#SafetyCHAMP Controlling Emotions While Driving

Our emotions play a vital role when we are driving. Having a heated argument with your spouse or feeling stressed over financial challenges will hamper your ability to think and reason while on the road. It is imperative that you control your emotions while driving and focus on driving safely.

Being upset, allowing rage, and impatience are all attitudes and emotions that could adversely affect your ability to observe the road and avoid hazardous situations. These types of emotions can cause you to concentrate on the negative event and not on your driving. We should always avoid heated or bothersome conversations while driving as studies have demonstrated that a heated conversation is almost as hazardous as driving while under the influence. While having good driving skills and attitudes are important, avoiding a bad attitude while driving will enhance your safety on the road.

#SafetyCHAMP Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Unfortunately, we now live in a world much more dangerous than when we were growing up. Taking safety precautions will increase your personal safety. Always be alert and be aware of your surroundings; your safety and that of your family depends on your awareness of potentially dangerous situations.

Whether you are making a trip to the ATM, out shopping, or walking through a parking lot, you must always pay attention not only to those around you but also the potential situations that could leave you vulnerable. Take the blindfolds off and be aware of the many things to see, hear, feel, and smell before you get out of your vehicle. To maintain your safety, you must train yourself to be alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Your personal, and that of your family’s, safety depends on it.

#SafetyCHAMP- Accident Prevention

All accidents are preventable. In most cases it is the hazardous decisions we make or distraction while walking or performing a task. Accidents can happen to ANYONE on a construction job, at the office, or on a service call. EVERYONE should know how accidents can be recognized, and prevented.

The Seven Root Causes of an Accident

It might involve walking a few feet to lock-out and tag a switch, get a better tool, or get a better view. It might involve spending a few extra seconds to wait for the “walk” signal, or get a better view of the roadway before entering the roadway.There are seven common root causes people have accidents:

  1. Taking Shortcuts
  2. Being Over-Confident
  3. Starting a Task with Incomplete Instructions
  4. Poor Housekeeping
  5. Ignoring Safety Procedures
  6. Mental Distractions
  7. Failure to Pre-Plan the Work

Ask yourself which of these seven root causes can I improve on? Even in the office we ignore good housekeeping or in our vehicles were a cup or bag can roll under the accelerator. Be alert and conscientious of your surroundings and on the tasks you’re performing.

Safety is everyone’s business; at home and at work

#SafetyCHAMP- Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end Collision

The Problem

Rear-end collisions account for 49 percent of all accidents. The NHTSA found in a 2007 study that drivers involved in rear-end crashes were “routinely engaged in activities that divert their attention from the forward roadway while driving,” and 64 percent of those involved in rear-end collisions were not looking at the road at the time of the crash.

The Solution

One way we can avoid a near miss or collision is to turn on our turn signal prior to pressing on the brakes. Given that most people are driving too close to the car in front, we can start alerting the driver prior to the location where we are planning on turning. As we approach, the turn is when we press on the brakes. Most people tend to do it backwards, which increases the chances of a rear-end collision. Driving smart and defensively will avoid unnecessary accidents.

Safety is everyone’s business; at home and at work

#SafetyCHAMP- Proper Lifting Techniques

Proper Lifting Techniques

Improper lifting causes back injuries that can take months and even years to heal. In order to avoid discomfort and pain, basic techniques for lifting should be followed. Here is an extensive video on proper lifting techniques.

  • Know how heavy the load is. If over 75 pounds get help.
  • Ensure the travel path is free of debris or obstacles that can make you fall.
  • Get a firm footing, feet apart, one slightly behind the other for good balance.
  • Get a good grip. If the object you are lifting has sharp or ragged edges, wear gloves.
  • Stand close to the load and squat down making sure to never bend down to lift anything; always lift with your legs and not your back.
  • As you rise, lift with your legs keeping your back straight.
  • Carry the load close to your body.
  • Never twist your body to place down a load. Move your feet and position yourself in front of the drop area.

Safety is everyone’s business; at home and at work.

#SafetyCHAMP Program Produces Injury-Free 2015 At Two Florida Locations

What does it take to have no accidents at two company service areas for an entire calendar year and see a drop in incidents at two others?

“It’s about moving safety from just a bunch of policies to a way of life,” said Luis Moreno, Safety Director at Hill York, Florida’s leading commercial air conditioning and energy solutions company. “That level of awareness requires a program that inspires employees to take ownership of securing worksites, enhancing procedures, and protecting co-workers and customers from risk and injury.”

The Program

Launched in 2014, the #SafetyCHAMP program has been instrumental in improving on-the-job risk avoidance and reducing the number of injuries and time lost by employees in Hill York’s four Florida service areas. The company logged one of its best safety years ever in 2015, with an accident-free record at its West Palm Beach and St. Petersburg locations and a decline in reported injuries at locations in Melbourne and Fort Lauderdale.

“All Hill Yorkers deserve a lot of credit for their hard work and vigilant attitudes in achieving this impressive safety record in 2015,” said CEO Robert “Chip” Lafferty. “The #SafetyCHAMP program’s results are evidence of a successful partnership with our customers and each other that keeps the focus right where it belongs – getting everyone home safe.”

According to Moreno, the #SafetyCHAMP program is supported by daily checklists, practices and procedures that help reduce risks and stop injuries before they happen. A daily 7 a.m. text message provides additional safety tips and cautions. Its popularity among employees has led some to even opt their spouses and children into getting the morning safety reminders by texting HYSafe to 95577.

“The best defense is always prevention,” he observed. “That means wearing protective equipment when activities warrant them, following safe practices in all situations with consistency and diligence, and making choices that favor risk avoidance over risk taking.”

An outgrowth of The Comfort Champions – Hill York’s company culture and commitment to make life more comfortable for customers and employees – the #SafetyCHAMP program is proving to be a critical business component with a direct impact on health and wellbeing. And that’s no accident either.

The Company

A full-service commercial air conditioning company, Hill York provides system maintenance, service, repairs, energy solutions and installation for a wide range of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Founded in 1936, the company serves the state of Florida. For more information, visit www.hillyork.com.

January 2016 | #SafetyCHAMP Program Produces Injury-Free 2015 At Two Florida Locations

#SafetyCHAMP- Safety Data Sheets

We all know Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are documents that contain information on the chemical make-up, use, storage, handling, emergency procedures, and potential health effects related to a hazardous material. SDSs are prepared and written by the manufacturer of the material. How can this information be used at home?

Poison Control Centers in the United States get more than 2 million calls a year about potential exposure to hazardous materials. Most exposures occur in the home and 80% of all poisonings are in children between the ages of 1 and 4. Check out this list of ways to prevent such an event here. If an accident does occur and you drive the child to the hospital or call EMS, have the container readily available as doctors will be hesitant to treat an individual without knowing the exact chemical. The back label serves as SDS providing important information needed to treat the person.

The safety guidelines learned at work should always be practiced at home.

Safety is everyone’s business; at home and at work.

#SafetyCHAMP- Power Strips

Power strips are lengths of electrical sockets that allow multiple appliances to be powered. However, as with all types of extension cords, they should be used sparingly and temporarily with small appliances and electronics rather than as a substitute for a permanent wall receptacle. Their improper use may pose a potential for shock or fire hazard.

When we purchase a power strip that is not UL listed because of price, we need to understand the reason for the lower pricing. The UL listing represents the product has undergone rigorous testing having the manufacturer pass on the cost to the consumer. If the power strip does not have a UL listing on the back, it’s probably good for thirty days. After 30 days it poses a fire hazard in your home or office. It is recommended you check the power strips at home ensuring they are all UL listed and that they do not have high energy appliances like a blow drier plugged into them.

Safety is everyone’s business; at home and at work.

#SafetyCHAMP- Holiday Safety

Holiday Safety Post

During the holidays, it’s important to follow basic safety rules. Check out these holiday safety tips and enjoy the festivities of the season injury-free!

1.) Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections can trigger a serious shock or ignite a fire.

2.) Don’t overload electrical outlets. Overloading electrical outlets is a common cause of holiday fires. Spread your electrical devices out among multiple outlets and plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time.

3.) Use battery-powered candles. Traditional candles fires are four times more likely during the holiday season. Battery-operated candles provide the same holiday ambiance without the hazard.

4.) Treat cords with care. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, wedged in to small spaces such as doors or windows, tucked under rugs, put near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

5.) Don’t stray far from the kitchen when something is cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires. Makes sure someone’s on duty until the dish is done.

6.) Shut things down at bedtime. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. To be on the safe side, unplug all decorations and extinguish all candles before turning in for the night or leaving the house.

7.) Make sure your ladder is stable. When hanging decorations outside, place your ladder on firm ground. Use leg levellers under the ladder on uneven or soft ground. (You can buy them at hardware or home improvement stores.) Check the ladder’s maximum load rating to confirm that it can support both your weight and whatever you are carrying. Check all rung locks and spreader braces on the ladder to make sure they are set.

8.) Stay within your ladder’s safe zone. Center your body between the rails of the ladder at all times. Leaning too far to one side while working is dangerous and can cause you to fall. Do not stand on the top three rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.

A happy holiday begins and ends with safety. Keep these holiday safety tips in mind as you exercise caution and you’ll be ready to enjoy the magic – and avoid the tragic – all season long.

#SafetyCHAMP- Cell phones at Gas Pumps

Cell Phones… A couple months ago, reports surfaced of incidents where drivers suffered burns and their cars severely damaged when gasoline fumes ignited at the gas pump. What was originally thought to be cell phones producing sparks from their battery packs and metal exteriors is now looking like the build up of static electricity, which occurs from normal activity.

As a precaution, mobile phone makers have printed precautions in their user handbooks that warn against mobile phones in “gas stations, fuel storage sites, and chemical factories.” Many fuel companies have also placed “warning stickers” at their gasoline stations. The threat cell phones at gas pumps pose is primarily the result of their ability to produce sparks from the build up of static electricity.

To prevent any build up while at the fuel pump, simply exit your vehicle and immediately “ground” yourself by touching the plastic part of the payment interface. This safely discharges any built up static electricity and will prevent any accidents like the ones described above. Please discuss this issue with friends and family members.