March 2019 Safety Coach: Safety Prescription: Equal Parts of Training and Fitness

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Safety Coach
Opioids at Work

Healthcare costs for employees who misuse or abuse prescription drugs are three times higher than for an average employee, according to findings in a survey conducted by the National Safety Council. No wonder the topic of opioids piques great interest during Drug Impairment Training for Texas Employers.

These free training sessions can help you better manage costs, and protect your organization and your employees. Learn:

  • To identify a “drug” as any substance that alters perception or behavior, reducing an individual’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle or handle job-related tasks
  • How a workplace injury can lead to painkiller misuse
  • How employees easily can develop a tolerance to opioids and how this can lead to the consumption of higher doses to achieve the same pain-killing effects

In each DITTE session, participants learn ramifications of employee impairment from alcohol, opioids and other drugs, and how impairment can impact costs in any organization. Participants are introduced to free resources they can use in the workplace.

DITTE highlights simple steps employers can take to make a difference:

  • Have a strong, written policy specific to impairment
  • Expand drug panel testing
  • Train supervisors and employees to spot the first signs of impairment
  • Maintain a drug-testing program that complies with local, state and federal laws
  • Be consistent in treatment of all employees

Make plans to attend an upcoming DITTE session near you.

Encourage employees to get moving, and share walking safety tips.

Tailgate Talk
Walk a Safety Mile in My Shoes

As you roll out new step challenges and encourage employees to get moving, be sure to roll out transportation safety plans, and share walking safety tips from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Use Sidewalks and Crosswalks

  • Most pedestrian traffic incidents happen when someone is walking in the roadway; stay on the sidewalk
  • If the road has no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic
  • Be alert when crossing a roadway
  • Stay on the right side of crosswalks
  • Drivers are supposed to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Yield to vehicles on the road if you cross the street at a place other than a marked crosswalk or pedestrian tunnel or crossing
  • If you are hit jaywalking, the driver may not be liable, and his or her auto insurance may not cover your injuries
  • If the road has no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic

One more thing: Share tips from Our Driving Concern to avoid slips, trips, falls and distraction.

  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone and stay focused on your surroundings
  • Never cross the street while using an electronic device
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes and that provide ankle support
  • Don’t carry too much – you need your arms to maintain balance and stability
  • Take your time and don’t rush – we can wait an extra minute for your safety

Walking is riskiest where vehicles and pedestrians share space. In these areas, particularly, pedestrian injuries and fatalities are on the rise.

According to a preliminary report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian traffic fatalities in Texas increased 12% in 2018, mirroring a national trend. GHSA projects 6,227 pedestrian fatalities in 2018, the highest number in nearly three decades.

More than one-third of pedestrian fatalities occur on local streets. In Texas, efforts are under way to develop safer transportation systems.

Read/share: Making Shared Space Safer: TTI Studies Automatic Connected Vehicle Technology to Improve Transit, Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety.