All posts by Jill Dougherty

October Safety Tip #2

Halloween Safety Tips

Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
    the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

– See more at:

October Safety Tip

Your Hardhat: Inspection & Maintenance

A conventional hardhat provides limited protection by reducing the force of falling objects striking the top of the shell. It is not designed to protect workers from impacts to the front, side, or rear. Because hardhats can be damaged, they should not be abused. They should be kept free of abrasions, scrapes, and nicks. They should not be dropped or used as supports. Do not sit on your hardhat. Never drill holes in a hardhat. Hardhats should not be carried on the rear window shelf of an automobile or stored in direct sunlight.

The general service life of a hardhat can range from 2 to 5 years. All hardhats are susceptible to damage from ultraviolet light, extreme temperatures, and chemicals. Employees who are frequently exposed to sunlight, heat, cold, or chemicals should replace their hardhats more often.


Both the hardhat’s shell and suspension system must be inspected frequently for signs of wear and degradation. Field personnel who wear hardhats should check them at least monthly, if not more frequently.

The shell should be inspected routinely for dents, cracks, nicks, gouges, and any damage that might reduce protection. Any hardhat that shows signs of worn or damaged parts should be removed from service immediately. The shell material may be degrading if the shell becomes stiff, brittle, faded, or appears dull or chalky. With further degradation, the shell’s surface may flake or delaminate. A hardhat should be replaced at the first sign of any of these conditions.

Here is a simple hardhat inspection for field employees,
supervisors, and cache personnel:

* Compress the shell from both sides about 1 inch with your hands and release the pressure without dropping the shell. The shell should return to its original shape quickly, exhibiting elasticity. Compare the elasticity with that of a new shell. If the shell being tested does not have as much elasticity as the new shell, or if the shell cracks, it should be replaced immediately.

* Inspect the suspension system closely for cracks, cut or frayed shell straps, torn headband or size adjustment slots, loss of pliability, or other signs of wear. Remove and replace any suspension that is damaged.


Exposure to temperature extremes, sunlight, or chemicals (such as fire retardant, or tree-marking paint) shorten the useful life of a hardhat.

Follow these practices to protect your hardhat and extend its service life:

* Never store a hardhat in direct sunlight. * Remove dirt and stains from the shell and suspension system by scrubbing them with a mild detergent.

* Rinse the shell thoroughly with warm (not hot) water.

* Wipe the shell dry and carefully inspect the shell and the suspension systems for signs of wear and damage.

September Safety Tip

Effective September 1, 2015, MIOSHA implemented the new injury reporting requirements in response to the changes federal OSHA made effective January 1, 2015. Employers in the state of Michigan will be required to report any work-related amputation, loss of an eye, or in-patient hospitalization of any employee, within 24 hours of the incident. Currently, employers must report the work-related in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees.

Employers can go to the MIOSHA Recordkeeping website to report an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye incident or call the new injury report line: 844-464-6742. This system should NOT be used for reporting work related fatalities. All work-related fatalities must still be reported within eight hours to the current fatality line: 800-858-0397.

If you have any questions, please contact MIOSHA Information Services Section staff at 517-284-7788 or GLSTC to ask one of our Safety Specialists. 

Injury and Illness (I&I) Report Processing Instruction
Employee Injury/Illness Incident Report Form

“Work Safe… Be Safe!”

August Tip #2

Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road

Things get a little crazy on the roads during the school year: Buses are everywhere, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.  It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.

If You’re Dropping Off

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

  • Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
  • Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

  • Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
  • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
  • If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door

By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.

August Safety Tip

Car Seat Recommendations for Children

Recommended Car Seat Types by Child's Age and Size

There are many car seat choices on the market. Use the information below to help you choose the type of car seat that best meets your child’s needs or print out this PDF (350 KB).

  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it every time.
  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.
  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

Rear-Facing Car Seat

Birth – 12 Months

Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats:

  • Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing.
  • Convertible and All-in-one car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.

Forward-Facing Car Seat

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

Booster Seat

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.

Seat Belt

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.


OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign

Plan. Provide. Train. Three simple steps to preventing falls.

FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2013, there were 291 fatal falls to a lower level out of 828 total fatalities in construction. These deaths are preventable.

Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps:

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely

When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.

When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).

PROVIDE the right equipment

Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Different ladders and scaffolds are appropriate for different jobs. Always provide workers with the kind they need to get the job done safely. For roof work, there are many ways to prevent falls. If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it’s still in good condition and safe to use.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they’ll be using on the job.

Safety Tip: July

We thank the National Council on Fireworks Safety for these tips:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the Fire or police Department.

June Safety Tip #3

Distracted Walking Is a Significant Safety Threat

Distracted walking injuries are on the rise, with women and people ages 40 and younger experiencing the most injuries.

As the joke goes, some people can’t chew gum and walk at the same time. Apparently, a large number of us can’t walk and text at the same time, either.

Fifty-two percent of distracted walking incidents involving cell phones happen at home – not adjacent to roadways, as many may believe, according to a study in the Journal of Safety Research. Sixty-eight percent of those injured are women, and 54 percent are people ages 40 or younger.

“Whether we are in the car or on foot, it is important to be aware of our surroundings, even if they are familiar,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “More than half of all unintentional injuries each year happen at home, so don’t take your safety for granted.  No call, text or update is worth an injury.”

Distracted walking injuries involving cell phones accounted for an estimated 11,101 injuries between 2000 and 2011, making it a significant safety threat. The trend is so alarming that it was included for the first time in the annual National Safety Council statistical report, Injury Facts, which tracks the leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths.

Unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the primary focus of National Safety Month, observed each June.

While cell phone distracted walking injuries were most common among women and those ages 40 and younger, the study found the issue is impacting all age groups. Twenty-one percent of those injured were 71 and older. Talking on the phone accounted for 62 percent of injuries, the most common of which were dislocation or fracture, sprains or strains and concussions. Nearly 80 percent of the injuries were due to a fall.

The rise in cell phone distracted walking injuries parallels the eight-fold increase in cell phone use in the last 15 years. It is just as important to walk cell free as it is to drive cell-free. Pedestrians and drivers using cell phones are both impaired and too mentally distracted to fully focus on their surroundings, according to a white paper released by the National Safety Council, “Understanding the Distracted Brain,”  and research published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. For pedestrians, this distraction can cause them to trip, cross roads unsafely or walk into motionless objects such as street signs, doors or walls.

June Safety Tip #2

Common Mistakes Of New Campers

We were all new campers once, and I’m sure we each could share a funny anecdote about a campground mishap or two. Maybe this list will make the learning process a little quicker and remind campers (new and old) of some things we should(n’t) do. Remember these common mistakes of new campers, and you’ll become a smart camper.

1.  Become familiar with your gear.

New campers usually wait until they get to the campground before they tryout new gear. Set up tents in your back yard before taking them camping. Check the operation of lanterns and camp stoves to make sure they work properly. Try your sleeping bag one night on the living room floor to see how well you sleep in it. Be a smart camper, become familiar with your gear.

2.  Buy a tent that is big enough.

Make space and comfort a priority in your choice of tents (unless you’re backpacking).  For family camping I recommend getting a tent with a capacity rated two higher than the number of campers that will use it. So for a family of two I would recommend a 4-person tent, for a family of four a 6-person tent, and so on.

3.  Make (and use) a checklist.

New campers often overlook a checklist. It’s no fun getting to the campground and finding out that you forgot something. Stay organized and make sure nothing is left behind by keeping a camping gear checklist. Use it while packing and check off each item.

4.  Arrive at the campground early.

Arrive early enough to give yourself time to learn the campground layout. Make your campground neighbors happy and set up camp during daylight hours. It’s much easier when you can see what you’re doing.

5.  Plan your meals.

Figure out how many meals you’ll be making for how many people, and put together some menu ideas. Then do you grocery shopping a day or two before departure so that the food will be fresh. Avoid buying munchies.

6.  Observe campground rules.

Please observe quiet hours. The little privacy you have is limited to your campsite. Respect the space that other campers have chosen, and don’t walk through another campsite to get someplace.

7.  Learn to back your RV before you get to the campground.

Be a smart camper, learn to back your RV before you get to the campground.

8.  Bring sufficient clothing.

Camping is all about being prepared. Remember, there’s no laundry facilities at the campground. You’ll like a rain suit in case it rains, a swim suit for a dip, and maybe a sweater or jacket for those cool evenings.

9.  Camp close to home.

Just in case, don’t travel far for your first camping trip. You may find out after a night of sleeping on the ground that you are not cut out to be a camper. You may have gear trouble and find yourself without a tent. You may run out of food. The weather may change for the worse. Any number of things could happen to make you want to go home early.

June Safety Tip

Did you know… Nearly 15,000 people die every year of overdoses involving prescription painkillers?

This June we encourage you to learn more about important safety issues like prescription painkiller abuse.

Prescription painkiller overdoses are a growing problem in the US, especially among women. About 18 women die every day from a prescription painkiller overdose – this is 4 times as many as back in 1999.

Improving the way prescription painkillers are prescribed can reduce the number of people who misuse, abuse or overdose from harmful drugs.