All posts by Jill Dougherty

July is Vehicle Theft Prevention Month

GLSTC is proud to share that July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. Many of us are not doing as much traveling these days, so we may have let down our guard. Now is a good time to review the statistics and prevention tips.

Vehicle theft is serious business. In the United States in 2018:
• Nearly three quarters of a million vehicles were stolen in the United States, costing owners more than $6 billion.
• Passenger cars made up more than 50% of all stolen motor vehicles.
• Only 59.3% of all stolen motor vehicles were recovered.
• Of all motor vehicles stolen, 74.8% were passenger vehicles.
• There were 748,841 motor vehicles stolen.
• A motor vehicle was stolen every 42.2 seconds.

Here is the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s list of the top 10 states with the most motor vehicles stolen (such as passenger cars, trucks, and multipurpose vehicles) in 2018.
1. California
2. Texas
3. Florida
4. Georgia
5. Washington
6. Illinois
7. Colorado
8. Montana
9. Tennessee
10. North Carolina

Even though Michigan did not make the list above, it is important to take these steps to help prevent motor vehicle theft:
• Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
• Park in well-lit areas.
• Do not leave the area while your vehicle is running.
• Do not leave your keys in your vehicle.
• Always stow away your valuables.

Distracted Driving Awareness

Driving and Texting Facts

  1. 5 seconds is the minimal amount of attention that a driver who texts takes away from the road. If traveling at 55 mph, this equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road.
  2. Texting makes a crash up to 23 times more likely.
  3. Teens who text while driving spend 10% of the time outside their lane.
  4. According to AT&T’s Teen Driver Survey, 97% of teens agree that texting while driving is dangerous, yet 43% do it anyway.
  5. 19% of drivers of all ages admit to surfing the web while driving.
  6. 43 states, plus D.C., prohibit all drivers from texting.
  7. 40% of teens say that they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone.
  8. The most recent National Occupant Protection Use Survey finds that women are more likely than men to reach for their cell phones while driving.
  9.   According to 77% of teens, adults tell them not to text or email while driving, yet adults do it themselves “all the time.”
  10.   9 in 10 teens expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less, which puts pressure on them to respond while driving.

So the key is don’t text and drive and stay alive.


The most dangerous environment many workers face each day is the roadway. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is more than just an observance – it’s an empowering invitation to “Take Back Your Drive.”
Download free materials, including posters and tip sheets, to help keep your workers safe at .

March Safety Tip

4 Safety Tips for Using Lawn Fertilizer

Spreading lawn fertilizer is a chore millions of homeowners embrace every year. In fact, lawn fertilizer has become such a common product, sometimes it is hard to remember that it is actually a chemical that can be dangerous if used improperly. That’s why it’s so important to keep safety in mind when working around lawn fertilizers.

Keep your family, pets, and neighbors safe from harsh chemicals. Brush up on these safety tips before it’s time to fertilize your lawn again:

The most basic safety tenant for using fertilizer is the same as that of many other chemicals–store it in a cool, dry place, far out of the reach of children. If you store fertilizer in a garage or shed, keep it on a high shelf. Better yet, eliminate the chance for problems by locking the door that leads to the chemical storage.

Always use gloves when handling fertilizer. The nitrogen in the fertilizer can cause a chemical burn, and it especially hurts if you have even the smallest cut or scrape. If you get fertilizer on your hands, wash them immediately under running water. If any redness or burning occurs, call your doctor.

Keep in mind that lawn fertilizers can leach into the groundwater, so apply only what you need, and no more. Take further steps to keep others safe by telling your neighbors about the application, and be sure to keep children and pets off the grass until you have thoroughly watered the fertilizer–or until a rainstorm has taken care of that job for you.

Finally, read the instructions! Sit down and read the application directions every time you fertilize in order to understand your task and handle it properly.

February Safety Tip #2

Electric power does a tremendous amount of work. But because it’s such a powerful force, we need to be very careful with it. Approximately 300 people are killed and over 4,000 injured every year by electricity in the workplace. The reasons are almost always carelessness, a faulty appliance or tool, or a lack of knowledge about how electricity works. You can reduce electrical injuries and death by doing three things:

  1. Understanding how electricity works
  2. Recognizing potential electrical hazards
  3. Learning about safety devices that prevent shock.

Electricity naturally flows to the earth, or to ground, through anything that will conduct electrical current. There are some compounds, like wood and glass, that are not good conductors of electricity.

But electricity will pass through the human body, sometimes with fatal results, trying to get to ground. If an appliance or tool is faulty or has a shorted wire, for example, the electric current may try to find another path to ground. That’s why electrical systems should always be grounded. A safe path to ground for electricity is away from your body and confined within whatever piece of electrical equipment you’re using.

An electric shock is a reflex response to an electric current that enters the body. It is often painful and can be lethal. The severity of injury does not depend on the level of voltage that produces the shock. A small shock from static electricity may contain thousands of volts with very little current. On the other hand, extremely low voltage with an extended current duration can be fatal.

There are several effects of a shock from electricity. Extensive burns can occur from high-voltage shocks with strong currents. Around 500 to 1,000 volts may cause internal burns, and damage occurs through tissue heating in the body. Ventricular fibrillation may occur when a low voltage (110 to 220 volts) travels through the chest for a fraction of a second. If the current travels directly to the heart, an even lower voltage level can induce fibrillation, which is typically lethal because it stops the heart.


February Safety Tip

Avoiding Slips, Trips & Falls

10 Common Hazards
  1. Contaminants on the Floor
  2. Poor Drainage
  3. Indoor Walking Surface Irregularities
  4. Outdoor Walking Surface Irregularities
  5. Weather Conditions
  6. Poor Lighting
  7. Stairs and Handrails
  8. Step Stools and Ladders
  9. Trip Hazards: Clutter
  10. Improper Use of Floor Mats and Runners

January Safety Tip

Things You Should Consider Throwing Away for Better Health

Old plastic containers

Go through your collection of food-storage containers and toss anything made of clear, rigid plastic, and stamped with a 7 or “pc” (stands for polycarbonate). Glass is safer in general.

Air fresheners

“These products are simply chemical perfumes that you put in the air,” says Lunder, who argues that it’s much healthier to take care of the root cause of a smell than mask it with chemicals.

Antibacterial soap

Antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing bacteria than the regular stuff— and they may not be safe.

Your stash of diet soda

If you haven’t already, you may want to reconsider your diet soda habit, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Researchers found a link between these sweeteners, altered gut microbes, glucose intolerance and metabolic syndrome (both precursors to Type 2 diabetes) in mice and humans.

Old running shoes

Most running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 400 miles.

Frayed toothbrush

If you’re brushing in the morning and the evening like you’re supposed to, then your toothbrush bristles are probably becoming frayed and worn faster than you realize. Replace your toothbrush about every two months.


Not sure where to start? Toss things that annoy you every time you see them, like socks that have lost their match, or your overflowing kitchen junk drawer.

Clothes you don’t wear anymore

Take a peek in your closet. How many items have you not worn within the last year?

Leftovers lingering in the fridge

When it comes to highly perishable food that contains animal ingredients, the rule of thumb is to eat, toss, or freeze after three days.

Old mascara

Liquid makeup, including mascara, can harbor a lot of germs. That’s why he recommends throwing tubes away two to three months after opening.

Dirty contact lens case

“Using a dirty lens case is one of the primary risk factors for getting eye infections,” says Dr. Steinemann, who recommends replacing you lens case at least every three months, as well as cleaning, air-drying facedown, and using fresh solution daily.

Stale spices

Spices that have been hanging out in your cabinets for years probably won’t make you sick —but they won’t add any flavor to your food.

Old sunscreen

When it comes to sunscreen, the expiration date really does matter.

Musty, clogged air filters

If you have an air purifier at home, you get a gold star. One telltale sign it needs to be tossed is a musty smell.

Your kitchen sponge

Studies show the kitchen sponge is the germiest thing in the average American household.

Plastic cutting boards

Slicing and dicing on plastic cutting boards scores the surface. Once bacteria get into these tiny grooves and begin to grow, they can be very difficult to get rid of.

Smart devices

You don’t need to toss your Smart phone but you should definitely unplug from time to time. Mounting research indicates that information overload what happens when you use smart devices constantly—is linked to depression and anxiety.

Your chair

Global studies show that the average person sits 7.7 hours a day, and some estimate people sit up to 15 hours a day. The American Medical Association recommends switching to a standing desk for work as an excellent way to combat the health issues associated with too much sitting.

December Safety Tip #2

Home Fire Safety Ideas

Every 15 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States. A residential fire occurs every 66 seconds. There is one civilian fire death every 118 minutes. There is one civilian fire injury every 18 minutes. In 2008, 91 firefighters were killed in the line of duty and over 40.000 firefighters were injured on the fire ground.

The Nature of Fire:

Fires are likely to start in many places in the home including the kitchen, living room, bedroom and storage areas such as, the attic, basement, workroom or storeroom. Causes of fire include overheated or overloaded electrical wire, cigarette ashes, smoldering ashes in the couch, sparks from the fireplace, unattended outdoor fires and barbecues, appliances in poor repair and unattended cooking in the kitchen. A home fire inspection will help reduce the possibility of a fire in your home. When a fire hazard is identified, one side from the fire tetrahedron has been removed. For example, we know that “Smokers Need Watchers.” If a live cigarette ash is discovered behind a couch after a party and extinguished, the heat side of the fire tetrahedron is eliminated.


All electrical appliances and tools should have a testing agency label. Have the appliances repaired if they aren’t working right.
If an appliance gets wet, have it serviced. Check the cords on all appliances. If they are worn or frayed, have them repaired. Don’t overload the outlets. Be sure a fire extinguisher is placed in the kitchen. The Fire Department recommends a minimum 2A10BC extinguisher. All cleaning products and other chemicals should be stored out of the reach of young children, not under the sink.
Living room or family room – Be sure portable space heaters are at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire including walls and curtains. Use a metal or glass fireplace screen. Have the chimney checked and cleaned regularly. Allow plenty of air space around the TV and stereo to prevent overheating. If these appliances are not working correctly, be sure to have them repaired. In the meantime, unplug them. Check for worn or frayed extension cords or other electrical cords. Extension cords should not run under rugs and carpets or be looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray. Check for overloaded outlets or extension cords.

Note: Half of all home fire deaths occur at night, so fire hazard checks and special attention to fire prevention should occur before going to bed.

December Safety Tip

Here are 10 ways to stay focused and maintain high productivity during the chaotic holiday season:

  1. Take a few days off. If you have a few vacation days available, take the time to do a little shopping or enjoy a day with your loved ones. This will give you a chance to refresh and recharge during the busy holiday season.
  2. Clear your mind. Get your tasks and projects, both personal and professional, onto paper and out of your head. Once you see all your commitments and want-to-do’s, decide which to drop and which could wait until the new year.
  3. Avoid multitasking. Try to avoid working on personal and work-related tasks at the same time. Shopping online while listening in on a conference call could be disastrous.
  4. Start working on year-end projects and personal tasks early. The holidays don’t creep up on us! Start your holiday shopping earlier than you have in the past, and get a head start on any upcoming projects at work. This way, when you’re busy with office parties and planning family gatherings later this month, you’ll have fewer to-do items on your plate.
  5. Don’t take your work home. We all have family obligations during the holiday season. When at the office try to set clear and reasonable goals for what you want to accomplish and commit to a hard stop time. Use your motivation for getting out the door on time as a way to fight off those tempting distractions.
  6. Watch out for distractions. While at the office, don’t try to cram in shopping at lunch or buy gifts online. At work, focus on work. You can take on the holiday chores during your personal time. It will also free you up from trying to do too many things at once.
  7. Take care of yourself physically. Exercise more, not less, even if it’s just a walk around the block. Sleep more, not less, just thirty minutes more a night can make a big difference. And watch what you eat and drink – the increase in sugary foods and alcoholic beverages will impact you the next day at work, both mentally and physically!
  8. Don’t over-commit. With all the office parties, client events, and secret Santa exchanges it can be tough to stay focused on work. Be sure to prioritize and balance your holiday activities with your work obligations. Don’t feel like you have to go to every department lunch gathering or office party you get invited to. Keeping focused and maintaining a good work-life balance sometimes means saying no.
  9. Remind yourself to stay focused at work. The trick is to forget about “seasons” and focus on “today.” Is today a holiday? If not, behave as you would in September. Follow that procedure every day you work. On actual holidays or vacation days, forget about work and have fun. It’s that simple.
  10. Remember what the holidays are all about. Keep in mind the holiday season is for celebration. This should be a joyful time of the year. A chaotic holiday season is a choice, not a given.

November Safety Tip

Fire Safety: Every Worker Plays a Role

When it comes to fire safety on the job, everyone can play a role – not only by recognizing hazards but also by taking action to resolve them. The National Safety Council recommends performing regular self-inspections in the workplace and creating a comprehensive inspection checklist to follow. Common causes of workplace fires include:

  • Electrical equipment: Electrical equipment presents a number of fire hazards, including faulty wiring and starters, improper fuses, and poorly done repairs. Also, carefully review any solvent’s Safety Data Sheet before using it to clean electrical equipment, as it may be flammable.
  • Flammable liquids: The council states that a liquid is defined as flammable if it emits enough vapors to burn at temperatures lower than 100° F, whereas liquids that produce enough vapors to support combustion when heated over 100° F are combustible liquids. Because these liquids are so volatile and are commonly found throughout various industrial settings, it is important to follow proper guidelines when handling, using and storing them. Ensure these types of liquids are used only in ventilated areas away from ignition sources, such as open flames or sparks.
  • Friction: Overhead transmission bearings and shafting can accumulate dust, making them ignition sources. To prevent this, keep bearings well-lubricated and maintain good housekeeping to keep dust at bay.
  • Stored gases: If your workplace has stored cylinders on the premises, ensure the storage areas feature automatic sprinklers, ventilation and fire-resistant separations.
  • Explosive dusts: The buildup of even a small amount of dust can result in a serious incident.
  • Plastics: Be aware that plastics – commonly used for storage – tend to burn hotter and faster than wood, and standard sprinkler systems may not be able to adequately contain these types of fires.
  • Portable heaters: NSC considers portable heaters to be serious fire hazards and discourages their use in the workplace.
  • Smoking hazards: Clearly define where smoking and non-smoking areas are in your workplace and strictly enforce smoking restrictions with employees.

An effective fire protection program takes careful planning with a focus on prevention, NSC states. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure proper housekeeping standards are developed and followed regarding fire safety.