July 2021 Newsletter: In Heat of Summer, Get a Hot New Safety Toolkit

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Parking Lots, Hots Cars and Distraction

Focus is Job 1 when it comes to driver and transportation safety. We know distractions raise risks and create safety challenges, so we developed a new toolkit to help you address the role of distraction when it comes to pedestrians, parking lots and hot cars.

Did you know that one in every five crashes occurs in a parking lot or parking garage? According to a National Safety Council public opinion poll, 66% of drivers may be pulling into or out of parking spaces while distracted.

Since 1998, almost 900 children have died of pediatric vehicular heatstroke because they were left or became trapped in a hot vehicle, according to noheatstroke.org. Texas, which proudly boasts of being a leader in so many areas, also ranks No. 1 in child hot car deaths.

Why does this matter to you? Nearly one-quarter of these incidents occur at a place of work. Let’s pull together to eliminate these preventable tragedies. Explore the Hot Cars Toolkit to make use of these free resources:

  • Infographic: Hot happens fast. Did you know the temperature inside a vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes?
  • Mini-zine: This foldable, pocket-sized “magazine” highlights the three primary circumstances that lead to children dying in hot cars.
  • Safety Huddle: Education can be part of the solution, so we’ve created this one-pager to help you develop your own safety talk.
  • Safety Coach Cards: We’ve added 16 new cards to the full deck, each one designed to engage employees at your location with a bit of Q&A.
  • Toilet Tabloids: Print and display our two new Toilet Tabloids at your location.

No one thinks a hot car incident ever will happen to them, but that’s like saying you’ll never be tired or distracted. New technologies in vehicles can lead to more distraction. The catch is, many believe they are making safe choices by using hands-free devices while behind the wheel, and they use voice commands to make calls on and off the job. But research shows these are convenience features, not safety features.

Your brain can remain directed toward these activities long after you’ve completed them, resulting in cognitive distraction. All it takes is a moment of distraction to miss a stop sign or forget that you’re transporting your child because your partner needed to change your morning drop-off routine. A perfect safety record requires focus. In our chase to achieve perfection, we can raise the bar by addressing all types of distraction. Start with this new safety toolkit!

Learn how to address issues such as use of marijuana and cannabis-related products

Challenge of Cannabis

While recreational use of cannabis is prohibited in Texas, use of low-THC cannabis oil is allowed for medicinal purposes, and the move toward more legalization across the country is creating new challenges. Studies show cannabis can affect:

  • Judgment
  • Coordination
  • Thinking and problem-solving
  • Memory and sense of time

All of these functions are important to ensure the safety of your workers. To learn more, join us for our next DITTE Deep Dive: Cannabis, HR & Poly Drugs:

During the first part of the course, we will explore the effects of cannabis in the workplace and how to mitigate risk through random testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions. In the second part, we will focus on how to develop or improve workplace drug policies. In addition, we will introduce tools to help you understand poly drug use – the use of combined substances – and their impact on safe driving.

Drug Impairment Training for Texas Employers (DITTE) is a staff-development training to help safety leaders address issues such as use of marijuana and cannabis-related products, which are becoming more and more prevalent. In fact, in a survey conducted by DrugAbuse.com, more than one in five respondents said they have used marijuana recreationally at their place of work during work hours.

Some potential workplace costs associated with cannabis use are outlined in this report produced by NORC at the University of Chicago and the National Safety Council, including:

  • Payment of workers’ compensation for workers let go following positive drug tests
  • Exposure to liability in the event a worker who tests positive for cannabis is involved in an injury incident

Be ready to confront this emerging safety issue. Join us for free online training.