Baby Proofing

At work we have all sorts of guards, lockouts and signage to help keep us safe. But what about our little ones at home? Unfortunately posting safety signs at home won’t help when it comes to a toddler. However there are tons of other precautions we can take to keep them safe and sound. Here is a quick list of do’s when it comes to our kiddos wellbeing.

When buying baby furniture like cribs, high chairs, gates etc, etc, make sure it meets the Health Canada safety standards. Please note that drop side cribs are now illegal, even selling an old one in a garage sale is against the law. These cribs are highly dangerous and have caused fatalities.  Make sure to anchor large furniture and TV’s to the wall to prevent tip overs. Use covers on all outlets in reach. Unless your home is equipped with newer outlets that have built-in shock prevention. Always use the safety strap on change tables and high chairs. Now depending what type of parenting you choose, some parents choose to put everything in full lockdown mode where others choose to teach their children not to go in cupboards and downstairs. We’re not here to tell you how to raise your children however if you’re going to leave your cupboards open we suggest putting medicine and chemicals up high where they can not be reached. If you do choose to put baby gates on your stairs, do not use expansion or accordion style gates. Small children may get stuck in them. Then there is the obvious pointers that should still be mentioned (hey, no judgment here… I know if you have children, you probably don’t get sleep…we all miss things when running on minimal sleep), keep knives, scissors and other sharp objects away from children. Keep alcohol, vitamins and medicine out of reach as well. Keep guns, ammunition and drugs out of the house. If you have guns, keep them locked up separately from your ammo.

No matter what parenting style you go by, the end result is the same… To protect your children. It only takes a minute for accidents to happen, so be prepared and put in place safety precautions. Just remember that even if your house is in full lockdown mode, nothing protects your child better than adult supervision.

ABCS

I don’t want this to sound like a cheesy infomercial… You know the “We have it all” and the “Wait there’s more!”. But we do have it all. No matter what trade you work in you will likely need safety courses or refreshers along your way. ABCS offers both online and in class courses. We have experienced trainers that can help you no matter your level of experience. Go to albertabcsafety.com and take a look at our huge variety of competitively priced courses. You really can save-an-arm-and-a-leg with Alberta B.C safety.

Stretching

With the cold weather coming up, stretching is even more important. Yes weather affects your muscles… Even if you’re not old like some of us. With colder temperatures your muscles will take even longer to warm up. So the stretching you have to do every morning is actually very important. Doing stretches before you begin work will help lengthen your muscles and tendons and allow more blood flow to these areas giving you a greater range of motion, better physical performance and reducing back injuries. No one expects you to do the yoga sleep pose (sounds easy right? Look it up… It’s insane) or the splits, but a few toe taps and bends should do the trick. Each stretch should be comfortable enough to hold for 10 seconds but should be done for 30 seconds total. What’s a few minutes out of your morning if it keeps you on your feet.

That ONE Guy

I feel like there is usually that one person who just won’t embrace a safety culture on every crew. I know there was on most of my crews. They usually have a story for every situation and ample of anti safety slogans. I would also like to mention this is usually the same person who is missing a finger or a toe… I’m willing to bet there is some sort of correlation. I thought I’d put together some of my all time favorite anti safety quotes for you… Let the ridiculousness begin!

  • Safety first… Okay maybe third or fourth.
  •  Stay safe or die trying.
  •  Safety first, people second.
  •   Stay safe at work… Call in sick
  •   Safety is alright- if you got all night.
  •  Don’t get hurt or you’ll get fired
  • We’re not happy til you’re not happy.
  • We have no idea what your job is but our book says you’re doing it wrong.


I’m sure you have heard them all before. But you have to admit they sound absolutely ridiculous, especially when you read them together. When it’s actually your life you have to lose, you’d think people would be more open to adopting a safer way of doing things. So next time you hear someone spewing out anti safety slogans, I’ve also compiled a few of my favorite safety slogans for you to throw back at them. Let the super safety cheese feast begin!

  • You can’t pick up your paycheck with no fingers.
  • A hardhat on your head keeps you from being dead.
  •  Safety first or hospital next.
  • Falling objects can be brutal, protect your noodle.
  • When you gamble with safety you bet your life.
  •  Chance takers are accident makers.


I could do this all day but I’ll stop. Listen, no one expects you to be as enthusiastic about safety slogans as me but we have safety protocol in place so you can go home safely every night… And that is definitely something to be enthusiastic about.

Compressed Air

Compressed air is a staple for almost any shop or site location. Along with powering our pneumatic tools like drills, air hammers and die grinders, it’s great for removing debris from a work surface. Despite its common use among trades people, this seemingly harmless helper can be quite the opposite if used incorrectly. Here is what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

I know when you’re covered in sawdust or a day’s worth of grinding dust, it might seem like a good idea to quickly blow it off with an air hose… But don’t! Even set at a low PSI, compressed air can cause serious injuries. Such as puncturing the skin and causing an air embolism or hemorrhage (which can lead to death), permanent sight loss, brain damage, hearing loss, or if you’re lucky, just bruises and lacerations. Make sure anytime you are using compressed air that you are wearing proper PPE. Always do your pre-work inspection, checking the hose for holes and kinks and the quick connect for leaks. Check the maximum rating of the hose, make sure it’s compatible with the equipment. Keep the hose off the floor. This prevents tripping hazards as well as unnecessary wear on the hose. When using compressed air to clean something (other than yourself, others or anything touching yourself or others ie: clothing) you must use an approved air nozzle. The PSI should be lower than 30. Remember to never point a nozzle at anyone, no matter how low you think the PSI is… It could be deadly.

A lot of workers think that compressed air is harmless… It’s just air right? However, even if you’re just blowing off some debris from your coveralls or goofing off with a work buddy, the effects of air under pressure can be catastrophic. So keep that nozzle away from yourself and all your coworkers.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

When a fire happens, it’s probably instinct to grab an extinguisher and douse the flames. We all know the P.A.S.S method. However depending on what type of fire you’re dealing with, the wrong extinguisher could actually spread the flames and put you in even more danger. There are 5 different classes of fire extinguishers. You need to know the difference. So let’s do a quick run down.

Class A is for regular things like furniture, wood, paper, garbage, clothes. This is what you would use to put out clothes burning on the front lawn of your ex’s house. Class B is for flammable liquids like gas, diesel or grease. You’d use this one if your ex lit your gas tank of your car on fire. Do not use class A on this, it will spread like wildfire. Class C is for electrical fires. Use class C if your ex lights your stereo on fire. Again don’t use A. Class K is for cooking oils and animal fats. This is for when your ex torches your dinner. Class D is for flammable metals. I don’t have an example of your ex lighting something metal on fire because I’d hope you two have broken up by now. But for you next relationship get a fire extinguisher that is class ABC, then your covered for the first three.

Not knowing the difference between fire extinguishers could put you in a very scary situation. Even scarier than your ex. Always check the extinguisher before you use it.

Stroke

Most people think strokes only happen to the elderly but that’s not the case. Anyone can suffer from a stroke, no matter your age, gender or race. With a Canadian suffering from a stroke every 9 minutes, there is a good chance you may witness someone showing signs of a stroke or it could possibly even be you. So we better know the drill.

The most common signs of a stroke are sudden numbness or weakness of the leg, face or arms,  it’s usually on one side of the body, but not always. Having troubles seeing out of one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of balance, hard time communicating or understanding and a sudden headache. If you or anyone else is even just having one or two of these symptoms, get help. It’s better to be over cautious than not get help for a stroke. Every minute counts. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in Canada and the majority of survivors are left with some kind of disability. The faster a victim is treated, their rate of survival and likelihood of not having any lasting effects goes up. So act quickly. Call 911 or your site emergency crew.  Take note of the time as this could help doctors. Stay with the victim and keep them calm.

There are a few things to try and prevent a stroke such as, exercising, not smoking and drinking only in moderation. If you have high blood pressure, lower it and properly treat existing ailments such as diabetes. Sadly, there is a good chance that we will all be in a situation where we or someone else we are with is showing signs of a stroke. Make sure to be act quickly.

Bringing Stress from Home to Work

We always hear the term “don’t bring work home with you”. But sometimes it’s the other way around. We all have various things going on in our home life, but when the stress from home spills over to the work site, we now have a safety hazard. If our mind is wondering, how could we possibly have the focus we need to stay safe? Here are some tips to keep your focus when things are overwhelming outside of work.

First, acknowledge your stress. It’s hard to suppress it, meaning your mind will be even more off-task. Try talking to someone. Sometimes just getting it off your chest can be such a relief. Stay focused. Use your JHA’s to remind you of the dangers.  If you find your mind wandering take a two second break and get back on track. If needed ask for some time off to deal with what’s on your mind. It’s much better than being so distracted you end up injuring someone or yourself.

We all have stress at home, whether it’s money, health, divorce… The list goes on and adding a worksite injury to it, would be awful. we owe it to ourselves and our co-workers to stay focused and leave home stress at home.

Winter Driving Part 2

For those times you do need a quick stop, and there will be many, don’t slam on your breaks, you will spin out like a player in Mario kart. Try pumping your brakes instead, this will prevent you from locking up. Stay alert and keep your focus. If you need to pull over and compose yourself or clean your windows or lights, do so. Just do  it safely, make sure you’re out of the way and your hazard lights are on. Most importantly, use common sense, don’t get behind the wheel if you’re super fatigued. This can impair your reaction times just as much as drinking. And I should not even have to say this but never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking or using narcotics. This isn’t just while the roads are bad, this is for anytime you drive.

Unfortunately, winter driving is a part of life if you’re Canadian. It’s a part of us just as much as poutine, Tim Hortons and bacon. While on the road, we need do our best to drive safely and lookout for our fellow drivers. If it’s that bad out, consider staying in for the day. If you have go out, take care and don’t speed… After all it doesn’t matter how fast you get to the Tim Hortons drive through, there will be a line up.

Winter Driving Part 1

I can’t believe this post came so early this year but with the recent dump of snow in Alberta and parts is B.C., we should go over winter driving safety. Good Ol’ Canadian weather eh? I know as Canadians we think we are expert winter drivers but sadly that’s not the case. 30% of all car accidents are snow related. Here are a few reminders to keep you and your vehicle in between the mustard and the mayo and out of the ditch.

Always do your walk around. Check your tires, make sure they are compatible with ice and snow and the tread is safe. Fill up washer fluid, clean your windows and head and tail lights. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination, speeding is a no-no, especially on ice and snow. Depending on how bad the roads are, you may need to go slower than the posted speed limit and that’s okay. Speaking of going slow… If someone in front of you is driving slow, don’t ride their tail end. Slippery conditions make slowing or stopping take way longer, meaning they might be annoying you but when you slam into them it’s your fault, not theirs. Keep your cool and try to be patient, everyone has different levels of experience or familiarity behind the wheel during bad weather. For a flurry of more tips, slide on over to part 2.