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9 Risk Areas

Home and Recreational

Every room in your home presents different hazards that can easily be
fixed, whether its learning about knife and kitchen safety or preventing slips,
trips and falls in the bathroom. Learn how to make your entire home safer,
including your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and the outside.

1. Drowning

Drowning in homes resulted in 1,000 deaths in 2011. Keep adults and


children safe in swimming pools and bathtubs by learning about water safety
and the necessary precautions your family should take.

Risk Factors of Drowning:

Lack of Swimming Ability


Lack of Barriers
Lack of Close Supervision
Location
Failure to Wear Life Jackets
Alcohol Use
Seizure Disorders

2. Falls

Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and


communities, resulting in more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009. The risk of falling,
and fall-related problems, rises with age and is a serious issue in homes and
communities.

Common Locations for Falls:

Doorways
Ramps
Cluttered hallways
Areas with heavy traffic
Uneven surfaces
Areas prone to wetness or spills
Unguarded heights
Unstable work surfaces
Ladders
Stairs
3. Poisoning

Poisoning is responsible for more than half of all home-related


unintentional injury deaths and includes deaths from drugs, medicines, other
sold and liquid substances and gases and vapors. Young children are especially
at risk for poisoning related eating or swallowing over-the-counter and
prescription medicines found in the home.

Risk Factors of Poisoning:

Accessibility of substances
Overdose or improper use of medications
Taking with alcohol
Use of illegal drugs

4. Burns

The most common causes of burns are from scalds (steam, hot bath
water, hot drinks and foods), fire, chemicals, electricity and overexposure to the
sun. Some burns may be more serious than others, but many are treatable.

Risk Factors of Burn:

Domestic hot water


Hot objects, steam
Flammable fabrics
Alcohol use

5. Choking

Choking and suffocation is the third leading cause of home and


community death. Foods are responsible for most choking incidents. But for
children, objects such as small toys, coins, nuts or marbles can get caught in
their throats. Choking can cause a simple coughing fit or something more
serious like a complete block in the airway, which can lead to death.

Risk Factors of Choking:

Alcohol use
Dentures
Problems chewing/swallowing
small parts, food pieces
6. Fire

Although deaths and injuries from residential fires have decreased in the
past several years, deaths from fires and burns are still the third leading cause of
fatal home injuries . Seventy percent of these deaths are from inhaling smoke.
Two-thirds of deaths from home fires occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or
no working smoke alarms.

Fires are more likely to happen in certain areas or by certain equipment in


your house. Be extra careful while you're cooking, smoking, around candles,
furnaces, electrical cords and fireplaces, and with children, toddlers and babies
nearby.

Risk Factors of Fire:

Lack of working smoke detectors


Improper use of smoking materials
Unattended cooking
Faulty heating equipment

7. Sports

Sports and exercise are good for you but often result in unintentional injury
from accidents, poor training practices and improper gear. Sports-related
traumatic brain injuries also have been on the rise and can range from mild (a
brief change in mental status or consciousness) or severe (an extended period
of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury).

Risk Factors of Sports:

Age young, old


Coordination
Resistance to injury
Environmental conditions
Hard surfaces
Slippery surfaces, footwear
Unstable walking/working surfaces

8. Unintentional Overdoses

Unintentional Overdoses include deaths from prescription narcotics, illegal


drugs and alcohol. Recently, emergency room visits for non-medical use of
prescription and over-the-counter drugs have caught up with those for illegal
drugs, each accounting for 1 million emergency room visits in 2008.
Residences/Public Places

9. Road and Highway Venues

Every year nearly 36,000 people are killed and more than 3.5 million
people are injured in motor vehicle crashes, making it the leading cause of
unintentional injuries and death for people between the ages of 1 and 33. There
are many different issues affecting families traveling on the road and simple
steps to reduce your likelihood of getting into a motor vehicle crash.

Other Issues Related to Driving:

Distracted driving
Teen driving
Safety belts
Child passenger
Safety children in & around vehicles
Impaired driving
Aggressive driving
Mature driving
Motor-Vehicle Deaths:

Large trucks 4,800 deaths


3,600 are occupants of other vehicles
Pedestrians 5,900 deaths
(Source: Injury Facts, 2009 Ed.)

Personal Safety At Home

Install and use a peephole in your front door.


Keep drapes or blinds down after dark.
Leave lights on in two or more rooms to show people that you are home
(a well-lit home keeps unwanted intruders away).
Be extremely careful about letting strangers into your home.
Be suspicious of visits by people that you didnt call.
Keep your home secure at all times.
Change the locks after moving into a new house or apartment (Friends
and neighbors of the people who lived there before may still have a key).
When you leave make sure that doors and windows are locked.
Install a home security system.
Install lighting that will come on (motion sensor) if someone is outside your
house.
Personal Safety ( Residences and Public Places )

Think Safety (know that a danger could exist).


Realize that you could become a victim
Have a plan - know what you will do if a dangerous situation comes up.
Use good judgment.
ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS - If something feels wrong, it probably is.
When you are out be aware of your surroundings and avoid potentially
dangerous situations.
Carry a cellular phone in case of emergency.
Choose well-lighted streets when walking at night.
Walk with a friend.

Personal Safety (Automobile)

Your car doors should ALWAYS be LOCKED, even in your own garage.
Make it automatic to lock all your doors.
After dark you NEVER park where it's dark. If you go there when it's
daylight, you never park where it WILL BE dark when you come out.
If the only available spaces are dark, you sit in your locked car until one
opens up in a lighted spot or go to a different place.
Even if your car is locked, you should always look underneath it from a
safe distance. From 20-feet you can see under your car to the other side
without crouching. NOTICE: LOOK INSIDE before you get into your car. Do
this even in the daytime.
If you see ANYTHING wrong, like shoes on the other side of the car but no
head above the roofline, or a lumpy blanket on the back floor, you act
like you've forgotten something and return to the building to call the
police.

SAFETY AS RELATED TO HEALTH PRACTICES

Safety - the state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury,
danger, or loss.

Health Practices - refer to those actions by which individuals can prevent


diseases and promote self-care, cope with challenges, and develop self-
reliance, solve problems and make choices that enhance health.
Principles

Health - care waste management policies or plans should include


provision for the continuous monitoring of workers health and safety to ensure
that correct handling, treatment, storage, and disposal procedures are being
followed: proper training of workers; provision of equipment and clothing for
personal protection; establishment of an effective occupational health
programme that includes immunization, post-exposure prophylactic treatment
medical surveillance.

Workers protection

The production, segregation, transportation, treatment, and disposal of


health-care waste involve the handling of potentially hazardous
material. Protection against personal injury is therefore essential for all workers
who are at risk. A comprehensive risk assessment of all activities involved in
health-care waste management, carried out during preparation of the waste
management plan, will allow the identification of necessary protection
measures. These measures should be designed to prevent exposure to
hazardous materials or other risks, or at least to keep exposure within safe limits.
Once the assessment is completed, personnel should receive suitable training.

Protective Clothing

The type of protective clothing used will depend to an extent upon the
risk associated with the health-care waste, but the following should be made
available to all personnel who collect or handle health-care waste:

Health and safety practices for health-care personnel and waste workers
Helmets, with or without visors - depending on the operation
.
Face masks -depending on operation.

Eye protectors (safety goggles) -


depending on operation

Overalls (coveralls) obligatory


Industrial aprons obligatory

Leg protectors and/or industrial boots obligatory

Disposable gloves (medical staff) or heavy-duty gloves (waste workers )

Personal hygiene
Basic personal hygiene is important for reducing the risks from handling
health-care waste, and convenient washing facilities (with warm water
and soap) should be available for personnel involved in the task. This is of
particular importance at storage and incineration facilities.
Immunization

Viral hepatitis B infections have been reported among health-care personnel


and waste handlers, and immunization against the disease is therefore
recommended. Tetanus immunization is also recommended for all personnel handling
waste.

Management Practices

Many of the management practices recommended contribute to a reduction in


risk for personnel who handle health-care waste; these are summarized as follows:

Waste segregation: careful separation of different types of waste into different


and distinct containers or bags defines the risk linked to each waste package.
Appropriate packaging: prevents spillage of waste and protects workers from
contact with waste.
Waste identification (through distinct packaging and labeling): allows for easy
recognition of the class of waste and of its source.
Appropriate waste storage: limits the access to authorized individuals only,
protects against infestation by insects and rodents, and prevents contamination
of surrounding areas.
Appropriate transportation: reduces risks of workers being exposed to waste.

Special Precautions for Clearing up Spillages of Potentially Hazardous Substances

For clearing up spillages of body fluids or other potentially hazardous substances,


particularly if there is any risk of splashing, eye protectors and masks should be worn, in
addition to gloves and overalls.

Cytotoxic Safety

The senior pharmacist of the health-care establishment should be designated to


ensure safe use of cytotoxic drugs.

Large oncological hospitals may appoint a full-time Genotoxic Safety Officer,


who should also supervise the safe management of cytotoxic waste. The following key
measures are essential in minimizing exposure: written procedures that specify safe
working methods for each process; data sheets, based on the suppliers specifications,
to provide information on potential hazards; established procedure for emergency
response in case of spillage or other occupational accident; appropriate education
and
training for all personnel involved in the handling of cytotoxic drugs.