Skiing and Snowboarding Safety Tips

Fresh snow in the mountains, fun on the slopes and feeling the powder beneath your skis. This weekend begins National Ski safety week Jan 14-21, 2012. Hitting the slopes or headed to the mountains and enjoy the snow sounds great as the 2012 winter sports season gets into full swing. It is wonderful as long as we can enjoy it safely.

STATISTICS ON SKIING/SNOWBOARDING

Fatalities – According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA): During the past 10 years, about 40.6 people have died skiing/snowboarding per year on average. During the 2010/2011 season, 35 fatalities occurred out of the 59.8 million skier/snowboarder days reported for the season. Twenty-two of the fatalities were skiers (12 male, 10 female) and 13 of the fatalities were snowboarders, (11 male, 2 female). Among the fatalities, 19 of those involved were reported as wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. The rate of fatality converts to .64 per million skier/snowboarder visits.

Serious Injuries – Serious injuries (paralysis, serious head, and other serious injuries) occur at the rate of about 43 per year, according to the NSAA. In the 2010/11 season, there were 39 serious injuries. Sixteen of these serious injuries were skiers (11 male, 5 female) and 23 were snowboarders, (16 male, 7 female). Among the serious injuries, 18 of those involved were reported as wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. The rate of serious injury in 2010/2011 was .65 per million skier/snowboarder visits.

Below skiing/snowboarding fatalities per million are presented based on “visits,” referred to as days of participation, and by participants. NOTE: The following is based on the most recently available data.

Skiing/snowboarding
2010/2011 number of fatalities* 35
2010 number of ski/snowboard participants (in millions)** 10.0
Fatalities per million participants 3.8
Days of participation (in millions)* 59.8
Fatalities per days of participation rate (per million) .64

NOTE: A skier/snowboarder visit represents one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night and includes full-day, half-day, night, complimentary, adult, child, season and any other ticket types that gives one the use of an area’s facility.

Here are a few helpful tips to make your next trip to the slopes a safer skiing or snowboarding adventure:

Tips for Prior to Hitting the Slopes

  • Get in shape. Don’t try to ski yourself into shape. You’ll enjoy skiing more if you’re physically fit.
  • Obtain proper equipment. Be sure to have your ski or snowboard bindings adjusted correctly at a local ski shop. You can rent good ski or snowboarding equipment at resorts.

  • When buying skiwear, look for fabric that is water and wind-resistant. Look for wind flaps to shield zippers, snug cuffs at wrists and ankles, collars that can be snuggled up to the chin and drawstrings that can be adjusted for comfort and keep wind out. Be sure to buy quality clothing and products.
  • Dress in layers. Layering allows you to accommodate your body’s constantly changing temperature. For example, dress in polypropylene underwear (top and bottoms), which feels good next to the skin, dries quickly, absorbs sweat and keeps you warm. Wear a turtleneck, sweater and jacket.
  • Be prepared. Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Bring a headband or hat with you to the slopes, 60 percent of heat-loss is through the head. Wear gloves or mittens (mittens are usually better for those susceptible to cold hands).
  • Wear sun protection. The sun reflects off the snow and is stronger than you think, even on cloudy days!
  • Always wear eye protection. Have sunglasses and goggles with you. Skiing and snowboarding are a lot more fun when you can see.

Tips for while on the Slopes

  • Take a lesson. Like anything, you’ll improve the most when you receive some guidance. The best way to become a good skier or snowboarder is to take a lesson from a qualified instructor.
  • The key to successful skiing/snowboarding is control. To have it, you must be aware of your technique, the terrain and the skiers/snowboarders around you. Be aware of the snow conditions and how they can change. As conditions turn firm, the skiing gets hard and fast. Begin a run slowly.
  • Skiing and snowboarding require a mental and physical presence.
  • If you find yourself on a slope that exceeds your ability level, always leave your skis/snowboard on and side step down the slope.
  • The all-important warm-up run prepares you mentally and physically for the day ahead.
  • Drink plenty of water. Be careful not to become dehydrated. Even at 8,000′ or above base elevation, the climate is extremely dry, so it is easy to dehydrate. Staying hydrated (which includes consuming less alcohol than at sea level) also helps you avoid altitude sickness
  • Curb alcohol consumption. Skiing and snowboarding do not mix well with alcohol or drugs.
  • Know your limits. Learn to ski and snowboard smoothly—and in control. Stop before you become fatigued and, most of all have fun.
  • If you’re tired, stop skiing. In this day and age of multi-passenger gondolas and high-speed chairlifts, you can get a lot more time on the slopes compared to the days of the past when guests were limited to fixed grip chairlifts.
  • Never Ski or snowboard alone.
  • Know the signs and obey the warnings

  • If you are involved in or witness a collision or accident you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to the Ski Patrol.
  • When using Ski lifts, learn how to get on and off safely.  Never push to get on.  Consider asking the attendant to reduce the speed of the lift if getting on and off with little children.  Always lower the bar on chair lifts.
  • Avoid scarves, loose clothing and tie up long hair that can get caught in ski lifts.
  • Follow the “Your Responsibility Code,” the seven safety rules of the slopes: (See the code at the end of the alert)

Respect your limits.

Do not ski trails that are above your skill level. Trails will be clearly marked (Green Circle, Blue Square, and Black Diamond)as to what level skier they are appropriate for. On a similar note, stay in control of your skis and focus on the trail you are skiing. Accidents happen more readily when we are distracted. This is what the symbols look like and mean:

 the easiest trails at a particular resort  
trails that are more difficult
 Trails that are the most difficult

If you are on rustic trails, the signs may look like this:

As you progress, you will find it very helpful to have five or six levels instead of just three. Telluride, Colorado, for instance, uses single and double markings to show six degrees of difficulty, like this:

 

easiest

 

easy

 

more difficult

 

still more difficult

 

most difficult

 

extremely difficult

Lastly, you will start to see a new trail designation on maps and signs, an orange oval. This marking will be used for snowboarding half pipes and snowboard freestyle terrain parks. It looks like this:

 

freestyle terrain park

Tree Well and Deep Snow Safety

  • Skiing and snowboarding off the groomed runs and in deep powder is one of the most exciting and appealing parts of the sport. However, if you decide to leave the groomed trails you are voluntarily accepting the risk of a deep snow immersion accident. A deep snow or tree well immersion accident occurs when a skier or rider falls into an area of deep unconsolidated snow and becomes immobilized and suffocates. Deaths resulting from these kinds of accidents are referred to as a NARSID or Non-Avalanche Related Snow Immersion Death.
  • The good news is that NARSID risk, can be managed successfully. The website www.treewelldeepsnowsafety.com is intended to assist all skiers and riders in learning about the risks and prevention of deep snow immersion accidents.

Lids on Kids

  • With the increasing popularity of helmets during the past few years many parents are considering a helmet for their child. The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), together with the help of many others in the ski industry, has developed this site to help educate parents about putting helmets on their children while they’re on the slopes.
  • NSAA, the trade association for ski areas across the country, recommends that parents, skiers and snowboarders make the right choice about wearing a helmet. It’s up to you to educate yourself about their benefits and limitations. Ultimately, the choice of whether to wear a helmet is one of personal or parental choice.
  • Visit www.lidsonkids.org

Finally, The Safety Tips You Should NEVER DO. . .

  • ski on a slope that exceeds your level of skill and experience
  • drop things from the chair-lift on to the skiers below
  • stop to pose for photographs in the middle of a ski run
  • carry your skis in a dangerous manner whereby you could injure others
  • try to adjust your boot straps while in a crowded cable car
  • disobey the safety notice for the drag and chair lifts
  • make fun of foreign skiers, hoping that they will not understand you
  • ski when feeling tired or after drinking too much alcohol
  • block or wait for friends at the exit of a drag or chair lift
  • push in front of others to join your friends on the chair lift
  • swing your ski poles in a dangerous manner while skiing
  • disobey warnings or signs on the mountain

Get to know the Skier Safety Act: Skiing Responsibility Code

Skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross country and other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

  1. Always stay in control.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way.
  3. Stop in a safe place for you and others.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
  5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
  7. Know how to use the lifts safely.

Be safety conscious and
KNOW THE CODE. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Information provided by National Ski Assoc. of America, Snow link, National Safety Council, treewelldeepsnowsafety.com and Lidsonkids.Org

Today’s blog post is courtesy of Ken Oswald
Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com


The L & I “Stay at Work” Program

A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries quietly launched it “stay at work” program which pays employers who help injured employees stay on the job by giving them lighter duties or reassigning them temporarily until they are able to return to their regular duties.

The programs official launch was on January 10, but you can make a claim for any worker who falls in this category effective as of June 15th, 2011. Employers can get reimbursed up to half of the base wage paid to the injured worker with a maximum of $10,000 per claim.

According to the WA L & I website… “The purpose of the new incentive is to encourage more employers to return their injured workers to light-duty or transitional jobs with the doctor’s approval. This medical best practice can help the worker recover, and it also can reduce costs for the employer.”

To find out more or to file a claim, go to http://www.lni.wa.gov/main/stayatwork/

 


New OSHA White Paper “Injury and Illness Prevention Program”

Based on a proposal back in the spring of 2010, a new white paper by OSHA entitled “Injury and Illness Prevention Programs” makes a convincing case for a proactive approach to health and safety in the workplace through the identification and fixing of potential hazards before they injure employees.

The benefits, according to the white paper, include “higher productivity and quality, reduced turnover, reduced costs, and greater employee satisfaction.”

These findings are not based on conjecture but rather on some 34 states and numerous companies who’ve adopted and implemented this approach to safety in their workplace.

The approach is simple and includes:

  1. management leadership
  2. worker participation
  3. hazard identification and assessment
  4. hazard prevention and control
  5. education and training
  6. program evaluation and improvement

With the escalating cost of medical treatment, lawsuits, time off work, etc… (see chart below), any program that can help reduce the number of injuries and illnesses not only makes sense from the perspective of a company that cares about it’s employees but about the bottom line as well.

You can view and/or download the OSHA White Paper to read more on this subject and find out how to take this proactive approach for your own workplace.

 


Injuries and fatalities to headphone wearers almost triple in six years

They’re everywhere you turn, walking down the street, in the malls, in the store next to you, even in the vehicle that pulls up to you at the  light. I’m talking about headphone wearers who are listening to an mp3 player or some other portable audio device. The days of the boombox on the shoulder may be gone, much to the relief of everyone who didn’t happen to share the musical taste of whoever had the boombox but that doesn’t mean that we are listening to music less than we were.

The problem is that headphone wearers are increasingly getting injured and killed at three times the numbers than they were just six years ago.

A new study published by the University of Maryland Medical Studies, found that “There were 116 reports of death or injury of pedestrians wearing headphones. The majority of victims were male (68%) and under the age of 30 (67%). The majority of vehicles involved in the crashes were trains (55%), and 89% of cases occurred in urban counties. 74% of case reports stated that the victim was wearing headphones at the time of the crash. Many cases (29%) mentioned that a warning was sounded before the crash.”

In other words young men under the age of 30 and increasingly getting killed and seriously injured simply because they are “lost in their own little world” and don’t hear when they’re being warned of immanent danger.

Unfortunately it’s hard to believe that anything will change. That age demographic usually believes itself to be invincible. It may happen to someone else but not to me!

The sad thing is that, as we’ve discussed before on this blog, those who aren’t killed because of their audio players will end up with hearing loss because of the decibel levels that they are listening to them at.


Cold Stress and Hot Air

Got this white paper from Ergodyne. Haven’t been able to locate it on their website but I’ve uploaded it to our website and here’s the link for you to download it as a pdf.

WHITE PAPER: COLD STRESS AND HOT AIR
© 2009 Tenacious Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All Wrongs Reversed. 2 3/1/20092
When we’re young we take in a lot of tall tales—otherwise known as misinformation. One of them is the idea that cold air causes the common cold. Even though the common term for being sick (having a “cold”) comes from the belief that weather can cause illness, we’re eventually smart enough to know that these are infections caused by bacteria and viruses.
Still, cold air can present a serious threat to the body’s vital organs and systems.
The body uses a few different means to protect itself from cold, the first lines of defense being the nose, mucus system, and lungs.
The nose is built to help protect the lungs. Adding and extracting moisture and temperature, the nose adjusts the air heading to the lungs to a relative humidity of about 75% and a comfortable 98.6 degrees. When a person is exposed to cold temperatures, the tissue lining the nose swells as the capillaries open. This brings warm blood to the nose to heat the cold air. In fact, often it’s too much blood in the nose (not increased mucus) which results in nasal congestion.
The body’s next defense is mucus. The respiratory system is covered by a thin layer of this stuff – the “mucus blanket” – which acts as a filter, protecting the lungs from dangerous particles and organisms (including bacteria that can cause colds and infections). Mucus, like other substances, becomes thicker in cold temperatures. When this happens, the system might not work as effectively to remove inhaled viruses and bacteria.
Further, if cold air does reach the lungs despite nose and mucus defenses, lungs react with histamine – a natural chemical often released by the body during allergic reactions. In people with sensitive airways or asthma this causes wheezing.
On average, a human breathes 1,100 times per hour, with each breath measuring about one liter in volume. When this inhaled air is cold, the body works to heat the air to 98 degrees. This extra work represents a significant heat loss to the body that is preventable. So while catching a respiratory infection requires exposure to bacteria or organism, it still is more likely that an individual will become sick if he or she has been breathing cold air than if they were not.
There are countless other affects that cold can have on the body aside from the respiratory system. Unfortunately, the effects of cold on the body (i.e. cold stress) often go unnoticed until conditions have created a life or death situation. And while these sneak attacks can be deadly, cold stress is actually quite preventable if the proper precautions are taken.

WHAT IS COLD STRESS?
Extreme cold temperatures can affect the body in a number of ways. These include dehydration, numbness, shivering, frostbite, immersion foot (trench foot), and hypothermia. As the list shows, effects can be both local and systemic.
Shivering is the first and most common symptom. It’s also the most often ignored. When the body drops below 98.6 degrees, blood begins to flow away from extremities and towards the core. This results in the immediate cooling of exposed skin and extremities and increases the risk of cold stress, specifically hypothermia. If body temps continue to fall, dexterity decreases and speech may be slurred. At 85 degrees Fahrenheit, severe hypothermia sets in which can result in unconsciousness. And at 78 degrees or below, the body is at maximum risk for brain damage and even death if not treated immediately.

SYMPTOMS OF HEAT LOSS AND HYPOTHERMIA
According to the CDC, early signs and symptoms of heat loss include:

  • Shivering (first, most common symptom)
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion and disorientation

Late symptoms of heat loss include

  • No shivering
  • Blue skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slowed pulse and breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

If enough heat loss occurs, signs and symptoms of the resulting hypothermia include:

  • Cool skin
  • Slower, irregular breathing
  • Slower heartbeat
  • Weak pulse
  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Severe shaking
  • Rigid muscles
  • Drowsiness
  • Exhaustion
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory lapses

WHO IS AT RISK?
While workers in the construction, agriculture, maritime, and commercial fishing industries are often exposed to the most extreme risks, cold stress is not exclusive to outdoor workers.
People who work in cold storage or food processing, as well as those in facilities without heat or insulation, are also at risk. If workers do not have proper protection, the body is unable to warm itself, and, this can lead to serious cold-related illnesses, permanent tissue damage, or even death.
While risks are of course highest in colder regions, in areas where the seasons change less drastically, workers are often less prepared, and it can only take near freezing temperatures to trigger the onset of cold stress.
Individuals who are more prone to cold stress than others include those who are:

  • Not physically fit
  • Living with an underlying condition or illness (those with asthma or other respiratory ailments are particularly at risk)
  • Under the influence of alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescription)
  • Working in wet or damp conditions
  • Exposed to vibration from tools
  • Working without proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Not acclimated to the cold

NIP COLD STRESS IN THE BUD

  • Employers can help protect workers from cold stress through several means. They should Provide training
  • Control the work environment with heaters and windbreaks
  • Establish worker rotations
  • Schedule work during the warmer hours of the day and times of the year
  • Remind workers to pace themselves
  • And keep emergency supplies on hand

Equally important, workers in cold conditions should themselves take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the cold, including wearing proper PPE and being aware of cold stress warning signs.
The CDC recommends the following safety tips for employers and workers:

  • Train employees for the cold and changing weather
  • Use a buddy system
  • Adjust work schedules to the cold or changing weather
  • Eat and drink hot or warm foods and liquids
  • Layer clothing (water vapor permeability is important)
  • Wear proper PPE

THE BENEFITS OF BREATHING HOT AIR
To prevent the loss of body heat from breathing cold air, mountaineers and other extreme sport participants have used heat exchange facemasks and balaclavas for many decades. Similar to the value provided by putting warm food and liquids into the body, a heat exchanger provides warmth from the inside out. Heat exchangers capture the warmth and humidity from exhaled breath, store it temporarily, and warm and humidify inhaled air. Now, with the recent introduction of this technology to the workplace, workers have an additional opportunity to protect themselves on the job when temperatures are most extreme.
With a proper heat exchanger, condensation produced from exhaled breath stays on the mask – not on your face or your fleece – and most of it is evaporated and returned to your body. Heat exchangers also help workers maintain full lung capacity, which is especially important for individuals with underlying heart or respiratory problems. In fact, heat exchangers are so effective that workers often find that less PPE clothing is required while using one.
SUMMARY
Cold stress is just as dangerous as heat stress – but with its sneaky symptoms, it often goes undetected until it’s too late. Awareness is key. Being informed about the dangers of cold stress and the importance of breathing warm air can help save lives and keeps workers warm, comfortable, and productive.

RESOURCES
CDC

Benefits of Breathing War Air, Lee Bagby, President, QXtec, Inc
ELcosh

Talus Outdoor Technologies

PSolar Outdoor Performance Gear

Don’t Leave Safety Out in the Cold, EHS Today

State Compensation Insurance Fund

http://www.DrGreene.com


Tire Safety Awareness and Tips

Put tires at top of car safe driving list

With winter fully upon us, it’s already a little late to get our vehicles ready for the rough weather and conditions ahead. Getting this accomplished before you need it is the way to go.

Some people call this winterizing and remember about anti-freeze, wiper fluid, water-grabbing gas additives and wiper blades.

While some climates aren’t as severe during the winter, these are all good things to take care of no matter where you call home, and at the top of the list is tires.
Tires


Most of us use all-season tires, so all we need to do is check the condition, age and pressure. The condition is the hard part … tread depth, road damage and sidewall cracks are some of the easy things to miss. Damage can be hard to find, so spend some time looking closely.

Don’t tolerate sidewall cracks. Sometimes called “dry rot,” and these deterioration patterns suggest the rubber is nearing the end of its lifespan. Trying to stretch this can leave you stranded or much worse, so you should have a professional inspect them. They know from experience there’s just no way to predict failure when these cracks start appearing.

If your tires are more than 5 years old, it’s time to think about replacing them. Every tire has a “birthday” stamped on the side, and the Department of Transportation requires tire manufacturers to follow a standard marking scheme. Of course, the tire’s birthday is in code. The “magic decoder ring,” which displays a tire’s birthday, is available on the DOT website.

The “US DOT Tire Identification Number” is stamped on the sidewall near the rim. On some tires, it’s hidden on the axle side, more commonly on raised white lettered tires. You might have to scoot around under the car a bit to find it. Once you find the code, it contains the tire’s birthday. The last four-digits of the DOT number reveal the week and year the tire came out of the factory, so 2809 would be the 28th week of 2009.

Tread depth is easy to remember and all you have to do is use a penny. Turn it upside down and if you can see the top of Lincolns head, YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TREAD!

 

Pressure
The only tire pressure you need to know is the one printed on the vehicle data plate. Most of these are on the driver’s side door jam. It displays the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, as their judgment of the best compromise between traction, handling, noise, wear, etc. They tune the suspension components around this number and have carefully determined how the tread contacts the road, called the contact patch, at that pressure. Any deviation makes you the test pilot.

The factory recommended pressure is a “cold” pressure. The engineers know the pressure will rise with heat, and if you are using the same size and brand the car was born with, no worries. But if you change the tires, you need to make sure the maximum allowable pressure for that tire (also printed on the tire sidewall) gives you some headroom as the tire heats up.

The only way to know how much margin you have is to stop and take a reading on a hot day after some time at highway speeds.

 

Temperature
That temperature sensitivity (about one psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit) means you have to adjust the tire pressure as the seasons change, typically in fall and spring. Now that summer is behind us, many people are probably seeing some tire-pressure warning lights if their vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system.

If you filled your tires when it was 95 degrees outside last July, when the temps dip into the 30s, you could be almost 10 psi low. It’s best to check first thing in the morning, and in the shade. That will give you a true “cold” reading.

 

Extra pressure
With gas prices still on the rise, there’s a temptation to “add a little extra” with thoughts of decreasing rolling resistance and increasing gas mileage. The extra air consumes your margin, and causes the contact patch to change shape. It mucks with the handling, wet traction and braking effectiveness, plus it makes the center of the tires wear out faster than the edges.

 

Nitrogen
There are tons of misinformation on the claimed benefits of using nitrogen in vehicle tires. It would take pages to dispute all the rhetoric out there on this subject, so look at the big ones. First, remember that air is around 80 percent nitrogen to begin with, so we aren’t talking huge differences to start out with.

There are claims that nitrogen is a good deal because it leaks out more slowly (backed up by pointing out nitrogen’s slightly larger molecular size). A consumer magazine took on this myth and found out it’s actually true, but on the order of one or two psi a year. Since you have to adjust your tire pressure at least twice a year anyway, that difference isn’t going to save you a trip to the air pump.

spare tire serves as a backup in case your car has a flat. Vehicles typically carry a spare tire mounted on a rim, to be used in the event of flat tire or flat tire. Many spare tires for modern cars are smaller than normal tires to save on trunk space, gas mileage, weight and cost and should not be driven far before replacement with a full-size tire. Jacks and for emergency replacement of a flat tire with a spare tire are included with a new car. Hand or foot pumps for filling a tire with air are available. Cans of pressurized “gas” can be bought separately for a convenient emergency refill.

Spare Tires

Spare tires come in a variety of sizes and versions. Many cars are equipped with temporary spare tires and wheels, which are noticeably different from regular tires and wheels. Some require higher inflation pressure, or the use of a pressurized canister to inflate the tire. The only type of spare tire that can be used without such restrictions is a conventional, full-sized spare that is the same as the other tires on the vehicle.

 

The Folding Spare- must be inflated with an air canister prior to mounting.
The Compact Spare- smaller and narrower than the other wheels on the vehicle.
The Lightweight Spare- the same diameter as the other tires on the vehicle but thinner.

These tires are:

  • labeled “temporary” spares because of their weight-saving construction.
  • are intended for emergency use only and not for sustained or high speed driving.
  • not to exceed 50 mph nor to travel further than 50 miles.

Maintenance Tips and Suggestions

Tire Air Pressure –Check the air pressure in your spare tire whenever you check tire pressure to be sure your spare is in top condition in the event of a flat tire.

Know How to Change Your Tire – Become familiar with the equipment needed for changing a tire and be sure essential tire-changing tools are in good repair and where they should be. Practice changing a tire. Always check your owner’s manual and the tire sidewall for instructions on proper use of a temporary spare.

  • Locate the jack, handle and lug wrench.
  • Know where the jack contacts the vehicle when raising it.
  • Locate the key for wheel locks.
  • Know how to access the spare tire.

A functional spare that is in good condition is a comfort. By avoiding the following pitfalls, you can be assured that your spare tire is in good form.

  • Under inflation – If your spare is low, it may shred on the way home or to the service facility. The distance you can travel before this happens is directly related to the tire’s inflation level. Check the pressure of the spare, as well as the other four tires every month.
  • Dry Rotting – Tires deteriorate with age. Tires do have a shelf life. After a period of time, they may begin to develop small cracks in the sidewall.
  • Inaccessibility – The leading reason spare tires fall victim to under inflation and dry rotting is inaccessibility. Clear out the trunk and check the spare or take your car to a shop and let an auto tech check your spare.

Spare Tire Safety

  • Most space saving spares are limited to 50 miles and 50 m.p.h. Replace a temporary spare with a full-size tire as soon as possible.
  • Keep your compact spare and its wheel together and do not use them on another car.
  • Do not use tire chains on a space saving spare. They won’t fit and will damage the car as well as the chains.
  • Do not drive through a car wash that pulls the car along guide rails with a spare on your car. The spare can get caught on the rail and damage the tire, wheel and very possibly other parts of your car.

The bottom line is keeping up with the tire pressure is probably the single most important user-safety and gas-savings task you can accomplish, and it does take some intervention as the seasons change. However, this is not the place to get creative. Follow the factory numbers, check it often and stay safe.

Information provided by NHTSA and NSC.

Today’s blog post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald
Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com


Power Outage Safety Tips

In Western Washington yesterday, we have a lot of freezing rain which lead to a lot of power outages across the area. Through my facebook account, I received a set of tips on what to do and what not to do when there’s a power outage and I thought that it should be passed along so here it is.
From the Pierce County Emergency Management site:

Power outage safety tips
Posted By ktinsle on Jan 18th, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Several utility companies serving Pierce County residents have reported power outages. Residents are encouraged to follow these safety tips:

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning:

DO NOT operate gasoline powered machinery such as a generator indoors, including in a garage.
DO NOT place generators near an open window or near a neighbor’s window.
DO NOT warm up your vehicle by idling the engine inside an attached garage.
DO NOT cook or heat with charcoal barbeques inside your home or garage.
DO NOT use “space heaters” unless there is an exhaust vent and never around combustible materials.
DO NOT use a gas oven to heat your home.
DO NOT burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented.
DO follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using generators, space heaters and grills.
DO make sure flues and vents are kept clear of debris that may be blown by the wind.
DO have your furnace, fireplace or wood stove inspected by a professional every year.
DO install carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

Staying warm:

Wear several layers of light weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia: slurred speech, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, stumbling, drowsiness, and body temperature of 95° F or less. Get medical help immediately if you think someone has frostbite or hypothermia.
Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm up with a blanket or warm fluids like hot herbal tea or soup. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages if you think you or someone you are trying to help has hypothermia or frostbite.

For the most up to date emergency information visit: http://blog.piercecountywa.org/emergency/



A Whole Mess of Free Safety Stuff

Everyone likes FREE! Free is good, so you’re going to love the link I’m going to provide today because it’s a website on which everything is free and everything relates to safety.

Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll find there: