Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting on the Road? Get off the Phone!

As we wrap up National Safety Month and get ready for the July 4th holiday weekend, it is fitting to focus on the National Safety Council's (NSC's) fourth and final major safety topic for this month - cell phones and driving. The NSC cites that nearly one out of every four vehicle crashes involve cell phone use, and that 62% of drivers recognize that talking on a cell phone is a very serious threat to their personal safety, yet more than two out of every three drivers admit to talking on their cell phone while driving in the past month (according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Survey, 2010). Well, I think it is time we each take control of what is happening in our own vehicles. Here are some helpful tips as you head on that road trip this weekend:

If tempted to use your cell phone while driving:
  • Change your voice mail to indicate that you are driving and will call back when safely parked
  • Put your phone in your trunk or glove compartment
  • Set your phone to silent
  • If you need to contact someone, pull over to a safe location and place your vehicle in Park first
If you are a passenger and the driver wants to use their cell phone:
  • Tell the driver you are uncomfortable with their cell phone use
  • Offer to dial the number and relay a message
If you are speaking on the phone to someone who is driving:
  • Tell the person you will call them back later
  • Ask the person to call you when he or she is parked in a safe location
Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fall-Proof Tips to Prevent Slips & Trips

Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the U.S. and can be permanently debilitating, even fatal, to those ages 55 and older. Thankfully, slips, trips, and falls are also among the most preventable accidents. As a part of National Safety Month, the National Safety Council (NSC) is offering the following tips to ensure that you and your workers stay on solid ground this summer:
  • Clean up all spills immediately and stay off freshly mopped floors
  • Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
  • Remove small throw rugs or use non-skid mats
  • Wear shoes with good support and slip-resistant soles
  • Arrange furniture to provide open walking pathways
  • Install handrails on all staircases on both sides
  • Ensure adequate lighting both indoors and out

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Take the Wheel: On Teen Driving

Doesn't it seem like as soon as school lets out teens are suddenly everywhere-freed from their homework and extra-curricular activities? Well, not only are they at the local pools and malls, but they are also behind the wheel. Teen Driving is another one of the National Safety Council's (NSC's) core topics for National Safety Month. The organization cites that each day, there are more than 15 crashes involving drivers between the ages of 15 to 20, and adds that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration two out of three people killed in crashes are people other than the teen driver, including their passengers, occupants of other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The NSC offers the following suggestions to parents and guardians of teens to help reduce their accident risk:
  1. Set a Nighttime Driving Restriction (e.g. no driving past 10 p.m.)
  2. Set a Passenger Restriction (e.g. no more than one other teen passenger)
  3. Ban Mobile Phone Usage while Driving
  4. Forbid Alcohol Consumption
  5. Insist on Seat Belts for all Passengers
These five tips when enforced should go a long way to ensure that our teens stay safe not only this summer, but throughout the rest of the year.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Preventing Overexertion

One of the hot topics the National Safety Council (NSC) is focusing on as a part of National Safety Month is overexertion. The organization cites that overexertion is the third leading cause of unintentional injuries treated in emergency departments. The most common overexertion injuries are sprains and strains, most commonly of the lower back. Here are some simple prevention tips from the NSC that can help keep your workers from overdoing it on the job:
  • Place objects as close to you as possible
  • Always keep your body positioned square to your work (your toes should always point in the same direction as your nose)
  • Limit the amount of weight you carry--once you are unable to maintain the posture outlined above, the load is too heavy for you
  • Give yourself enough room to work in a neutral position
  • Keep all tools in good working condition, since many overexertion injuries happen when people overcompensate for worn or broken tools
  • Take frequent, short breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries, which happen when muscles are not given proper time to recover
Of course, everyone should also keep these tips in mind when off the job, as well, since 'tis the season for do-it-yourself gardening, and mulching is a big culprit when it comes to overexertion!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June is National Safety Month

Can you believe it? School is out in a couple of short weeks, and with the summertime comes additional safety issues that come into play more prominently than during the rest of the year. So, it is fitting that June is National Safety Month. This month, Arbill is teaming up with the National Safety Council to bring you some timely information that will help keep your workers safe both on the job and away from work. Small reminders that heighten safety awareness can go a long way to keep employees focused and ultimately prevent injuries. Check back here in the coming weeks for info on the following topics: Preventing Overexertion, Teen Driving; Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls; and On the Road, Off the Phone.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Transportation Costs Amplify Market Conditions

While many people are getting ready to hit the road for the holiday weekend, it seems fitting to end my month of pricing blogs with an early post containing a word or two on transportation costs. For the past couple of weeks I have blogged about how commodity pricing and supply shortages have led Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturers to announce price increases. It seems that every year for the past few years around the unofficial start of the summer season Americans have grappled with rising prices at the pump. This year is no different, as skyrocketing fuel costs have affected everything from air freight to ground delivery to the point where some manufacturers have begun to levy fuel surcharges. At this time, these added fees have not directly affected the cost of Arbill's safety products. We will monitor the situation closely, as always, in an effort to continue to provide our customers with the highest quality and value across the whole spectrum of Arbill's safety solutions. Have a great holiday weekend and drive safely!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Leather & Nitrile Also Rising

Last week I blogged about cotton and latex, two key commodities used in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturing. Leather and nitrile are two more commodities on which the safety industry relies, and the pricing of each is also on the rise. The short explanation for rising leather prices is a shortage of raw materials (hides). More specifically:
  • Cattle populations in South America are down due to a drop in demand for the past two years during which farmers found it more profitable to raise crops versus cattle
  • Although cattle herd production picked up when demand did late last year, current populations cannot support today's demand, and it will likely be two to three years until the market catches up
As far as nitrile is concerned, I addressed this raw material back in my April 12 blog and what I foretold is coming to pass. Nitrile is in short supply, and therefore many of our thin-walled safety glove manufacturers have announced price increases. As always, the Arbill Operations team is monitoring the commodities markets and is committed to sourcing high-quality products at the best value, as well as ensuring that our customers do not experience any supply interruptions.