NEWS UPDATES

Long Weekends

For many of us, a long weekend symbolizes the true start of summer. It gives us the opportunity to meet up with friends and family, have a few drinks, enjoy the weather and hit the open road. With this in mind, it is extremely important to keep a few safety tips in mind!

• Plan in advance and be prepared. Before embarking on a journey, you want to make sure that you know exact directions to avoid being lost. It is also a good idea to have an emergency road safety kit and fully charged cell phone on hand.
• Long Weekends are widely-known for congested highways due to eager individuals excited to arrive at their destination. Leave plenty of time for your travels and always check weather conditions in advance.
• Prior to leaving, have your vehicle undergo a safety inspection. You want to ensure that it is in top condition, including all fluids filled and the tires properly inflated.
• While not necessary to carry your passport while travelling within the country, it is always a good idea to have an identification card for each person travelling in the event of an emergency.
• Ensure items inside and outside the vehicle are properly secured prior to your departure. If any items do come loose they could injure you, your vehicle, and/or other vehicles. 
• Safe driving practices are always in effect while travelling. If you have taken the defensive driving course, it may be useful. Remember to avoid speeding, tailgating, sudden accelerations and stops, and limit distractions while driving.
 

Sun Protection

Living in Saskatchewan, we are faced with winter for the majority of our seasons. However, when summer hits most people like to take full advantage. As much as we love spending time outside, it is important to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays. Reviewing sun safety tips can prevent harmful sunburns.

The peak times for UV rays are between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. It is recommended to invest in long sleeve clothes, or clothes with UPF built into them such as swim shirts and rash guards if you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun. Additional items such as sunglasses and an umbrella will be useful in preventing sunburn. 

When looking for the appropriate sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher will do the trick! SPF 30 protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays. Creams are better to get an even application across the body, however spray sunscreen are useful for reapplication. If using a spray sunscreen, you will want to apply a thick even coat and thoroughly rub it into your skin to avoid missing sections of your body. 

The biggest hassle is getting children to willingly apply sunscreen. Keep it simple. Children are more inclined to put sunscreen on if it is fragrance free, and color free. If you are looking to avoid sunscreens with chemicals in them, look for the ones containing zinc and titanium. 

The biggest safety tip while spending time in the sun is to reapply. You must reapply sunscreen every two hours, or if you have gone swimming or are sweating.  It is often forgotten to reapply, due to the fact that the sunscreen may be water-resistant. It is still crucial to apply after swimming in a pool or lake despite water-resistant sunscreen. If forgotten about, it may lead to severe sunburn! 

Boat Safety Tips

If you’ve ever visited Saskatchewan, you already know about the 100,000 of lakes and rivers that encompass the province. Summer activities such as boating, canoeing and kayaking are of high interest, however, like any activity involving a body of water, it can be dangerous. Below are several safety tips to check out before heading to the water!

Ensure your life jacket is Canadian-Approved floatation device. You must have one appropriately fitting lifejacket for each person on board. Often times adults feel they have strong enough swimming skills that they do not need to wear a life jacket. Water temperature, distances from shores and other factors can make swimming much more challenging. 

Check the weather forecast. Always enter the water when it is safe to do so, strong currents can come from nowhere. If you are already on the water and there are clouds, dark skies and distant rumbles of thunder, seek shore and shelter immediately. If your boat is unable to make it to shore, crouch down in the middle of the craft, or go below if possible. 

Be sure your watercraft is ready and has the proper equipment on board. Prior to leaving, a full safety inspection should be completed on your watercraft. If anything is not working properly you do not want to find out while on the water! It is required by law to have your Pleasure Craft Operator Card on hand as well as marine safety equipment.

Do not drink alcohol while operating a watercraft or while on the water. Alcohol impairs a person’s ability to think, act and prepare efficiently. If an emergency situation arises, you must be capable to handle it both mentally and physically. Driving while impaired can be detrimental to yourself, passengers and people swimming.

Keep watch for swimmers. Regardless what type of watercraft you are using, you must always be on the watch for swimmers. Keep a safe distance from anyone that is in the water.

Avoid fooling around. Water activities can be extremely fun, but should not be taken to the next level. There should be no paddle wars, wrestling or standing up when not needed as it can result in injuries. 

In order to be as safe as possible while entering a body of water, it is recommended to take all necessary training, courses and licenses required. The more knowledgeable you are the better. Review these safety tips with yourself and others prior to heading out on the water!

Campfire Safety

No matter what season we are in, campfires are a favorite outdoor activity for everyone. Who does not love sitting around a campfire, talking, singing, roasting marshmallows and creating memories to last a life-time?

While campfires are a fun and enjoyable thing to do, they can also be very dangerous. To reduce the risk of injuries and out of control fires several safety tips must be addressed. Remember that these tips are intended for children too. Keep everyone safe by taking the proper precautions prior to enjoying a bonfire.

  • Always check the weather. It is crucial to be aware of unexpected winds.
  • Do not build a bonfire around dangerous materials such as gas tanks, power lines, vehicles, dry grass and buildings.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby and a fire extinguisher in case of emergency.
  • Never leave children or pets unsupervised by the fire.
  • Never leave a bonfire unattended, you must put it out prior to leaving.
  • Never burn aerosol and aluminum cans, plastic, and glass. It is bad for the environment and can be extremely dangerous!
  • Keep unused firewood away from the fire.
  • When extinguishing your fire, pour lots of water on it. You want to make sure the “hissing” sound stops. You may have to mix the water and embers to ensure everything is completely wet.
  • Review these safety tips with everyone present before enjoying a bonfire! 

At the end of the day, everyone wants to enjoy the fun and relaxation associated with bonfires. However, this also comes with the responsibility of properly maintaining and extinguishing the fire. When it comes to fire safety, be aware and be prepared!

BBQ Safety

We all love a good barbeque, especially during the warm months of summer. Nothing quite tops the company of family and friends, a cool drink and grilling outside. However, if not given the appropriate attention, barbequing can be quite dangerous. The Saskatchewan Safety Council recommends reviewing these home safety tips to allow you to have a fun and safe BBQ at any time.

1.    Make a clean start: Before beginning to BBQ, clean the burner port and tubes. These often get blocked by dust and cobwebs. It is essential to check all hoses and cylinder connections for gas leaks by applying 50/50 water and soap mixture to them. Remember bubbles are trouble! If you see bubbles, tighten connections, replace parts and retest!
2.    Ignite Right: Always open the lid first before lighting your BBQ. Failure to do so allows the gas to build up and can result in serious consequences! Once the lid is open, open the gas valve on the tank, turn on the burner controls and take a step back. Press the igniter to light your barbeque safely!
3.    Enclosed Spaces: Never BBQ in an enclosed space, it releases carbon monoxide which can be deadly. Grill outside!  
4.    Pay Attention: It is very easy to get distracted by family, friends, phone calls etc. BBQs are intended to be attended! Keep pets and kids away from the BBQ to avoid injuries.
5.    Transportation:  When transporting propane, it is crucial to do it properly. The tank must be upright with the service valve plugged, secured and ventilated. Keep all the windows open!

Following these safety tips will allow you to BBQ in a fun and safe environment for everyone!
 

Bicycle Safety

As spring and summer are quickly upon us, it is important to review crucial bike safety tips. In order to enjoy the weather and have fun with friends, Occupational Health and Safety suggest these guidelines be reviewed.

Ride Safely - In order to protect yourself always wear a helmet, the use of a helmet can save your life!  Remember to obey traffic lights, do not cross over the double yellow line on the road, and inspect your bike prior to riding using the ABC rule.

A – Air Pressure: Every tire has a recommended inflation on the sidewall of every tire. Make sure your          air pressure is not too high or too low!

B – Brakes: To check your brakes, make sure the brake pads are rubbing against the metal rims, not the rubber on the tires. Additionally, you should not be able to squeeze the brake lever to the extent in which it touches the handlebars. If this happens, your bicycle is not fit to ride.

C—Chain: Check to make sure your chain is not rusting. It is also a good idea to check the shifters and derailleurs to ensure these parts are functioning properly. Safety inspections may be inconvenient, but only take a few minutes and can save a life!

Ride Predictably – Riding predictably is safe and easy, but also the law. Key reminders when biking are to ride with traffic (not against it), stop at all stop lights and signs, yield to pedestrians, utilize hand-signals when turning, and leave sidewalks clear for safe walking.

Ride Politely – Informing the city of potholes and road imperfections can help prevent future injuries to those participating in any type of physical activity. Always be kind and considerate of others while riding, they must look out for you and you must look out for them

The Importance of Training in the Workplace


Properly training employees presents the opportunity to expand their knowledge base, increase employee morale and keep your workers safe. Three essential courses all workplaces should implement are WHMIS, First Aid and Defensive Driving.

WHMIS is an acronym for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems. This is a national hazard communication standard. Employers are required to provide employees working with or within the vicinity of hazardous substances WHMIS training. It is the employees “Right to know.” Key elements covered in the course are hazard classification, cautionary labelling of containers, provision of material data safety sheets and worker education and training.

First Aid Safety is offered in a variety of different courses depending on the individuals need. All training is done utilizing the most up-to-date methods such as lectures, workbooks, videos and hands on exercises. For workplace safety, it is recommended to have your basic Emergency First Aid and CPR-A. This course will teach participants how to treat burns, wounds, heart attacks, external bleeding, choking and victim assessment. In addition they will learn the skills required to use an automated external defibrillator.

Being able to drive defensively in today's traffic is an extremely desired and valuable skill. Defensive driving is taking all necessary precautions to prevent incidents and injuries. The course covers the basic principles of defensive driving, attitudes effecting driving, driving impairment, driving with children, navigating intersections, properly passing and distracted driving.

 

Providing employees with proper training is beneficial to both the employee and employer.  Below are some of the reasons why.
• Strengthen skills
• Improved performance
• Build employee confidence
• Stronger understanding of the industry
• Generate new ideas for improvement
• Up-to-date training allows for team leaders at your organization
• Consistency – aware of the expectations and policies

Flood Prevention and Preparation

Spring has sprung! This means that Saskatchewan will be experiencing a lot of rain, increasing the risk of floods. Flooding is the most frequent natural disaster in Canada. The dangers of flooding can occur in the form of flash flooding or heavy rain falls. Flash flooding happens in an instant, leaving minimal time to react.  It is usually caused by hurricanes, aggressive storms and dams that are broken. Heavy rainfall is another form of flooding in which the ground is still frozen or has already been saturated from previous rainfalls. With this in mind, it is always a good idea to be prepared. Here is a list of safety tips to ensure you and your loved ones are equipped in the event of a flood.

  1. Place weather protector sealant around basement windows and the base of all ground level doors.

  2. Install a sump-pump to remove excess water.

  3. Install drainage for downspouts – these should be far away from the house in order for water to flow away from the house.

  4. Turn off basement furnace and gas valves.

  5. Move furniture and electrical appliances to higher levels within the house.

  6. Remove any toxic substances such as pesticide. (You do not want this spreading throughout the house if a flood occurs!)

  7. Remove toilet bowls and block sewage drains.

  8. Have an Emergency Kit easily accessible.

As mentioned previously floods can occur at any time, making it difficult to plan ahead. Always have a radio on hand, it will become useful when the power is out and you need more information on the affected areas. If you are prompted by an emergency official always do as you are told. They are the most knowledgeable in this situation and are looking out for your safety.

The safety tips provided above act as a guideline, for more detailed information please visit http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/flds-ftr-en.aspx

Do You Have What It Takes To Survive?

Preparing yourself with a well-equipped survival safety kit can be crucial for you and your loved ones safety in the event of an emergency situation. The weather can turn at any given moment creating severe storms that alter driving conditions. Preparation is imperative for safe traveling. Before setting out in the winter, The Saskatchewan Safety Council suggests getting your vehicle ready. This includes putting winter tires on, windshield washer fluid topped off, wearing comfortable clothing for longer trips and completing a brief vehicle safety inspection. Aside from having your vehicle ready, there are many essentials to pack:

  • Fully Charged Cell Phone – This is crucial for contacting emergency responders.

  • Candles – Provide heat so that you are able to melt snow into water. Do not dehydrate yourself!

  • Waterproof Matches – You will need these to light your candle.

  • Pot or Metal Cup – This will be needed to melt the snow in.

  • Warm Blankets – Although most safety kits provide an emergency blanket, it is always a good idea to pack additional blankets from home.

  • Toque – Your body loses heat the fastest from the head. While other clothing such as mitts, scarves and extra socks are recommended, be sure to have your head covered!

  • Non-Perishable Food – Make sure to pack snacks such as granola bars and trail mix.

  • Traction – It is always a good idea to bring sand, kitty litter or carpet strips in case your vehicle becomes stuck.

  • Small Shovel – In addition to traction, you may need a small shovel to get your vehicle unstuck.

  • First Aid Supplies – In case anyone is hurt, you will have the necessary resources to help them.

  • Ice Scraper – Before attempting to drive anywhere you must make sure your windows are clear of snow enabling strong visibility.

In addition to these items, make sure you are prepared for your own personal needs. Depending on who you are traveling with, you may need to prepare for them too. For example, to ensure senior safety, pack all necessary medications.

All these safety tips may seem like a lot of work, but are fundamental when faced with an emergency crisis. Most listed supplies can be found in stores for your convenience. Saskatchewan Safety Council has winter survival kits at various price points. These can be found at http://www.sasksafety.org/training/community/winter-survival-kit

 

Promote Safety with Tool Box Talks

Safety meetings are critical to preventing injuries and saving companies time and money. By providing the proper knowledge and safety tips to employees, they can more easily identify hazards in their work environment. Therefore, as an employer, it is critical to make sure that you and your staff are trained, alert and dedicated to their safety.

Many companies are now participating in a practice called Tool Box Talks. The primary objective of a Tool Box Talk is to reduce work-related injuries and accidents by increasing employee’s safety awareness. A brief 10-15 minute “Tool Box Talk” can significantly decrease the chance of an employee becoming involved in an incident such as burning themselves or falling off a ladder.

What is a Tool Box Talk? A Tool Box Talk is a quick, informal group meeting, usually before the start of a work shift, where employees and managers of a department discuss particular safety issues and concerns. Tool Box Talks take place to:

  • Inform employees on changes with company procedures
  • Identify and develop controls for hazards
  • Increase employee participation and morale
  • Develop work processes
  • Discuss incident data

The Saskatchewan Safety Council encourages businesses to utilize Tool Box Talks daily or weekly, depending on the risks involved. Performing these talks at least once a week can provide employees with safety tips, ensure proper respiratory fit testing is completed, and improve safety inspections. Every day countless workers around the world are injured. Educating your employees on potential dangers can help reduce the risk!

Driving while tired? Think twice

Everyday thousands of people are driving while tired or sleep deprived, this is called fatigued driving.  Drivers are well aware of how dangerous drinking and driving is; however, driving “drowsy” can be just as deadly. There are serious consequences associated with fatigued driving. It impairs your ability to perform basic driving tasks, reaction time and judgement, just like alcohol.  Furthermore, there is the possibility of seriously injuring and/or killing yourself and others.

The Saskatchewan Safety Council would like to raise awareness about fatigued driving, and provide safety tips to help prevent injuries and incidents. Fatigue can set in at any given moment, and it is crucial to be prepared. Here are symptoms of fatigue to look for when driving.

  • Blinking
  • Yawning
  • Closing your eyes
  • Wandering or disconnected thoughts
  • Braking too late
  • No recollection of last few KM’s
  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Realizing you have slowed down unintentionally

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, pull over immediately. You are a danger to yourself and others! Below are safety tips for drivers to engage in while feeling fatigued and driving.

  • Good sleep prior to long trips
  • Divide driving time between all passengers
  • Take rest stops every few hours to move around
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat lighter meals
  • If tired during a trip, a 20-40 minute nap can reduce sleepiness

For more information regarding safe driving tips and training programs, visit www.sasksafety.org

Work Zone Supervisor Training Now Open For Registration

We are now taking bookings for our Work Zone Traffic Accommodation Supervisor course.  We have courses available for new supervisors and those needing recertification.  There is also our Flag Person Train the Trainer module that can be added on to either course.  For more information click here.

2015 Industrial Safety Seminar Early Bird Deadline Extended

We have extended the deadline for early bird registration prices to Friday, January 9.  If you or a co-worker still needs to register for this exciting 3 day event, do not miss the last chance for these amazing rates! 

Register now!

Skid Smart: Collision Avoidance Courses Open in Humboldt

We are very excited to be working with Discovery Ford to bring our Skid Smart course to Humboldt from January 14th - 23rd!  Discovery Ford is constructing a skid pad at their dealership to make it easier for those in the Humboldt and surrounding area to participate in this valuable and unique course.  If you live in the Humboldt area, now is the perfect time to improve your driving skills with the best winter driving course in the province.  

For registration details, click here.

Southwest Booster Interview Highlights October Mature Driver Refresher Courses

A trio of senior driving courses offered this October by the Saskatchewan Safety Council will help Southwest seniors be safer behind the wheel this fall and winter.

The 55 Alive Mature Driver's Refresher Course is being offered in Swift Current, Oct. (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Riverview Village Estates); Shaunavon Oct. 8 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Crescent Point Wickenheiser Center), and Maple Creek Oct. 10 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Senior Citizen's Centre), with the course aiming to reach mature drivers aged 55 years and over.

Course instructor Lee Carlson said he will not be teaching anything new to motorists who already boast decades of driving experience, but there are some suggestions and tips which will help make them more comfortable and safe when driving.

Read More

Long Weekends
20 July 2015

Sun Protection
8 July 2015

Boat Safety Tips
18 June 2015

Campfire Safety
8 June 2015

BBQ Safety
19 May 2015

Bicycle Safety
8 May 2015

The Importance of Training in the Workplace
20 April 2015

Flood Prevention and Preparation
13 April 2015

Do You Have What It Takes To Survive?
25 March 2015

Promote Safety with Tool Box Talks
13 March 2015

Driving while tired? Think twice
6 March 2015

Work Zone Supervisor Training Now Open For Registration
27 February 2015

2015 Industrial Safety Seminar Early Bird Deadline Extended
8 January 2015

Skid Smart: Collision Avoidance Courses Open in Humboldt
16 December 2014

Southwest Booster Interview Highlights October Mature Driver Refresher Courses
16 December 2014

 

 

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