National Safety Month is an annual month-long observance in the United States in the month of June. This month serves to bring awareness to individuals and organizations to make an effort to reduce the leading causes of unintentional injury and death at work, on the road, and in homes and communities. The National Safety Council focuses on three areas where we can be safe: home, work, and on the road.
The number one cause of unintentional death at home is poisoning. The leading cause of poisoning is drug overdoses; other causes include accidental drug or chemical ingestion and exposure to environmental substances. Be sure to keep prescription medicine and other over the counter drugs out of reach of children. Other sources of poisoning are household products like laundry detergent, household cleaning products, and pesticides. Be sure to keep these items out of reach of children or even in a locked cabinet. Place a carbon monoxide detector in your home to alert you to possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to keep the National Poison Control Center number, (800) 222-1222, in your cell phone contacts. You can also download a free app from The American Red Cross for on the go first aid information.
We know that employers who show they care about the safety of their employees see increased productivity, lower costs, and, most importantly, fewer injuries. Safety standards for the health and wellbeing of employees are a priority. Here at the library, we have implemented several safety measures to ensure our employees are safe at work. LPCPL instituted a self-assessment screening for COVID-19 symptoms, enhanced cleaning schedules, compliance with social distancing, and frequent hand washing or hand sanitizing. You will also see our staff wearing a mask to protect us and protect you. Our customer service desks have a plexiglass shield for an additional layer of protection. Finally, we are keeping materials quarantined after they are returned to help ensure the prevention of COVID-19. For companies looking to expand or improve on their safety standards, the National Safety Council has additional resources found here to help.
National Safety Month also highlights how we can be safe on the road. The three biggest causes of fatalities on the road are alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving. All of these are preventable. Designate a driver when you are going to be consuming alcohol. Slow down and follow the posted speed limit. Distracted driving is mostly caused by cell phone use, put down the phone, or use a hands-free device when you need to use the phone while driving. Indiana law, effective on July 1, prohibits motorists from holding or using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle unless they use hands-free technology such as Bluetooth or a cradle, or need to call 911 in an emergency situation. Keep yourself and those around you safe and just drive.
Finally, as we come into the summer months, special attention is drawn to children left in hot cars. In 2018, 54 children died as a result of being left in a hot car, the deadliest year on record. Three primary circumstances resulting in deaths of children in hot cars are: a caregiver forgetting a child in a vehicle, the child gaining access to the vehicle, someone knowingly leaving a child in the vehicle. The National Safety Council advises parents and caregivers to stick to a routine and avoid distractions to reduce the risk of forgetting a child. Look before you lock — place a purse, briefcase, or even a left shoe in the back seat to force you to take one last look before walking away. Keep car doors locked so children cannot gain access, and teach them that cars are not play areas. There is no safe time to leave a child in a vehicle, even if you are just running a quick errand.
Please visit https://www.nsc.org/home for more information on how you can be safer in your home, workplace, and on the road.