Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5, 2011 - Safety

Medication Safety Week
Day Five
April 5, 2011 Organize Your Medicines Day

I have several medications, all prescribed by my doctor, and I take my meds four times a day – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and 30 minutes before bedtime.  I developed a good habit of putting my pills into small, re-sealable clear plastic bag (2x2 inch) with white labels on them where I write what day, and when they are to be taken.  This works extremely well for me, as I put them into my daily organizer pocket for the three meal time medications.  Like other folks, some days I forget to take my meds at its prescribed time – but when I reach into that pocket, I know when it was supposed to be taken.  Generally, I don’t mess that up too badly – although I have forgotten overnight a time or two – ugh.  Like my cell phone, my daily organizer where ever I might be – my wife refers to it as my brains.

Take medicines as prescribed. Using a medicine organizer box may be helpful, especially for those taking more than one pill several times a day; however, a medicine organizer box requires close monitoring, especially when there is a change in medicines. Use of the organizer violates the rule of keeping medicines in their original containers.  New drugs with time-release action offers the freedom of once-a-day medicating. Ask your doctor about these new medications. Go to Taking Medications Safely.  (Provided by the Women’s Heart Foundation – thank you)

National Public Health Week
Day Two

As we would say in a class room, let’s see a show of hands that honestly practice good safety habits at work every day?  I suspect not many folks would be raising their hands, and I would have to be one of those, even though – each day I look for things that might need fixing – it is a habit from my shipboard days in the US Navy.  It is really a good habit – drives my wife a little bonkers from time to time – but she is adjusting fairly well after all these years.  The advantage of having been aboard ship – while at sea - is both your home and work place are the only place you can run to if there are problems.  Do you remember Bill Cosby’s skit about Noah and God, and God finally said to Noah, “Noah, how long can you tread water?” If not, do yourself a favor and get it a truly and enjoyable story. I think you get my point– and believe we should have that same sense of due diligence in the work place as well at home.

Many offices were simply not designed to handle today’s working environment!  With all these computers, printers, fax machines, copiers, fancy telephones, and the like, and this has lead to many folks running extension cords where they shouldn’t.  Or the ladies whose feet always seem to be cold and feel the need for that little space heater under their desk.  How about the emergency lighting that never seems to be tested as they should and when the electrical power is lost, like many buildings, simply don’t properly work.  Do you like walking down those dark hallways?  How about those dark stairways – say 15 or more stories up?  Sound like fun?  How about that coffee maker left on too long – with only a small amount of coffer remaining – do you enjoy that brunt smell?  Ugh!  These are just a small sample of what most of us have experienced recently.

Tuesday: At Work (provided by NPHW)
Employers and employees can work together to build safer and healthier work environments. Taking action, both big and small, to prevent injury in the workplace is common sense and effective. Here are just a few examples:
Employers start small...
  • Understand and follow all workplace safety regulations and best practices. Go beyond the minimum required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  • Educate employees about workplace regulations and train employees to recognize unsafe or unhealthy settings. Create an employee reporting system to allow workers to report hazardous working conditions.
  • Provide required or recommended protective equipment and reflective gear to reduce employee exposure to hazards.
  • Create safe work environments by identifying and fixing workplace hazards such as unstable surfaces and malfunctioning vehicles.
  • Maintain a working sprinkler system and schedule fire drills to practice safe evacuation.
  • Promote workplace safety by offering tips on your company bulletin board, website or newsletter.
  • Conduct personal safety training programs that teach employees how to recognize, avoid or diffuse potentially violent workplace situations.
  • Invite health care professionals to the workplace to discuss how to prevent injuries.
Employees start small…
  • Wear all personal protective equipment required or recommended for your occupation.
  • Participate in worksite safety trainings programs and follow all workplace laws and safety rules.
  • Ensure vision is not obstructed when operating heavy machinery.
  • Hold a brown-bag lunch at work to focus on workplace safety.
  • Use your rights to advocate for safety and health.
Think big…
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about the importance of preventing workplace injuries during National Public Health Week (NPHW) and beyond.
  • Invite local policymakers and others to a community roundtable to discuss injury prevention in the workplace and follow-up with specific actions.
  • Support your family, friends and neighbors when they try to improve health and safety at their workplace.
There is much more you can do to prevent injuries beyond these actions. Raise awareness of safety and injury prevention within your community during National Public Health Week. You can help make your job a safer and healthier place to work.
Tomorrow, we will discuss ‘at play.’

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Until we meet again, be safe and take good care of yourself.

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