How Safe is your State?

Ever wondered how safe your state is to live in as compared to other states? You watch the news and you see tornadoes taking out whole neighborhoods or you read in the paper about the number of murders in Chicago and you think “Man, I’m glad I don’t live there!” But how safe is your state actually?


Using some 26 different key metrics to measure safety (financial safety, driving safety, workplace safety, community safety, etc…) Wallethub has compiled the list for you from the most secure and safe state in the USA to live in (Massachusetts) to the most dangerous and unsafe one (Nevada).

Check out your state and find out why it ranks where it ranks.

This is posted from WA which rates as # 19. Not too bad… of course as soon as that big earthquake hits of Mt Rainier erupts we’ll probably drop to the very bottom of the list.


As Many as 84 CDC Employees Might Have Been Exposed to Anthrax

While trying to downplay the risk of infection, the CDC admitted last week that as many as 84 employees might have been exposed to Anthrax in its Atlanta bioterrorism lab. This from the agency dedicated to “Health, Safety and Security Threats”.

The lapses was discovered on June 13 when plates of samples that were supposed to have been inactive, were found instead to have live bacteria on them. The sample plates were about to be disposed on when the live samples were found.

Investigating, the CDC found that the procedure they had used to supposedly render the Anthrax inactive was not as effective as it was supposed to be. The supposedly inactive samples were being used to try to find new ways of detecting the dangerous pathogen in real life situations where Anthrax might be present.

Because the samples were supposed to be inactive workers handling them were not wearing the protective equipment they normally would be wearing had they realized the samples were, in fact, active.

Free Chemical Emergency Response Smartphone App.

SAFER Systems just unveiled its Free Chemical Emergency Response Smartphone App. With Real-Time Weather and Traffic Data for emergency responders.

Designed based on the DOT 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2012), it helps emergency responders, on their way to a chemical spill by giving them weather, wind direction and speed, traffic information, maps, forecasts and other information crucial for responders.

The app was created to work on mobile devices and tablets to deliver responders the information they need before they arrive on the scheme saving valuable time and providing data that might otherwise not be available until it was too late to use it (imagine arriving downwind of the chemical spill instead of upwind, for example).

To download SAFER Mobile Response™ visit,, or  For more information visit

National Safety Week 4 Summer Safety Tips – Things not to leave in a hot vehicle

June 2014 National Safety Month Tips Week 4

SUMMER SAFETY TIPS: Things Not To Leave in a Hot Vehicle

Many of us leave home and head to work inside the comfort of an air conditioned offices, your vehicle is left baking in the blazing sun. But what is left inside your vehicle–could end up costing you in more ways than one.

At three o’clock on a summer afternoon the temperature could be as high as 140 degrees inside your vehicle. Think about the effect that temperature has on anything locked inside the vehicle.

Lighters can explode, make-up can melt and finger nail polish remover can combust and start a fire. Pressurized aerosol or canned sprays can explode. Other products like crayons, chocolate or candy, lipstick or Chap Stick can end up making a mess. All too often expensive electronics too get left behind for convenience sake but can do extreme damage.

Aerosol cans

Aerosols, when kept in overheated conditions, can become volatile and explosive. Many aerosol cans, whatever the contents, warn explicitly against keeping them in areas where the temperature reaches 120 degrees F or more. During the summer, the inside of a car can reach 130 degrees F or hotter. At these temperatures, aerosols become over pressurized and can explode at any time.

Do you keep WD-40, hair spray, Off, Fix-A-Flat, etc. in your vehicle? If so, you might want to reconsider. The picture above is of a pressurized can that exploded in a person’s vehicle and imbedded itself in the back seat of the car. The temperature outside of the closed up vehicle was about 100 degrees F. What if you or a loved one had been sitting in that seat? Do any of your family members keep aerosol cans in their vehicles? If they do, please pass this warning along to them!


  • Do NOT leave pressurized containers (of any kind) in your vehicle where they can be exposed to sunlight!
  • You should always read and follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations that come with the can.
  • Reporting incidents such as this can help inform personnel of possible risks and dangers both inside and outside the workplace!

The incident pictured in the below pictures happened when a deodorant spray can was left in the back of the vehicle that was parked in an open space in the middle of a hot, sunny day. Without warning, the can exploded inside the car. Fortunately, no one was inside or near the car when it happened.

Certainly aerosol cans left in automobiles (especially cars with tightly-closed windows) on hot days can reach temperatures sufficient to cause them to rupture with considerable force, enough to cause significant damage to a car and potentially injure a person in or near the automobile at the time of the explosion. In that regard, the advice given in the message quoted above is sensible enough.

Medications-Prescription and over the counter medications

Heat can change the chemical composition of a medication and could make it ineffective or worse harmful if taken. If you take any prescription drug, you need to be aware that storage at high temperatures can quickly degrade the potency and stability of many medications.

Most drugs are recommended to be stored at what’s known as “controlled room temperature” — an average of approximately 77 F. Some permit what are known as “controlled excursions” — short periods to accommodate shipping, for example — at temperatures up to 86 F for shorter periods.

Medications tested in higher temperatures with negative outcomes include:

· Valium: When stored at body temperature of 98.6, a decrease of 25 percent of the concentration has been recorded.

· Albuterol Inhalers: Temperatures 120°F and above may burst the inhaler. Also, some studies have shown that higher storage temperatures lead to a decrease in the amount of medication inhaled.

· Concentrated epinephrine: Heat exposure leads to a 64 percent loss in potency.

· Formoterol (capsules that are placed in inhalers): After exposure for four hours to almost 160, the amount released from the heated capsules was not even 50 percent of those capsules stored in appropriate temperatures.

· Lorazepam: When stored at almost 100 degrees, concentration decreased by a very significant 75 percent.

· Nasonex (formoterol inhalers): Temperatures above 120 degrees may cause the container to burst.

Other medications that could be adversely effected by tremendous heats include:

· Any medicine in an aerosolized canister may burst at a heat over 120°F.

· Thyroid Hormones: Excessive heat may alter these hormones that result in a dose inconsistent with the prescribed dose.

· Insulin: Excessive heat can make the vials that store insulin to break. Additionally, the extreme heat may alter insulin, making it not comply with the prescribed dose.

Disposable Lighters

Disposable lighters are small but dangerous items to leave in the car during hot weather. A left lighter on the front seat of a car can get so hot that it exploded and hit the windshield or injure anyone inside, Warning labels on these little fire starters instruct users to never expose them to heat above 120 degrees or prolonged sunlight. As we read earlier, the temperature inside cars during the summer can easily get up to 140 degrees, making the car an unstable environment to store lighters.

Canned drinks. This is less dangerous and more annoying. I left a can of soda in the car while I was at the beach and when I came back the entire top of it had popped open, spraying half of the soda everywhere

Oh, and of course: Kids, pets, and the elderly. You’d be surprised at how many people still don’t know how dangerous it is to leave any living creature inside a car in the summer. Even if the car is parked in the shade!


The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively “transparent” to the sun’s shortwave radiation and are warmed little. However this shortwave energy does heat objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200 degrees F.

These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, and child seat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off long wave radiation (red) which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.


  • Average elapsed time and temperature rise
  • 10 minutes ~ 19 deg F
  • 20 minutes ~ 29 deg F
  • 30 minutes ~ 34 deg F
  • 60 minutes ~ 43 deg F
  • 1 to 2 hours ~ 45-50 deg F

“Cracking” the windows had little effect Vehicle interior color probably biggest factor “Parents and other caregivers need to be educated that a vehicle is not a babysitter or play area … but it can easily become tragedy” SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS


  • Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
  • Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. IF A CHILD IS MISSING, ALWAYS CHECK THE POOL FIRST, AND THEN THE CAR, INCLUDING THE TRUNK. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver.
  • Or place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
  • Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.
  • Don’t leave your pets in the car either!! Same affects can happen to them!


Today’s Post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald Safety and Security for Plateau

No Child Left Behind

No, the title of today’s’ post has nothing to do with education. It has to do with children behind left behind in vehicles and dying of heat exposure.

Most of us respond with shock every time we hear of another child forgotten in a vehicle. “How can anyone forget their child like that?” we ask. However much we’d like to believe that only a bad parent would forget a child in a vehicle, the truth of the matter is that both fathers and mothers are equally likely to do it; wealthy and poor makes no difference either; neither does education or mental awareness or intelligence. In fact, if you think “It could never happen to me! I could never do something like that!” you’re more likely to do it because you aren’t going to take the precautions necessary to make sure it never does happen.

As temperatures rise, even a few minutes alone in a car can result in heat stress, dehydration and death for infants and small children. I won’t go over all the numbers about how hot it can get and what it does to a small child; I’ve covered that before on this blog. What I am going to do is to give you a few tips to try to help make sure that you never have to live through the nightmare of realizing you’ve killed your own child because somehow, even though it could never happen to you, it somehow did and you forgot your child in the car.

1. NEVER, EVER, leave your child alone in the car, even for a couple of minutes while you “pop” in somewhere. Don’t trust your memory. You could easily bump into someone you know and start talking, get distracted, fall, or have an accident. Even if you’re only popping into the post office to mail a package, take the child with you, always! Additionally everyone is now being told to call 911 if they see a child left alone in a vehicle. You could end up in a legal battle to keep your child and judges and juries are getting tougher all the time on this issue. It gets tried as “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” or “child neglect”. You could stand a good chance of having the state put your child in a foster home.

2. Put your purse next to the car seat instead of in the front passenger seat. You’ll look for your purse and remember the child in the back seat.

3. Keep a large doll or teddy bear in the car seat when the child isn’t in the seat and move the doll or  teddy bear  to the front passenger seat whenever the child is in the car seat. Seeing the doll or teddy bear in the passenger seat as you get to your destination will remind you the child is there.

4. Hang a tag with your child’s name on it over the rear-view mirror every time you put the child in the car seat. Make sure it’s big enough and visible enough to be hard to ignore or get used to. Only hang it there when the child is in the vehicle.

5. Make arrangements with your daycare worker or care-takers to ALWAYS call you if and when you don’t drop the child off at the usual time.

Most of these tips are simple and easy to implement but they can make the difference between a life filled with happy memories and a life filled with grief and regret.


New “Workplace Solutions” addresses vehicles backing up

“According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics review of the 962 fatal workplace injuries at road construction sites from 2003to 2010, 443 were due to a worker being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment [BLS 2013]. Workers were fatally struck143 times by a vehicle or mobile equipment that was backing up. In 84 of these cases, the worker was fatally struck by a dump truck that was backing up.”
A new “Workplace Solutions” published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) seeks to help address the issue.
The 4-page, downloadable pdf document lists the standards, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), recommendations and best practices to help you make sure your job site or place of business doesn’t end up with one of your employees on next years’ list.

Seven Dangerous Apps You Don’t Want on You Kids Phone

Kristin Peaks is the Senior Digital & Social Media specialist at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas.


Part of what she does is to keep an eye on Social media sites as well as stay educated about the new apps that are out there to be downloaded. She’s identified seven apps that you definitely DO NOT want your children to have on their smart phone.

Have a look at her article “7 dangerous Apps that parents need to know about

National Safety Month- Week 3 Safety Awareness of your surroundings

June 2014 National Safety Month Tips Week 3


Where did that come from? I didn’t expect that! Didn’t see that coming! How did that happen? Sound familiar? After an injury caused by an incident, these are the types of comments often expressed by the victim — sometimes the witnesses. Witnesses as well as those involved often exclaim that they had no idea what happened. This is an expression of frustration. They thought they were working safely and had probably performed the job hundreds of times. The worker could probably do the task blindfolded. Perhaps they did?


A common factor in injury incidents is a lack of awareness.

A thorough pre-operational inspection of workplaces and equipment is one of the most important acts that anyone can do to ensure his or her own safety each day. But a pre-operational inspection is only a start. Each worker must constantly be aware of changes in his or her environment throughout the shift and be prepared to react appropriately to changes that occur. These differences may occur because of a change in location, or a natural change in the immediate environment. They may be changes that are forced from outside sources, or they may be changes that we create by the work we perform.

An air hose is normally a safe tool. One could consider it a tripping hazard if it crosses a walkway, or it could represent a strain hazard when lifting or pulling. But normally, if in good condition, an air hose is rather innocuous. But, suppose someone begins to disconnect the hose. Fittings may be difficult to break. Pinch points may be encountered using tools to break the connection. But what if the hose is pressurized? The valve was shut off and the pressure was bled off. But what if the valve leaks and pressure is re-built? What if the wrong hose was bled off? Each of these hazards is easily controlled if the worker is alert.


A worker is preparing to splice a section of conveyor belt. It must be cut square. There are machines to help do this, but we don’t make that many splices and the razor knife does a good job. The belt material is designed to resist cutting and abrasion, so the cable resists the action of cutting and requires effort, even with the sharpest knife. The worker may be cutting away from his body, but his leg is under the edge of the belt. The line-of-fire hazard is easily controlled.

Debris takes on many forms, but normally has one common characteristic. It’s disorderly. This fact raises a number of new potential hazards — pointed objects, sharp edges, unbalanced pieces, heavy loads, slippery surfaces, tangles, tension, awkward shapes and sizes, and others. It may be necessary to move smaller quantities (more trips) and/or it may require cutting pieces into manageable sections. These types of hazards are easily controlled if the worker is alert.

You are in the break room and have just finished eating. Time to clean up and go back to work. You go to the sink to wash your containers and silverware. While washing some of the water splashes on the floor. Not too much, it will be fine. Someone else will clean it up and you leave. A couple of minutes later someone, comes to the sink to wash their lunch containers, but they don’t recognize the hazard. They slip on the wet water on sprain their wrist as they fall down. If the previous person had just wiped up the floor this could have been prevented. Now the injured employee will miss a few days of work, have to get medical treatment and physical therapy for a few weeks. Be restricted in their work responsibilities, so other people in the department have to do more work, they might have to get a temp employee or pay overtime. Additional expenses from the profits earned, because someone did not take the time to remove the hazard.


Your safety and the safety of your coworkers are dependent on your awareness of potentially hazardous conditions in the workplace. Take off the blindfold. There are a thousand things to see, hear, feel and smell in the workplace. Learn to observe and notice changes. If you do not recognize the hazard, you cannot control the hazard. If you cannot control the hazard, you cannot prevent the injury.

It all starts with awareness.

Accidents can occur when working in unfamiliar surroundings or areas because employees unfamiliar of the hazards in the area:

Survey your work area before you do anything

 Ensure that you have enough space to do your work.

 Meet with the building engineer to discuss your work.

 Identify if lockout/tag out needs to be performed energy sources.

 Check the condition of the flooring and lighting.

 In mechanical spaces and tunnels, look for: low overhead hazards, sharp edges or surfaces, standing water, non-insulated pipes, exposed wiring, and unguarded equipment.

Walk to the route you will be following when transporting materials

 Look for uneven surfaces, trip hazards, objects you need to maneuver around, foot traffic, or any other obstacle.

 Pay attention before entering elevators: the floor of the elevator may not be even with the floor of the corridor.

 Check the stairways: condition of the steps and landings, uneven stair heights, and obstacles an uneven surfaces around both sides of the door to stairway.

Do not create new hazards

 Avoid running extension cords through high foot traffic areas.

 Do not block emergency exits or routes of egress.

 Clean up when you are done: remove all of your tools, clean up debris, replace machine guards and electrical covers (junction boxes, outlets, switches), etc.

 Consider the building occupants when scheduling your work: sometimes waiting until there are less people around is better.

 Put up barriers and signage to warn building occupants to avoid hazards and stay clear of your work area.

 Report hazards you observe to the Safety Committee or me – just because it’s not your building doesn’t mean you should ignore the hazard!

The vast majority of injuries are due to the unsafe actions of people.

Here are Safety 10 reminders for individuals to help prevent injuries:

1. Be aware. Being aware of your surroundings, potential hazards and your fellow colleagues is one of the best ways to prevent injuries. Distractions cause accidents. Anticipating versus reacting will help keep you safe and bring you home to your family.

2. Think it through. Before you start a task take a couple of minutes to think through what you’re about to do. Do you know the correct procedure, the protective equipment required, and the potential hazards to you and to others?

3. Address unsafe actions and conditions when you see them, for your safety and the safety of others. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see something unsafe – you could be preventing an injury.

4. Use personal protective equipment as prescribed. The proper gloves, glasses, clothing, shoes and respirators are an important part of keeping you safe, but only if they are used and worn as intended. And they are your last line of defense, not a substitute for removing a hazard.

5. Be aware of your body position. Move your body in the right way. Keep out of the way of hazards, such as moving equipment and sharp objects. Using the right gloves is important, but gloves do not protect hands from being crushed or punctured. And don’t forget that repetitive motions can cause injuries.

6. Use the right tool for the right job. The proper tools and equipment help you avoid hazards and prevent risk. For example, when you’re using a ladder, make sure the ladder is set properly to prevent it from tipping. Be careful not to overreach. And have another person assist you when necessary.

7. Follow procedures for safe work. It may take a little extra time, but shortcuts put you at risk. Locking-out machinery and using guards helps keep you safe from moving parts. Don’t cut corners and by-pass these important safeguards.

8. Stay in shape. Keeping your core muscles in shape – whether you have a desk or physical job — is important to prevent injuries. Core muscle strength helps maintain balance, flexibility and strength. Take a few moments to stretch, make sure you know the limitations of your body and maintain good posture.

9. Watch your step. Ice, water, and spills are the most common causes of slips, trips and falls. And steps can be particularly dangerous, so make sure you always use a handrail.

10. Practice safe driving. Many people get hurt driving on the job by not obeying traffic laws. And distractions such as cell phones are responsible for the rising number of automobile accidents. Take a Defensive Driving Course. My next class is Jun 20, 2014.

Near Miss Reporting- ‘A near miss is an event or situation that could have resulted in injury, damage or loss but did not do so due to chance, corrective action and/or timely intervention’

Luckily nothing happened – this time

Some say that in a near miss nothing actually happened. They argue that a near miss provides a glimpse into the future – a suggestion of something more serious that might happen on another occasion. The message is that, correctly understood, a near miss is an opportunity to learn. Apply that knowledge to take action to prevent possibly more serious consequences another time. Using this argument, near misses are taken as leading indicators that can be used to help create safety.

But it was an incident

“Near misses describe incidents where no property was damaged and no personal injury sustained, but where, given a slight shift in time or position, damage and/or injury easily could have occurred” (OSHA definition). The clear message is that, despite no physical harm, something undesirable happened. On this basis a near miss is a lagging indicator.

Is a near miss an unsafe condition?

We can make a distinction between “near miss” and “unsafe condition”. An unsafe condition can exist even when there is no incident – making it a leading indicator. Examples could be corrosion of worn/defective walkways, defective brakes, PPE not worn, poor electrical grounding.

Too late?

Classing near misses as a lagging indicator does not necessarily mean too late. True you cannot go back and prevent that particular incident. But as with all incidents up to and including fatalities, it is still possible, if not an obligation, to investigate to learn from the experience and take remedial action to prevent a recurrence. In a sense the lagging indicator generated by incidents becomes a leading indicator for prevention.

The pyramid below, demonstrates the number of ‘hidden’ incidents for each serious injury including Near misses. Tackling the base of the pyramid means injuries and property damage become less likely. Near Miss reporting is required by OSHA and can be a great tool prevent future safety injuries, damage or fatalities.

Keep in mind it’s everybody’s job to keep the work place accident free, employers and employees alike. If you see an unsafe condition, get it fixed! Do not leave an unsafe condition uncorrected because it may be the next person who suffers a serious injury. Safety First, Safety Always!

Information from National Safety Council, CDC, National Floor Safety Institute, NIOSH, OSHA and ASSE and