Workplace Safety

I came across an interesting short article written by Jennifer Gregory about safety for small businesses.  Because we often represent folks who get hurt while at work, we are always on the lookout for ways employers can really meaningfully improve safety.  This article by Jennifer is a great short piece with 5 safety tips:

  1. Post required signs – OSHA has specific requirements for safety signs
  2. Train, train, and train more – safety instruction must be an ongoing, regular process
  3. Drill to prepare for emergencies, like fires or explosions
  4. Measure safety – for example, post signs showing the days since the last safety  incident
  5. Offer safety prizes – financial incentives are great motivators!

OSHA has a great website full of safety tips and advice.  Jennifer’s full post on "5 Ways to Get Serious About Safety" is also worth a close read.

Drugs Claim More Lives Than Car Wrecks

 Incredibly, a new study reveals that poisoning, primarily from prescription drugs, claims more lives than motor vehicle wrecks. The Bloomberg article on prescription-drug poisoning reports that 13.3 people per 100,000 died from prescription drug poisoning from 2007 to 2009.  In that same time period, 12.4 people per 100,000 died from motor vehicle collisions.   More than 90% of the unintentional poisoning involved prescription drugs, according to the study by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

     According to the article, deaths involving prescription drugs exceeded the number of deaths from heroin and cocaine combined.  And doing something to combat this problem is no easy task.  For example, in Kentucky the Governor supported a bill that would have put the prescription monitoring program under the control of the Attorney General so access to records would have been easier, but the Kentucky Medical Association resisted the measure on grounds of protecting patient privacy.  This effort will likely continue as the number of families losing loved ones to poisoning involving prescription drugs rises.  Finding the balance between adequate pain control and controlling overuse of prescription painkillers will be difficult, but it is certainly one we need to try to reach.  

Batteries and child safety

     Dangers of Batteries:  Every 3 hours a child shows up in the emergency room after having swallowed a battery, or shoved it in their nose, mouth or ears.  Most of the batteries recovered are those flat, round batteries referred to as “button batteries.”  They look like a coin and are found in small devices such as remote controls, key fobs, children’s toys or watches.

     As a child safety measure, many devices that take regular AA or AAA style batteries require the batteries be secured in their compartment with a screw.   This is often not the case with “button batteries.”   They are usually not secured and are therefore accessible to children. 

     Safety Advice:  According to information reported on the Today show by Dr. Gary Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the serious problem occurs when the battery becomes lodged in the esophagus.  The moisture sparks what he called a micro current, which “will lead to cell death and eventually burn a hole right through the esophagus.”  And all of this can happen within a short 2-hour period.  He goes on to say that if a parent is not sure but even suspects a child has swallowed one of these batteries they should be taken to the ER immediately.

     While there are no safety measures currently in place for childproofing these batteries, it is strongly recommended that parents take steps to secure the batteries themselves.  One way to do so would be to tape the battery compartment, and as always, if possible, keep the items out of children’s reach. 

     For more information on this article you can refer to

Bicycle Safety

As the weather turns warm, many of us start thinking about getting on our bikes and going for a leisurely ride. There are few things more enjoyable than a bike ride on a nice day. But bike-riding does pose some risks.  The CDC has reported that 700 people are killed each year as a result of bike related incidents, and as many as 500,000 people are injured each year.  This is just too many.  Here are some basic tips to help riders stay safe.

  • Wear a helmet!!!  This is obvious, but proper fit is important.  Don’t just assume the helmet is adequate because it is on your child’s head.  Follow this link at to find out how to make sure a helmet fits correctly.
  • Stay Alert.  Don’t assume that motorists are looking out for you. Here are 10 tips on How Not to Get Hit By Cars from  Please take a minute to review these 10 important and possible life-saving tips.
  • Be Visible.  Wear bright clothing and avoid riding at night.  Be sure to obey all traffic laws.  Here’s a link to a list of bicycle-related traffic laws at  

Pool safety

Pools are fun, but they also pose some dangers we need to be aware of in order to avoid injury.  As winter ends and the warm weather approaches, most of us start thinking about fun summer activities like swimming with our friends and family.  The risks of injury include being trapped in inadequate drain covers,  injuries from diving into pools, and injuries from slipping around wet poolside surfaces. For example, the CDC reported that drowning is the second leading cause of deaths in children ages 1 to 14 years old.   

        Safety Tips:  Here are some important safety tips to help keep your family safe around pools:

  •  Install proper drain covers in pools and spas
  • BE AWARE – don’t leave children unattended in or around pools – only a few seconds can be the difference between life and death around pools
  • Learn CPR

       A  website filled with great information and many more tips to help you stay safe this summer around pools is   My hope is that this summer will be safer than previous summers, and that we will prevent needless deaths and injuries in and around pools.  Have fun, but please be safe.