This is the sixth and final installment of Safety Training Services, Inc.'s second "Office Safety" web blog series. Directly below you will find links to the previous topics:
Now that you've caught yourself up (if need be), we will now discuss two topics in this article: "Safe Driving" and "Recycling."
OSHA really says it best, "You are your employer's most valuable asset!" When it comes to driving, we need to understand that the way you drive says everything about you and your company.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 1,766 deaths a year result from occupational transportation incidents. That number is more than 38 percent of the 4,547 annual number of fatalities from occupational injuries. While fatal highway incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal work-related event, transportation incidents accounted for nearly 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in 2010 and more than 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in 2011.
There were 152 multiple-fatality incidents in 2011 (incidents in which more than one worker was killed) in which 354 workers died.
So what do we do to address this?
Luckily, many of these incidents/injuries are preventable. As does anything else safety-related, it simply requires a bit of knowledge and making a positive statement by following some easy, but mindful guidelines. Luckily, OSHA has done some of the work for us! Here are some their work-related safe driving practices in a quick and easy format:
- Stay Safe!
- Use a seat belt at all times - driver and passenger(s).
- Be well-rested before driving.
- Avoid taking medications that make you drowsy.
- Set a realistic goal for the number of miles that you can drive safely each day.
- If you are impaired by alcohol or any drug, do not drive.
- Stay Focused!
- Driving requires your full attention. Avoid distractions, such as adjusting the radio or other controls, eating or drinking, and talking on the phone.
- Continually search the roadway to be alert to situations requiring quick action.
- Stop about every two hours for a break. Get out of the vehicle to stretch, take a walk, and get refreshed.
- Avoid Aggressive Driving!
- Keep your cool in traffic!
- Be patient and courteous to other drivers.
- Do not take other drivers' actions personally.
- Reduce your stress by planning your route ahead of time, allowing plenty of travel time, and avoiding crowded roadways and busy driving times.
We all have someplace to be, let's make sure we all get there safely!
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the cornerstones of any waste reduction program are waste prevention, recycling, and buying/manufacturing recycled-content products. Waste prevention is the process of preventing or reducing the generation of waste. If this is not achievable and when waste cannot be prevented, recycling is the next best option. It saves energy and helps keep valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators.
- In 2008, the EPA estimated that of the 250 million tons of waste generated in the U.S., approximately one-third, or 83 million tons, was recycled or composted.
- Since 1985, the percentage of waste recycled in the U.S. has doubled, and the trend is likely to continue.
Recycling really deserves it own blog article (and I will address that soon!), but for now, I want to hit on two main topics in an office setting-recycling paper and batteries.
Top 5 Reasons to Recycle Paper:
- Economic Benefits - Creates new jobs, can make extra money for communities, you can re-sell the paper.
- Preservation of Trees - Do we really still not know how much trees do for us? Here are 22 benefits of trees; need I say more?
- Reduce Pollution - Air & water; these are necessities of life! Let's keep it clean, folks.
- Health Benefits - Indirectly, but yes, less pollution=better air/water. Better air/water=better health. Healthy people don't have to go to the doctor as much and don't need as much medications. You like saving money, right?
- Greater Sustainability - There's only one Earth that I know of, so we need it to last as long as possible. Recycling paper uses less natural resources and that equates to longer life on Earth. Unless, you're working on a plan for sustainability on other planets in your spare time, check out which bin you're tossing that paper into.
Bad, Bad, Batteries: The Facts
- Inside a battery, heavy metals react with chemical electrolyte to produce the battery’s power.
- Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when batteries are improperly disposed of.
- One way to reduce the number of batteries in the waste stream is to purchase rechargeable batteries.
- Recycling batteries is good for the environment. It keeps them out of landfill, where heavy metals may leak into the ground when the battery casing corrodes, causing soil and water pollution.
- When incinerated, certain metals might be released into the air or can concentrate in the ash produced by the combustion process.
- If you put your batteries into the normal garbage, they will be taken to landfill sites and the resources lost.
For more information on exactly where you can recycle your batteries, click here to be taken to the EPA.gov link on finding out!
And for more general information on OSHA's Recycling Standards & Hazards, click here.
And, as always, contact Safety Training Services with any further questions, or simply leave it in our comments section below.