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Looking at home, workplace safety

Cortney Bloomer
Carson City Health and Human Services

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

How many times have you noticed a hazard in your home or workplace — a misplaced item on the floor, an expired prescription that needs throwing out — and thought, “I’ll take care of that later.” Often, we overlook hazards or participate in unsafe behaviors because it’s the easy thing to do in the short term. We convince ourselves we’re too busy to take care of picking something up or putting something away. We are too connected to not answer the phone while we’re driving. However, in the long term, these oversights can become regrets after someone is injured as a result of our inattentiveness.

Now is the time to improve safety in your home or workplace. Don’t put off important actions that can protect you and those around you. That’s why the National Safety Council is promoting safety throughout the month of June. Each week will have a new safety focus, geared toward building awareness of and mitigating hazards.

Week one will focus on preventing prescription drug abuse. Locally, agencies like Partnership Carson City and the Carson City Sheriff’s Office are working hard to stop prescription drug abuse through drug round-ups and educational efforts. Visit http://www.pcccarson.org for more information.

During Week two, residents are encouraged to remove hazards that could contribute to slips, trips and falls. Make sure items are not left where they could create a tripping hazard. Ensure that carpets are not loose, and slick surfaces, like tile and hardwood, are kept dry to prevent slipping.

Be aware of your surroundings is the focus of Week three. Often, accidents could be prevented if victims were more aware of the dangers around them. This week, try to be more mindful of what is happening nearby. This might mean putting down your cell phone when crossing the street, or being alert as you walk to your car after dark.

Week four is centered on putting an end to distracted driving. This column has focused on distracted driving before, but it’s alarming how often motorists are still seen using a cell phone to talk or text, or doing other non-driving behaviors while trying to operate a motor vehicle. Automobiles are dangerous, and even deadly. This month and for the future, vow to make driving your only priority when you’re behind the wheel. The life you save may be your own. Visit http://www.zerofatalitiesnv.com to learn more about how you can make our roads safer.

Safety success depends on spotting hazards early, evaluating their risk and removing or controlling them before harm is done. Use this June to find creative ways to engage everyone in reducing risk at your home or workplace. A little effort today has the potential to prevent tragedy tomorrow.

For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, or “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CCHHS.