National Public Health Week – Injury Prevention Begins at Work

April 5, 2011

The West Central Health District is pleased to celebrate National Public Health Week, which is sponsored by the American Public Health Association. National Public Health Week will be held April 4-10, 2011 and seeks to educate the public, policy-makers and public health professionals about issues important to improving public health. This year’s theme is “Safety is No Accident:  Live Injury Free.”

In observance of National Public Health Week, on Tuesday April 5th, the West Central Health District would like to remind the public that injury prevention starts at work.  As spring comes upon us we will begin to turn our attention to preparing our gardens and lawns for the warmer weather.  Make sure that your spring yard work is safe yard work.  Here are some tips to be sure that you and your loved ones stay safe as you prepare your gardens and lawns.

  • Dress appropriately for the task. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts (to avoid injuries from thrown objects like rocks or sticks), close-fitting clothes and no jewelry (to avoid getting anything caught in moving parts), sturdy shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles, eye protection, heavy gloves (protects hands when changing, sharpening, or cleaning blades), and hearing protection such as ear plugs when using motor-driven equipment
  • Lower your risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sun shades, and sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
  • Before starting up machinery, remove objects from the area in which you are working that can cause injury or damage equipment, such as sticks, glass, metal, wire, and stones.
  • Be sure power tools are turned off and made inoperable if they must be left unattended to prevent use by children.
  • Handle gas carefully. Never fill gasoline tanks while machinery is on or when equipment is still hot. Wipe up spills. Store gas in an approved container away from the house. Finally, never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline or any gasoline-powered equipment.
  • Never work with electric power tools in wet or damp conditions. For protection against electrocution, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). GFCIs come in several models, including a portable plug-in type.