develop for yourself a basic
farmstead safety checklist. Immediately you'll think of machinery,
ladders, etc., but also include animals - not just large
ones, but also family pets. And how about the wildlife who may
be lurking in the barn or machine shed? Remember new animal babies
are cute, but mom can be pretty protective. (You can use the
Guide in the Rhythm of the Season Lesson Plan.)
Vickis Visit is an interactive story that can be
used to point out things that look like giant playgrounds but
may be hazardous areas.
Your Yard or Farmstead
lists many specific safeguards that can prevent agricultural
equipment or facilities from becoming dangerous "play"
Visiting a Farm? Be Safe and Sound
Says Safety Hound is
a video that can be viewed in its entirety on NASD. It would
be good to show to kids before they go to the farm or
as a family when the kids arrive. Perhaps the video could be
viewed together with the host family. Then discuss hazards specific
to your location.
The winter months can be cold
and uncomfortable, but they also provide the opportunity for
using the fireplace, the fire pit, or for a bonfire. Any time
a fire is built, proper safety must be observed. This applies
in many situations, from the use of comfort fires and heaters
in homes to the use of heating lamps and other devices in barns.
All of these situations can bring a source of ignition close
to flammable materials, whether fabric, wood, or hay.
There are many aspects to fire
safety, depending on the heat source.
If the source
of heat is electric, check all the connections when using
the heater for the first time. Sockets, extensions, and the heaters
themselves that may not have been used in months may have deterioriated
or suffered some kind of damage. (You might have to think back
to last season when you made a mental note to replace or repair
something and never got around to it.)
If the source
is kerosene or fuel oil, make sure stores of fuel are stored
safely. Position heat sources carefully so that they will not
tip over. Protect flammable objects from direct contact with
flames. Make sure any space heated with an open flame is properly
ventilated. Check chimneys and
flues; do they need cleaning before you start using them
If the source is wood, observe
all the the precautions listed for fuel oil and also take care
of yourself. Chopping,
storing and piling wood all present hazards. Know the proper
use of chopping or cutting tools, whether it's an axe or a chain saw. Moving a
lot of wood can result in back strain, so make sure you lift
properly and pace yourself appropriately.
In every case, you should consider
fire alarms and fire
suppression equipment. Keep an extinguisher handy and know its
proper use. Always be prepared to notify authorities quickly
-- by the time you notice a fire in progress, you will only have
minutes to take effective action.
Another source of fire you
may need to consider are haybales
heaps that can generate their own internal heat and start
fires. Make sure haybales are dry and locate compost heaps away
from wooden structures or stores of flammable materials.
last heat source: candles.
During the winter months, people use candles in many settings
for their decorative effect, but improper use of candles causes
many house fires in the winter months. One rule of thumb: Think
safety first! Never sacrifice safety for decorative impact. An
indoor fire can be out of control in seconds, so make sure one
never starts. To get started with using candles safely, follow
- Never leave a burning candle
- Never place a burning candle
near something that can catch fire
- Keep burning candles out of
reach of children or pets
for Agricultural Settings:
NEWS & NOTES
is an e-mail newsletter prepared by Carol J. Lehtola, Extension
Agricultural Safety Specialist and team leader for the Prevention
and Preparedness: Agricultural Safety & Disaster Management
program. Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering,
UF/IFAS. If you have safety- or disaster-related questions or
ideas that you would like to share with other agents, please
contact Dr. Lehtola. If you know someone interested in receiving
this newsletter, we will gladly add them to the e-mail list.
Past issues of Safety News & Notes are archived on the Florida AgSafe Web site.