Backyard BBQ Safety

5/25/2012 - Posted by SSOE

If you love BBQ and are fixin’ to try your hand at grillin’ the best Q this side of Kansas City (or Memphis, the Carolinas, or Texas whatever your preference), following are a few safety items that will help keep your efforts safe and enjoyable.

Every year thousands of homes catch fire due to unsafe grilling practices and many people are injured from fires and burns from propane explosions and hot grills.

• Before using a gas grill you should always check to be sure the connections are tight and there are no leaks or plugging of the supply lines or burners.
• Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using the grill.
• Establish a 10 foot safe area and “no play” zone around the grill.
• Keep the top open when lighting a gas grill and keep open until you are sure it is lit.
• Only use starter fluid made for BBQ grills for lighting charcoal.
• Don’t add starter fluid to a charcoal grill after it is lit and burning.
• Stay near the grill while in use — never leave a hot grill unattended.
• Never bring a BBQ grill inside due to fire and carbon monoxide danger.
• Do not move a hot grill.
• When finished grilling, make sure the gas is turned off.
• Be sure the charcoal is out and the grill is cold before allowing children and pets near the grill.

Check out the following web sites for additional information:


Insect and Spider Bites

5/18/2012 - Posted by SSOE

Bees, Wasps and Yellow Jackets: Bees and wasps normally avoid human contact however, if they are disturbed or provoked, they can provide a painful sting that produces swelling, itching, hives, or even more severe reactions. If you are stung, gently remove the stinger and add ice or a cool compress. Yellow jacket stings can be more toxic because they feed on dead animals so you should have a higher awareness for an allergic reaction. Seek medical attention for any symptoms greater than minor itching and / or swelling.

Black Widow Spiders: Black Widows have a shiny black body that is about the size of a pea, have a yellow or red hour glass on their underside, and are about an inch long with legs extended. Although the venom of the black widow is more toxic than a prairie rattle snake the amount of venom injected is very small, and deaths are quite rare, occuring at rate less than 1%. In fact, no one has died in the U.S. from a black widow bite in over 10 years. Small children and the elderly are more likely to have a severe reaction to the venom. Symptoms include local and abdominal pain, headaches, rashes, sweating, nausea, and dizziness. You should seek immediate medical attention if bitten.

Brown Recluse Spiders: These spiders are light tan to dark brown in color and have the distinctive violin shaped marking on its back. Like the name suggests, the brown recluse prefers dark undisturbed places such as fire wood, rock piles, leaves, or indoors in dark closets or cluttered basements. They are normally non-aggressive, however will bite if disturbed. Brown Recluse spider bites don’t always hurt right away and you may not know that you are bitten until symptoms appear. These bites can be serious and you should seek medical attention if you experience mild to intense pain, itching or open sores.

Poison Centers across the country now have a national emergency phone number: 800.222.1222
or visit their web site: www.calpoison.org
For more information: www.desertusa.com


No Bull!

5/11/2012 - Posted by SSOE

You have all heard the expression “Like a bull in a china shop” in reference to someone being careless or clumsy. Let’s give that bull a name and call it “At Risk Behavior.” That bull called At Risk Behavior can make shambles of you and your family’s life – it can destroy your own “personal china shop.”

What is At Risk Behavior?
• Not following safety procedures or good work practices such as lockout / tagout (LOTO) – keeping guards in place, and using the right tools.

• Taking dangerous shortcuts. Don’t be complacent – eventually someone will be injured by taking safety shortcuts.

• Driving over the speed limit. Be aware that the probability of death and debilitating injuries will double for every speed increase of 10 miles per hour (MPH) over 50 mph.

• Texting and talking on the cell phone while driving. Your attention level and reaction times are very similar to those driving while intoxicated.

• Any activity where you choose not to eliminate or reduce risk to a safe level.

How do we “cut the bull” to eliminate At Risk Behavior?

• Develop Safety Awareness – Always conduct a safety evaluation of the activity and make a safe plan of action to eliminate potential hazards. Educate yourself about any areas you are unsure of. Ask questions.

• Teach Safety Awareness – Everyone is an expert in the operation of some machine or with performing some activity and you should never pass up the opportunity to pass along your knowledge, experience and insight to others. Teaching is the best way to increase your own Safety Awareness. Lead by example!

• Take Safety Home – You are 11 times more likely to be killed and 3 times more likely to be injured during off-the-job activities, so practice and teach on-the-job safety at home and away from work too.

• Don’t Rush — Always take a few minutes to analyze each activity, and then eliminate any potential hazards.

• Avoid Fatigue — Stay well rested so that you can keep your eyes and mind on the task at hand. Avoid operating equipment or driving when you are tired.

Every time there is At Risk Behavior, there is a potential for injury. Your safety is in your hands and that’s “NO BULL!”


Are YOU a Safety Champion?

5/4/2012 - Posted by SSOE

Being a Safety Champion is everyone’s responsibility! Each person is responsible to make hundreds of decisions necessary to function every day, and to acquire the knowledge to make the safest choices possible. By doing so, each one of us can become a Safety Champion.

• Put one foot in front of the other without falling down.
• Use the correct tools for the job and correct PPE.
• Do not use broken or damaged tools.
• Understand the safety guidelines for all tools and equipment.
• Operate equipment in a safe manner.
• Pay attention to and follow all safety signs and warnings.
• Do not lift more than you can physically and safely handle.
• Position your body in low risk ergonomic positions.
• Don’t put your hands where you can’t see them or near a hazard.
• Successfully complete safety training.
• Get adequate sleep / food / water.
• Know how to do your job injury free.
• Know what you control, and control it.
• Anticipate problems and fix them before they happen.
• Understand your contribution to the overall performance of the job / project.

Each individual must accept responsibility for their actions and know how to safely control what is in their environment. A Safety Champion must create and maintain an operating vision, show the way, set and hold priorities, create and maintain accountability, and lead by example.