Category Archives: Our Blogs

Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

Your employees may not be emergency responders, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train them like one. Especially in high-risk industries such as construction and agriculture, employees need to know how to assess and respond to hazards around the workplace. At a minimum, employees should be confident they can identify unexpected situations, evaluate the hazards, and know when and how to take control of the situation safely. Training is never a waste of time, and if it’s put on the backburner, it’s a disservice to the entire company.

Most companies have a basic set of safety protocols and training sessions. And most employees have a general idea of these basics. For many industries, this may not be enough. So, how do you prepare employees for possibilities outside of the typical ideas of potential accidents? The answer is additional, appropriate, and customized training. Safety training essentially is helping people know how to expect the unexpected and providing them with the proper tools to address the unexpected in an effective way.

Cross-Train Employees

One way to help employees be prepared for unexpected events is to cross-train them on other duties. Learning the skills of other departments, even on a small scale, provides a better understanding of operations and offers more support to each employee. This doesn’t mean every employee needs to be an expert in every skill a company offers, but rather a general idea of how various operations are handled in order to be on guard for potential issues. Plus, broadening employees’ skill base is a benefit to the employer, the employee, and the customer.

Cross-training often builds a better team framework, encouraging everyone to work together and value each responsibility. When employees understand what different departments are accountable for, it promotes healthier collaboration and can even increase productivity. Not only are roles extra covered if someone is out, but the functions of these roles are understood at a deeper level. This means if something goes wrong, everyone will have some knowledge of how to respond appropriately.

Understand and Apply

Employers are charged with the responsibility of training their staff. This can’t happen effectively if they don’t understand their staff’s needs. Information that is too broad may be ineffective and staff members may lose interest quickly, yet information that is too detailed or not applicable to the team’s scope may feel overwhelming and cause stress. With a more customized approach, you can ensure you’re training on topics that are really necessary and that employees walk away feeling educated and valued. Everyone in the office should be accountable for training. When management shows engagement, the rest of the company typically follows suit. It’s also important to monitor training sessions and adapt to the needs and responses of the team.

When it comes to additional, specific training, it’s important to implement it professionally so your team doesn’t feel like management is overreacting with an unreasonable approach. Rather, tailor the training to promote a desire to be ready for possibilities that are truly likely in your workplace.

Back-to-School Safety

Back-to-School Safety

Many emotions surround going back to school. Some kids are excited, others are nervous. Some parents are heartbroken, others are thrilled. Wherever you are on the gamut, it’s important to be prepared with some back-to-school safety information.

It’s a Community Effort

Even if you don’t have children going to school, the new schedule affects the whole community. Everyone needs to drive more alert during school drop off and pick up hours, especially around bus stops and cross walks. Remember, a bus with flashing red lights and stop signs extended means you must stop—regardless of the direction you are traveling. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, all drivers must wait until the lights stop flashing and the signs have been withdrawn to proceed. Pay attention to crossing guards, watch for children running out between parked cars, and follow traffic rules in school zones. It’s also important to teach children to follow safety protocols when walking or riding bikes to and from school. A good rule of thumb is to wait until you have made eye contact with the driver before crossing the street.

Parent Involvement

Even though parents are very busy, some involvement with the school is necessary. Make sure your child’s information is up to date and includes important details. Most schools require updated forms each year with the basics, so be sure these get filled out. Additionally, make sure you’ve notified teachers and staff of critical information such as learning disabilities, allergies, guardianship complications, etc. It’s also wise to get to know a few other parents at the school. You don’t need to get fully involved with the PTA to be effective, just a handful of parents that can be relied on in case of emergencies will do. Know what emergency procedures the school has in the case of natural disasters as well as other emergencies that are uncomfortable to think about.

Don’t Carry Too Much Weight

It may sound silly at first, but backpack design and usage also need to be monitored. Many kids suffer from back pain, strain, and fatigue due to heavy backpacks and misuse. Too much weight can also create long-term issues with posture. Ensure your child’s backpack doesn’t hang more than a couple inches below their waist, try to get packs with wide padded shoulder straps, and encourage your child to wear the pack tightly on both shoulders. In general, a backpack shouldn’t exceed about 15-20% of their body weight.

At School

Finally, talk to your children about safety during school. Discuss bullying and how there is a no-tolerance policy for such behavior. If your child feels they are being bullied, address it with the school as soon as possible. The playground needs to be a topic as well, and if you’re child loves the monkey bars, make sure they leave scarves, necklaces, or hoodies with drawstrings on the ground. We want our children to have fun and get a few bumps and bruises along the way. But being a little aware can keep the fun in a healthy zone.

Emergency Preparedness Plans

Emergency Preparedness Plans

Emergencies are not usually predictable, however being prepared and trained for any possibility is an important part of safety in the workplace. It’s critical your employees know how to respond to an emergency and where to go to stay safe. OSHA’s website provides extensive information with recommendations on how to prepare for a variety of hazards, but it may be a good idea to bring in Shield-Safety’s professionals to train your staff on procedures specific to your business and location.

General Preparedness Tips

The best way to handle a disaster is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Of course, this only counts for potential problems within your control. Training your employees on being proactive with safety measures is critical for a safe work environment. Implement procedures such as regularly performing system checks on fire and safety systems and ensuring all safety products are accessible and in working order. Revisit these procedures on a regular basis to keep everyone up to date.

Every business needs an evacuation plan. There should be a primary and a secondary evacuation route, if possible, that every employee knows well and practices. Designate a meeting place outside and have a team responsible to take roll to ensure everyone got out safely. If you have an employee in need of assistance, make sure their needs are addressed and understood in order to create a specific plan for their situation.

Another important aspect of emergency planning is to keep a list of important contacts, such as emergency personnel, disaster relief agencies, family members, applicable customers, and possibly distributors or suppliers. Keep a copy of this list offsite as well. Insurance contacts may also be included in this list, as contacting them quickly will help expedite any potential claims.

No business should be operating without an effective first aid kit. Keep this in an easily accessible place and make sure your employees know where it is. In addition to medical necessities, the kit should include water, flashlights, batteries, a tool kit, a battery powered radio, and some non-perishable foods. Along with this first aid kit, training for your employees on how to implement first aid is also imperative, including how to operate an AED machine (which is a specific, additional training).

Different businesses have different risks and may need to train accordingly. For example, a consultant business on the 15th floor of a high-rise in downtown Salt Lake City will need to prep for different strategies in the event of an earthquake or fire than a single-story office supply warehouse in Magna. It’s important to know the particular risks of your business and prepare for the unique challenges that could come your way.

Shield-Safety is Utah’s leading safety experts. We train businesses for any situation and can create a plan that is specific to your needs. Many employees we train are so satisfied with our information that they take their newly gained knowledge home to their family and friends and implement strategies in their personal lives. For all your training needs, contact us today.

Feds Investigate Workplace Safety at Amazon Warehouses

Feds Investigate Workplace Safety at Amazon Warehouses

Some jobs are just naturally more hazardous than others, but there are still protections in place to ensure the safety of employees. Employers need to follow certain laws and regulations through the US Department of Labor and OSHA to provide a safe workplace for employees. It’s not uncommon to see an employer taking advantage of their employees, but that’s where the Justice Department steps in. NBC News reported in July that Amazon is being investigated for possible worker hazards at many of their warehouses. A U.S. official stated: “Federal workplace inspectors went to Amazon warehouses in several cities … as the Justice Department investigates possible safety issues and whether injuries were hidden.” These warehouses in question were located in New York City, Chicago, and Orlando. One concern is that the pace required from these workers is too extreme, while another concern is that injuries on the job have been hidden. An Amazon spokesperson commented on the investigation in their defense, saying: We’ll of course cooperate with OSHA in their investigation, and we believe it will ultimately show that these concerns are unfounded.” Another Amazon spokesperson did confirm a death of one employee at a New Jersey warehouse, which Amazon said has been properly managed with their family.

Earlier this year, Washington state’s Department of Labor released a statement saying Amazon calls for “strenuous work at an unsafe pace” at their Kent fulfillment center. Amazon disagrees and intends to appeal the labor agency. In response to these concerns, the U.S. Attorney’s office has created ways for former and current workers to report issues related to pace of work, failure to report injuries, and failure to receive proper care at Amazon’s first-aid center, which is provided by the retail giant.

Many Amazon workers from warehouses around the country have tried to form unions, citing working conditions and pace are unfair. Last year, there were reports that Amazon workers were being treated like robots, but Jeff Bezos combated that in his final shareholder letter saying: “that’s simply not accurate.” He stated that employees get designated breaks and often take additional casual breaks. In the letter he also said that Amazon does not set “unreasonable performance goals.” Employees at a Staten Island warehouse voted to join the Amazon Labor Union—formed by current and former employees of Amazon, yet other workers at a second facility voted against joining the union.

Whatever the outcome of these investigations, the demand on Amazon workers must be intense given the massive amount of business they do. It’s estimated that Amazon ships over 66,000 orders per hour and about 18 orders per second. No matter how many employees they have, that’s a lot to keep up with. Providing a safe work environment for employees should be on the top of any business’s priority list. If you need help with training or implementing safety strategies for your office, Shield-Safety is your best bet. We can provide consultation on your businesses needs as well as help bring in better practices for your office.

Summer Safety Suggestions – Part 2

Summer Safety Suggestions – Part 2

Thanks for checking out Part 1 of our summer safety suggestions blog series. Here are some more tips on how to have a great summer without incident:

Sun Protection

The US sees about 600 heat-related deaths each year. Strokes, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and other heat-related issues are a concern for many, but they most often affect those under the age of 4 and over the age of 65. It’s important to stay hydrated and cool and to pay attention to any heat advisories in the area. You will also want to apply sun protection to avoid harmful sunburns. The sun’s rays are at their highest levels between the hours of 10am and 4pm, which means you’ll want to be the most cautious during those times. Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lightweight long sleeves are good options to combat the sweltering sun.

Swimming Safety

It probably comes as no surprise that swimming is one of the most popular activities throughout the summer. Swimming lessons are important for kids (and adults that never learned) and at the very least, everyone should learn how to tread water and keep afloat for survival in case of an emergency. Drowning is a silent killer—nothing like in the movies. Stay alert while at the pool or on the lake, don’t mix alcohol with swimming, and wear a life jacket while on a boat (this is required for kids 12 and under, and it’s required for everyone on the boat to have a jacket accessible). In addition to drowning, consideration needs to be taken to prevent chemical injuries from chlorine or other pool-cleaning chemicals. If you own a pool, do some research on the proper usage of the size of pool you have. You can also research public pools’ methods to ensure you’re not entering into an unsafe situation.

Traveling Safely Abroad

Summer is a high travel time, and you want to have a great vacation. Ensure you have the best time by doing a little research first. Get the vaccines that you need in the right amount of time (most places require about 4 to 6 weeks prior to travel) and check for safety risks at your destination. Drinking water, environmental factors, and animal illnesses may be very different from what you’ve been exposed to, which can make you sick. Even pollens and grasses from other locations can affect your allergies, which is something many of us don’t consider before flying away from home. Do some research, go prepared, and stay alert to prevent struggles while on vacation.

Safety at a Summer Job or Camps

Many younger kids take on a summer job or go to camps during their school break. Job-related injuries are common in youth between 15 and 24 years old from summer hazards usually stemming from exhaustion or working too long in conditions that are too hot. Young workers need to be careful during their summer camps or outside summer jobs to keep them active and safe, and adults need to pay attention to warning signs of over exertion.

Stay safe this summer with a few proactive steps and enjoy the great outdoors!

Summer Safety Suggestions – Part 1

Summer Safety Suggestions – Part 1

Summer is fun in the sun time, and you can keep the party going by being safe and prepared. With a few careful considerations, you can fully enjoy the summer months while avoiding any injury or inconvenience with a few of our helpful tips.

Protect Against Insects and Bites

Most insects here in Utah are pretty harmless, but there are a few you’ll want to steer clear of. Choose an EPA-registered insect repellent with the active ingredient DEET to protect against unwanted mosquito bites as well as ticks. Bites from these bugs are uncomfortable for everyone, but if you’re allergic, it’s even worse. You’ll also want to watch out for brown recluse spiders and black widows to avoid getting a severe and painful spider bite. While you’re on the trails, be mindful of rattlesnakes and other creatures that can bite you, your kids, or your furry friends. If you do get a rattlesnake bite, remove rings, bracelets, and watches before swelling starts, wash it with soap and water quickly, cover the bite with a clean dressing, and seek out medical aid within about 30 minutes.

Safe Food Practices

You’ve probably been to a family BBQ where that mayo-based macaroni salad has sat out a bit too long. Food poisoning generally peaks in the summer months due to the hot temperatures. Be careful around raw meats when you’re in the grilling mood and don’t let food sit out in the heat for too long. In general, try to get food back in the refrigerator after it’s been on the picnic table for about two hours. Additionally, minimize the amount of touching that happens at the party. Try to keep foods covered, consider designating a server to avoid too many hands in the potato salad, and make sure to have hand washing areas wherever possible. If you get done with the BBQ and you’re not sure if something has been out for too long, throw it out. It’s not worth risking food poisoning.

Don’t Slack on Children’s Safety

Bike rides, skateboarding, and roller skating (which has surprisingly made a comeback) all require helmets. Even though it’s hot, kids should still be wearing helmets. Head injuries can be life threatening and life changing, and it’s simply not worth the risk. Make sure kids are buckled in safely in the vehicle on your road trips and adventures. Properly buckling your kids reduces the risk of serious or fatal injuries by almost 80 percent. And remember, kids under the age of 13 are safest in the back seat

Keep up on Vaccines

Whether you’re planning to travel out of the country or not, immunizing your kids is the best way to protect them from serious diseases. Summer is a good time to catch up on these vaccines. The CDC also recommends three vaccines for 11- to 12-year-old kids to protect against meningitis, HPV cancers, and whooping cough. Check with your pediatrician if you have concerns or questions about vaccines.

More summer safety suggestions are found in Part 2 of this blog series.

Stop Bleeding, Save a Life

Stop Bleeding, Save a Life

Cuts and wounds can be scary, but with a quick and effective response they can often be taken care of without panic. Small and even moderate cuts can often be handled at home with a good first aid kit, a trained helper, and immediate attention. But with a large hemorrhaging wound in a critical area, a person can bleed to death in under five minutes if it’s not quickly stopped. If someone loses more than 40 percent of their blood, which is about 2,000 mL, they will die. It’s imperative to get the bleeding to stop as quickly as possible and to rush to the hospital for blood transfusions.

Always call 911 if bleeding is severe, if you suspect there is internal bleeding, if you notice an abdominal or chest wound, if you cannot stop the bleeding after ten minutes of firm and steady pressure, or if blood is spurting out of the wound. Even if you call 911, you should do what you can to stop the bleeding while you wait for responders to show up.

Here are some ways to try and get a severe wound to stop bleeding in an urgent situation:

  • Apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth, tissue, or piece of gauze until you notice the bleeding stop. A good first aid kit should have the appropriate cloth or gauze for this application.
  • If blood soaks through the material, do not remove it. Place more gauze or cloth on top while continuing to apply pressure.
  • If the wound is on someone’s leg or arm, lift the limb above the heart, if possible, to help the bleeding slow down.
  • Wash your hands before and after giving first aid and, if possible, before you clean and dress the wound.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet unless the bleeding is severe and has not stopped with the pressure you’ve been applying.

If the wound doesn’t look serious, try these options to help take care of the wound carefully:

  • Clean the wound initially with soap and warm water only. Rinse the soap completely to prevent irritation.
  • Do not use hydrogen peroxide or iodine. These products can cause tissue damage.
  • Protect the wound with antibiotic cream to reduce infection risks and cover with a sterile bandage from your first aid kit.

If you’re not in emergency status, but the wound is a bit more than you can handle, here is when you should call a doctor:

  • If the wound is deep or has jagged edges or is gaping open.
  • If the wound is on someone’s face.
  • If the wound has debris or dirt in it and you cannot safely get it out.
  • If you see signs of infection such as redness, a discharge, tenderness, red streaks around it or the person is running a fever.
  • If the area feels numb.
  • If the area is from an animal or human bite.
  • If a person gets a deep cut or puncture and has not had their tetanus shot in the past five years.

Education and training is key to helping injured people get what they need in an emergency. Contact Shield-Safety for all your safety needs.

Injuries at Work

Injuries at Work

If you’re a full-time worker, did you know these hours take up roughly one third of your life? If you’re at work that often, an accident is highly likely to occur at some point. All employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance to protect their employees, with very few exceptions. But sometimes workers comp claims can get sticky and you may need to hire legal help to get your benefits. KSL.com reported last month on a Utah man that lost both his legs on the job and his struggle to get compensation for his injuries. This gentleman worked for a railroad routing company when he tripped and fell under the wheels of a freight car. He lost both legs just above his knees. For a few years, workers comp paid out for his medical treatment and the many necessities as well as a monthly pension. His employer found him a light-duty job to keep him on as a full-time employee so he could continue to provide for his family. He also needed to work for his mental wellbeing and stability of life.

At some point, another insurer took over his claim and noticed he was working full time. They said that if he was permanently disabled, he shouldn’t be able to work at all. KSL.com states that the insurer “cited a statute which allows an insurer to cut disability benefits in half if a so-called permanently and totally disabled worker is employed and earns a salary above a certain threshold. They argued that he could not be permanently and totally disabled and still work a full-time job.” Because of this, the gentleman had to seek legal help to restore his lost benefits. Under Utah law, losing two limbs is considered a “permanently and totally disabling condition” and states that working with such a disability may not be considered in reducing a person’s benefit. Because of this law and the help from legal representation, he can continue working his light-duty job to support his family while also receiving necessary disability benefits.

Reporting Your Injuries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2019, about 2.8 out of 100 full-time workers were injured on the job. These injuries consisted mostly of sprains, strains, and tears. However, out of the many injuries that occur on the job, a lot of them don’t get reported. Worker’s compensation is in place to protect employees, even if it can be tricky to navigate. If you’re injured on the job, don’t keep it hush. Report it and get legal help if needed.

Workplace injuries can be lessened if employees are trained in safety best practices and in basic first aid response. Safety training should be a top priority so your staff can be proactive when performing their duties. But when an injury does occur, it’s not only helpful if employees know how to administer medical aid before medical professionals show up, but it can also save a life. For all your safety needs in the office and in the home, from training resources to quality products, visit Shield-Safety.

Precautions in Yard Work

Precautions in Yard Work

This time of year, we’re all coming out of hibernation and tackling many projects in our yards. It’s important to take some safety precautions before you get excited and rush out to check off all the to-do lists that are waiting. Consumer Reports states that each year about 100 Americans die while performing various yard work tasks and another 140,000 plus people are sent to the emergency rooms with injuries. These are usually a result of ladder mishaps, power equipment accidents, and sunstroke or overexertion. Take a few proactive measures to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.

Dress Right, Stress Less

If you’re working in the yard, it’s important to wear the right gear. Be sure you’re in closed-toed shoes or boots that will protect from cuts or falling heavy items. Wear high quality gloves that fit properly to avoid blisters, bug bits, or chemical contact on the skin. Protect your eyes and ears with safety glasses and ear plugs if you’re using loud equipment. Apply sunscreen if you’re out working during the day to avoid painful burns. And use bug spray whenever necessary and watch out for ticks. If you’re getting up on the ladder, avoid loose clothing that can get snagged and force you to lose your balance.

Body Movin’ and Groovin’

Even if you’re in great shape, you’ll want to be careful when performing strenuous yard work. You’ll likely be using different muscles than normal, and tears or strains are common. Stretch a little before you head out and take breaks especially when doing repetitive motions. Use your legs when lifting rather than straining your back or ask for help when lifting heavy items. Taking breaks is important, and make sure you’re drinking water or hydrating drinks other than energy drinks or soda. You may be tempted to finish everything in one day, but it’s okay to space it over a few days if that’s safer for your body.

Be Smart with Tools

Power tools can make yardwork so much easier, but you have to familiarize yourself with them to make sure you know what you’re doing. Never use power tools while under the influence, if you’re drowsy, or if you’re distracted and struggling to stay alert. Store your equipment securely and educate and supervise your children if they’re starting to take on some yard work tasks. Make sure your tools are in good working order and do not have cracks, frayed or damaged wires, or other issues. Lawn mowers alone sent over 87,000 people to the ER in 2019. String trimmers put about 16,000 people in ambulances, pressure washers injured about 7,500 people, and chain saw accidents caused 27,000 wounds that year.

Have some Emergency Care On Hand

With all the hours spent outside and working, it’s a good idea to have some emergency care handy at your house. A good first aid kit with burn care, splints, bandages, scissors, cleaning agents, gauze pads, and more will be a good first step for treating injuries while waiting for EMTs. For the best selection of high quality first aid products, come see us today. We can help you design a custom first aid kit for your home.

Vehicle Safety Tips

Vehicle Safety Tips

Its road trip season! The Utah Department of Transportation considers the time between Memorial Day and Labor the most dangerous time to be on the roads because many of us are heading out for vacations, activities, long weekends, and fun. Stay safe out there with the following tips:

  1. Drive aware and offensively: We may sound like your driving instructor here but we’re going to say it anyway – keep your eyes on the road at all times. If you need to pull over to handle something, do that. Be prepared for issues and be aware of what’s going on the road. Watch signs and drive alert. Don’t drive drowsy or intoxicated.
  2. Keep your speed down: You’ve heard the phrase “arrive alive” and this means slowing down. We’re all anxious to get to our destinations and it’s tempting to speed. Avoid this, especially at rush hour times where emotions are tense for most drivers. Set a cruise control on long trips if that helps you maintain your speed.
  3. Have an escape route: When traffic is tight, try to have an out in case of an emergency. This may not always be possible, but it’s a goal to keep in mind and something to watch out for. Don’t get stuck between semitrucks, and don’t sit a car’s blind spot.
  4. Limit distractions: This one you already know, but it’s so important, it’s good to get a reminder. Don’t text and drive and don’t mess with the radio or reach around in the back seat for a lost binky or toy. Hang up the phone and keep focused on the important task of driving.
  5. Be aware of surroundings: This goes along with being alert, but take it a step further by paying special attention to your surroundings. Did the people pull over and you can’t figure out why? Look around, maybe an emergency vehicle is coming and you didn’t hear it. Maybe everyone stayed stopped at a light when it turned green. Be alert, maybe they see someone is flying through the intersection’s red light.
  6. Keep a first aid kit in the vehicle: You never know when an emergency will happen but it’s always good to be prepared. A vehicle-specific first aid kit will come in handy at some point, and when that moment arrives, you’ll be glad you have it.
  7. Keep an emergency kit in the vehicle: Like a first aid kit, a vehicle emergency kit will come in handy at some point. This kit should have jumper cables, basic tools, a flashlight, reflective triangles, and extra batteries at a minimum.
  8. Always wear a seatbelt and have children secured properly: Many deaths from car accidents occur because people were not properly restrained. Keep your seatbelt on and make sure your children have the proper restraint systems as well.
  9. Inspect equipment and tools and keep up on car maintenance: Invest in your car in a way that keeps you safe on the road. Keep current on oil changes, tire rotations, and other maintenance issues.

Stay safe on the road this summer and stop in to Shield-Safety for first aid and vehicle safety kits.

Medication Safety Basics

Medication Safety Basics

With so many medications available, it’s important to be aware of the risks of overdosing or harmful side effects. The CDC reports that about 82% of American adults take at least one medication daily. They estimate that about 1.3 million emergency department visits and 350,000 hospitalizations take place each year in the US due to adverse drug effects (ADEs). Americans also spend about $3.5 billion dollars on medical costs due to ADEs, and about 40% of those costs are thought to be preventable with proper drug administration practices. However, it’s likely ADEs will grow in the coming years because of the many new developments with medicines, the discovery of new uses for older medications, the increased use of medications for disease prevention and treatments, and the expansion of insurance coverage for prescription medications. While there is a lot of good that comes from proper medications, we still need to be careful and make sure we’re taking them as our doctor prescribes. This is especially true with opioids or narcotics. These may be necessary after a surgery or major injury, but they should never be prescribed or used for a long period of time due to dependence, addiction, and overdose risks. If you or someone you know has been taking a narcotic and you notice shifts in mood, that you’re taking more than you were prescribed, that you’re feeling sedated or high, or need too much or too little sleep, reach out to your doctor right away.

FDA Monitoring

The FDA has to approve any drugs sold in the US, and this includes over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs. The FDA evaluates the safety of a drug in addition to its effectiveness. The way they assess these factors is by looking at side effects, how the drug affects a medical condition, the way the drug is manufactured, and what the label says. This thorough check tells us that we can trust the drug will do what we want it to do but also provides us warnings and what to look for in case there’s a problem. The FDA also monitors the drug after the approval has taken place. When someone reports an ADE, health care providers and patients can report it on the FDA’s MedWatch website. Be sure you’re buying medications only from licensed pharmacies in the US and that you know how and to take your medications correctly.

Storing and Disposing of Medications

Always store medications appropriately and out of reach from little kids or from those that may take advantage of them. Some medications may even need to be locked away. If you have unused medicines at the end of your treatment, there are usually local places you can take them to for proper disposal. Some pharmacies have a mail-back program, but if you’re unsure, give your local police department a call and they’ll know how to handle is appropriately. Never sell your medications, and if you think you’ve had a narcotic or other potentially dangerous medication stolen, report it to your local police.

Safety First

Shield-Safety may not be a pharmacy, but we take safety seriously. We put educating the public about best practices on the top of our priority list. For the best in safety training and products, contact us today.

Safety at Home

Safety at Home

Our goal is to provide people with the confidence to respond to injuries effectively in the workplace and at home. Through our training programs and our wide range of products, our clients and customers walk away with valuable knowledge to get through emergency situations. Our workplace trainings include information on how to think safely outside of work as well as on the job, making us a critical resource for your employees and their families.

Home Safety Tips

There are few basics safety items to be aware of that often get overlooked in our busy day-to-day lives. Prevention is key. We recommend you check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors about one a month. Test them by holding down the test button for a few seconds, then wait for the alarm. If it doesn’t sound or it’s too quiet, replace the batteries and try again. You should have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and garage or next to a fireplace. We also recommend being ready for climate disasters. Have some ice melt tucked away to tackle slick spots and prevent falls, clear gutters in preparation for heavy rainfall and to avoid leaks in the home, and invest in a generator in the event of a long-term power failure.

For home structure safety, ensure you have handrails that are up to code, especially if you have small children or elderly people in the home or as frequent visitors. Add grip products to slippery surfaces for added security, and consider motion-sensor lighting for especially dark areas. Falls are common injuries, and you can help prevent them by removing hazards and providing these helpful tools. Also consider anchoring furniture that could topple over onto a child. Bookcases, dressers, and entertainment centers can be top heavy, and with the right leverage they can come down on a child easily. Avoid this by anchoring it to the wall right as you set it up.

We’ve heard many firefighters say that home fires frequently start with lint-filled dryer vents. Clean this about once a year and make sure you’re cleaning out the dryer lint trap every time you use it. Also avoid calling 911 by clearly marking toxic products such as cleaning supplies and paint products as well as medications. Keep hazardous products out of reach, and make sure your medicines are stored and labeled so that mistakenly taking the wrong item is not going to occur.

Prevention is the best practice, but since we’re only human, there are bound to be mistakes. Keep first aid kits stocked, current, and handy for a quick response to bodily injuries. Shield-Safety carries an impressive selection of first aid products, and we can help set up the best kit for your needs.

Proactive businesses owners will benefit by bringing us in for training of employees to provide invaluable information for your team. We discuss the importance of and provide the support tools necessary for safety at home in addition the safety on the job. This added attention shows each employee that you care about them even when they’re off the clock.

Safe Work Environments

Safe Work Environments

Create a safe work environment by providing your employees with important knowledge of safe practices and safe responses. Sometimes a person’s intervention is not the best choice in an emergency. Training your employees how to respond is critical, but when to respond is just as important. Your employees need to know how to administer basic first aid and the primary goals of first aid.

Goals of First Aid

The primary goals of first aid are to preserve life, prevent further injury, and promote recovery. It is NOT a medical treatment but rather a way to support an injured individual until professionals can arrive. Untrained employees should not attempt to do more than they know in an effort to help. Employees need to know how to assess the situation and know what to do in the moment. They will need to survey the situation for danger around the injured person as well as themselves or other staff members. If the scene is dangerous, it will not help to rush in and make rash decisions. They also need to be able to see the cause of the injury before they start to act. They should know when to move an injured person and when not to. Once they have assessed all these factors, then they can prepare to administer the basic first aid requirements. Part of first aid is trying to keep the injured person calm, which can’t be done if the first aid responder is not calm. Calling 911 needs to be done even if the employee thinks they can help. A bystander can call if they know what’s going on while another person administers the necessary first aid treatments. Some cases may not require 911 and basic first aid can handle the issue at hand, but when in doubt, don’t wait and don’t risk it.

Know Common Medical Conditions

Our training will help employees be able to recognize common medical conditions. These include seizures, shock, stroke, heart attacks, choking, and respiratory distress. Recognizing and understanding these different medical episodes will provide employees will important knowledge that will help them better assess how to respond.

Always be Proactive and Protect Yourself

In emergency situations, it’s easy for emotions to take over and for people to make rash decisions. Take a deep breath and remain calm. In some cases, you may need to wear protective equipment such as gloves, masks, face shields or goggles, or maybe even a disposable gown. If the scene is unsafe, don’t play the hero. This makes it harder for first responders, even if your intentions are good. Also, don’t let pride get in in the way. If someone on scene has more medical training than you do, let them take over. Keep the area clear instead and be the one that stays on the phone with emergency responders.

There are many ways to handle emergency situations. The more you know, the better you can respond. Provide your employees with as many beneficial tools as possible by implementing thorough, high-quality training. Contact Shield-Safety for all your training questions for the best selection of emergency products on the market.

Workplace Disasters Throughout US History – Part 2

Workplace Disasters Throughout US History – Part 2

If you thought our previous blog was interesting, keep on reading. Here are some more workplace disaster stories that have occurred throughout the US:

Scofield, Utah Mine Disaster

This story is likely one you’ve already heard before since it happened here in our backyard. The first day of May in 1900 was a terrible one for Winter Quarters coal mine and all of Carbon County. Black powder exploded unexpectedly in the No. 4 mine shaft. It ignited coal dust which helped spread the fire quickly to other parts of the mine. Some miners died immediately from the blast, many with their tools still in their hands when they were discovered. Many others died from asphyxiation from the toxic fumes. Some miners headed toward the source as a rescue effort and died from the gases, and others were stuck deep in the mine and couldn’t escape. Over 200 men were killed, and it took almost 20 minutes to get through the debris just to reach the entrance. One miner was blasted 820 feet away from the mine opening, showing how massive the impact was. Safety wasn’t a top priority at this time for coal mining, luckily this is no longer the case.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Another story you probably remember is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. In April 2010, a natural gas surge sparked an explosion in a newly installed concrete core. The natural gas traveled up to the platform and ignited, killing 11 people and injuring 17. Shortly after, on April 22, the rig capsized and sank. The result was the creation of the largest marine oil spill in history. US government officials estimated the leak to have peaked at about 60,000 barrels of spilled oil each day, forming a slick that extended over 57,000 square miles and polluting over 1,100 miles of shoreline. It took about 3 months to stop the flow of oil.

Collapse of Pemberton Mill

January of 1860 was devastating for Lawrence, Massachusetts residents. The tragedy started off with textile workers at the Pemberton Mill hearing odd rattling noises then a massive and long crashing sound. A part of the building’s wall buckled and exploded causing the mill to collapse in seconds. Machinery weighing tons fell through the floors, bringing terrified workers with it. The Boston Journal reported that the collapse formed at 50-foot-high pyramid of debris. Almost the entire community rushed to the site to help the hundreds of workers, which included many women and children. Over 140 people were killed and about 300 more were severely injured. The mill has been completely rebuilt and still stands today.

Accidents on the job can and do happen. Tragedies like these are not common occurrences, but our goal is to prevent them at all costs. Proper training for your employees and keeping in compliance with rules and regulations are must-dos for all businesses in order to stay as safe as possible. Shield-Safety is Utah’s leading resource for the most up-to-date and applicable workplace training.

Workplace Disasters Throughout US History – Part 1

Workplace Disasters Throughout US History – Part 1

Feeling safe on the job is critical, and it’s an employer’s responsibility to ensure their employees are up to date on applicable trainings for their position and duties. Today, safety is generally taken seriously in the country and most businesses do a great job to keep their staff safe. If your business needs safety training or assistance related to safety in the workplace, Shield-Safety is ready to deliver. Accidents unfortunately do happen, no matter how much training we do. Here are some of the most tragic workplace disasters that have happened in the US:

Explosion at a Texas Fertilizer Company

In April of 2013, West Fertilizer Company reported a fire inside their West, Texas plant. Emergency crews showed up and as they frantically fought to contain the flames, the unit exploded. The ammonium nitrate explosion killed 15 people, including first responders and volunteers. More than 200 people were injured and hundreds of buildings and homes were damaged or destroyed. The blast also left a 93-foot-wide crater. Experts said the explosive force was equivalent to about 8 tons of TNT and a magnitude 2.1 earthquake. About a month later, investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives showed the fire was deliberately set as a “criminal act.” The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board called it “one of the most destructive incidents ever investigated” by the board.

SS Grandcamp Explosion and Fire

It seems fertilizer in April in Texas was a bad combination. In April of 1947, an explosion in Texas City that was sparked by a fire on the SS Grandcamp, a French-owned ship, rocked the area. Crews were finishing loading ammonium nitrate fertilizer when they noticed smoke in the cargo area where 2,300 tons of fertilizer was stored. Crews attempted to snuff out the fire, but they were unsuccessful. The massive explosion was heard over 150 miles away, and a mushroom cloud shot up 2,000 feet in the sky, destroying two small planes passing over. The SS High Flyer, a nearby ship carrying sulfur, also caught fire and exploded. The chain of fires caused crude oil tankers to burn for days. More than 2,000 homes were destroyed, a 15-foot tidal wave was set off, and between 400 and 600 people were killed with more than 4,000 injured.

Molasses Flood in Massachusetts

Slow as molasses was not applicable to this event. In January of 1919, a giant tank of molasses broke open in northern Boston. Over two million gallons came gushing down the streets at 35 miles per hour like a huge sticky tsunami wave. Twenty-one people were killed and over 150 more were injured. It may seem like a silly story at first, but the results were devastating. Theories about how the tank burst started circulating, some thought the molasses fermented and caused too much pressure. Some thought anarchists set up a bomb. The trial lasted for years and included thousands of witnesses, creating over 20,000 pages of conflicting statements. More recent investigations, however, discovered the tank was flawed. It took decades for the smell of molasses to dissipate.

Check out our next blog for more interesting stories.

4 Ways MSM Can Help You

4 Ways MSM Can Help You

Many Americans suffer from consistent ailments throughout their lifetime. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a chemical found naturally throughout the planet that can be used for a number of troublesome issues. Organosulfur compounds are found in the foods we eat, but it’s rarely enough to give us what we need. Here are four big reasons we suggest getting some of this creamy golden goodness:

Arthritic Relief

MSM has an anti-inflammatory effect and is full of antioxidants. Sulphur is a main component of the cream, and it plays an important role in the making of glucosamine and collagen—both of which are crucial for healthy joints and bones. Sulphur also aids in the production of immunoglobulins, which support your body’s immune system. This cream can be a dream for those suffering from arthritic pain. Apply the oil-free lotion to your joints throughout the day and/or you can add tablets to you supplement regimen.

Smooth Out Dry Skin

Dry skin may not necessarily be painful, but MSM can still help out with the effects of dry skin. Wrinkles and other signs of aging are typically caused by dry skin, which is where MSM comes in. MSM improves skin elasticity and hydration, resulting in smoother, firmer skin. This is a plus for anyone of any age. MSM is so effective, it soothes excessively dry skin that is irritating and itchy. It also decreases the breakdown of collage beneath the skin, helping your skin stay healthy for longer. If your feet or fingers crack in the cold winter months, you’ll want to try out our MSM lotion.

Tackle Uncomfortable Eczema

MSM is often called a skincare miracle. If you suffer for eczema, it’s worth it to give MSM a try. It’s common for eczema to flare up in the winter around Utah when it’s especially dry and cold, so strengthen your skin barrier with MSM cream particularly right now. The ingredients in this cream physically locks in the moisture that your skin desperately needs, creating a better natural barrier from the harsh winter cold. If you have sensitive skin or eczema on your face, this product is completely free of harmful ingredients and safe for application on your face and neck and around your eyes.

Treat Painful Shingles

Shingles can be extremely painful. With MSM lotions and/or tablets, you can alleviate the symptoms of shingles with their healing effects. You don’t have to worry about applying too much, studies have not shown any detrimental effects of MSM even when applied liberally. For tablets, be sure to read the label to ensure you’re taking the correct amount. Many people suffering from shingles struggled to find any relief from the painful rash until they tried MSM.

The FDA has placed MSM into the GRAS category meaning it’s “generally recognized as safe.” Many people use MSM to help with sunburns, stretch marks, gout, muscle cramps, and even PMS symptoms in addition to the ailments mentioned above. We carry MSM tablets, water drops, creams, and lotions, and our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may have regarding MSM products.

New Year, New Skills

New Year, New Skills

This time of year is filled with motivation for progress and improvement. Training in important life-saving measures is a great addition to you 2022 goal setting session for your business. If safety and injury training has been on your to-do list, don’t wait any longer to check it off. Shield-Safety is the best resource for safety courses to meet and exceed business standards.

Injury Treatment and First Aid Training

Sign up for our Injury Treatment training course for the most up to date training available in Utah. This class goes beyond the basics and includes valuable information on how to apply first aid care outside the workplace as well as inside. You can cut back on downtime at the workplace with the knowledge gained from this class, and your employees will be additionally protected with the useful skills learned for outside the office. You can customize a class to include workers’ families to optimize safety for your employees and show them you care about them even when they’re not on the clock.

We often hear employees groan about safety trainings, but with our programs, our expertise and no-fluff information is so valuable, employees quickly change their tune and are eager to attend the classes. Learn how to stop bleeding, minimize swelling from sprains, wrap injuries correctly, detect fractures without an X-ray and much more at our unique classes. Often, the skills gained in our trainings is so extensive, you can skip ER visits and save thousands of dollars.

CPR/AED/Choking Training

CPR and AED Training is indispensable for most businesses. These courses are taught through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association and will teach your employees how to recognize breathing and cardiac emergencies as well as a variety of basic first aid care. You can gear the class toward adults only or add in care and emergency response for babies and children as well. Choking training will also be addressed with these trainings. AED certification is more specialized and should only be handled by a responsible, committed employee that will stay up on the trainings and know how to operate AED machines. Here at Shield-Safety, we take AED machines seriously and have options for your specific needs, so be sure to ask us questions on which machine is the best for your office.

OSHA Required Training

OSHA regulations are strict, so you need to ensure your business is compliant. We offer all the required training courses and encourage businesses to assess the safety of their workplace and possibly get a free consultation with OSHA to make sure you’re being thorough. It’s a business owners’ job to be aware of any risks or hazards at the workplace and to provide the necessary training for their employees.

Customized Training

Shield-Safety offers customized trainings to meet any need of any business. It’s important to tailor your safety trainings to your specific workplace, and it’s important to make sure what you’re teaching is accurate and current information. If your business needs a refresher on any safety topic, call us today to get started.

4 Tips for Safety in the Backcountry

4 Tips for Safety in the Backcountry

Winter sports are popular in Utah—after all, we do have the greatest snow on Earth (once it finally arrives). When our beautiful mountains show off their incredible blankets of white, powdery snow, it’s hard for anyone to resist going up there to explore. Whether you ski, snowboard, snowshoe, snowmobile, or ice fish, being safe in the snow is crucial. Avalanches are a real danger throughout the state, and you must be prepared. Here are four safety precautions we recommend for anyone planning to adventure the great outdoors in Utah’s incredible backcountry.

Check the Forecast

First and foremost, you want to stay on top of the weather forecast. Check snow reports and avalanche danger ratings where you are headed before you go out. And don’t let your bravery push you to do something hazardous. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a good place to check for accurate forecasts. In the winter of 2020-2021, there were 37 avalanche-related deaths in the U.S., which was the deadliest in a decade. Avalanche warning signs include evidence of previous slides, cracks forming in the snow around you, strong winds or blowing snow, heavy snowfall (or rainfall) in the last 24 hours, and rapidly increasing temperatures.

Arm Yourself with the Proper Gear

We know it’s expensive, but quality gear is the only way to go when your life is on the line. Exploring back country terrain requires a pack with a beacon, shovel, probe, avalanche airbag, first aid kit, and an emergency communication device. Prepare yourself with the right tools in case an accident does occur. The right tools truly can save your life.

Train Yourself

For hard-core backcountry lovers, proper training is a must. You’ll need to know the technical skills required to navigate intense conditions. You’ll need to be prepared with quick decision-making skills in an emergency situation, how to administer first-aid on yourself and others, danger zones to look out for, and how to assess varying risks. Even the most confident of explorers need safety trainings and refreshers on proper response methods.

Map it Out and Communicate

Before your adventure, chart out your terrain with a GPS device or a map. A great mapping resource is CalTopo which allows you to personalize and categorize the different paths you plan to take. Tell someone where you are planning to be, or even better, give them a map with your written path to be extra safe. Plan out an estimated timeframe so they know when to watch for your arrival. This step may seem overkill, but by providing these details, search and rescue teams can be far more effective if they’re needed.

It’s fun to live life with a bit of a risk, but only if it’s not life threatening. Excitement comes in all forms, and you can still have a thrilling time while being safe. In the winter backcountry of Utah, stay out of harms way and follow the rules. On the ski slopes, stay in bounds, and remember not to put any one in danger by being careless.

Continuing Covid Care

Continuing Covid Care

Like you, we were hoping to be done talking about Covid concerns at this point in time. But with variants and concerns still out there, it’s something we’ll likely need to be aware of for a very long time. To navigate Covid realistically, you need to be proactive, have effective products and options, and be mindful of safety practices. We already are familiar with many of the procedures for handling Covid safely on our own, but with winter arriving, a refresher is probably a good idea.

Face coverings

The best defense from Covid-19, and other air-borne viruses/diseases is a proper face mask. N95 masks are still considered the best option for preventing contraction of covid, and you can find them at Shield-Safety. Surgical masks are also great options for daily use, and so are face shields when paired with a mask of any kind. If you opt for reusable, cloth masks make sure they are multi layered and you keep on top of daily washings. If you need a mask all day and want to stick with cloth, bring a few with you and switch them out every few hours, then wash them all when you get home. It’s important not to touch your masks and reuse them throughout the day because covid particles can sit on mask surfaces for hours.

Sanitization

Last year at this time, sanitizing wipes, sprays, and gels were hard to find. This year, they’re more easily accessible but just as important to get. Wipes are great to have in the home to help prevent Covid and other sicknesses that are prevalent in the winter in Utah. It’s a good idea to routinely wipe down doorknobs, light switches, railings, cabinet pulls, and any other areas in your home that gets constant touching. You may also want to keep a sanitizer spray in common areas of your home and give it a spray down from time to time.

Sanitization should also be done on the go. Get hand sanitizers and sanitizing gels for after visiting public spaces, keeping them in convenient spaces in the car or a purse. Hand sanitizers are found at our store, and you can get sprays or wipes from us as well.

Check Temperatures

A common sign of Covid, and other illnesses, is a fever. There are a lot of thermometers on the market, but they’re no good if they’re not accurate and reliable. Opting for a quality no-contact infrared thermometer is a good solution for the home or for a business that requires temperature checks on employees or clients.

This winter with family gatherings and fun events, monitor your health and be aware of your surroundings. Stay home if you’re feeling sick and take whatever precautions you can to maintain your safety. Here at Shield-Safety, your well being is our top priority. Come in today to see a wide variety of products to keep you and your family safe. We also offer training and specialized first-aid kits for any need. Don’t put your safety in anyone’s hands; visit Shield-Safety today.

Winter Safety Concerns – Part 2

Winter Safety Concerns

Hopefully you read our previous blog about winter safety tips. This blog continues the discussion on enjoying the holidays to the fullest. Here are some more recommendations for being prepared for anything this winter in Utah:

Sledding, Skiing, Snowboarding

These activities are amazing in Utah—after all, we have the greatest snow on earth. Enjoy your powdery playground by always wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding, staying on the trails, and having a first-aid kit in your pack. If you’re a backcountry skier, you will want added protections such as an avalanche beacon and airbag, and a small shovel and probe. If you’re stuck in an avalanche, ditch your gear and try to “swim” to the surface. If you’re sledding, do so in an open space away from cars. Make sure nobody is standing at the bottom of the hill where you will be coming down and be aware of your surroundings.

Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow is actually a really decent workout. The National Safety Council states: “high levels of activity in cold temperatures put many people at risk of heart attack, especially those that have inactive lifestyles.” Take it easy, and if you get winded, take a break. You’ll also want a quick stretch before you shovel and push the snow rather than lift it. If you have a snowblower, make sure you keep your hands away from moving parts, be aware of carbon monoxide if you’re in an enclosed space, and never leave it unattended. Watch your step at all times—trips and slips can lead to a holiday-wrecking fall.

Illnesses

‘Tis the season for colds and flus. We’re already maxed out with concern about covid, but the wintertime also a concern for the seasonal flu. Get your flu shot and take care of your immune system with supplements and eating healthy. If you’re sick, stay home, and wear a mask whenever possible. N95 masks are still considered the most effective, so if you’re higher risk or just want some added protection, keep some on hand for potential high-traffic settings.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is a risk at any time, but it’s amped up a little in the winter because many people may bring outside cooking or warming sources inside. The best thing to do is to get carbon monoxide detectors and install them low to the floor by bedrooms or main living areas. During power outages, it’s especially important to watch carbon monoxide levels in your home if you’re trying to keep it warm in other ways. You’ll also want to check your furnace to ensure it’s working optimally.

Slips and Falls

Ice and people don’t mix unless you are Michelle Kwan. Be aware of where you are stepping and steer clear of shiny areas on the ground. Seek out handrails on steps and wear appropriate footwear for the weather. If you do slip or fall, try to roll with the fall and relax as much as possible.

Winter is a magical time in Utah. Our state is covered in a sparkly white layer that creates a beautiful brightness for much of the season. Enjoy it by visiting Shield-Safety today to get all your emergency supplies so that you’re prepared with a less-stressed holiday season.

Winter Safety Concerns – Part 1

Winter Safety Concerns – Part 1

As the cold weather approaches, there are some risks we all need to be aware of. To enjoy the holidays to the fullest, we need to be a little extra mindful about a few things. Be prepared for the winter season with the following recommendations:

Safe Driving

Driving on slick roads is hazardous. Utah sees the highest number of crashes on average between the months of October and December, but December is notably the highest. Stay safe by slowing down and being patient while in traffic. Check your tires and ensure you have plenty of tread for the entire season. Drive without distractions (put away that phone) and be sure to pay extra attention to the shoulders and emergency lanes. Only pass other drivers with precaution and when it’s safe, and never pass snowplows on the freeways. It’s also a good idea to always keep your vehicle’s gas above a quarter tank and to have an emergency kit with blankets, food, first aid, and road assistance items in your vehicle.

Frostbite and Hypothermia

Frostbite and hypothermia need immediate treatment. Mild frostbite can be treated on the spot or at home with proper first-aid care. Quickly warm the skin in warm water for about 20 minutes, and you can offer oral pain medications if the rewarming is painful. Protect any damaged areas by lightly wrapping them with gauze. If it’s extensive or severe, you should take the person to the emergency room.

If you suspect someone has hypothermia, treat them quickly but very gently. If the hypothermia is extreme or they’re in shock, call on emergency services. While you’re waiting for medical care to arrive of if it’s mild, carefully move them out of the cold, remove any wet clothing, cover them with blankets, and monitor their breathing. If you have a warm drink, try to get them to take a little.

Holiday Safety Concerns

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there is a lot that goes on. From parties to traveling to ski vacations, risks are all over. You also have mental health to consider. The holidays can be hard for people who have family or friends all around and for those that are alone. Come up with a list of supportive and healthy practices to ensure you have a positive holiday, whatever that looks like for you.

When it comes to travel, allow for extra time, and be prepared for delays. Don’t drink and drive, no matter how important it is to get to the next party or event—this is never worth the risk. One hazard people may not think about with the holidays is decorating. You may be surprised to hear that well over 12,000 people get injured each year in the US putting up Christmas decorations. Ladders, attics, fireplaces, and live trees can be recipes for disaster if we’re not being mindful. Watch those fires and candles, don’t put up lights in the freezing cold on icy ground, and make sure your live tree is well watered so it doesn’t become a fire hazard.

Check out our next blog for other winter safety recommendations.

The Importance of 72-hour Kits

The Importance of 72-hour Kits

Remember the 5.7 magnitude Magna earthquake last year right during the pandemic peak? Many of us were awoken at 7am on March 18 with shaking, rumbling, and some damage to our belongings. With covid concerns, too, the timing could not have been worse. Luckily, damage throughout the Salt Lake valley wasn’t extensive and there were no serious injuries or deaths recorded. But for many of us, it got us thinking about emergency preparedness. The first 72 hours after a disaster is critical to survival. Having a well-stocked kit for each member of the family is a smart move for everyone, not matter how much food storage or other supplies you have in a storage room.

Basic 72-hour kits are best in a durable backpack or duffel bag that’s easy to grab and carry. Ready.gov recommends the following items for a basic 72-hour disaster supply kit:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day – drinking and sanitation)
  • Food for three days (non-perishable)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (and a NOAA Weather Radio)
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (for shelter-in-place needs)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties (personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (for turning of utilities if necessary)
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and backup batteries.

It’s important to add to these basics based on your and your family’s individual needs. Think about what your family cannot live without and make sure you have that in your kits. Common items think about adding include:

  • Surgical masks (we should all have plenty of these now)
  • Disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and/or soap
  • Any prescription items such as medications, glasses, or contacts
  • Non-prescription medications such as ibuprofen, laxatives, and anti-diarrheal medications
  • Necessary items for a pet
  • Cash and copies of important family documents
  • Blankets, gloves, and a change of clothing
  • Matches or lighters (in waterproof containers)
  • Feminine hygiene supplies or personal hygiene products
  • Utility knife and a durable chord

Maintaining and Storage

A quality 72-hour kit’s food should stay good for a long time, but you still need to check it from time to time. If something expires, you’ll want to replace it. And be grateful you didn’t need to use the kit yet. In addition to checking food expiration dates, you’ll want to update your kit based on your changing needs. Check the kit each year and add or remove items as needed as your lifestyle grows and shifts. Be sure to store kits in a dry location that is easy to access. Hallway closets by the front door are good options inside the home. If you spend a lot of time at the office, one by your desk may be your best choice. And if you spend a lot of time in your car, keeping one in the trunk is also a great place for a 72-hour kit.

Shield-Safety has a lot of options for you, including the Mayday Survival Kit or the Roll and Go 72 Hour Kit. Both are packed and ready to go, one-person kits. We can also work with you to customize a kit for whatever your needs are.

Safety in the Workplace for Different Personalities

Safety in the Workplace for Different Personalities

Workplace safety can mean something different to each employee. Requirements for some may be overkill for others. But the fact remains: you as the employer need to ensure your employees are safe while on the job. Varying opinions, ideas, and personalities can make for tricky conversations about what the company as a whole needs to be doing. Take into consideration that everyone has different experiences and perceptions and approach the subject in a way that speak your employee’s languages as much as possible.

The organized and analytical personality: These folks like order and structure. They are probably very dedicated, have a clean workspace, are maybe a bit too honest, and work hard. They like to get the job done, but often like the control of managing it themselves. Personalities like these need direct conversation without all the small talk. Go into their office and be frank and honest about what needs to be done. Give them their space and be respectful of their time.

The perfectionist with a bit of a temper: These personalities like to make sure everything is done right (their way). Multi-tasking is probably a good quality of theirs and they may be a little obsessive about something until it’s done to their specifications. They can be avid workers, paying attention to details of every project. For these personalities, being in control is important. Provide information accurately and without fluff to speak their language best.

The social motivator: Ah, the peacemaker and life of the party. These guys like to talk and usually are great collaborators and team members. They like to take on projects to ensure everyone gets along and gets things done. Their optimistic temperament can bring a friendly openness to the workplace. Employees with this personality want you to take time to have a conversation. Small talk is okay, and they like to get to a place of understanding with their fellow coworkers. They may overshare, but their goal is to work together for the good of the company.

The creative thinker: These dedicated employees are visionaries, looking to do things in a new way for maximum effectiveness. They may be funny and try to make people laugh, but they’re wise and innovative. To talk with these guys, you need to be approachable and light. You’ll need to prove that you’ve thought options through to ensure you have the best solution to whatever problem or issue the company is facing.

Naturally, many of us have multiple traits within us. In the workplace, it’s important to take into consideration the needs and feelings of your staff, while also knowing your decisions are what everyone is going to need to work with. When talking about safety measures, it is important to be firm while also showing care for everyone’s different points of view. Bringing in a third-party company for important trainings can relieve a lot of pressure from owners and managers, and you can be sure trainings are accurate and current.

Your Employees Need and Deserve Safety Training

A safe workspace starts with proper employee training. This is not an area to gloss over at staff meetings. Safety needs to be taken seriously for the well-being of your employees and to be OSHA compliant. In fact, one of OSHA’s first sentences in their workplace safety training handbook says: “employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. No person should ever have to be injured, become ill, or die for a paycheck.” This shows the emphasis they put on employer responsibility and employee expectations. At a minimum, your business needs an action plan for basic emergencies and workplace hazards and a fire prevention plan and exit strategy. Any safety and health training you provide should be well documented, noting each employee that completes training, to cover yourself in the event of an unfortunate workplace accident.

CPR and AED Certification 

It is recommended by OSHA for employees to be trained in first aid response, including CPR. This is not a requirement for all businesses and employees, but the list of who is required is getting longer every year. Careers such as fitness professionals, childcare providers, school personnel, and flight attendants are on the must-have list for CPR training. Employees should get recertified annually to perform CPR safely, and first aid training should be revisited about every three years. For added security at your workplace, training a percentage of your employees in AED use will be beneficial. This one requires a bit more time, so you’ll want to be sure to have a reliable, long-term employee(s) go through this training. A defibrillator can be easy to use and even untrained users may be able to place the pads and provide a shock, however, a shock is not always needed, and training of when and how to correctly apply the AED is crucial. It takes an average of 7-8 minutes for an ambulance to arrive after 911 has been called, and a heart attack can kill someone in just 4 minutes. CPR administration and AED knowledge can literally be the difference between life and death for your employee. 

Injury Treatment and First Aid

Minimize downtime, lower workers comp claims, and provide your employees with peace of mind by providing current first aid training. Go a step further by adding specialized injury treatment training for a portion of your employees. Your employees will feel more confident knowing someone on site has learned skills such as stopping bleeding, minimizing swelling, and wrapping sprains. Choking hazards can be just as serious as a heart attack, with a blocked airway being fatal in about 4-7 minutes. 

Each business runs a little differently, which means your training will need to be unique to you and your employees. A customized, current training program will give your employees the right tools to handle hazards or accidents that may come their way. Safety should always be first, and the more practice and knowledge you give your employees, the more confident and productive your team will be.