March - Prevent Injury after a Natural
Prevent Injury after a Natural
Experiencing a disaster that so many of our friends, family and loved ones just went through is catastrophic in its own right. But some events in the aftermath can cause more harm and sometimes needless injuries. There are some precautions that we can take to reduce the chance of this happening.
PREVENT CARBON MONOXIDE
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden sickness or death if you breathe it. During inclement weather, like hurricanes or winter storms, you may attempt to use alternate sources of heating, cooling or cooking. CO from these sources can build up in the home, garage, camper, or basement.
- Never use generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane or natural gas burning devices in your home or garage or other enclosed area, not even outside by an open window.
- Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.
- If your carbon detector sounds off, get out your house immediately and call 911.
- If you are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated and you suspect CO poisoning, get medical help immediately.
USE CHAINSAWS SAFELY
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions fort adjusting, maintaining and operating the saw. Periodically, check the saw blade.
- Wear the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as goggles, hard hat, chaps, hearing protection, and safety boots.
- Always cut at waist level or below,
- Avoid contact with power lines.
- Keep bystanders away and at a safe distance.
- Be careful cutting trees, branches or limbs that might have gotten bent, twisted or caught up in other branches. When they are released by a cut, they might strike the operator or a bystander causing serious injury.
AVOID ELECTRIC HAZARDS
- Avoid contact with power lines, regardless of whether they are on the ground or intact. Avoid “standing water,” if you see power lines down. If a power line falls across your car while you are in it, continue to drive away from the line.
- Never turn power on or off or use any electric tool, if you are standing in water. If electrical equipment has gotten wet, turn off the power at the main breaker or panel.
- If you see frayed wiring or sparks or smell burning when you turn the power back on, immediately turn it off.
- Consult your local utility company on the proper method to install and use power generators.
BE ALERT TO GAS LEAKS
- If you smell gas or suspect a leak, leave the house immediately. Notify emergency authorities at once and don’t light matches, smoke or do anything that requires a spark.
- Do not return to your house until you are told that it is safe to do so.
- When possible, use flashlights or other battery type lights instead of candles.
- If candles are the only choice, use a good safe holder and keep the flame away from curtains, drapes, paper or wood.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- When cleaning up, try to have at least 2- 10 LB., ABC; UL approved fire extinguishers accessible in case of a fire.
BE AWARE OF DROWNING HAZARDS
- Avoid moving water, regardless of the depth or speed. Do not drive through flooded roadways. Follow all warnings about water on roadways.
- If you are required to work near floodwater, wear a life jacket. If you are ever caught in an area that is flooded, use a life jacket or keep another type of flotation device close at hand in case of an emergency.
BE AWARD OF DANGEROUS MATERIALS
- Call the fire department to inspect or remove chemicals, propane tanks, and other dangerous materials.
- Wear protective clothing and other gear (a respirator, if needed) when handling hazardous materials.
- Wash skin that may have come in contact with hazardous materials.
- Wear insulted gloves and use caution when removing a car battery. Car batteries can maintain a charge even when they are flooded. Avoid any acid that my have leaked from the battery.
REDUCE TEMPERATURES-RELATED RISKS
- When standing or working in water colder than 75º(24º C
~Wear rubber boots
~Ensure that boots and clothing are properly insulated.
~Take frequent breaks out of the water.
~Change into dry clothing when possible.
- Prevent heat-related Illness:
~Stay in air-conditioned buildings when possible.
~Take breaks in shaded areas or in cool rooms.
~Drink water and nonalcoholic fluids often.
~Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
~Do outdoor activities during cooler hours.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ANIMAL AND INSECT-RELATED HAZARDS
- Avoid wild animals or biting and stinging insects.
- Call local authorities to handle animals. Get rid of dead animals, using local guidelines and contacting the authorities
COMMIT TO SAFETY
ONE STEP AT A TIME !!
Excerpts: www.cdc.gov/disasters 10/11/2005
Ted Gordon is the Risk Management/Loss Control Manager for the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. His office is located in the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, in Verona, MS. His telephone number is 662-566-2201.