Driving in snow: 7 TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE

Drive Safe This Winter Season

Snow and cold can challenge even the most seasoned driver. It deflates your tires, decreases your response time, and makes your vehicle harder to control.

Winter means fewer daylight hours and deadlier crashes, says Debbie Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, an Illinois-based nonprofit that promotes health and safety. Nearly 6,000 people are killed in weather-related traffic accidents annually, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Before you venture out into adverse weather know that you can take precautions to ensure that you arrive at your destination without incident. Here are seven tips for staying safe on the road this winter.

Slow Down  

Driving slowly is the key to maintaining control on snowy or icy roads. All maneuvers – accelerating, stopping, and turning – take longer in inclement weather than on dry pavement.

“Drivers frequently underestimate how long it can take to brake,” Hersman says. “You want to increase that time in order to stay in control. Don’t use cruise control, and if you’re sliding, definitely slow down.”

Apply the gas slowly to maintain traction and leave yourself enough space to slow down at traffic lights, especially on ice. Remember that bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways do. The bottom line: give yourself enough time to go slow. 

Know Your Brakes  

Be familiar with your vehicle’s braking system. Anti-lock brakes have sensors attached to each wheel, so you’ll need to slam hard if you want to slow down quickly. The pedal will vibrate when the system is activated.

Normal braking systems allow the brakes to lock, which stops the wheels from turning, promotes skidding, and reduces the tires’ grip on the road when trying to stop or turn. That means you’ll need to pump the brakes gently to maintain control.

Since a vehicle reacts more slowly in snow, you should keep a longer following distance than you normally would. Instead of three to four seconds, stay eight to 10 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Stopping on ice requires twice the distance of stopping when it’s above freezing, according to the AAA.

Keep Rolling  

Don’t stop on ice or snow if you can avoid it. Try to keep a steady pace when rolling into turns, at stoplights, and up and down hills so that you can maintain enough inertia to keep moving.

AAA notes that there’s a difference in the amount of inertia required to start moving from a full stop compared with how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. The organization recommends slowing down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes.

Similarly, AAA warns not to power up hills because “applying extra gas on snow-covered just starts your wheels spinning.” Make sure that you have enough – but not too much – momentum before reaching the hill, and slow your speed once you reach the crest.

Use Snow Tires  

Tires are an essential factor in winter driving because they keep your car on the road. If you lose traction, you won’t have as much control and your vehicle could skid.

If you’re in an area with predictable snowfall, you might want to invest in a set of snow tires. They have a deeper tread that cuts through snow to grip the asphalt. That will help you stop faster, accelerate quicker, and make cleaner turns. For especially heavy snow, invest in a set of tire chains that fit to your drive wheels to provide better traction.

Also, cold weather reduces tire pressure, which could lead to a dangerous blowout on the road or cause a flat that will leave you stranded.

Be Prepared  

The safest way to stay safe on the road is by staying at home. If your trip is not urgent, wait out the bad weather. Pay attention to weather reports and remember that, even if you’ve mastered driving in snow, not everyone else you’re likely to meet on the road is as proficient.

If you must drive in hazardous weather, be prepared. Make sure your gas tank is at least half ful in case you are stranded far from a gas station or need the extra fuel to keep your car heated. It doesn’t hurt to have a supply kit with food, water, blankets, gloves, reflective tape, and an extra cell phone charger on hand. In a worst-case scenario, you could use floor mats or newspapers to stay warm.

 Check the Exhaust  

Forgetting to check your vehicle’s exhaust pipe could be a fatal oversight. When it gets clogged with snow, ice, or road debris and the engine is running, you risk filling your car’s passenger compartment with odorless carbon monoxide.

Always remember to clear the snow away from the tailpipe, especially when digging out your vehicle or extricating it from a snowy ditch. If your car is running while you’re awaiting help, keep the window open a crack.

Promote Visibility  

Wintry weather reduces visibility, which is critical to motoring safety. That’s why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a national non-profit that issues vehicle safety rankings, has made Good or Acceptable headlights a criterion for its Top Safety Pick+ designation.

“Headlights are a basic but important crash avoidance feature, and that’s why we’ve added headlight performance to our ratings system,” says Russ Rader, senior vice president of communications at the IIHS. “Half of fatalities in crashes occur at night, or at dusk or dawn, so there’s a significant opportunity to reduce crashes if we can help drivers see trouble sooner.  Our ratings are giving auto manufacturers some guidelines on making their headlights better.”  

Keep those headlights clean and consider investing in adaptive headlights that can illuminate what’s behind hard-to-see bends in the road. It also won’t hurt to get a new bottle of windshield washer fluid and fill the reservoir so that you can keep your windshield clear throughout the season. 


US News & World Report. Jaclyn Trop. December 15, 2016.  Driving in Snow: 7 Tips for Staying Safe. Retrieved December 21, 2016, from http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/driving_in_snow_tips_for_staying_safe/.

Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season


Holiday safety is an issue that burns brightest from late November to mid-January, the time when families gather, parties are scheduled and travel spikes. By taking some basic precautions, you can ensure your whole family remains safe and injury-free throughout the season.


>Turkey Fryers

While many subscribe to the theory any fried food is good – even if it's not necessarily good for you – there is reason to be on alert if you're thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002. CPSC says 672 people have been injured and $8 million in property damage losses have resulted from these incidents.

NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer. But for those who don't heed that advice, please follow these precautions:

--Set up the fryer more than 10 feet from the house and keep children away

--Find flat ground; the oil must be even and steady to ensure safety

--Use a thawed and dry turkey; any water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over (see video at right)

--Fryer lid and handle can become very hot and cause burns

--Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times

>Candles and Fireplaces

About 2,200 deaths were caused by fires, burns and other fire-related injuries in 2013, according to Injury Facts 2015, and 12% of home candle fires occur in December, the National Fire Protection Association reports.  Increased use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations present in many homes means more risk for fire.

--Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle

--Keep candles out of reach of children

--Make sure candles are on stable surfaces

--Don't burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items

--Don't burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace

--Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year


Putting up decorations is one of the best ways to get in a holiday mood, however an estimated 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating were seen in emergency rooms during the 2012 season.

--"Angel hair" is made from spun glass, and it can irritate your eyes and skin; always wear gloves when handling it, or substitute non-flammable cotton

--When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow directions carefully; these sprays can irritate your lungs if inhaled

--Decorate the tree with your kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top

--Always use the proper step ladder; don't stand on chairs or other furniture

--Lights are among the best parts of holiday decorating; make sure there are no exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets

--Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous (including some Poinsettias) out of reach of children or pets; the national Poison Control Center can be reached at (800) 222-1222

--Make sure paths are clear indoors so older adults do not trip on wrapping paper, decorations, toys, etc.; NSC provides tips for older adults on slip, trip and fall protections


We've all heard it's important when choosing toys for infants or small children to avoid small parts that can be pulled or broken off and might prove to be a choking hazard. Here are some additional gift-related safety tips you might not have heard about:

--Select gifts for older adults that are not heavy or awkward to handle

--Be aware of dangers associated with coin lithium batteries; of particular concern is the ingestion of button batteries

--For answers to more of your holiday toy safety questions, check out this Consumer Product Safety Commission blog

--See which toys have been recalled


Many people choose to travel during the holidays by automobile, with the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. In 2013, 343 people died on New Year's Day, 360 on Thanksgiving Day and 88 on Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts 2015. Alcohol-impaired fatalities represented 31% of the totals.

--Use a designated driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party; alcohol, over-the-counter or illegal drugs all cause impairment

--Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance being traveled

--Put that cell phone away; distracted driving causes one-quarter of all crashes

--Make sure the vehicle is properly maintained, and keep an emergency kit with you

--Be prepared for heavy traffic, and possibly heavy snow

Remember, when guests are staying in your home, make sure areas have night lights or easy-to-reach lamps in case they need to get up during the night. And, whether you are visiting someone else's home or you have guests in your home, make sure all medications are kept up and away and out of sight from young children.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some holiday food safety tips. Here are a few:

--Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking

--Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature

--Refrigerate food within two hours

--Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator

--Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating

--When storing turkey, be sure to cut the leftovers in small pieces so it will chill quicker

--Wash your hands frequently when handling food

Natural Safety Council (NSC). Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season. Retrieved November 28. 2016, from http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-holiday-safety.aspx.

Table Set for Thanksgiving Meal


Thanksgiving is almost here and across the country, Americans are gearing up for one of the most spectacular feasts of the year.  Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings family and friends together to share good food, conversation, and laughter. In the midst of all this festive activity, it’s important to remember that there are health hazards associated with the holiday, including an increased chance of food poisoning, kitchen fires, and travel incidents.

Taking just a few minutes to read these Thanksgiving safety tips could mean the difference between enjoying the holiday and having a turkey dinner end in disaster.

 Food Poisoning

Following these food safety tips can keep any Thanksgiving meal safe from bacteria and keep your family and friends from getting sick:

1-Safely cooking a turkey starts with correctly defrosting it; place your bird on a tray or pan to catch any juices and keep it refrigerated until it’s ready to cook.
2-A 20-pound frozen turkey can take up to five days to thaw out so plan ahead.
3-Turkeys need to be cooked to an internal temperate of 165 °F.
4-Leftovers need to be refrigerated within two hours after serving.

Fire Safety

The average number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving is triple that of a normal day. Here a few simple ways to avoid fires:

1-“Stand by your pan” when cooking. Never leave food, grease, or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
2-Pot holders, oven mitts, food wrappers, and other things that can catch fire should be kept away from the stove.
3-Children should also be kept away from hot stoves and paid particular attention to when they are in the kitchen.
4-Facing pot handles towards the rear of the stove can save them from being knocked over and scalding people nearby.
5-Long sleeves and loose clothing should be avoided while cooking as it can easily catch fire.

Thanksgiving Travel Safety

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and with all the excitement travelers can become more focused on celebrations than getting to their destination as safely as possible. Following these travel tips will keep everyone safe on the road and in the air:

1-An emergency road kit is important to have in case of a breakdown or accident.
2-Ideally, travel outside of the heaviest days to avoid congestion – which are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward.
3-Get your car road-ready and start your trip with a full tank of gas.
4-Don’t be distracted. It’s illegal to text and drive in Massachusetts and drivers who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get into a crash than those who don’t.
5-Don’t drink and drive.
6-At airports, remember the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons.
7-Food items in your carry-on luggage must be in clear plastic bags and less than 3.4 ounces.
8-Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year at airports; packing smartly will help security lines move along quickly.

Retrieved on October 12, 2016 from: https://blog.mass.gov/blog/safety/thanksgiving-home-travel-safety-tips/. Thanksgiving Home & Travel Safety Tips.  Mass. Gov Blog: The Official Blog of the Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Focusing on Fire Safety


October is National Fire Prevention Month. Historically, this month marks the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that burnt out of control for several days and killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings.


To acknowledge National Fire Prevention Month and to continue to educate the University community regarding fire prevention, UD's Facilities Management Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management will be hosting the following training opportunities:

>>Live Fire Extinguisher Training - Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
>>Safety Street Fair and Smokeout - Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 5-8 PM
>>"After the Fire": The Movie and College Tour- Monday‚ September 19, 2016 - 7-9 PM

Live Fire Extinguisher Training

UD's Facilities Management Environmental Health & Safety/Risk Management annually partners with Silco Fire & Security to host the Live Fire Extinguisher Training.  This is the 15th year that UD wil be hosting this demonstration. At this event, students can gain first hand experience on how to properly use a fire extinguisher to put out a live fire. Students can also learn about the various type of fire extinguishers and the types of fires they put out. Please see the event details listed below. 

This event is considered an Engagement Opportunity for students.  Therefore, students can accumulate Path (Points Accumulated Toward Housing) credit by attending thid event.  These points can help to determine priority in attaining a student’s desired housing.

WHEN:    Wednesday October 26, 2016, 11:30 PM - 1:00 PM
WHERE:  Kennedy Union Plaza

(click to enlarge image)


Fire Extinguisher Practice

Safety Street Fair and Smokeout

UD's Facilities Management Environmental Health & Safety/Risk Management will be hosting a Safety Street Fair and Smokeout. UD annually partners with the Dayton Fire Department, UD Residential Properties, the UD Neighborhood Fellows and UD Residence Life to host fire prevention events on campus. This year, the American Red Cross and other local partners will join in the event. This activity will include a live demonstration smoke-out where students can learn firsthand about the dangers of fire and how to protect themselves and and also offer an opportunity to go through a building filled with‚ simulated smoke. Students will also have the opportunity to practice putting out a live fire with a fire extinguisher. Free food, T-Shirts and other goodies will be on hand. Please see the details listed below.

This event is considered an Engagement Opportunity for students.‚ Therefore, students can accumulate Path (Points Accumulated Toward Housing) credit by attending this event.  These points can help to determine priority in attaining a student's desired housing. 

WHEN:   Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
WHERE:  Art Street Amphitheater and 118 Lawnview Street

(click to enlarge image)


Fun and Food

Demonstrations and Hands on Training

Agencies and UD Organizations

"After the Fire": The Movie and College Tour

GuysATFOn Monday, September 19, 2016, two Seton Hall University fire survivors shared their story: “After the Fire” – The Movie & College Tour with University of  Dayton students and guests.  Alvaro Llanos and Shawn Simons were badly burned by a fire caused by arson which started in their dormitory in the early morning  hours of January 19, 2000. This is a story of survival, perseverance and inspiration and a story of heroes and cowards. Please take a few minutes to review the  information below to learn more about this event and how those in attendance were impacted.

This event was sponsored by UD's Student Development and Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management departments and has been presented at several colleges and universities throughout the United States.

The Presentation: "After the Fire"



Hand Tool/Power Tool Safety

Hand Tool/Power Tool Safety

One key issue associated with hand tool safety is choosing and using the right tool.  Approximately 8% of industrial accidents result from improper use of hand tools.  Injuries range from simple cuts and abrasions to fractures and punctures.

Below are examples of improper use of hand tools.  Have you done any of these?

>Pushing rather than pulling a wrench to loosen or tighten
>Bending metal with undersized pliers, which can damage the pliers
>Holding an item you’re working on in one hand while attempting to remove a screw with a screwdriver in the other hand
>Cutting toward your body with a cutting tool
>Using dull cutting tools
>Using a tool not properly sized for the job; (ex. Sockets slightly larger than the fastener)
>Filing materials not properly secured in a vise with no handle on the file

Not only do you need to use a tool properly but, it needs to be in good shape.  Take a moment to inspect and ensure it is in good shape.  Here are some things to look for:

>A hammer with a loose or broken handle
>A screwdriver with a worn or broken tip
>A cutting tool with a dull surface
>A chisel with a mushroom head
>Tools that have had their temper removed

Hand tools can be a dangerous as power tools so, make sure you use them correctly.  Below are some safety precautions/tips when using power tools.

>Do not remove safety guards from power tools, such as those on a circular saw
>Disconnect power tools when not in use, before servicing, and changing out accessories.  Do not yank a cord from an electric outlet
>Tools should be used within their designed safety limits
>Examine power tools before use and keep up with maintenance to ensure equipment is working properly.

Improper use and maintenance are the greatest hazards of hand and power tools.

Brian Rudduck
Assistant Director Environmental Health & Life Safety
Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management  
Department of Facilities Management



With the release of Pokemon GO, millions of people are fulfilling their dreams to be the very best like no one ever was. With this pursuit comes safety issues as well. Here are some tips to stay safe on your road to catch them all!


  • Do NOT Drive and Pokemon GO. You put yourself at risk and others at risk. According to the CDC “Each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” This number will only rise as more distractions are introduced. Put your life and others’ above your need for Pokemon.
  • Do NOT Drive or ride a skateboard, bike, scooter, etc. while playing. Again, you risk running into people/objects or driving/riding into or over an edge. If you insist on playing while partaking in these activities, rely on the vibrations and noises of the game to alert you to Pokemon and then STOP moving to interact with the game.
  • Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings. These are the same words the app greets you with when you launch it and they are absolutely true. Be alert of who and what is around you. If you see a vehicle slowly driving near you, it could be a getaway car for a robber. It is best to play in well-lit areas and in a group if possible. Also, when interacting with a Pokemon, STOP moving. Stay still to toss the pokeballs else you risk running into people/objects, tripping over an object, or falling into a hole/pond/lake. It can happen so stand still when engaging a Pokemon.
  • Look up from your phone. You only need to pay minimal attention to your phone. It will vibrate and make noise when a Pokemon appears on screen. Go on a walk to hatch your eggs and just monitor for vibration/sound while keeping your eyes on what is going on around you. If you are trying to track down a specific Pokemon using the footprints, you only need to glance at the screen on occasion to monitor the footprints and adjust direction. Keeping your head up will also alert you to other people, trees, poles and other objects that hurt to run into. Always look both ways before crossing a street.
  • Avoid potentially dangerous and private areas. Do not wonder into areas under construction or into the yards of others. There are plenty of Pokemon in the world and just because you saw a Charizard in the construction site or dark alley does not mean you will never see one again. Your life and safety is worth more than a Pikachu, Articuno, and even a Mewtwo. Remember that.

These tips are not all encompassing on the potential issues, but hopefully they will remind you of threats to your safety and the safety of others. Pokemon GO is a fun game and activity to participate in, but it is not worth risking your life or the lives of others. To be the very best like no one ever was, you must also be the very best at safety!

You can use our map HERE to preplan your Pokemon GO route for Pokestops and Gym visits.

Safety on the Road


In 2014 alone, motor vehicle crashes claimed 35,400 lives; some of these fatalities involved people who drive for a living. According to Injury Facts 2016, the Council’s annual report on unintentional injuries, the three biggest causes of fatalities on the road include:

1-Alcohol (30.8%)
2-Speeding (30%)
3-Distracted driving (26%)

Together We Can End Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is driving while drunk, drugged, drowsy and/or distracted. All of these are dangerous. All of these are preventable.  In addition to the National Safety Council, these traffic safety and health advocacy organizations are working to end impaired driving:

     *Consumer Healthcare Products Association
     *Governors Highway Safety Association
     *National Sleep Foundation
     *Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving
     *Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
     *Students Against Destructive Decisions

Paving the Way to Safer Roads

​​With advancements in cell phone technology, distracted driving has been an increasing and misunderstood trend. In fact, findings from a recent NSC public opinion poll indicate 80% of drivers across America incorrectly believe that hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone.

 Learn why distracted driving, regardless if it's hands-free or handheld, is a dangerous threat to roadway safety.


Educating Teen Drivers

For teens just learning to drive, car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death - mostly due to inexperience. Graduated Driver Licensing systems are proven to reduce crashes involving teen drivers by as much as 40%, minimizing common risks such as passenger distraction, nighttime driving and cell phone use.
Find more resources to help keep teen drivers safe.

Employers are Taking Action

Millions of people drive as part of their jobs. Some are professionally trained drivers, many are not. If a job does not primarily involve driving, the employee often does not receive the same kind of safety management or engagement in driving safety that others may get.  

Employers need to manage the safety of their employees on the roads, just as they manage other risks in the workplace. Start with an understanding of keeping employees safe. The NSC Journey to Safety Excellence incorporates leadership and employee engagement, risk management, safety management systems and measurement.

Defensive Driving Safety Training

Nobody knows driver safety training like the people who pioneered it more than 50 years ago. NSC created the first defensive driving course in 1964 and has been the leader in driver safety training ever since. NSC offers many options for defensive driving safety training for employees who are on the roads day in and day out. Select a Defensive Driving Course.

Off-the-job crashes account for 80% of employer crash-related health benefit costs, and half of crash-related injuries cause employees to miss work. According to Injury Facts, the average economic cost due to a crash was more than $1 million per death and more than $78,000 per nonfatal disabling injury.  Employers pay significant costs associated with off-the-job crashes, including decreases in employee health, well-being, and productivity, and increases in lost time from work and insurance costs.

To prevent motor vehicle crashes involving their employees on and off the job, employers should:

     *Apply principles of the Journey to Safety Excellence

     *Engage employees to understand the risks they face while driving, take action to address

       the risks and implement measures to track progress

     *Offer defensive driving courses and other training specific to the risks faced

     *Offer programs for employees with alcohol or prescription or illegal drug problems

     *Enact a corporate cell phone policy to prevent all cell phone use behind the wheel

     *Enact a policy that requires employees to wear seat belts

     *Ask NSC experts to assess your organization's road safety systems, and help design and 

      execute a program

National Safety Council (NSC). Safety on the Road.  Retrieved June 23, 2016 from http://www.nsc.org/learn/pages/nsc-on-the-road.aspx?utm_campaign=COM+8579+-+2016+NSM+Promotional+EM+9+-+WK4+-+Opens&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=30864025&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_1qkF0M7tCS5Vv7eod0pG0z3fRFrjYBpBEKiNqaBbjHHp1YvrmO8dvhxIt2V1o2Ysar3TELAmAdZ-gzB9UyFVs5SmzrA&_hsmi=30864025.

Protecting Yourself from the Sun and Heat ( posted June 2016)

Protecting Yourself from the Sun and Heat


Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts, and skin cancer.  There are no safe UV rays.  Be especially careful in the sun if you burn easily, man hat waterspend a lot of time outdoors, or have any of the following physical features; numerous, irregular, or large moles, freckles, fair skin, or blond, red, or light brown hair.  It’s important to examine your body monthly because skin cancers detected early can almost always be cured.  The most important warning sign is a spot on the skin that changes in size, shape, or color during a period of 1 month to 1 or 2 years.  If you find any unusual skin changes, see a health care professional immediately. Here’s how to block those harmful rays:

*Cover up - Wear lightly woven clothing that is not see through.
*Use Sunscreen - A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93% of UV rays.
*Wear a hat – A wide brim had, not a baseball cap, work best because it protect the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
*Wear UV-absorbent shades – Sunglasses should block 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation.
*Limit exposure – UV rays are most intense between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.



The combination of heat and humidity can be a serious health threat during the summer months.  The most serious heat illness is heat stroke.  Other heat related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash, should also be avoided.  Symptoms of heat exhaustion are headache, dizziness, fainting, weakness and wet skin, irritability or confusion, thirst, nausea, or vomiting. So, take precautions.  Here’s how:

*Drink plenty of water before you get thirsty.
*Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing.  Cotton is good.
*Take frequent short breaks in cool shade*Eat smaller meal before work activities.
*Avoid caffeine or large amounts of sugar.
*Know that equipment such as respirators or work suits can increase heat stress.
*Find out from your healthcare provider if your medication and heat don’t mix.

Know the signs/symptoms of heat illnesses; monitor yourself; use a buddy system. What to Do When a Worker is Ill from the heat.

*Call a supervisor for help.  If the supervisor is not available, call Public Safety at 229-2121.
*Have someone stay with the worker until help arrives.
*Move the worker to a cooler/shaded area.
*Remove outer clothing.
*Fan and mist the worker with water; apply ice (ice bags or ice towels).
*Provide cool drinking water, if able to drink. 

Brian Rudduck
Assistant Director Environmental Health & Life Safety
Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management  
Department of Facilities Management

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, Trips and Falls

It’s probably happened to most of us. That momentary lapse of inattention thinking about a personal problem or distracted by an activity that ends in a slip, trip or fall. A stumble down a stairway, a trip over an uneven surface, slipping on the ice, can lead to a variety of regrettable events ranging from a simple bruised shin to an extremely serious injury. It’s just one of a variety of conditions and situations that set the stage for slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the U.S.  Some common locations for falls cluttered work areas, heavy traffic areas, uneven surfaces, wet surfaces, unguarded heights, ramps, ladders and stairs.  Here are some prevention guidelines to help create a safer work environment for you and your coworkers.


Here are some fall prevention tips.

>Clean up all spills immediately.
>Stay off freshly mopped floors.
>Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas.
>Remove small throw rugs or use non-skid mats to keep them from slipping.
>Keep frequently used items in easily reachable areas.
>Wear shoes with good support and slip resistant soles.
>Keep walking pathways clear of obstructions.
>Keep drawers and cabinet doors closed at all times.
>Remove tripping hazards (paper, boxes, books, clothes, toys, shoes) from stairs and walkways.
>Ensure adequate lighting both indoors and outdoors.
>Remove debris from exterior walkways.
>Periodically check the condition of walkways and steps, and repair damages immediately.
>Never stand on a chair, table or surfaces with wheels.
>Control individual behavior.
This condition is the toughest to control. It is human nature to let our guard down for two seconds and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstructs the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common elements in many on-the-job injuries.

It’s ultimately up to each individual to plan, stay alert and pay attention.

Brian Rudduck
Assistant Director Environmental Health & Life Safety
Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management  
Department of Facilities Management

April Is Tornado Awareness Month

Tornadoes occur throughout the year but, are most frequent between March and September.  Know what to do:

Before a tornado
– Be prepared before a storm watch or warning is issued.  Develop a disaster plan to respond to all hazards, including tornadoes.  Have a basic emergency supply kit prepared.  Make communication plans and conduct regular drills.  Be alert to changing weather conditions.  Look for approaching storms, listen to a weather radio or media for the latest weather information.  In an emergency, always listen to local emergency management officials.


During a tornado - Seek shelter immediately. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, do not stop to take pictures or shoot video. Continue to listen to a Weather Radio or local media newscasts for up-to-date weather information. 

     In Homes: Go to the lowest level, as close to the center as possible. A basement is best, or go to a windowless bathroom, closet or inside hallway. Specifically constructed safe rooms offer the best protection.

     At Work or School: Go to an inside wall on the lowest floor. Interior bathrooms and closets are good shelter area. Avoid large, open rooms like gyms and auditoriums where roofs can collapse.

     In Vehicles: Never try to outrun a tornado. If possible, seek shelter in a nearby sturdy building. If you cannot quickly get to a shelter, either stay in your car with the seatbelt on or exit the vehicle and get lower than the roadway, lying flat in a ditch and covering your head with your hands.

After a tornado: Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Be careful of debris such as damaged structures, exposed nails and broken glass. Do not touch downed power lines. Call 911 for emergency assistance.

Recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit.

     Bottled water

     >Non-perishable food that requires no cooking

     >Flashlights and extra batteries

     >Battery powered NOAA weather radio or commercial radio

     >Whistle to signal for help

     >First aid supplies, extra medication

     >Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

When severe weather threatens, always remember to DUCK!

     D - Go DOWN to the lowest level

     U - Get UNDER something sturdy (like a basement staircase or heavy table or desk)

     C - COVER your head

     K - KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed

The National Weather Service issues storm watches or warnings as needed. Most Ohio communities have outdoor warning sirens that sound during storm warnings. Consider a smartphone app for severe weather alerts.

Do What is Right, Not What is Easy

 Do What is Right, Not What is Easy

A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday morning, I went to a pancake brunch with a friend. When we finished eating, she said there was a little consignment shop next door she had wanted to visit for a while. She asked if I would like to stroll over there with her and I did.

Whats RightIn the typical mix of stuff you find in a consignment shop, I spotted a small wall plaque with eight words on it – “Do What Is Right, Not What Is Easy.” I have not been able to get these words out of my head. 

These words apply to everything we do. But when it comes to safety at the University of Dayton, this statement truly sums it up. These words concentrate on safety in the present, on safely meeting our customer’s needs, and on safe processes.  They speak to the risk level of our performance. And, they really hit home when it comes to maintaining a safety culture.

When doing our work, there are two situations we may encounter.  The first type of situation is one where clearly know the correct safe way to perform the work. In these situations, we either choose to do what is right or we choose malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance. For example, we clearly know that we should wear safety glasses when using a power tool. There are a slew of reasons we might not do the right thing, but ultimately if we choose not to wear safety glasses we are negligent.

The second situation is one where are not sure about the correct safe way to perform the work. In these situations, there is what we refer to as an “unanswered safety question” or USQ. For example, if we are tackling a cleaning chore with bleach & water and we want to add a detergent to the solution to make it more effective. We do not know if mixing bleach with the detergent could produce hazardous gases. Finding the answers to USQs could be as simple as asking your supervisor or reading the product labels. Or, it may take extensive research to determine the way to do the job with the least amount of risk. When we face situations where we do not clearly know what is right, even though it may not be the easy way, we should stop work and find the answer.

Every UD employee at all levels, from executives, to supervisors, to the newest staff member must understand that we are here to accomplish a mission and that safety comes first. When it comes to safety we must do what is right, not what is easy.

If you have USQs, suggestions for reducing risk, or ideas for improving our safety culture at UD, talk to your supervisor or come see us.  Hey, let’s be careful out there!

Sean Englert, MPA
Life Safety and Loss Prevention Specialist
Environmental Health & Safety / Risk Management
Department of Facilities and Campus Operation

Be Prepared

Be Prepared

"Be prepared for what?" someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, "Why, for any old thing." said Baden-Powell. He explained people must prepare themselves by thinking out and practicing how to act during emergencies, so they are never taken by surprise.

If a disaster strikes the university, it is possible the entire region will be affected. We must be ready! Be Prepared Resources will be stretched thin and you will be needed here at UD. If we are well-prepared, we will have the peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand, rather than worrying about whether our families are taken care of. 

It is very important that we stay informed about the types of emergencies that we may be called upon to respond to, and teach our families about what they should do. We need to serve as role models for other members of the community.  We must lead by example to encourage preparedness.

The worst plan is no plan.  It is better to have a plan and not need it, then to need a plan and not have it. So, make a family emergency plan and build an emergency supply kit. Be sure to include provisions for individuals with access or functional needs, older adults, children, and pets.

Your family may not be together when a crisis occurs, so it is important to think about possible situations and plan just in case. Consider the following questions when making a plan: How will my family get emergency alerts and warnings? Preparedness How will my family get to safe locations for relevant emergencies? How will my family get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work? How will I let loved ones know I am safe? How will my family get to a meeting place after the emergency?

Here are items suggested to include in your emergency supply kit.  I left spaces so you can use this as checklist as you put it together:   __ a waterproof container, __a gallon of water per person per day, for three days (include water for pets), __at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, __a manual can opener, __eating utensils, __a battery-powered radio and weather radio + extra batteries, __a flashlight + extra batteries, __a first aid kit, __a whistle, __dust masks, plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in-place, __moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation, __ an adjustable wrench, __pliers, __important documents (maps, insurance policies, identification, bank records, etc.), __ phones, two-way radios, or other devices for communicating, __ prescription medications, __extra pairs of contact lenses and glasses, __infant formula and diapers, __ pet food, leash, and collar, __books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children.

Check out www.ready.gov for a lot of great resources to help get prepared including planning templates. If you have suggestions to help us be prepared, please talk to your supervisor.  And hey, let’s be careful out there!             

Sean Englert, MPA
Life Safety and Loss Prevention Specialist
Environmental Health & Safety / Risk Management
Department of Facilities and Campus Operations


Margie Keenan

St. Marys Hall 301