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Workplace safety meeting topics

Need an idea for your safety meeting? We regularly post a new topic.

Leigh Manning

Leigh Manning

Leigh Manning is a senior safety management consultant for SAIF in Eugene and has been working in professional safety for more than 15 years. Prior to SAIF, Leigh worked in risk management at Safeway, Inc. Leigh has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oregon and a Master’s of Public Health from Portland State University. She works extensively with the American Society of Safety Professionals, recently receiving a national Significant Contributor Award from the Health & Wellness branch of that organization. A fifth generation Oregonian, she is committed to making Oregon the safest state for all workers. She is also an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks.
  • Light power

    April 2, 2024 — How proper lighting can make you safer.

    When workplaces have proper lighting, it can increase productivity, reduce errors, and improve morale. It can also prevent crime by improving security. Those over age 50 probably know they need more light for tasks thanks to the normal process of aging and how it impacts contrast.

    How much lighting you need depends on the kind of work being performed. A surgeon needs more light when working than someone assembling a wood bench, for example.

    If you move tasks to different areas, it’s helpful to evaluate the change in lighting needs to ensure workers are not squinting to see. That’s not just bad for the eyes, but contributes to overall general fatigue.

    Can you have too much light? Absolutely! Anyone who has been subjected to glare knows the answer to that one. Also, there is a reason why experts recommend avoiding screens before bedtime as light suppresses melatonin, the hormone associated with the ability to sleep.

    I know you aren’t here for bad puns, but this illuminating discussion about light can help you and your workers have a well-lit experience at work and at home.

    Want to learn more?

  • Taking risks

    March 1, 2024 — Why people take risks.

    Risk is an interesting concept in the safety world. We know that there is some risk in every task and action we take. The key is to manage it, and to lower the risk of injury when we are doing what we do everyday.

    One example is driving to work. There are ways to increase the risk of having a collision: speeding, using your cellphone while driving, or fiddling with the radio buttons are a few examples. Now, can you avoid doing all those things and still get into a collision? Yes, you can. That’s risk, in a nutshell.

    This can sometimes make finding the causes of workplace injuries difficult, because it’s so easy to blame injuries on employee behavior. Turns out there’s more to it than that.

    The choices we all make to work more safely or to work less safely usually depend on the circumstances of the work. To go back to the driving example, speeding makes us less safe, but can you think of a time when you were speeding to get somewhere? Maybe you were late for something important.

    That reason is what we call context. These decisions don’t just happen – there are reasons behind them. Getting to those reasons can help us to understand risk a little better. We call it the risk-taking cycle. It’s about how we do an unsafe act, but nothing happens, so that behavior is reinforced and we continue to work unsafely.

    Now, an injury can break that cycle, but getting hurt is a lousy way to do that. It’s much better to look at the behavior and to decide to change it because doing so reduces injury risk.

    How do you do all this? It’s important to look at safety culture at your organization. How do you deal with coaching employees, near misses, and follow up to workplace injuries? The answers to those questions will help you address the risk-taking cycle and will ultimately help workers choose safer behaviors at work.

    Want to learn more?

    SAIF’s handout on taking risks

    SAIF’s handout on avoiding blame

    SAIF’s handout on coaching employees

  • Avoid workplace explosions

    February 1, 2024 — Safely store and handle flammable liquids.

    OK, so the title might be a little inflammatory, if you pardon the pun. But handling and storing flammable liquids is no joke, and there have been many highly preventable workplace deaths and injuries over the past few years. In honor of burn awareness week, let’s look at how to handle and store flammable liquids safely. The good news is these tips work at home, too.

    First, there are different classes of flammable liquids and rules for their storage, so I am keeping this information very basic. It’s always a good idea to review the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of your flammable liquid to determine the storage limits and proper handling requirements, including PPE.

    • Ventilation – It isn’t the liquid that ignites; it’s the vapor, often to terrible results. Ensure you only use or transfer flammable liquids in well-ventilated spaces that act to disperse the vapor.
    • No ignition source – It might be simple but there are good reasons smoking or flames are not allowed around flammable materials. Also be aware of any heat source like incandescent light bulbs that have also been known to ignite vapor.
    • Use approved storage containers – These differ depending on the flammable liquids, so be sure to look up the limits for yours and only use approved containers. Look at labeling on the storage container for the mark of any nationally recognized testing laboratory, like Underwriters Laboratory, as that will save you some time.
    • Take care where you fill containers – Best to avoid filling containers that are inside vehicles as this is a hazard alert.
    • Avoid using gasoline to remove grease from hands – It’s true that gasoline is a good solvent, but it is also a flammable liquid. Using soaps that contain pumice, walnut shell, or other scrubbers are a better way to go.

    Want to learn more?

  • Why should employees care about an OSHA log?

    January 3, 2024 — Answer: it’s a good way to address common injuries.

    It's January, so it’s time to compile the OSHA 300A log, the summary of all injuries and illnesses from the prior year. The log must be posted for employees to review between February 1 and April 30 of every year. (It’s important not to confuse the OSHA 300A with the OSHA 300 log, which lists the names of injured employees, and should not be posted). 

    This is a popular topic in January, and SAIF offers a webinar on OSHA 300 logs every year that always draws a crowd. (Register here: Thursday, January 11 at 10 a.m. 

    It’s true that this is a recordkeeping requirement for most employers (there are some exceptions for employers with less than 10 employees or who represent low risk industries) and larger employers are also required to submit their logs electronically so federal OSHA can use the data for their prevention activities. 

    However, employees can use the log for the same thing. It provides some information on the types of injuries and illnesses that are occurring and also how severe they were (based on days away from work). This can help employees target those areas more effectively to prevent future injuries and illnesses. 

    The number of injuries and illnesses in a given year is what we in safety call a “lagging indicator.” Normally we prefer to focus on “leading indicators,” which include prevention activities like how many safety trainings were conducted, or how many near misses were reported. But still, the number of folks injured gives you an idea of how effective those prevention activies were, and if you need to make changes in the coming year. 

    January is a good time to evaluate what you are doing so you can make new goals. Employees can contribute to that planning and engage in the injury prevention efforts. After all, this impacts employees directly, and when they are involved in planning, it’s more effective in the long run.  

    Want to learn more? 

  • 2023

  • What’s in your first-aid kit?

    December 1, 2023 — Keep first-aid kits stocked and up-to-date.

    First-aid kits in the workplace can be managed many different ways. Some businesses pay an outside vendor to maintain and stock their kits, others charge their safety committee with inspecting and filling them, and then some buy a first-aid kit and forget about it, leaving it to run out of Band-Aids.

    However you manage your first aid kit, it’s important for all businesses and employees to know that Oregon OSHA requires them to keep a well-stocked and up-to-date (meaning no expired items!) kit that addresses the expected hazards in your workplace.

    First, do all of your employees know where to find the first-aid kit? It’s important to check that knowledge regularly and to ensure that new hires are trained on where to find it.

    If you have a first-aid kit, go take a look and ensure that it’s stocked with these items (this is a general guideline to help you be prepared during an emergency event):

    • Adhesive bandages
    • Adhesive tape
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Antiseptic
    • Breathing barrier (for CPR)
    • Burn cream and dressings
    • Cold packs
    • Eye and skin wash
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Gloves
    • Roller bandages
    • Scissors
    • Splints
    • Sterile pads
    • Tourniquets
    • Trauma pads
    • Triangular bandages

    After you’ve made sure that you have a well-stocked kit, it’s good to review your emergency medical plan so everyone knows the procedures to follow if someone gets hurt.

    Want to learn more?

  • Achoo! It’s flu season

    November 1, 2023 — Preventing infectious disease at work and at home.

    I know most folks are tired of hearing about infectious disease, but it is still a seasonal threat every year. The flu, colds, and other illnesses work their way through workplaces, but there are some measures you can take to prevent them from spreading.

    Here are a few ideas:

    • Vaccinations – They work to prevent infection, or lessen the severity for a quicker recovery.
    • Stay home when you are sick – This can help stop the spread of illnesses while providing much needed rest time.
    • Cover your cough and sneeze – Too many people don’t do this simple thing, which can prevent viral particles from becoming airborne where they can be inhaled or persist on surfaces that are often touched. If you use tissues, wash your hands afterward!
    • Hand washing – Proper handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds is a great way to prevent infectious disease, especially when done frequently.
    • Clean frequently used surfaces – Places like door handles, counters, and common touch screens are used by everyone, and can harbor viral particles that can make you sick if you touch them and then rub your eyes, nose, or mouth.

    Want to learn more?

  • Fighting fires for fire prevention week

    October 2, 2023 — Training workers to use fire extinguishers

    Because National Fire Prevention Week takes place every October and has for more than 100 years, let's take the opportunity to talk about fire extinguishers in the workplace.  

    The rule in Oregon around fire extinguishers is interesting. While workplaces are required to have them, employers do not have to require employees to use them. If employers do require employees to use fire extinguishers, they must be trained on their use so they can use them safely. 

    To train or not to train is a dilemma, but for the purpose of this safety talk, let’s just say it is always a good idea to train employees on safely using fire extinguishers. That kind of information is portable and can be used in emergencies away from work as well. The best employee to have is a prepared employee, and they can only get that way if you train them well. 

    So here is a fast fire extinguisher training. Please use the fire extinguisher training poster as a visual aid to the training. 

    The first thing you should train employees to do is to assess the fire; if it is too big to handle, then the best action is to get out of the building. Employees should also know the types of fires so they use the right type of fire extinguisher. 

    After all that, it’s the simple PASS method: 

    • PULL the pin 
    • AIM at the base of the fire 
    • SQUEEZE the operating handle 
    • SWEEP from side to side 

    One last thing: please be sure to inspect your fire extinguishers monthly so they are charged and ready to go. They usually have a tag with places to date and initial each inspection and it’s a great way to be ready if you end up having to use them. 

    Want to learn more? 

  • Addiction in the workplace

    September 1, 2023 — Supporting workers on their recovery path

    Employers are often told about the high cost of addiction in their workplaces, and it is high, $81 billion annually, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.  

    But we also know that two-thirds of adults with an alcohol or illicit drug use disorder have jobs (2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health). That means that most workplaces likely have someone who is actively addicted on their payroll, or others who are in recovery. 

    It’s important to reduce the stigma on these disorders and to work to provide what NIOSH calls a recovery-supportive workplace. Management and workers can all play a role in it. 

    Employers can: 

    • Offer last-chance agreements to workers 
    • Provide benefits to assist employees with addiction resources 
    • Evaluate workplace for practices that may encourage addictive behaviors 

    Workers can: 

    • Be part of peer-to-peer support groups 
    • Provide feedback to employers on policies and practices 
    • Engage in social events to build social networks at work 

    Research supports recovery-ready workplaces, indicating they can reduce absenteeism and workplace injury risks as well as improve productivity. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that people in recovery “often have a high degree of self-awareness, resilience, compassion, dedication and understanding.”  

    Everyone benefits from creating a workplace that supports recovery; taking the time to invest in these workers saves money. More importantly, it saves lives. 

    Want to learn more? 

  • Stop on red for safety

    August 1, 2023 — Tips for driving near traffic lights

    Stop on red week is observed on the first full week in August every year. In 2023 it will be August 6-12. Why do we need red light awareness? Isn’t it obvious that drivers should stop? 

    Unfortunately, no. The American Automobile Association (AAA) released a report in 2019 showing that red light-related injuries and deaths are at an all-time high. According to the report, two people die every day from an inattentive driver running a red light. One-third of deaths are the drivers who ran the red light and the other deaths are other drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists. 

    What can drivers do? 

    • Slow down when entering intersections so you can stop if needed. 
    • Be cautious of “stale” green lights, they might turn to yellow. 
    • Please stop when the light turns yellow if it is safe to do so. 
    • Don’t quickly accelerate as soon as the light turns green. Wait a couple seconds before entering the intersection. 
    • Be cautious of turning on a red light and keep an eye on other drivers and pedestrians who might be crossing. 

    Always leave early for appointments so you don’t feel the need to hurry to your destination. Wanting to get there quicker is not more important than the danger to other folks on the road. 

    Want to learn more? 

  • Fentanyl – are your workers at risk?

    July 5, 2023 — Prevent occupational exposure to illicit fentanyl.

    News reports are full of illicit drugs leading to large numbers of overdose deaths. Among these are illicit forms of fentanyl (different from the pharmaceutical fentanyl that is used for routine patient care in many healthcare settings). Illicit fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

    A drug that strong makes employers wary of accidental exposure of their workers, even if they are just cleaning up a parking lot. The danger comes from accidental inhalation or ingestion. While there is some risk of exposure to the skin, it is a less likely avenue of exposure.

    So how do you keep your workers safe?

    First, talking about fentanyl and how workers can be exposed is a great place to start. Remember, potential exposure can even occur off the job, while walking through a grocery store parking lot or playing in a local park.

    While first responders and those working in healthcare are at biggest risk for accidental exposure, training all workers to be aware of potential risks in the environment can help protect them:

    • Always wear gloves when picking up any debris or trash outside
    • Do not perform tasks that can cause any powder or dust to become airborne
    • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth when cleaning up outside areas
    • Wash hands thoroughly after cleaning any outside area, even after wearing gloves

    Want to learn more?

  • Adding new workers this summer?

    June 1, 2023 — Summer brings new hires and seasonal help for many employers.

    Many employers regularly hire extra summer help; sometimes it’s a seasonal need related to restaurants and hotels. Other times it has to do with the type of work that must be performed in summer, often related to the outdoors. 

    Whether you plan to hire or not, here are a few tips for preparing summer workers for success and to reduce injury risks. These tips also help businesses that regularly employ temporary workers, regardless of the time of year. 

    • Well written job descriptions. Clear expectations up front help all workers. 
    • Assign a mentor. Other employees can take on leadership roles to give new workers a place to go for questions.  
    • Include new workers and temporary workers in safety meetings. It’s a good place to share safety so everyone knows how important it is for your organization. 
    • Train them well. Many new workers get hurt because they aren’t sure how to safely perform tasks. If you take the time to train them well, it will pay off in the long run. 
    • Equip them with the right personal protective equipment (PPE). Many job tasks require PPE, and it is the employer’s responsibility to provide it. Make sure it is clean, well-fitting, and well-maintained throughout the time they will be working. 

    Are you planning to hire this summer? What can your team do to welcome new or temporary workers so they feel that they belong?  When workers watch out for each other, it reduces injuries and promotes productivity through teamwork. 

    Want to learn more? 

  • Safety for the older worker

    May 3, 2023

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 1 in every 4 workers was over the age of 55 in 2021. It’s a number that has been increasing in recent years, and a trend we are likely to see for a while.

    There are many advantages to having an older, experienced workforce: they have more knowledge to share, and their experience makes them more likely to follow safety and health rules.

    Supporting the workforce through the changes that come from aging is beneficial for both the employer and the worker. Here are a few ideas:

    1. Flexible work schedules that allow older workers to work fewer hours when they need to.
    2. Enhanced lighting and improved signage so everything is easier to see.
    3. Rotate tasks to prevent sitting or standing too long.
    4. Encourage good nutrition and fitness because those who are active often will stay active.
    5. Use technology or other workplace modifications to make the job easier.
    6. Listen to workers’ suggestions for improving work tasks.

    Some older workers may resist changes and insist that they can still do challenging work, including manual labor. The reality is that positive changes will benefit all workers, not just those who are aging. Making these workplace improvements can help all workers to stay safe to ensure they are still working in the years to come.

    Want to learn more?

    Productive aging and work (NIOSH)

    Keep aging workers safe on the job | Safety+Health (safetyandhealthmagazine.com)

  • Distracted driving myths

    April 5, 2023 — Let’s explore the five biggest myths around distracted driving

    Over the years, many folks have tried to argue that we can do a lot of things and drive at the same time. While these have made for lively discussions, the truth is a little starker. Let’s take each of these arguments one at a time.

    Myth #1: Drivers can multitask.

    The Truth: The human brain can’t do two things at once. What happens is that the brain switches from one task to the other. While the brain can do it quickly, it still slows reaction time and can take your eyes off the road. Have you ever tried to answer email while being in a meeting at the same time? You will miss things in the meeting if you try to multitask and doing it on the road is far more dangerous.

    Myth #2: Talking to someone on a cell phone is no different than talking to someone in the car.

    The Truth: The University of Utah conducted a study that showed how drivers can miss changing traffic conditions while they are talking on a cellphone. Drivers often picture the person they are talking with, and that can make them miss important road cues. If you have ever stopped talking to someone in the car to merge or change lanes, it proves the point. Any conversation can be distracting. The difference between talking 

    on a cellphone and having someone in the car is you have an extra set of eyes who can alert you to hazards.

    Myth #3: Hands-free devices eliminate the danger of cell phone use during driving.

    The Truth: It doesn’t matter if the phone is hands free, because the brain is still being distracted by the conversation. While talking on the phone, your brain is otherwise engaged, and it can result in what is called “inattention blindness.” You are looking but you don’t see it.

    Myth #4: I only text at stop lights, so it’s OK.

    The Truth: If you have ever been behind someone who doesn’t go when the light turns green, there is a good chance you were stopped behind a driver who was texting at the light. AAA did a study that shows that texters can be distracted as much as 27 seconds after sending a text, which is a long time when you are behind the wheel. For comparison, it takes less than 5 seconds to travel the length of a football field when driving 55 MPH. So, what are you missing in those 27 seconds?

    Myth #5: Voice-to-text is safe to do while driving

    The Truth: You do have to manually activate voice-to-text most of the time. Are you going to send a text you didn’t proofread first? That’s what makes it risky. It is just as dangerous as manually texting because you are still taking your eyes off the road.

    Want to learn more?

    SAIF’s safe driving page

    Distracted driving – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  • Ladders last, ladders first

    March 1, 2023 — Ladders last in construction, ladders first everywhere else

    Ladders last is a policy that works really well in construction. Working from height and using a ladder there can be more risky than using an alternative, such as a scissor lift, or a mobile scaffold.

    While many construction companies are adopting a ladders last policy, there are many other businesses that could never do that.

    These are the small businesses that use ladders or step stools rarely, maybe only when retrieving an item on a high shelf, or changing a light bulb.

    However, they still struggle with using a ladder, often using a chair, an overturned garbage can, or even a table to get to those heights. That is even riskier than using a ladder!

    So, the topic this month is simple. If you are a construction company where working from height is the norm, please use ladders last and look for the safer alternatives that are less likely to result in falls.

    For everyone else, please use ladders first. Pick the right ladder for the job, with the right load capacity, and use it properly. Don’t step on a milk crate or a chair that is not designed for the task. It is likely to slide or break, and a fall from even a few feet can lead to a terrible injury.

    Want to learn more?

    SAIF’s ladder safety page

    Oregon OSHA ladders page

  • Mental health and well-being at work

    February 2, 2023 — US Surgeon General prioritizes workplace well-being

    How is your mental health and well-being?  

    It isn’t just an idle question. The US Surgeon General has established workplace well-being as one of his top priorities, and for good reason. The pandemic created a mental health crisis in our workplaces: 76% of workers report at least one mental health condition, 84% of all workers say that their workplace has contributed to at least one mental health challenge, and 81% of workers state that they will seek employment only where mental health supports are available. 

    There is a framework for employers to use to create a supportive workplace. Here is a brief overview of the main points: 

    • Protection from harm – safety and security  
    • Connection and community – social support and a sense of belonging 
    • Work-life harmony – flexibility and the power to choose how to do the work 
    • Mattering at work – a sense of purpose and a feeling that contributions have meaning 
    • Opportunity for growth – training available for employees to pursue goals and to provide a sense of accomplishment 

    Want to learn more? 

    US Surgeon General priority: Workplace well-being framework for businesses  

    Stress and mental well-being in the workplace (saif.com) 

  • Stay safe in the cold

    January 4, 2023 — Gear up for cold winter months

    With some of the coldest weather ahead of us, it’s a good time to talk about personal protective equipment (PPE) for the cold.

    It’s true that Oregon OSHA doesn’t require employers to provide PPE for items used solely for protection from the weather. But it’s always a good idea to conduct a PPE hazard assessment to determine if winter PPE is necessary to do the job.

    And remember, wearing winter clothing can also protect you at home or while playing in the snow on your time off.

    Here are some good winter weather apparel choices:

    • Thermal gloves – Choose waterproof and windproof gloves for warmth. Avoid cotton and select synthetic or fleece insulation. It’s not a bad idea to pack some chemical hand warmers to use in a pinch.
    • Eye protection – Whether your job requires safety glasses or not, snow is highly reflective in the sun, which can be hard on the eyes. Choose glasses that provide UV protection, and won’t fog up in the cold.
    • Wear layers – Three layers, all with a different purpose, can protect you from the cold:
      • Layer 1: Wear a wicking material to keep skin dry such as a high-tech polyester; avoid cotton.
      • Layer 2: Wear a layer for warmth, such as wool or fleece.
      • Layer 3: Wear an outside layer to block wind and the other elements; nylon is a good choice.
    • Footwear – Choose a waterproof boot with a good sole. Add traction devices to them if needed. For added warmth, look for boots that are felt-lined and leather-topped.

    Want to learn more?

    Oregon OSHA PPE: Who pays?

    Oregon OSHA PPE hazard assessment quick guide 

  • 2022

  • Train employees to save lives

    December 2, 2022 — CPR and first aid training are a good workplace investment

    Some workplaces require employees to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid - forest activities and health care to name a few.There are many more jobs that do not require it, but a pile of reasons why it’s a good idea.

    It’s true there is a cost to certifying employees in CPR and first aid, but overall benefits outweigh the cost. Aside from the obvious that training employees in CPR/first aid can save lives, no matter what the industry, it can have other benefits:

    • Increased safety awareness – This training can make employees more aware of the safety hazards around them that can lead to injury so they can spot the hazard before anything happens.
    • Improve employee morale – Investing in this training sends a clear message that employees matter and that the company cares enough to prepare them to respond with life-saving measures.
    • Helps build teams – While no one wants to think about what could happen, working together as a group to talk about it and to learn measures to respond to these issues provides an excellent opportunity for employees to bond with each other, building trust.
    • Impact in the community – Employees trained in the workplace don’t lose that knowledge when they walk out the door. They know how to respond and can do so no matter where it happens – even at home.

    Want to learn more?

    Oregon OSHA page on CPR training

    Oregon OSHA page on first aid

    SAIF page on first aid

  • The slippery season

    November 2, 2022 — Slimy leaves, wet pavement, and icy conditions lead to falls.

    With summer in the rear view mirror, we have fallen leaves, rain, and ice and snow to look forward to. What do they all have in common? They can lead to some nasty injuries at work and at home.

    Here are some simple tips we can follow to reduce the risk of injury:

    • Wear good footwear. Opt for slip resistant soles. If you are walking ice or snow, consider using slide on traction devices for your shoes. Avoid heels or shoes with worn out soles.
    • Remove leaves and snow. Keeping walkways clear of debris, whether it is snow or fallen leaves, removes a slipping hazard. Also think about salting sidewalks to help to melt ice.
    • Use caution when walking and change your stride. In areas where the hazards haven’t been removed, walk like a penguin for more surface area and stability on slick surfaces. Slow down and take your time walking in these areas.

    Want to learn more?

    Winter slips, trips, and falls – enjoy the good, avoid the bad

    Walk like a penguin

    12 months of safety: November
    Winter is coming. Make a plan and reduce cold-weather injuries

  • The power of positive connections

    October 5, 2022 — Supportive relationships build resilience

    “Succeeding in business is all about making connections.”

        - Richard Branson, Founder of The Virgin Group

    It doesn’t matter what business you are in, relationships help to make that business more successful. Nurturing those positive connections helps us when we encounter workplace challenges and they also make the work more enjoyable and rewarding.

    More importantly, building relationships also has a positive impact on individual well-being. Positive connections with others can help us handle life’s worst situations, reduce stress, and build confidence.

    Here are a few ideas for creating positive connections in the workplace. Building good personal relationships at home leads to similar benefits, so making the time for important people in your life isn’t just good for business, it’s good for us.

    • Start meetings off with opportunities to share successes with the rest of the team.
    • Schedule informal business events where employees have a chance to connect with one another.
    • Create a photo board where employees can share personal stories, pictures from vacations, and other experiences.

    Want to learn more?

    SAIF's positive connections safety talk

    SAIF's stress and well-being in the workplace page

  • Pedestrian safety 101

    September 3, 2022 — Safe tips for walking are good for pedestrians of all ages.

    September means back to school for many. Even if we won’t be attending classes, we can all be on the lookout for increased pedestrian traffic.

    As the days get shorter and it gets dark much earlier, following simple safety rules while driving is really important.

    Here are some tips for drivers:

    • Slow down. It will give you more time to react if you spot a pedestrian.
    • Make eye contact. Watch for pedestrians crossing at crosswalks and remember that every intersection is a crosswalk whether it’s marked or not.
    • Always use turn signals. These will alert walkers and cyclists that you are turning.

    It’s also important to follow safety rules while walking. If you have school-age children, review pedestrian safety with them at the start of every school year and equip them with reflective gear.

    Here are some tips for pedestrians:

    • Wear reflective clothing. It will make you visible at a distance.
    • Phone off, eyes up. Distracted walking is a hazard, too.
    • Cross smart. Don’t dart across the road in front of vehicles.

    Want to learn more?

    Check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s pedestrian safety page.

    SAIF’s Be safe. Be seen. video has more great information for staying safe while walking.

  • Short talks for safety

    August 3, 2022 — Toolbox or tailgate talks work for every industry

    Some industries use quick safety huddles all the time, getting employees together for a quick 10-minute discussion on one topic. However, that strategy works for every industry, and for almost every safety topic.

    Because most learners forget much of what they learned soon after they learn it, teaching something on-site that employees can start using right away has an enormous impact on learning retention.

    You can use this concept when you are on-boarding new employees, or if you are holding a safety meeting or a safety committee meeting. This strategy works best when:

    • The topic is not simply read to employees; engagement is built by encouraging participation in the discussion
    • Presenters ask questions
    • There is a hands on element where those learning can see how the topic relates directly to their workplace
    • Learners get to use the information right away
    • Learners have the opportunity to share the information with others, both on and off the job

    SAIF has many of these short trainings, and they include a handy attendance sheet on the back to make it a complete training record. See SAIF’s safety and health talks page for resources.

  • Summer threats: high heat and wildfire smoke

    July 2, 2022 — Protect your workers from these seasonal exposures.

    Summers are getting hotter and longer, which increases the threat of very high temperatures. All that heat leads to dryer conditions, which can cause larger wildfires, resulting in unhealthy smoke levels.

    Oregon OSHA has responded to these workplace threats by adopting new rules designed to protect workers from these two exposures.

    What should employers keep in mind?

    • Monitor the heat index and air quality. Those two numbers will help you know what measures should be taken to protect workers.
    • Limit exposure. Whether it is heat or wildfire smoke, limiting the amount of time an employee spends in it is a good way to lessen negative effects.
    • Change schedules. Employees can work when the exposures are low, sometimes at hours outside of the normal workday.

    Want to learn more?

    See SAIF’s wildfires or heat stress pages for resources.

  • Pause for safety

    June 4, 2022 — Take a moment to think about potential hazards.

    Healthcare brings us a great idea that works well for all other industries: the safety pause. It was created to improve patient safety by building in “pauses” for certain events, such as if patients have similar names or before a surgical procedure to ensure they have the right patient, procedure, or even body part.

    For everyone else, a safety pause can be taken before any change in work. It provides an opportunity to think about possible hazards so our brains can identify the best, and safest, way to do the job.

    Some industries, such as construction, also call this pre-task planning. Whatever you want to call it, it makes good sense to make the safest choices while working. You can do all of that with a simple pause.

    What can trigger a safety pause:

    • New equipment
    • Change in regulations
    • Before starting a different work task
    • New employee or other personnel change
    • Environmental change, such as weather

    Want to learn more?

    Train your brain: For safer decisions, pause and think (Spanish)

    Mindfulness:why is everyone talking about it?

  • Did you hear that?

    May 4, 2022 — Don’t live your life on mute – protect your hearing.

    Most people might think hearing loss is only age-related. The truth is that 15% of American adults (37.5 million people) report some trouble hearing, according to a National Center for Health Statistics report. 

    No matter how old you are, it’s worth it to look at how much noise you are being exposed to both at work and at home so you can look for ways to limit it. 

    Some examples include: 

    • Lawn mowers/yard equipment 
    • Saws and grinders 
    • Loud music 

    You can protect your hearing by wearing personal protective equipment like earmuffs or ear plugs when you are in noisy areas.  

    How can you tell if an area is too noisy? If you have to shout to hear, you probably need to protect your hearing. 

    Want to learn more? 

    SAIF's noise and hearing protection topic page  

    SAIF's life on mute videos

  • Walking into wellness

    April 6, 2022 — Daily walks are a path to improved fitness for safety and health

    April 6 is National Walking Day, which falls on the first Wednesday in April every year. The American Heart Association started this annual event to promote healthy living through an activity that most of us do every day.

    How do you celebrate National Walking Day? By taking a 30-minute walk! If you haven’t already, you might start a walking habit that can lead to better cardiovascular fitness, stronger muscles, and improved well-being.

    Here are some tips for walking safely:

    • Wear good athletic shoes with slip-resistant soles
    • Dress comfortably, and wear high visibility gear, especially if walking near a roadway
    • Be sure to drink plenty of water
    • Use a fitness tracker to see how far you’ve gone and to monitor your heart rate; use it to set goals
    • Walk with a friend or a dog
    • Not sure where to go? Use Map My Walk to find walking routes near you

    Want to learn more?

    American Heart Association's walking page

    SAIF's physical activity page

  • Set up your ladders for success

    March 4, 2022 — Follow these rules when using a ladder for tasks at work and at home.

    The first ladder safety month kicked off in 2017, and since then March has been the month to discuss ladder safety. This is no small thing, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that an average of 500,000 Americans are treated for ladder injuries every year.

    Here are some tips for setting up ladders to reduce injury risk: 

    • Set up ladders on stable surfaces. 
    • Secure ladders to prevent movement.  
    • Remove debris or clutter around ladder.  
    • Open ladders fully, with locking mechanism in place.  
    • Lock or guard door if ladder blocks a doorway.  
    • Never place ladders on boxes, barrels, or other items to make it taller.  
    • Never use other items (like boxes, milk crates, or chairs) as ladders.  
    • Keep ladder free from mud, grease, or other substances.  
    • Consider traffic around ladder and protect the set-up.  
    • Check for hazards during set-up, such as power lines, nails, beams, or sharp edges.  

    Want to learn more? 

    SAIF’s ladder safety page

  • Observe burn awareness week

    February 1, 2022 — Prevent burns at work and at home.

    Burn awareness week is the first week in February every year and it presents a good opportunity to talk about burn prevention. National statistics from the CDC show that 5,000 workers are burned badly enough to seek medical treatment every year. If you include home statistics, the American Burn Association reports that 1.1 million Americans are treated for burns every year.

    Burn injuries happen across many industries. This year, the American Burn Association is focusing on preventing burns while cooking. Here are a few good tips:

    • The best time to cook is when you are wide awake – avoid cooking if you feel overly drowsy.
    • Never leave the stove unattended when frying, broiling, or grilling.
    • Keep stoves and microwaves clean.
    • Wait a minute or two before moving heated items from the microwave and use pot holders.
    • When done cooking, check all appliances to ensure they are off.

    Want to learn more?

    American Burn Association Burn Awareness Week materials

    SAIF kitchen safety: burns handout

    SAIF kitchen safety: burns handout in Spanish

  • Take action in an emergency

    January 5, 2022 — What do you do when there’s an emergency at work?

    Emergencies and disasters make the news all the time, often impacting businesses and their employees. The best way to prepare for any workplace emergency is to create an emergency action plan, which includes key information on responding to emergencies.

    Here are a few basic components in an emergency action plan:

    • Evacuation routes and where to gather after leaving the building
    • Contact information for police, fire, utilities, and others
    • Procedures to follow in specific emergencies such as fire, severe storms, and medical emergencies

    To have an effective emergency action plan, all employees should be trained on it regularly. It should also be kept in an easily accessible location for employees to reference when they need it.

    Want to learn more?

    National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health emergency action plan template

    Oregon OSHA emergency action plan page

  • 2021

  • ‘Tis the season of stress

    December 2, 2021 — Strategies for making the holidays less stressful

    The holidays can bring many happy times with family and friends, but can also be very stressful, leading to anxiety and depression. While some stress is unavoidable, it need not be paralyzing, and employing coping strategies early may help you face holiday challenges.

    Here are a few ideas:

    • Plan ahead – write out a schedule for the holidays in advance and be sure to block out time for rest. It’s OK to say “no.”
    • Be realistic – the holidays are never “perfect.” Go with the flow if things don’t go according to plan.
    • Set a budget – spending too much can add more stress to the holiday season. Decide how much you can spend and stick to it.
    • Seek help – when feelings are overwhelming and you need help coping, ask for help. SAIF’s page on stress and well-being has resources.

    Want to learn more? Share SAIF’s safety and health talks:
    Self care
    What is stress and how can we cope? 
    Mindfulness: why is everyone talking about it?

  • Driving safely in fall and winter

    November 2, 2021 — Rain and darkness create hazards on the road.

    The rainy season and shorter winter days are upon us. This is a good time to review some basic tips to keep everyone safe on the road. 

    • Drive slowly. Slick roads make it harder to stop  
    • Turn around don’t drown. Never drive through water on roadways. It only takes 12 inches of water to sweep a car away. 
    • Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. Darkness and rain make it harder to see them. For pedestrian safety, watch SAIF’s Be seen video. 
    • Plan ahead. Use Trip Check to monitor weather and road conditions 
    • Stock your vehicle. Stay prepared with an emergency roadside kit. 
    • Keep your cell phone charged. 

    Want to learn more? 

    SAIF’s safe driving page 

    Driving in severe weather – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 

  • Building resilience

    October 2, 2021 — Supporting resilience strengthens the workforce.

    Resilience may seem like a trendy buzzword these days, but the idea behind it is solid. Especially in trying times, resilience is about equipping people with the tools and support to bounce back when bad things happen.  

    There’s a lot an employer can do to promote resilience, and many of those ideas can be found in this resilience guide. 

    But what can individuals do to promote their own resilience? Here’s a short list of ideas: 

    • Self-care – this includes knowing your limits, like when you need to take a break 
    • Eating well – choosing to eat healthily can help you feel better 
    • Physical activity – relieves stress and improves sleep 
    • Positive relationships – spending time with those who are important to you 
    • Finding your purpose - this often involves establishing personal goals 
    • Embracing change - adaptation is key to resilience 

    Want to learn more? See SAIF's stress and well-being in the workplace page. 

  • Saving workers from smoke

    September 3, 2021 — Wildfire season brings many hazards, including unhealthy smoke.

    If your eyes are red and burning, if you are coughing more and experiencing a sore and scratchy throat, it could be from exposure to wildfire smoke.

    As the summers become hotter and longer, there's likely to be more wildfires, which can impact the air you breathe. It's important to monitor air quality regularly, especially if workers will be in unventilated air. Check out www.airnow.gov  for the air quality in your area. What else can you do?

    Here's some planning tips:

    • Keep indoor air clean by closing all windows
    • Change filters on HVAC units
    • Wear a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator if you have to be outdoors in smoky air
    • Stop working if the air quality index (AQI) gets too high

    Want to learn more?
    SAIF's wildfires page

  • The heat is on

    August 5, 2021 — Prevent heat illnesses at work and at home.

    Summers are getting hotter and longer, and that increases the risk of a heat-related illness. A recent heat wave in Oregon claimed the lives of 116 people, so it's an important topic to talk about, both at work and at home.

    Those suffering heat illness often don't know it until it's too late. The most important thing you can do is plan ahead and then monitor workers for symptoms of heat illness: heat illness - Learn the symptoms

    Here's some planning tips:

    • Limit time outdoors, especially during the hottest hours
    • Drink 32 oz of water an hour (8 oz/15 min)
    • Work to make indoor areas cool - invest in air conditioning and use fans
    • Plan ahead by watching weather forecasts
    • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate
    • Wear sunscreen and hats if outdoors
    • Never leave animals or people inside cars on hot days

    Want to learn more?
    Heat/cold stress (saif.com)

  • Kitchen safety is always on the menu

    July 7, 2021 — Stay safe in the kitchen at work and at home.

    Nothing spoils time in the kitchen quite like a cut or a burn, especially if it leads to an emergency room visit.

    While many people work in a kitchen full-time, many others prepare food at home. Some use a kitchen at work to make lunches, or they may cook in other community settings.

    Here are some quick tips to stay safe no matter where you're cooking:

    • Wear slip resistant shoes
    • Keep knives sharp
    • Wear safe clothing - nothing baggy or loose that could catch fire or catch on a hot pan
    • Turn pan handles inward
    • If cooking with others, make sure they know when a pan is hot
    • Learn how to put out a fire

    Want to learn more? Visit SAIF's restaurant and kitchen safety page.

  • Summer pests

    June 4, 2021 — How to avoid bites and stings while outdoors

    They're the scourge of summer: biting and flying insects! They seem to be everywhere, and they don't care that you are outdoors for work or for a camping trip.

    While many of these pests are just a nuisance, some may create worrisome risks to health like Lyme disease or even anaphylactic shock. 

    Here are a few quick tips to avoid getting bitten or stung:

    • Wear light-colored clothing that covers most of your body
    • Tuck pants into socks or boots
    • Use insect repellents
    • Keep eating areas clean and cover food
    • Avoid cologne or strong-smelling shampoos and lotions
    • Check yourself for insects after being outdoors

    Want to learn more?
    NIOSH fast facts on ticks and mosquitoes
    NIOSH fast facts on stinging insects

  • Fun in the sun

    May 8, 2021 — Protect your skin while working and playing outdoors

    Summer can bring more outdoor work and activities. Enjoying the beautiful outdoors offers more opportunities for physical activity, boosts vitamin D, and can improve our mood, according to the CDC.

    But staying in the sun for too long without taking appropriate precautions can harm your health. Follow these tips to get the most out of being outdoors, while still protecting yourself:

    • Wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
    • Wear protective clothing and hats
    • Use the shade 
    • Limit the time spent outdoors
    • Drink plenty of water  

    Want to learn more?

  • Worker Memorial Day 2021

    April 6, 2021 — Honor the dead; fight for the living.

    April 28 is Worker Memorial Day, set aside every year to remember those who were killed or seriously injured on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,333 workers lost their lives on the job in 2019 in the U.S., which was a two percent increase over 2018.

    Every workplace can look at ways to prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIF). Even those jobs that are not inherently risky may have exposures such as workplace violence, driving, or falls from ladders. 

    Start by asking these three questions:

    • Where can employees get seriously injured? Where can fatalities happen?
    • What are we doing to prevent it from happening?
    • Is there anything we can do better?

    This is a somber day, but we can use it to ask questions that proactively protect all workers, every day.

    Learn more:
    Bureau of Labor Statistics press release on 2019 workplace fatalities
    Campbell Institute Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention: Perspectives and Practices

  • Spring cleaning for safety

    March 2, 2021 — Tidy your workplace this spring to prevent injuries.

    Good weather is on the way making many of us think about spring cleaning - or better yet, ensuring our housekeeping standards are up to par.
    The benefits of good housekeeping are clear: it prevents slips, trips, and falls and reduces the potential of an injury from falling objects. It also can improve productivity and ensure dangerous materials are properly stored.

    Here are some tips for good housekeeping:

    • Set a cleaning schedule and stick to it
    • Clean as you work
    • Reorganize work spaces and assign locations for items
    • Conduct regular workplace inspections
    • Share clear expectations about a clean workplace

    Learn more:
    Housekeeping toolbox talk - Pinnacol
    Tips for effective housekeeping - National Safety Council

  • Carbon monoxide

    February 10, 2021 — Stopping a silent killer

    It's odorless and colorless, but it can be deadly. This ominous gas is carbon monoxide (CO), which is generated by combustion fumes from cars, furnaces, fireplaces, grills, stoves and even some heaters. These fumes can build up in an indoor space and you won't know it until you start exhibiting symptoms.

    Accrding to the CDC, carbon monoxide poisoning kills 400 a year and sends 20,000 to the emergency room, so it's more common than people think.

    How to protect yourself:

    • Install CO monitors
    • Avoid running engines in enclosed spaces, like garages
    • Buy gas powered equipment that has been approved by a national testing center, such as Underwriter Laboratories (UL)
    • Never use gas-powered stoves or heaters indoors
    • Check and clean chimneys every year
    • Don't burn charcoal indoors

    Learn more:
    CDC carbon monoxide FAQs
    SAIF carbon monoxide

  • Health by stealth

    January 7, 2021 — Little tricks to improve nutrition and physical activity in the new year.

    Can you trick yourself into eating healthier and exercising more? Experts from WebMD say yes-especially if you focus on small steps instead of trying to change everything at once. Often, a small change is less noticeable and over time can become a good habit.

    The term is "stealth health" and here are some examples:

    • Substitute healthier choices. Swap chips for carrots, ice cream for yogurt, or soda for sparkling water.
    • Use larger plates. If you struggle with moderation, this is a great way to trick your brain into eating less, and you often end up feeling full faster than you think.
    • Take quick walks because every step adds up. If you don't have time for a long walk, take a quick 15 minute stroll around the block.
    • If you're stuck at a desk, you can still exercise.

    Try these office stretches or, if you are more ambitious, try one of these short office cardio bursts.

    Learn more:
    WebMD: Simple steps toward a healthier lifestyle

  • 2020

  • Be safe. Be seen.

    December 2, 2020 — Stay safe when walking outdoors.

    Pedestrian fatalities are alarmingly high in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2017, which amounts to one death every 88 minutes. In addition, the CDC estimates that 137,000 pedestrians are treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal crash injuries. All in all, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than car passengers to be killed in a crash.

    This somber statistic hit some closer to home when an Oregon man lost his 9-year-old daughter in a crash when she was walking in a poorly lit crosswalk last year. The groups most impacted by pedestrian fatalities are children and older adults aged 65 or more.

    From a safety standpoint, we can do many things to stop these outcomes. Here are a few from the CDC:

    • Wear reflective clothing
    • Carry a flashlight
    • Use crosswalks when possible
    • Walk on a sidewalk or path
    • Walk facing traffic
    • Avoid using devices that impair your hearing or awareness, like earbuds
    • Forgo walking if you have been drinking
    • For drivers: reduce speed when it's dark or foggy and stay alert for pedestrians, particularly in residential areas

    See these links for more information:
    CDC pedestrian safety information page
    SAIF's Be safe. Be seen. video

  • How to quit smoking

    November 3, 2020 — Support each other to change habits.

    While statistics indicate a nationwide decline in smoking, it is still the leading cause of preventable deaths by disease and impacts every organ in the body. According to the CDC, 1,600 young people start smoking every day in the US, and treating smoking-related diseases and illnesses has a $170 billion price tag.

    November is the Great American Smokeout, a month set aside to quit smoking, with support from the American Cancer Society. So, what can you do to help others stop smoking, or to stop smoking yourself?

    In fact, support from others is the key to success when it comes to quitting. Employers can help through small changes in the workplace as described in this handout on avoiding tobacco.

    You can also share information on the positive side of avoiding tobacco with this poster, available in sizes 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17.

    Find more helpful information for supporting yourself and others to quit on our tobacco webpage.

  • Are you prepared?

    October 1, 2020 — Keep a “go bag” on hand for emergencies.

    Many of us never thought we would have to leave our homes in a moment's notice, but evacuations are becoming more common during natural disasters like wildfires and floods.

    So what can you do to be ready if it happens to you? Think about creating a "go bag," which is a bag that contains essential items that will help you stay safe until you can return home. Some items you want in a go bag are:

    • Flashlight
    • Money (in small denominations)
    • Prescription medications
    • Warm blanket
    • Pen and paper for messages
    • A whistle to signal others
    • A poncho and a change of clothes
    • Water and nonperishable food

    A good go bag could have many more items to keep you and your family safe. Find out more at https://www.ready.gov/kit

  • Nature promotes stress management

    September 10, 2020 — Spending time outside improves our well-being.

    Pandemic life has caused increased stress for most of us. One of our best stress management tools is all around us. Nature!

    Scientific studies report many benefits of getting outside. Whether you want to call it tree therapy or nature's nurturing, being outside with natural surroundings helps us cope with negative emotions. That includes reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. Nature also has been shown to increase a sense of belonging and enhance the ability to focus. All these benefits promote our well-being and improve our during stressful times.

    Time spent in nature really pays off at work, too. Employees who are stressed are at increased risk of illness and injury because their mind is not able to focus on the work. Encourage walking and talking meetings when possible, using break times to enjoy changing fall colors and cooler temperatures or to focus on the sounds of nature. Integration of whole person well-being and safety is the heart of Total Worker Health®.

    You can learn more about integrating health and safety and mental well- being at saif.com.   

  • Identify, assess, control

    August 7, 2020 — Find and fix workplace hazards.

    Hazards are all around us-in the workplace and at home. We can learn how to identify, assess, and control them to improve safety and reduce injury risk.

    Identify -  Look around your home or your workplace for conditions that could cause an injury. It could be an item that's broken, improperly stored, or not well maintained. It could also be poor housekeeping, bad lighting, or inadequate ventilation. Whatever the issue, identifying it is an important first step to fixing it.

    Assess - The next step is to determine the hazard's severity. How bad is it? This allows you to prioritize fixing it. Ask yourself:

    • How likely will someone get hurt?
    • If they do, how much care will they need?

    Control - The last step is all about fixing it. What can you do to the hazard to make it less likely to hurt anyone? You can use the hierarchy of controls to fix workplace hazards. You can start at the top and work your way down the list:

    • Elimination: Get rid of the hazard
    • Substitution: Use something less hazardous
    • Engineering: Use a guard or barrier
    • Administrative: Train employees and post signs
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE): Wear it

    See SAIF's page on hazard identification and control for more.

  • Be cool when it’s hot

    July 2, 2020 — Know the signs of heat illness.

    Summer is here! Working or playing outside in the sun and heat can put you at risk for heat illnesses such as heat stroke. Learning to recognize the symptoms can help you take action.

    What heat stroke looks like:

    • High temperature (103º F or more)
    • Confusion
    • Slurred speech
    • Hot, red, and dry skin
    • Seizures
    • Fainting

    If you observe these symptoms, it is a medical emergency and you should call 911. In the meantime, stay with the person until help arrives. Remove clothing to help them cool down, offer a cold bath if available, and small sips of water if possible.

    While this is the most serious form of heat illness, there are others that have different symptoms. Use this handout or this poster to learn more. Other resources are available on SAIF's heat and cold stress webpage.

  • Drive safely this summer

    June 2, 2020 — Protect everyone during the 100 deadliest days on the highway.

    The rate of car accidents goes up every summer, so much so that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has earned the nickname "the 100 deadliest days."

    Largely that's due to beautiful weather and more people choosing to travel. Of all groups, teen drivers are the most at risk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

    What can we do to prevent traffic fatalities? Well, start by talking about it. Increasing awareness may help change behavior.
    Here's a quick list of talking points from the NHTSA:

    • Stay alert. Make sure you have had adequate sleep and take frequent breaks, especially on long trips
    • Share the road. With more traffic and nice weather, there are more motorcycles and bicyclists. Leave plenty of space to stop and keep an eye out for pedestrians.
    • Avoid risky driving behavior. These are the big three to avoid:
      • Distracted driving
      • Impaired driving 
      • Speeding

    For more information on what you can do to protect everyone in the summer driving months, see these driving tips from the NHTSA.

  • Aching back or neck?

    May 2, 2020 — Prevent pain from working in your home office.

    Many employees are working from home right now, making do with kitchen tables, uncomfortable chairs, and laptops. Many of these items put us out of neutral posture, which causes additional stress on your body, and that can lead to an injury over time.

    We have some ideas for modifying your home office to take a little strain out of your work day.
    Here are a few tips:
    1)   Use an adjustable chair. If you don't have access to one, try a lumbar cushion to support your back.
    2)   Ensure your feet are flat on the floor when working. If your feet don't touch the ground, consider adding a box or a stack of books.
    3)   Keep your monitor screen about one arm's length away, with the top of the screen at about eye level.
    4)   Use a separate keyboard and mouse, especially when working on a laptop, to avoid slouching over the keyboard.

    Find even more tips, including a useful telecommuting tips checklist, at saif.com/homeoffice.

  • Not shaking hands right now?

    April 3, 2020 — How washing your hands and social distancing help everyone in a pandemic.

    In times like these, not shaking hands makes sense; it's one way to avoid spreading germs from one person to another. But is just avoiding a handshake enough?

    Well, probably not. It's important to wash your hands frequently, too. It isn't just hands that can harbor viruses and bacteria-there are quite a bit living on that door handle, your cell phone, or the grocery store keypad.

    The Centers for Disease Control has instructions on hand washing: how often to do it, and how to do it properly. The key is to wash them for at least 20 seconds, about the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday."

    Washing your hands is great, but we know that some viruses can survive in air and that close contact with others can also promote viral spread.

    Maintaining at least six feet between yourselvf and others is social distancing (also called physical distancing), which purposely creates physical space to reduce the likelihood of transmission.  Johns Hopkins provides more direction on social (physical) distancing and other topics related to preventing infections.

    Looking for more? There are several resources on infectious diseases at saif.com/flu.

  • Your ladder matters

    March 4, 2020 — Choosing the right ladder for the job

    Ladders are handy equipment at work and at home, but working from a height has its risks. Selecting the right ladder can help you work more safely when performing tasks like retriving items from shelves, cleaning gutters, or checking equipment on a roof.
    Here are a few suggestions for choosing your ladder:

    • Height - choose the height of th ladder based on how far you need to reach. If you need to reach at 12 feet, you should use an 8 foot ladder. Rule of thumb - safe reaching height is 4 feet higher than the size of your ladder.
    • Material - what your ladder is made from is important, depending on the tasks you are performing. Fiberglass is strong and non-conductive for electricity. Aluminum is light, but not safe around electricity.
    • Load capacity - always check the ladder label for load capacity. Remember it isn't just your weight, but the weight of any other equipment you may be using on the ladder, including your toolbelt.
    • Type of work - there are small step ladders for changing lightbulbs and long extension ladders for painting houses. What you are doing should help you select the right ladder for the job.

    Looking for more? There are several resources on saif.com/ladders.

  • Let’s talk about it

    February 6, 2020 — Mental well-being is an important part of overall health.

    Federal OSHA recently created a webpage  to help with a nationwide increase in workplace suicides, up 11% from the year before, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics

    As many struggle with this disturbing trend, even more are asking how we can remove the stigma about asking for help and promote mental well-being in the workplace. One possible solution is to begin talking about it.

    Here are a few suggestions for doing that:

    • Train leaders to recognize signs of emotional stress and provide guidance on how to address it
    • Talk about emotional well-being in regular company meetings
    • Offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and encourage employees to use it when they need help
    • Create opportunities to build social connections between co-workers

    Looking for more? There are several resources on saif.com/wellbeing.

  • Plan it out

    January 3, 2020 — New year: time to assess strategies and set goals

    January is here and as it is the beginning of a new year it provides a wonderful opportunity to assess your safety and health efforts for 2019 and look forward to 2020 with the goal of doing even better.
    Here are some things to think about:
    1)    Any changes to your organization this past year that may have created new and different risks?
    2)    What types of workplace injuries and incidents occurred? Do you see any patterns that will help you set a strategy for preventing them in the future?
    3)    Engage your employees in planning and ask them how they feel about your training program, hazard control efforts, and overall safety activities. Use that information to help plan and set goals for 2020.
    4)    Check your documentation to make sure you are capturing all your safety efforts, safety meetings, and training activities in writing. In fact, you can start right now with a written safety and health plan for 2020. Be sure to set a few goals that you can evaluate next year.

    Looking for more? This employer safety and health program self-assessment is a great place to start.

  • 2019

  • Winter is coming

    December 5, 2019 — Review safety tips for your workplace, vehicles, and people.

    December brings opportunities to celebrate and visit with family, but it's also the start of the cold weather season. Snow and ice can disrupt travel and business operations, and create serious slip and fall hazards.

    Review a few easy tips to stay safe this winter:
    Workplace - Equip areas with snow melt and put someone in charge of treating walkways. Create policies for inclement weather, space heaters, and appropriate footwear.
    People - Provide training on winter safety, safe shoveling, and "walking like a penguin." Provide information on developing a communication plan for emergencies.
    Vehicle - Carry an emergency kit with chains and extra warm clothing. Ensure vehicle is well maintained and ready for winter weather.

    Looking for more? This handout has even more tips to review.

  • Speak up for safety

    November 5, 2019 — Do you say something when you see unsafe behavior?

    What do you do when you observe unsafe behavior? Do you say anything if you are asked to do something unsafe?

    This can be a difficult conversation in many workplaces, but it's an important discussion. There's a famous safety poem by Don Merrell called "I chose to look the other way" that discusses problems people face when they see something unsafe and the resulting guilt for not speaking up after something happened.

    Today, why not talk about speaking up if you see something unsafe? Are there ways you can communicate your concerns without others becoming defensive? Does your culture support speaking up?

    For the past decade, the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition has sponsored a video contest about safety - the theme has always been "Speak up. Work safe." Here's a link to last year's winner, but you can also watch all the finalists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5_HsiPb_rc&list=PLM75uPd4sBhx05JwZDmjYieJiG49qjsDx

  • Just say no to workplace drugs

    October 8, 2019 — Employers can reduce substance abuse through policies and resources.

    The nightly news is full of reports on substance abuse and the negative impact it can have at work and at home. The Center for Behavioral Statistics and Quality reports that 66% of adults who misuse opioids are employed. This presents an opportunity to employers, who can influence this issue far beyond the walls of their businesses. 
    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has developed a quick guide to help employers and co-workers combat this issue.  
    Here are the guide's  key steps for addressing workplace substance abuse: 

    1. Educate yourself. Learn about the different types of drugs and the risks involved with using them.
    2. Identify issues. Reduce the stigma of drug addiction through training and employee assistance. There are free supports for employees, including a 24-hour confidential hotline for both English and Spanish speakers. It can provide referrals to local support agencies: 1-800-662-HELP [4357].
    3. Prevent misuse. There are workplace strategies to help prevent substance abuse, including drug and alcohol-free workplace policies, workplace drug testing, and creating a positive work environment.
    4. Provide resources. Make it easy for employees to seek help by offering benefits such as substance abuse treatment and access to local addiction support groups. Building good social support can help employees overcome addiction.

    Here's a good place for employers to get started:
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Drug-free Workplace Toolikit https://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/toolkit


  • Fall for safety

    September 11, 2019 — Here’s a list of ideas and resources to avoid injury during the autumn months.

    Leaves changing, crisp mornings, pumpkin spice lattes, and football-for all that autumn brings, it also offers an opportunity to think about safety.
    These ideas will work both on and off the job:

    1. Prepare for weather changes. Ice and snow may be coming, but first we face fallen leaves, rain, and more debris on the roads. Wear slip resistant footwear to prevent falls and take that rake out to clear walkways.
    2. Wash your hands. With flu season beginning, washing your hands more often is a great strategy for preventing viral infections. Getting vaccinated is another way to prevent the flu.
    3. Test your batteries. When was the last time you checked your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors? Fall is the time to ensure they are working, and to change the batteries if needed. Also, look at your emergency kit-how old are the batteries? It may be time to restock in anticipation of power outages.
    4. Drive and walk safely. With days getting shorter, it will soon be dark during daily commutes. Watch for pedestrians, especially in residential areas. If you walk after work, invest in reflective gear to alert drivers.

    Here's a good resource to fall into:
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Autumn Health and Safety Tips: https://www.cdc.gov/family/autumn/index.htm

  • Sharks aren’t the real threat

    August 3, 2019 — Bites or scratches from dogs and cats are more common.

    Sharks are featured on the news every time there is a shark attack, even though such attacks are rare. What you don't see are the much more common dog and cat bites, which can lead to serious injury or death if infections occur.

    The best strategy is always prevention, so follow these tips to stay safe:

    • Ask permission before approaching or petting an animal with an owner.
    • Avoid reaching into car windows to interact with animals.
    • Approach pets slowly and calmly; better yet, let them come to you.
    • When in doubt, don't reach out. It's better to err on caution's side.
    • If bitten or scratched, seek medical attention. Some bites result in bacterial infections that must be treated with antibiotics.

    Here are a few more resources:
    SAIF video: https://youtu.be/ck9RROBFOas
    SAIF handout on animal encounters

  • Spot check your skin

    July 2, 2019 — Early skin cancer detection saves lives.

    Skin cancer rates are on the rise and Oregon has one of the highest in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even when the skies are cloudy, ultra violet rays associated with skin cancer are still present.  
    Prevention is the first line of defense, so be sure to use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and stay in the shade when you can. Also be sure to conduct regular self-exams of your skin so you can "spot" issues before they develop into something more threatening. 

    Here are tips from the Academy of Dermatology on how to spot skin cancer:

    • Look for dark spots that are asymmetrical, irregularly shaped, or have color variations within them. Also check for changes, like if it is growing or changing shape.
    • Use a mirror to inspect your back and neck for spots.
    • Don't forget the scalp-part your hair and use a hand mirror.
    • Carefully examine areas that don't normally see the sun such as between your toes and under your arms. 
    • If you notice anything, make an appointment with a dermatologist. If you have a family history of skin cancer, schedule regular checks with a dermatologist.

    Here are a few additional resources:

  • Prevent fire-related injuries

    June 6, 2019 — Wildfire season is on its way.

    For years, wildfires didn't impact many Oregonians. As long as we weren't in the immediate area, we could avoid the smoke and other hazards that arise from wildfires. However, dry summer conditions are becoming more common. If trees, bushes, or tall grass are near your home or place of business, there's a risk. Winds can carry smoke and particulate matter for miles.

    Taking time to prepare for this hazard and how it may impact workers and their families can prevent difficulties down the road.
    Here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • Shut down outside air intakes and allow air-conditioned buildings to operate on recirculated air. Ensure filters on HVAC units are not expired.
    • Keep windows and doors closed and minimize entry and exit.
    • Monitor communication channels, such as public service announcements and websites, including the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon Health Authority. The Oregon Smoke site provides information on smoke conditions.
    • Stop work if air is too smoky for safe work. Reduce or eliminate other indoor and outdoor sources of air pollutants, such as vacuuming, cooking, smoking or burning fuel.

    Additional resources:
    SAIF handout on preparing for wildfires https://www.saif.com/Documents/SafetyandHealth/Emergency%20planning/S-1072_Prepare_your_business_for_wildfire_season.pdf
    Oregon Smoke http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

  • Watch out for UFOs

    May 2, 2019 — Prevent injuries from unsafe falling or flying objects.

    When most people think about UFOs, they conjure images of flying saucers and little green men. In our version, it can be a painful struck-by injury after encountering an unsafe falling or flying object (UFO).

    These UFOs occur in every workplace, from offices to construction sites and from schools to auto shops. You can reduce the risk of serious injury with a little training and safe work practices.

    Here are a few tips to prevent falling or flying objects:

    • Secure tools when working overhead.
    • Store items safely on shelves to ensure items won't fall. Inspect shelves for stability to prevent collapse. An added measure: Secure shelves and items on them so they are stable during earthquakes.
    • Wear hard hats if working under equipment or other workers. Use safety glasses, goggles, or shields if working where there could be flying particles or debris.
    • Properly train workers on the safe use of tools and equipment.

    Additional resources:
    SAIF handout on UFOs

  • Do you brake for flaggers?

    April 13, 2019 — Stay safe in the traffic work zone. April is Work Zone Safety Awareness Month.

    A work zone crash occurs in Oregon every 18 hours on average, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). It's not just dangerous for drivers. Road workers are six times more likely to be injured or killed on the job than other workers. 
    Here are a few work zone safety tips for drivers from ODOT:

    • Pay attention to the driving task. Inattention is the main cause of work zone crashes.
    • Slow down for the color orange! When you see orange signs, barrels, cones, or barricades, that's your visual cue to decrease speed.
    • Don't tailgate. Double your following distance in work zones to prevent a collision.
    • Move over for workers when you can. When you can't move over, decrease speed.
    • Expect delays and plan ahead. Use TripCheck to see if your route is under construction, and leave earlier.
    • Remember, fines double in work zones for a reason. Reduce your speed, and proceed with caution.

    Additional resources:
    Oregon Department of Transportation Work Zone Safety page

  • What’s the belt buckle rule?

    March 7, 2019 — Sound advice for staying safe on ladders.

    What does a belt buckle have to do with a ladder? Easy, it's keeping your mid-section (your "belt buckle") between the two side rails of your ladder at all times. That way, you reduce the risk of falling or knocking the ladder over, which can lead to injuries at both work and home.
    Remembering the belt buckle rule will prevent you from reaching or leaning out too far on a ladder. It's simple physics, with a catchy slogan.

    Here's a few other quick ladder safety tips:

    • Check the load rating on the ladder-and remember to calculate the weight of any tools or gear that will be on the ladder. 
    • You can only reach four feet higher than the height of your ladder safely, so pick the right ladder size for your work.
    • Don't lose your balance! Never stand on the top cap or the top rung of a step ladder.
    • Check yourself-are you tired, ill, or otherwise impaired? It may not be a good time to get on a ladder.

    Additional resources:
    Watch our new video on the belt buckle rule.
    Oregon OSHA | Portable ladders: How to use them so they won't let you down

    SAIF video library:
    Ladder Safety | GENSAFE 14 | 13 minutes
    Ladder Safety | GENSAFE 15 (Spanish) | 13 minutes 

  • Emergencies? There’s an app for that

    February 7, 2019 — Preparing for workplace and home emergencies just got easier

    Large scale disasters are all over the news-everything from forest fires to earthquakes can happen at any time. And while we may be prepared with 21 days worth of water and food and an emergency plan for our family, have we thought about a digital "go bag" for emergencies?

    There are several helpful apps that may help in the event of an emergency, and many have proven useful in past disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey. 

    Here's a few free apps to help you during and after emergency events:

    • FEMA - A must have for disaster, this app from the Federal Emergency Management Agency contains disaster safety tips, locations of emergency shelters, as well as real-time weather alerts. 
    • American Red Cross - They have several apps to assist during emergencies, and all can be downloaded through the App Store and Google Play. These include Emergency, Tornado, Hurricane, Earthquake and Flood. While each contain helpful information about the type of disaster, they also offer a way to notify others that you are safe. 
    • Zello - This app was very popular during Hurricane Irma because it turns your smartphone into a push to talk walkie talkie-a good way to stay in touch with others during emergencies.  
    • ICE Medical Standard - This app puts your "In case of emergency" contact information on your lock screen-and also tracks any medications, allergies, and illnesses in order to assist first responders with your care.

    Additional resources:
    FEMA mobile app: https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app
    American Red Cross apps: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps.html

  • New year, new you

    January 8, 2019 — Making resolutions is easy. Keeping them is hard.

    January 1 is the most popular time to make plans to be more healthy throughout the year. Many swear to make better food choices, exercise more, or reduce stress levels. According to Strava, the social network for athletes, many resolutions fail by January 12. 

    But it's not all grim-there are things you can do, courtesy of Harvard Health:

    • Motivation matters. Why do you want to change? The reason should be important enough to keep you going. 
    • Set clear goals. If you don't know where you are going, you won't know when you get there. Make sure you can measure progress- and try not to make the goal too lofty, which results in frustration when you fail. 
    • Prepare and plan. Write your goal down along with specific steps to achieve it. There are several apps that help you keep track of important life changes, too, from exercise to stress. 
    • Solicit support. Research shows we are more effective in making changes if we share our goals with someone else, who can help keep us accountable when we waver. And they can also praise you when you do well, which is a great way to keep going. 
    • Celebrate! This doesn't mean go out for ice cream now that you have lost 10 pounds. Instead, reflect on your accomplishment. Thinking about it and how the experience made you feel helps reinforce your positive momentum, making you more likely to accomplish your long term goal.

    Additional resources:
    Saif webpage: A year's worth of health and safety ideas
    Harvard Health - Answer these questions to make your New Year's resolutions stick

  • 2018

  • Safety during the holidays

    December 4, 2018 — Tips for both work and home to celebrate the holiday seasons with safety.

    It's the most wonderful time of the year...to get hurt? Decorating for the holiday season takes effort. It also increases the risk of injuries from falls, as well as the potential for house and office fires. 

    Take some time to review these quick tips for staying safe during the holidays.

    • Use the right ladder for the job. Make sure it's the right size, is in good condition, and is placed on stable, secure ground. Never use chairs, boxes, or buckets to reach higher.
    • Eat healthy. Treats abound at this time of year, so be sure to ensure you are eating a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Try to limit the trips to the snack table at work.
    • Reduce stress. This time of year fills schedules with increased workloads and more chores to complete. Be sure to take some time for yourself with some quick calming breaths or a nice walk outside to view the neighborhood lights (be sure to wear reflective clothing!).
    • Inspect for electrical hazards. Don't overload outlets with too many cords. Ensure all cords are in good repair-those antique lights may bring memories, but they can also have frayed wiring.
    • Prevent fire hazards. Never leave the kitchen unattended while something is cooking. Consider using battery-operated, rather than traditional flame candles. Be sure to check all natural trees daily to keep them well-watered.

    Additional resources:
    Play Spot the holiday hazard. These are 360-degree videos, so be sure to move the mouse to see the whole scene.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVgkKWf9CsM&feature=youtu.be (Home)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAGekhhO46M (Office)

    Don't fall for holiday hazards-more tips and a video.

    National Safety Council holiday safety tips

  • First aid can save lives

    November 9, 2018 — Have you thought about first aid training for your employees?

    Quick question: who arrives first at the scene of a workplace injury?
    Usually co-workers, so it makes good sense to review your first aid program to ensure you are prepared. But what does it include?

    Oregon OSHA requires all workplaces to have an emergency medical plan to make sure medical services are available for injured employees. If the work being performed is not near emergency medical services (this is defined as allowing a quick response in the event of an emergency), the employer must have a qualified first aid person available.

    If your workplace is near emergency medical services, 911 can be used.

    Other items to consider:
         1)   Is your first aid kit stocked with items that will be able to treat the types of injuries that could occur at your jobsite?
              a.    Is it available to all employees on all shifts?
              b.    Do employees know the location(s)?
              c.    Is it stored where it will not be damaged or contaminated?
         2)   Communication-have you considered a way to alert others to a workplace accident?
         3)   If you have a qualified first aid person, do employees know who they are?

    To learn more about requirements of a first aid program and information that could help you during an emergency, visit our first aid page

  • Why am I so tired?

    October 2, 2018 — Fatigue leads to a higher risk of injury—but what causes fatigue and what can we do about it?

    Workplace fatigue can lead to more errors, slower reaction times, reduced service and product quality, and a higher risk of injuries. But what causes worker fatigue?
    Here are some workplace conditions that can cause fatigue:

    • Poor ergonomics
    • High level of noise 
    • Exposure to certain chemicals 
    • Long shifts and overtime 
    • Workplace conflict 
    • Juggling home with work   

    The good news is there are many things employers can do to support workers and prevent fatigue:

    • Implement flexible scheduling 
    • Provide an employee assistance program (EAP) that assists employees with personal problems that may impact their job performance and well-being 
    • Assess noise exposures and ergonomics and put controls in place if necessary 
    • Educate supervisors on fatigue 
    • Provide a place where workers can take a quick nap

    Additional resources:
    SAIF fatigue and shiftwork page: saif.com/sleep
    Video library: Shiftwork: circadian survival | GENSAFE-50 (English/Spanish/Portuguese) | 20 minutes

  • The shocking truth about electrical safety

    September 7, 2018 — Electrical fatalities rose 15 percent in 2016; here a few things you can do to prevent injuries.

    Before you use that hair dryer with frayed wiring or a missing ground plug, take a moment to stop and think: Electrocution can happen in an instant. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (EFSI) reports a 15 percent increase in workplace electrical fatalities in 2016 over the previous year.
    While the majority of these cases occur in the construction industry, electrical injuries can happen anywhere, at work and home.
    Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe:

    • Inspect electrical equipment for damage, including exposed wiring; missing ground prong; cracked tool casing; and frayed, spliced, or taped cord. Never use damaged electrical equipment.
    • Test ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) plugs and outlets frequently. Ensure outlets are installed in areas exposed to water. 
    • Take care around power lines. Look up before starting work. ·        
    • Talk about electric hazards with children; you are never too young for safety.

    Additional resources:
    Electrical safety: https://www.saif.com/safety-and-health/topics/prevent-injuries/electrical-safety.html
    Video library:
    Electrical safety for nonelectricians | GENSAFE-21 (English) GENSAFE-22 (Spanish)│ 18 min
    Electrical safety: safe in 87 | GENSAFE-37 (English/Spanish/Portuguese)│ 8 min
    Electrical safety: beware the bite | GENSAFE-52 (English/Spanish/Portuguese/French) │ 20 min

  • Smoke gets in your eyes...and lungs…and throat

    August 4, 2018 — Follow these tips to reduce wildfire smoke exposure.

    Fire season is here, and while losses due to fire have been devastating for many, there is still a threat from the smoke left behind. Particulates cause the biggest concern, but smoke can also irritate your eyes and respiratory system. If you suffer from a chronic disease, smoke exposure can lead to serious health effects.
    Here are some suggestions from the Oregon Health Authority for reducing smoke exposure:

    • Stay indoors when you can; close all the doors and windows.
    • Reduce indoor pollution from tobacco, candles, or wood-burning stoves. 
    • Use high-efficiency particulate absorber (HEPA) filters. 
    • Drink lots of water to lessen coughing and scratchy throat symptoms. 
    • When driving, keep windows closed and re-circulate the air.

    Additional resources:
    Oregon Health Authority Wildfire Smoke and Your Health https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/Preparedness/Prepare/Documents/OHA%208626%20Wildfire%20FAQs-v6c.pdf  
    DEQ Air Quality Index

  • Summer water safety

    July 10, 2018 — Before you dive in, follow these five tips to keep yourself and loved ones safe from drowning.

    While relatively few people work in or around water, many people enjoy water sports, including swimming, fishing, and boating. All of these activities carry risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an average of 10 accidental drownings each day in the U.S.
    Follow these tips to safely enjoy summer water activities:

    • Learn to swim. Swimming proficiency greatly reduces the risk of drowning, especially among children.
    • Wear life jackets. Half of all boating deaths can be prevented with this simple safety precaution. 
    • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). When seconds count, this could save a life.  
    • Use the buddy system. Take a friend along when enjoying water activities. 
    • Avoid alcohol. Driving a boat while intoxicated is against the law-and impairment increases drowning risk.

    Additional resources:
    Unintentional drowning: Get the facts (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

    Water safety (American Red Cross)

  • Clearing the air

    May 10, 2018 — Five ways to breathe easier at work and at home

    Most of us don't give much thought to breathing. It's just what our body does naturally to get oxygen to our cells. However, poor indoor air quality can cause a host of health effects, including headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and asthma.

    Here are five tips for protecting indoor air quality-at work and at home:

    • Control moisture to prevent mold growth. 
    • Keep all indoor areas smoke-free. 
    • Perform regular maintenance on your ventilation system, including cleaning and changing filters. 
    • Evaluate asthma triggers, including chemicals, pets, molds, dust mites, and outdoor pollutants. 
    • Install carbon monoxide monitors.

    Additional resources:
    Indoor air quality topic page
    Indoor air quality at home (EPA)

  • Keeping eyes on the road

    April 5, 2018 — Nothing is more important than arriving safely

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 3,500 people were killed and nearly 400,000 injured in 2015 due to distracted driving. These numbers underscore the importance of preventing distracted driving-not only at work, but everywhere.

    Distraction is anything that takes your attention away from the road. That includes talking on the phone, eating, talking to people in the vehicle, or playing with the radio. While busy people are always looking for ways to get more done, doing other tasks while driving can be deadly.

    Here are some tips for preventing distracted driving: 

    • Put the cellphone away and out of sight where you'll be less tempted to use it. Some new phones have features that prevent incoming messages while driving; consider activating them. 
    • Pull over to eat rather than doing it while driving. 
    • Program navigation systems and music selections before driving. If you have to change anything, pull over. 
    • Don't use drive time for activities other than driving. That includes applying cosmetics, reading, or using a laptop.

    Additional resources:
    Distracted driving: When ignoring work calls could save your life [SAIF video]
    Video library:
    Distracted driving: game over | VEHICLE-22 (English/Spanish/Portuguese) │ 12 min
    Driven to distraction | VEHICLE-24 │ 16 min
    Driven to distraction II | VEHICLE-26 (English/Spanish/Portuguese) │ 26 min

  • Office ergonomics is for everyone

    March 6, 2018 — Avoid working postures that can lead to injuries.

    You may not think working while sitting at a desk can be hazardous. The truth is poor working postures can result in painful musculoskeletal disorders over time. You can avoid this by simply adjusting your workstation to help you maintain good postures while working at your desk.

    Don't work in an office? These adjustments can work at home, too.  

    Here are some tips for good office ergonomics:

    • Select a good chair that provides back support, including maintaining the natural curve of your back. 
    • Use a wireless phone headset if you spend much time on the phone. 
    • Position the top of your computer monitor to about eye level, and center yourself in front of it. 
    • Keep your mouse at the same level as your keyboard. 
    • Avoid reaching. If it happens a lot, consider moving the item closer.

    Additional resources:
    SAIF's ergonomics page
    Video library:
    Office safety basics | GENSAFE 46 | 8 minutes
    Office ergonomics: simple solutions for comfort and safety | ERGO 23 | 12 minutes 

  • Prevent falls

    February 7, 2018 — Use ladders to safely reach heights

    Most workplaces have some kind of ladder on hand. And that's a good thing, because ladders are designed for reaching higher spaces. Alternatives such as chairs, milk crates, or shelves are not.

    We also use ladders at home for cleaning gutters, hanging Christmas lights, checking smoke alarms, and a multitude of tasks.

    No matter where you are, falls from ladders can cause severe injuries. So a quick overview of ladder safety is just what the doctor ordered.

    Here are some tips for safe ladder use:

    • Use the right ladder for the job. 
    • Follow manufacturer recommendations.
    • Inspect for damage prior to every use.       
    • Avoid overload by checking the ladder duty rating.
    • Store ladders properly and securely.
    • Maintain three points of contact when climbing up and down.

    Additional resources:

    Oregon OSHA | Portable ladders: How to use them so they won't let you down

    SAIF video library:
    Ladder Safety | GENSAFE 14 | 13 minutes
    Ladder Safety | GENSAFE 15 (Spanish) | 13 minutes 

  • Protect your hearing

    January 8, 2018 — How to turn down the noise—at work and at home

    Lots of jobs have noisy environments, but you can damage your hearing off the job, too. Exposing yourself to noise that is more than 85 decibels repeatedly or over a long period of time can lead to hearing loss. Some very loud noises, such as a firecracker or a firearm, can cause immediate damage to hearing.

    Here are some tips to protect your hearing:

      ·  Wear ear plugs or safety ear muffs in noisy environments. If you have to shout to talk, you probably need hearing protection.
      ·  Limit noise exposure when possible.
      ·  Turn down the radio, especially in an enclosed area, like a car.
      ·  Download a sound meter app on your smartphone to monitor noise levels in your environment.
      ·  Have your hearing tested if you think it might be damaged.

    Video library:

    Hearing conservation: noise under control | OCCUPAT-22 (English/Spanish/Portuguese) | 19 minutes
    Protecting your hearing | OCCUPAT-26 | 13 minutes

  • 2017

  • Prevent workplace fires

    December 11, 2017 — From housekeeping to smoking areas, here are five simple steps to reduce the risk of fire at your workplace.

    Once fire starts, it can spread quickly, putting lives and property at risk. The best strategy? Stop fire from happening in the first place.

    Here are some prevention tips:
    · Keep your workplace clean; clutter can add fuel for fires.
    · Keep machinery in good repair to prevent overheating.
    · Store flammables and combustibles safely, and inspect frequently.
    · Clear access to exits, electrical control panels, sprinkler heads, and fire extinguishers.
    · Smoke in designated areas only. Better yet, call 1-800-quit-now to get tools and support for quitting.

    Additional resources:

    Video library:
    Fire in the workplace | FIRE-05 | 18 minutes
    Fire safety (safety in 8) | FIRE-06 (English/Spanish/Portuguese) | 8 minutes 

  • Stay safe when walking at night

    November 6, 2017 — High visibility gear isn’t just for work.

    Many workers wear reflective clothing to make sure drivers and heavy equipment operators can see them while working. But why leave that great idea at work? As the days get shorter, nightly walks around the neighborhood carry a greater risk, especially if our clothing makes us less visible to drivers. 

    Here are some tips when walking at night:

    • Wear high visibility gear.
    • Walk facing traffic. 
    • Stay alert. Avoid talking or texting on cell phone. 
    • Use sidewalks when you can.

    Additional resources:

    Be safe. Be seen: Watch the SAIF video.

    Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: Safety tips.

  • PPE: Only works when worn

    October 12, 2017 — Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the last line of defense. Are you using it?

    Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to provide a barrier between the hazard and the worker. Examples include safety glasses, hard hat, steel-toed boots, and gloves.
    But it only works if you wear it. 

    Here are some workplace tips:

    • Choose PPE that fits well. Loose-fitting or tight PPE can be hazardous. Getting employees involved in PPE selection increases the likelihood that it will be worn.
    • Inspect PPE every day. Replace PPE that is excessively worn, cracked, or damaged, as it will not provide protection when you need it.
    • Remember to wear PPE. Many preventable injuries occur because a worker failed to wear protective gear. One great way to ensure accountability: Look out for each other and remind co-workers to wear their PPE.

    Additional resources:
    SAIF personal protective equipment page 

    Video library
    Personal protective equipment: safe in 8 | PPE-04
    Personal protective equipment: awareness and attitude | PPE-05
    PPE: Don't start work without it | PPE -01

  • Chemicals: An often overlooked hazard

    September 12, 2017 — Know the chemicals in your workplace to prevent dangerous exposures

    All jobs have some exposure to chemicals. Gasoline, copier toner, and glass cleaner are just a few common chemicals you may interact with every day. We also are exposed to chemicals at home when we are cleaning the house or ridding the garden of pests.

    How often have you read the warning labels? They can provide important information to protect you from serious health consequences.

    Here are some workplace tips:

    • Train regularly on workplace chemicals. Refresher training is required when a process changes or a new chemical is added. 
    • Know where the safety data sheet (SDS) guide is located. Safety data sheets provide valuable information, including how to properly handle and dispose of chemicals, and necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). Train employees on how to read safety data sheets.
    • Accurately label all chemicals to ensure proper handling and prevent mix-ups. Using the wrong chemical can result in injury or property damage. Have the right PPE available. Check safety data sheets for requirements and make sure PPE is worn properly.

    Additional resources:

    SAIF hazard communication page.

    Video library
    Hazard communication: Your safety net | HAZMAT-06
    Chemical Safety | HAZMAT-16

  • Avoid strains and sprains

    August 8, 2017 — Reorganize your workspace to reduce the risk of injury.

    Strains and sprains are one of the most common workplace injuries, occurring in every industry. Lifting, carrying, pushing, or pulling give rise to these injuries, and the need to perform those tasks is here to stay.

    However, there are techniques for making a strain or sprain less likely. Start by looking at how your work area is organized. For instance:

    • Raise or lower the work, which can reduce the need to reach up or down.
    • Limit the number of times an item is handled to decrease repetive motions.
    • Keep equipment, especially wheels and handles, in good condition to lessen the force and grip strength required.
    • Organize the work area to prevent awkward postures.
    • Install tools that keep the body in neutral postures (joints straight, back or neck not turned or twisted).

    Additional resources:

    SAIF ergonomics page 

    Video library: Strains and sprains: Avoiding the pain | ERGO-06

  • Prevent skin cancer

    June 1, 2017 — Skin cancer can happen to anyone. Know the facts to prevent and detect.

    Even when the skies are cloudy, ultra-violet rays are still hitting all surfaces, including your skin. If you are around water, snow, or sand, the risk is even higher as those rays are reflected, increasing your exposure. Whether you work or play outdoors, it makes sense to safeguard your skin to prevent cancer.

    Here are some tips:

    • Wear sunscreen; 30 SPF or more is recommended.
    • Wear a hat and protective clothing outdoors.
    • Stay in shaded areas when you can.
    • Avoid tanning beds.
    • Perform self-examinations on skin.

    Find more information on how to prevent sunburn, lower your cancer risk, and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

  • Just breathe

    May 3, 2017 — Focused breathing can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

    Traffic snarls, communication breakdowns, and missed deadlines are just a few scenarios that can create anxiety at work. You may have heard the phrase ”take a deep breath” when faced with frustration. Turns out that's a pretty good strategy for calming yourself in a stressful situation, and research shows it also can have a positive impact on overall health.

    Deep breathing exercises can be done anywhere—in the car, at a sporting event, or at a desk. Here are the steps:

    • Place your hand on your abdomen and breathe in. Notice how your belly expands with each breath.
    • Keep your shoulders relaxed and focus on relaxing your muscles with each breath.
    • Try inhaling for a count of three and exhaling for a count of five. (As you get better at it, you can increase the count number.) Do this 10 times.
    • Practice this daily and it becomes easier to do each time.

    This exercise is not only good at reducing and managing stress, but has been shown to impact numerous health conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic pain, and headaches.

    Additional resources:

    WebMD breathing exercises

    National Institutes of Health Relaxation Techniques for Health

  • Combatting clutter

    March 17, 2017 — Prevent injuries by keeping your workplace clean.

    Keeping the workplace clean impacts safety, but it goes beyond simple dusting.

    Good housekeeping means reducing clutter, implementing the lean manufacturing idea of "a place for everything and everything in its place," and supporting a culture of neatness. These actions can go a long way toward preventing slips, trips, and falls, which are among the most frequent injuries across industries.
    Here are some tips for keeping it clean:

    • Clean as you go throughout the day.
    • Set aside the last 30 minutes of each shift for cleaning. 
    • Label shelves and floor areas where items are stored. 
    • Empty the trash regularly so it doesn't overflow.
    • Set an inspection schedule and praise employees for clean areas.

    Additional resources:

    Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety
    Workplace Housekeeping - Basic Guide

  • Disaster strikes. What’s next?

    February 10, 2017 — Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, or wildfires: Are you prepared?

    No one likes to think about the possibility of a disaster happening, but it could. Would your workplace be prepared to respond? Making sure employees are safe is management's most important role. Developing an emergency evacuation plan is the best way to start. If you already have a plan, regular review and drills will help employees follow the plan in an emergency.

    Here are a few best practices for an emergency evacuation plan. This safety talk also provides an opportunity to review your unique plan with employees. Employees should know:

    • How to respond in the event of an emergency
    • How management will communicate to employees 
    • How to contact emergency responders 
    • The location of evacuation areas 
    • Their role in an emergency and the role of their supervisor 
    • How to ensure all employees are accounted for 
    • Location of first aid kit 
    • Location of food, water, and other supplies How to shutdown equipment, if needed

    Additional resources:
    Ready.gov - Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed

    Oregon OSHA's Expecting the Unexpected: What to consider in planning for workplace emergencies

    From SAIF's DVD library (available for checkout):
    Emergency planning - Emergency evacuations: getting out alive | GENSAFE-60
    15 minutes 

  • Brrrraving cold weather

    January 13, 2017 — Plan ahead to prevent cold-related injuries and illnesses.

    Whether you're working outdoors, sledding, or making snow angels, exposure to cold can have serious health consequences, such as frostbite or hypothermia.

    Here are some ideas for staying safe in the cold:

    • Cover up. Pay particular attention to your face, head, neck, and hands. 
    • Dress in layers. Wear water-wicking fabrics, such as wool, silk, or polypropylene, next to your skin. Wear water-repellent outer layers, such as polyurethane laminate (PUL). Avoid cotton, which does not hold heat well. 
    • Stay dry, especially hands and feet, which can be prone to frostbite in freezing temperatures. Overexertion that leads to sweating can also cause your body temperature to drop. 
    • Take a rest. Limit exposure to extreme cold when possible, and take frequent breaks. 
    • Recognize the symptoms. Early signs of cold-related injuries and illness include shivering, fatigue, confusion, and loss of coordination.

    Additional resources:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cold stress topic page

    Oregon OSHA cold stress card (English and Spanish)

    From DVD library (available for checkout):
    Heat/Cold Stress | Winter safety | GENSAFE-23  
    15 minutes

  • 2016

  • Block the bugs

    December 6, 2016 — Take positive steps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases—on and off the job.

    Workplace illnesses are a common challenge in every organization, especially during seasonal outbreaks of influenza and the common cold. Workers who are sick are often more susceptible to workplace injuries and are usually less productive than employees who are healthy.

    Here are some ideas for preventing infectious disease in the workplace and at home:

    • Encourage people to stay home when ill. The Centers for Disease Control recommends staying home until 24 hours after vomiting has stopped or fever is gone without the use of a fever reducer. 
    • Wash hands-long enough to sing Happy Birthday twice. 
    • Cough into sleeves or into a facial tissue that is immediately discarded. 
    • Get vaccinated as recommended.

    Additional resources:

    From DVD library (available for checkout):

    • Why don't we do it on our sleeves? | OCCUPAT-29 
      5 minutes
    • Duet for clean hands (disc 1 and disc 2) | OCCUPAT-30 
      Disc 1 is 5 minutes; disc 2 is 6 minutes
  • Be road-trip ready

    September 8, 2016 — Prepare for roadside emergencies by stocking your car with useful items.

    Many jobs involve driving, but do we really think about preparing ourselves for what could happen on the road? Breakdowns, collisions, severe storms, or other natural disasters can put the brakes on your travel plans. 

    Keep these items in your vehicle in the event of an emergency:

    • Water          
    • Warm blankets          
    • Flashlight        
    • Jumper cables        
    • Flares          
    • Tools to change a tire          
    • Fully charged cell phone        
    •  First-aid kit

    Additional resources:

  • Hydrate for health

    July 25, 2016 — Are you getting enough water? Important hydration tips for every day of the year.

    When the sun is out, people naturally think about getting plenty of water.  Employers will often admonish their workers to drink more water when the temperatures climb over 85 degrees.

    However, hydration should be something we think about every day of the year-regardless of the outside temperature. 
    Here are a few tips to ensure you are staying hydrated:

    • Drink small amounts of water throughout the day. 
    • Store water in an accessible location so it is available during the work shift. 
    • Avoid caffeine or energy drinks, which are diuretics and can lead to dehydration. 
    • Consume moisture rich foods such as cucumbers, carrots, or celery to supplement water intake. Monitor the color of your urine. It should be clear or lightly colored.

    Additional resources: Hydration: information for employers and workers

    Staying hydrated; staying healthy (American Heart Association) 

  • Help your hands; use tools safely

    June 28, 2016 — Most people work with hand tools at some point. Here are some easy tips for keeping your hands safe.

    Seeing someone hit their thumb with a hammer in a slapstick comedy may be funny. Hurting your own thumb is no laughing matter. Neither is a laceration, another common injury with hand tools. Here are a few tips to keep your digits safe:

    • Use the appropriate tool for its intended use.
    • Keep the tool in good working condition. 
    • Replace broken or damaged tools. 
    • Use the tool correctly. 
    • Store the tool properly on a rack or in a toolbox. 

    Additional resources:
    SAIF guide on hand tool safety
    Choose hand safety website 

  • Taking the sting (and itch) out of summer

    June 3, 2016 — How to protect yourself from insect bites and poisonous plants

    If you're lucky enough to work outdoors in the summer, you may be unlucky enough to get exposed to biting, stinging insects or poisonous plants, such as poison oak.

    For the rest of us, outdoor summer activities such as hiking or camping may result in these unwelcome exposures. Either way, the prevention information below should come in handy.

    Protecting against biting and stinging insects:

    • Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible.
    • Avoid perfumes and other scented personal care products.   
    • Wear insect repellent. 
    • Cover food immediately to avoid attracting insects. 
    • If you're allergic, let others know and carry an epinephrine autoinjector.

    Protecting against poisonous plants:

    • Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible. 
    • Use skins creams containing bentoquatum if you're in area where exposure may occur. 
    • Never burn poisonous plants; this may result in an allergic respiratory reaction. 
    • Remove exposed clothing carefully to avoid skin contact and launder separately from other clothing.
    • Study pictures of poisonous plants so you can readily identify and avoid them.

    Additional resources:

    NIOSH Fast Facts on Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects

    NIOSH Fast Facts on Protecting Yourself from Poisonous Plants

  • Surviving an active shooter event

    May 5, 2016 — Take time now to make a plan so you’ll know what to do if the unthinkable happens

    It's not something anyone wants to think about-an active shooter at your workplace, your children's school, or in a public area such as a shopping mall. Even though it's scary, taking time to think about such an event allows you to make a plan-so you can react, instead of freezing, should the unthinkable occur.

    The Department of Homeland Security in partnership with Ready Houston (City of Houston Emergency Management) has created a video entitled Run.Hide.Fight. It can be a useful training tool for employers who may want to educate their employees on tactics for surviving such an event. Other tips are available on the active shooter pocket card.

    When law enforcement arrives:

    • Remain calm and follow instructions.
    • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets).
    • Raise hands and spread fingers.
    • Keep hands visible at all times.
    • Avoid quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety.
    • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
    • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating.

    Online resources:

    Violence in the workplace topic page

    Run. Hide. Fight. video

    Active shooter pocket card

  • Spring into garden and landscape safety

    March 29, 2016

    With warmer weather comes yard and garden work-both at work and at home. Many employers have groundskeepers or maintenance employees keep the lawns mowed, foliage trimmed, and flowers blooming.

    This work has many hazards-from power tools to pesticides-and it makes good business sense to review best practices with all employees. Remember, an injury at home can still negatively impact the workplace. Here are a few basics to remember:

    • Use fuel containers approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation and store them safely, away from heat sources or potential sparks.
    • Read pesticide labels and use them in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.
    • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) both at work and at home. Long pants and gloves can go a long way toward protecting skin-and don't forget high visibility apparel if work will be performed around cars. Using a chainsaw? Wearing chaps could save your life in the event of an unexpected kickback.

    Inspect all equipment before use, ensuring saw blades and electrical cords are in good condition. Make sure cords are heavy duty; equipping them with ground-fault-circuit-interrupters (GFCI) provides protection from electrocution.

    Additional resources:

    Videos (can be checked out in video library):

    • Groundskeeping safety: be a pro! - AGRI-11
    • Danger: chain saw - GENSAFE-09
    • Orientation to ag back injury prevention - AGRI-0
  • Simple steps to prevent falls

    February 25, 2016 — Slips and trips are a common causes of workplace injuries—and one of the easiest to correct.

    Slips, trips, and falls cause 15 percent of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicle accidents. They can happen anywhere and at any time.
    With that in mind, reviewing some of the most common causes of slips, trips, and falls can make an impact at your worksite and increase safety awareness at home.

    Slips, trips, or falls--what's the difference?
    Slips are the result of insufficient traction between your footwear and your walking surface. Wet floors, ice, or unsecured mats or rugs can cause them. Trips result from your foot striking an object, causing you to lose balance. Examples include cords, tree roots, or uneven steps. Falls are often the result of slips or trips, and can lead to serious injuries such as broken bones or severe bruises.

    How to prevent them:

    • Start with the feet: How worn out are your shoe soles? Do they provide enough traction?
    • Establish and maintain good housekeeping practices. Clutter can cause injuries.
    • Ensure cords are bundled together, located out of walking areas, and secured to prevent tripping.
    • Address spills immediately. Use wet floor warning signs--or even better, block off the area entirely--to protect pedestrians.
    • Use ladders that are in good repair and follow manufacturer guidelines.
    • Use extra caution when walking on ice or snow.

    Additional resources:

    Videos (can be checked out at our video library): ·        

    • Slips, trips, and falls: stranger than friction (GENSAFE-30 English and GENSAFE-31 Spanish) 
    • Slips, trips, and falls (GENSAFE-53) 
    • Slips, trips, and falls: taking the right steps (GENSAFE-34)

  • Lockout/tagout: the key to safety around machinery

    January 21, 2016

    Controlling hazardous energy is critical to staying safe around machinery and its moving parts.

    What is hazardous energy?
    Hazardous energy can be generated directly or it can be the leftover or stored energy after machinery has been shut off. Either way, this energy can cause serious crushing injuries, electrocution, and even death.
    According to OSHA, nearly 10 percent of serious accidents are caused by the failure to control hazardous energy, so investing time in reviewing proper procedures with employees is time well spent.

    What is lockout/tagout?
    Every machine or piece of equipment has its own specific lockout/tagout procedures, which should be used when repairing, servicing, or cleaning. These procedures are designed to safeguard workers from electrical, mechanical, gravitational, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, or thermal energy.

    What do I need to do?
    Well written energy control procedures must include the following steps:  

    • Inform all affected employees of shutdown.  
    • Turn off all equipment in the correct order.  
    • Find and use energy-isolating devices to block hazardous energy.  
    • Lock out or tag out the energy-isolating devices.  
    • Remove, drain, bleed off, or otherwise neutralize stored energy.  
    • Ensure the equipment is no longer connected to energy sources by turning it on.

    Learn more

    Oregon OSHA's guide to controlling hazardous energy

    Toolbox talk: lockout/tagout (Center for Construction Research and Training)

    Videos (available for checkout) on our lockout/tagout page:

    • Lockout/tagout: safe in 8 (8 minutes)
    • Lockout/tagout: training for employees (16 minutes)
    • Lockout/tagout: make no mistake (17 minutes)
  • 2015

  • Life-saving advice for driving in winter

    November 24, 2015

    What's the best advice for driving in ice and snow? Don't drive at all if you can avoid it.

    But if you must be on the road in winter weather, be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is well-maintained and has plenty of gas. Keep warm clothing, food and water, and an emergency kit in the vehicle. Check road and weather conditions before you leave. And allow extra time to reach your destination.

    Here's more advice for staying safe on the road this winter. Discuss these ideas with your safety committee and develop a plan on how to implement them in your workplace.

    Before you drive:·         

    • Check antifreeze and windshield fluid levels
    • Check weather reports and road conditions. (Oregon Department of Transportation TripCheck
    • Make sure chains are in good condition and stowed neatly. 
    • Think about where you can stop, if necessary, for fuel and chaining up.

    Pack an emergency kit.
    Warm clothing is essential. Oregon OSHA also recommends that employers consider providing these supplies for workers who drive frequently as part of their jobs:

    • Flares
    • Water
    • Snacks
    • Jumper cables
    • First-aid kit
    • Tow strap
    • Flashlight or headlamp
    • Whistle
    • High visibility clothing or vest
    • Thermal blanket
    • Waterproof gloves 

    Also good to have:

    • Knee pads and/or tarp for kneeling in snow and ice
    • Shovel 

    Be safe on the road:

    • Maintain a following distance of eight to 12 seconds.
    • Adjust speed to compensate for reduced visibility and traction.
    • Look a quarter mile ahead.
    • Stay in the right lane. Avoid the shoulder, where vehicles may be stopped.
    • Observe changing road conditions.
    • Be ready to chain up if outside temperature falls below 35 degrees and no spray is visible from wet road.
    • Leave window cracked and listen to detect chain malfunctions.
    • Watch for iced bridges.
    • Use high beams for visibility; low beams with oncoming traffic. 

    Additional resources:
    Winter driving best practices

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Leigh Manning

Leigh Manning

Leigh Manning is a senior safety management consultant for SAIF in Eugene and has been working in professional safety for more than 15 years. Prior to SAIF, Leigh worked in risk management at Safeway, Inc. Leigh has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oregon and a Master’s of Public Health from Portland State University. She works extensively with the American Society of Safety Professionals, recently receiving a national Significant Contributor Award from the Health & Wellness branch of that organization. A fifth generation Oregonian, she is committed to making Oregon the safest state for all workers. She is also an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks.