Monday, June 29, 2009

Defensive Driving Talk on Blog Radio

Summer is here and the topic of defensive driving is important to many of us as we head out onto the highways this summer. Join us as Larry Kaminer, President of the Personal Safety Group interviews Evergreen Safety Council President Tom Odegaard.

Tom will cover the top five contributors to motor vehicle accidents including the dangers of distractions and how to deal with the increasing incidence of road rage.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Cell Phone Law for Oregon

Oregon becomes 6th state to outlaw cell phone use while driving.

The amended bill (House Bill 2377) was approved on June 24, and Governor Kulongowski has said he will sign, will go into effect January 1, 2010 and carry a $90 fine.

While excluding public safety and emergency personnel, the new law joins Oregon with California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Washington, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands that make it illegal to drive while using a handheld cell phone.

Oregon’s new law will prohibit all use of a cell phone by drivers under 18, while allowing hands-free devices for drivers over 18.

Attention Oregon Employers: Do you have employees that drive for work? Do you know if they are on their phones while on the road for you? For more information on the dangers of texting and driving, plan on attending ESC's 1-day Traffic Safety Conference in Portland Oregon. It is free to attend - Register Today!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

South Lake Union Farmers Market

The Farmers Market is happening right across the street from our office (on Pontius next tot he Cascade Park)from 3-7pm every Thursday through September 24th.

In conjunction with this neighborhood activity ESC's own Norm Nyhuis will be offering Child Safety Seat Checks and distributing safety information brochures and goodies until 5pm each week. Look for the bright orange signs and pop up tent in our parking lot across from Cascade Park.

This would also be a great time to sign up for a motorcycle or scooter class, as well as one of our first aid/CPR/AED courses.

We hope to see you at the market.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Motorcycle Riders: Wear a DOT Approved Helmet or Pay the Consequences

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is stepping up enforcement efforts towards motorcycle riders that ride with helmets that are not Department of Transportation (DOT) approved and who are not properly endorsed.

Motorcycle injury and fatality collisions continue to rise, especially during the warm summer months when ridership is at the highest levels. Troopers are working diligently to stop reckless motorcyclists who not only put themselves, but other motorists in danger. The WSP will also be looking for riders who ride with helmets that do not meet DOT safety standards. Even the safest riders put themselves at increased risk when they ride without proper protective gear.

On August 10, 2008, a motorcyclist was killed on SR 410 in the Greenwater area. That motorcyclist was driving 15 MPH at the time of the collision; however, he was wearing a helmet that did not meet DOT safety standards and died as a result of a head injury. A few weeks later, another motorcyclist in the same area lost control of his motorcycle at speeds up to 80 MPH. He survived with only minor injuries. That very lucky motorcyclist was wearing all of the proper protective gear from head to toe, including a DOT approved motorcycle helmet.

In addition, troopers are finding an alarming number of riders who have not passed a motorcycle safety course and obtained the proper license endorsement. The WSP would like riders to know that if they are stopped and found to be unendorsed their motorcycle will be impounded.

“Rider’s have the power to save their own lives. Our job is to motivate them in that direction,” stated Chief John Batiste.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Workplace Safety is Focus of New Ad Campaign

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), in partnership with four business and labor organizations, today began an advertising campaign to raise awareness about the importance of workplace safety in Washington state.
Television, radio and Internet ads in Western Washington will spread the message that the most important reason for making your workplace safe is not at work at all. Instead, workplace safety is important as a means of sustaining relationships with family and friends outside the workplace.

The centerpiece ad, called “Homecomings,” shows people coming home from work to their loved ones, juxtaposed against one boy who is worried that his dad isn’t home from work yet. The ad concludes with a reminder that, on average, two people die every week in Washington from on-the-job injuries and illnesses. The ads call attention to WorkSafe.Lni.wa.govand resources for making workplaces safer.

Co-sponsoring the ad campaign are the Association of Washington Business, the Washington State Labor Council, Associated General Contractors, and the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council.

“Running this campaign now is particularly important because there are significant risks to workplace safety during an economic recession,” said L&I Director Judy Schurke. She noted that businesses may be tempted to cut corners on workplace safety when times are tight, and employees worried about having no other job options may not speak up about unsafe conditions. Also, employees may be fatigued from additional workloads or may be doing unfamiliar tasks, making them more prone to injury.

“These ads are particularly effective at bringing home the importance of safety in the workplace and the effects it can have on so many people,” said Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business. “When an accident happens at work, it affects everyone – family, friends and co-workers.”

L&I purchased licensing rights to an award-winning workplace-safety campaign developed in Australia, saving creative and development costs. The ads were repurposed for Washington residents, including voice-overs to eliminate the Australian accent.

In Australia, surveys showed that about 85 percent of viewers thought the ads were quite or very effective. Also, 24 percent of employers and 18 percent of employees said they had personally taken action as a result of the campaign. This was considered a very strong result in a low-interest category such as occupational safety and health.

About $450,000 in TV and radio airtime and Internet space has been purchased. The money comes from dedicated workers’ compensation funds, which can’t be used for purposes other than workers’ comp and workplace safety. Preventing one workplace injury that turns into a long-term pension could pay for the cost of the campaign. Currently, L&I has 3,964 claims with costs for each that are more than $450,000.

The ads will run in June, and again in September and October, with some radio advertising also airing in July and August.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Safe Practices & Insurance Keep You Cruising This Boating Season

Boating season is here and now is the time to make sure your doing everything you can to protect yourself, your passengers and other boaters while cruising Northwest waters throughout the summer.

While thousands of boaters prepare their vessels for aquatic fun and adventures, practicing safety and having the appropriate insurance will help reduce the risk of injury and keep you financially afloat while enjoying your time on the water.
That’s why NW Insurance Council and the Evergreen Safety Council encourage all boaters to make safety a first priority, check their insurance coverage and follow all boating laws to ensure a fun and safe boating season.

“Ensure your boat has the appropriate safety items, most importantly proper Coast Guard-approved life vests for everyone on board,” said Tom Odegard, Evergreen Safety Council president. “Be sure to have a fire extinguisher. On the water is one of the worst places to experience a fire.”

Next, check to make sure you have the appropriate amount of insurance to cover damage to your boat and any damage or injuries you may cause to other boaters and passengers.

“Owners of both sailboats and powerboats need insurance coverage just like car owners need auto insurance,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president.

Most homeowners or renters insurance policies offer limited coverage for property damage to small boats like canoes, small sailboats or powerboats with less than 25 horsepower.

Property damage coverage is typically limited to $1,000 or less, and liability coverage is subject to the limits of your Homeowners or Renters policy. For larger watercraft, a separate policy is needed to cover both damage to the boat and liability for damage caused to others due to owning and/or operating the boat.

Carelessness and inexperience are the leading causes of boating accidents and fatalities in Washington. On average, 27 people die from boat-related accidents each year in Washington, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Evergreen Safety Council offers these tips to help you enjoy your time on the water:
*Always wear a life jacket. Most boating fatality victims are not wearing a personal floating device (PFD).
*Avoid drinking alcohol.
*Take boater education classes.
*Always operate at safe speeds.
*Have a passenger serve as a lookout in addition to the operator.
*Watch out for low water areas or submerged objects.
*Maintain at least 50 feet of distance from other boats and personal watercraft.
*Check weather forecasts before heading out onto the water.
*Always obey all marine traffic laws and understand distress signals.
*Be sure your boat’s fuel, lights and electrical and exhaust systems are working properly before launching.
*Keep a first-aid kit, additional food and water in case you are ever stranded.

For more information about insuring your boat or other watercraft, visit NW Insurance Council. NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.