Tips for Home and Recreational Safety

looking at a phone in a car

According to the National Safety council, “In 2011, there were an estimated 86,100 home and community-related unintentional injury deaths, accounting for 70 percent of all unintentional injury deaths that year.” This is far more fatalities than what’s occurring in our workplaces today.  An additional 28.5 million people suffered nonfatal injuries due to home and community-related incidents, which correlates to about one out of every 11 people. This is astonishing and as such, families need to be engaged in and educated on the dangers related to homes and recreation and take the proper precautions to prevent injury. 

Some of the top home and recreational incidents include motor vehicle crashes, falls, poisonings, choking, and drowning.  Let’s discuss the top three, beginning with motor vehicle crashes.  The National Safety Council estimates that 23 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involve cell phone use, and distracted driving is quickly becoming an increasingly large problem on our nation’s roadways.  Even for the most experienced drivers, distracted driving presents a serious safety hazard.  There are cell phones, navigation systems, MP3 players, radios, pets, children, eating, and a myriad of other items to distract drivers.  Be aware of these distractions and limit them.  Program your GPS while the vehicle is in park, secure pets, dine in, and put your smart phone down.  Let calls go to voicemail and read emails another time.  The safe bet is to keep your hands on the wheel and stay focused on the task of driving. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to drive with a space cushion around your vehicle and practice maintaining good following distance, that’s something we can all appreciate!

Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and communities, resulting in more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009.  Most people have a friend or relative who has fallen, or it’s likely you’ve fallen yourself.  The risk of falling, and fall-related problems, rises with age and is a serious issue in homes and communities today.  Take the time to remove slip, trip and fall hazards and practice good housekeeping to keep your family safe.

Lastly, unintentional poisoning includes the unsupervised ingestion of drugs or chemicals, "overdoses" or the excessive use of a drug and exposure to environmental substances. The most common poisons include prescription and over-the-counter medications, cleaning products and personal care products.  Protect your children, and your pets, by storing medicine and vitamins out of reach and out of sight, listen for the cap to “click” when closing bottles, and put them away after every use.

Remember, when someone is injured or killed, the effects go far beyond that person and extend to family members, friends, neighbors, employers and communities. A fundamental way to preventing injuries is making simple changes to your lifestyle - recognizing potential hazards and managing those hazards effectively.

Discover more about how Ahern is continually implementing methods for improving the safety of our team, as well as yours.