What to do if an Electrical Wire Falls on Your Vehicle

There’s a wind advisory but you have to go somewhere. You get in your car but before you can start it up you hear a thump and notice that a power line has just fallen on your car. What do you do?

According to experts, the best thing to do is to stay put. Because of the rubber in the tires, the electricity will flow over the car and you will be safe inside.

DO NOT GET OUT! Trying to exit the vehicle could result in electrocution as the electricity, flowing through the ground can now flow through you as soon as you step outside.

Call 911 and advise them of the situation. They will respond and bring someone from the power company to determine whether the power line is live or not. Until them just stay put.

 


Half of Flood Deaths Happen in Vehicles

Flood_Water

Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather related fatalities in the U.S. On average, flooding claims nearly 90 lives each year. More than half of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult. Twelve inches of water can float a small car. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away. Eighteen to twenty-four inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs. It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.

Posted by US National Weather Service Boise Idaho on Monday, March 16, 2015


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!

Lesson:

  • 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!

VEHICLE HEATING DYNAMICS

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.

HEAT STUDY CONCLUSIONS:

  • 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

 

  • NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE. NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE!
  • IF YOU SEE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A HOT VEHICLE CALL 9-1-1.
  • 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!

SAFETY FIRST, SAFETY ALWAYS!

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

keno@plateautel.com


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.
Workplace_Solutions
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.



Mobile Equipment Safety

When speaking about equipment and safety, we usually tend to think about lockout/tagout, guards, etc… on manufacturing equipment that is stationary, permanently in place in the workplace. Mobile machinery and equipment however still kill over 400 workers each year.

While flaggers are obviously the ones who are most immediately in danger of being hit by a piece of mobile equipment, anyone who finds himself around trucks, buses, plows and other heavy equipment is at risk. In many cases, with the forementioned vehicles, the line of sight is greatly reduced and blind spots are numerous.

Some basics for mobile equipment safety
1. Everyone working in or around mobile equipment should be wearing high-visibility vests.
2. All heavy equipment operator should be in constant radio contact with a person on the ground whose job it is to prevent accidents.
3. As much as possible, pedestrian and vehicle paths should be kept separated. When and where they must intersect the crossing should be clearly marked so that both pedestrians and drivers know where the area of high risk is.
4. Drivers should backup only when it is absolutely necessary. As much as possible drivers should be looking ahead. Backing up is the single most dangerous movement and where most accidents occur.
5. Backup alarms should be installed on all heavy equipment to warn pedestrians that the drivers’ visibility has just been greatly impaired.

For further documentation (especially for training employees) go to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health website and download the “Mobile Equipment Safety” training document.


Walking / Jogging in the Dark

Like it or not the nights are getting longer and there’s less and less daylight out there which means that pedestrians and joggers aren’t going to be as visible when they go out after dark. With Halloween tonight this is especially timely as small children will be buzzing in and out of cars and running here and there in the dark, often in costumes that aren’t exactly hi-viz. Even once Halloween is safely passed, however, there are plenty of joggers and pedestrians out there after the sun goes down. Here are a few safety tips for joggers and pedestrians who “do their thing” after dark as well as a couple pointers for drivers:

For joggers and pedestrians:

  • Get a reflective, hi-viz coat or safety vest. As much as you might think, looking at yourself in the light of your living room, that you should be easy to spot, you aren’t. Even colors that you consider bright tend to dim and fade into the background as soon as it starts getting dark. Make sure that the coat, jacket or vest has reflective stripes on it. These are especially designed to bounce back light, making you “light up” for passing cars. For maximum safety, consider wearing a class III vest, sweatshirt or coat. Class III rated garments are designed for workers in high traffic areas where vehicles may for going as fast as 60 mph. The standard requires more square feet of hi-viz background material as well as mandates for the amount of reflective material which means that it’s designed for maximum visibility. You might think that it’s overkill but it’s much safer to go overboard than to not be visible enough.
  • Add a Mini-Flasher by Pelican. Because they are LED lights they will burn for up to 130 hours on two coin alkaline cells and they have a visibility of up to 5 miles on a clear night. Turn it on in your living room and it won’t look all that bright but when you’re out there at night it’ll be plenty bright and substantially increase your visibility for vehicles even when they are still a long ways away.
  • Map out your route while it’s still light out. If you want to stay in shape by jogging or if you know that you are going to have to walk somewhere after dark go look at your route while it’s still light out and look for a route with plenty of sidewalk space and areas where you can walk or jog where vehicles aren’t going to be a factor.
  • For maximum safety, consider an indoor track. Most gyms and YMCAs have indoor tracks. Another options is the track at your local school; many of these outdoor tracks are well-lit even after dark and provide a safe place to jog with the added benefit that you’ll be able to calculate how far you’ve gone with relative ease.
  • If possible walk or jog with a companion. Two people are more visible than one and you’ll have the added benefit of safety in numbers to deter would be muggers and rapists.

For drivers:

  • Look for pedestrians after dark. Know that there are plenty of people who are not going to read or pay attention to the safety tips listed above. Anticipate that someone might be walking by the side of the road and that they might be wearing dark clothes.
  • Try to give as much distance as you safely can to the side of the street where pedestrians might be walking. It doesn’t take much for the person on the side of the road to trip, twist is ankle or slip and end up stepping onto the road.
  • Use your brights whenever possible. High beams spread the light out more, lighting up the sides of the road better than your regular headlights which tend to light only the road in front of you.

Let Grandma Drive the Kids!

Here’s an interesting article from the Los Angeles Times. In spite of what you might think about the way old people drive when they’re in front of you, apparently it’s safer to let them drive your kids around than it is to entrust them to your spouse (or yourself for that matter). Here’s the catch though, Grandparents are more likely to get in an accident than you or your spouse.

According to the study conducted by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania, “regarding crashes that occurred from Jan. 15, 2003, to Nov. 30, 2007, involving 217,976 children 15 or younger. Injuries were reported for 1,302 kids.  Among those kids, 161 were driving with grandparents, resulting in an injury rate for grandparent drivers of 0.7%; while 2,293 were in the car with parent drivers, resulting in an injury rate for parents of 1.05%. “

Compounding the surprise of this finding is the fact that grandparents are more likely than parents to incorrectly use restraints.

So, let’s recap. Grandparents aren’t strapping kids in correctly and they’re getting in more accidents than parents are but still injury rates for kids is lower.

The conclusion reached by researchers is that grandparents might drive differently (read “more cautiously”) when they have the grandkids in the back. In other words, they may be having more accidents but not when they’ve got the kids in the back.

I’m feeling better and better about being a grandpa all the time!


Use 3-Points of contact when getting on or off equipment

Getting on and off equipment and vehicles accounts to 1 out of every 4 injuries to those operating equipment or driving trucks; some of these injuries can be quite severe.

In order to avoid these injuries, it is important to understand the 3-points of contact rule. Stated quite simply, always keep three points of contact with the ground or the equipment until you are stable on the equipment or on the ground. What this means is that before you lift one of your legs to climb up on the equipment, you must have both hands firmly grasping the equipment to help pull yourself up; before you let go of one of the hand holds when dismounting, you need to make sure that both feet are firmly planted on the ground.

Additional safety rules for getting on or off equipment or climbing in the cab of a truck:

  • Only climb on or get off when the equipment or vehicles is stationary
  • Always mount or climb down while facing the truck or the equipment
  • Make sure that the points of contact you as using are clear of debris, mud, grease, etc…
  • Only use points of contact that were intended to be used to climb on or dismount (in other words, hubs and such should not be used)

Remember these simple rules and you will have substantially reduced your chance of injury when getting on (or in) as well as off (or out) of a vehicle or equipment.