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Safety in the News

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Every week, we bring you the latest headlines from the world of safety and keep you updated on the issues that matter most.

4th of July Injuries on the Rise

The most recent report on firework casualties reveals 4th of July injuries are on the rise. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says 2015 – the most recent year statistics are available -- show the highest number of July injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms since the turn of the century.

Among the 11,900 people treated for fireworks injuries, 51 percent suffered injuries to their extremities and 41 percent suffered head injuries, with children younger than 15 years of age accounting for 26 percent of the estimated 2015 injuries, according to the CPSC 2015 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu of the Division of Hazard Analysis. An estimated 1,900 injuries treated in emergency departments that year were related to sparklers, and an estimated 800 were associated with bottle rockets.

Fireworks are the cause of an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires, according to experts. These fireworks-related fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.

Michigan's state fire marshal, Kevin Sehlmeyer, says, "The safest way to enjoy fireworks is professional displays. If you do plan to shoot your own fireworks," he said, "remember these are explosives and that, if used incorrectly, can cause irreparable injury and harm. Certified fireworks retailers aim to make safety their top priority."

Whether it be at home for the holidays or at work, every safety leader can ask some simple questions that help prevent serious incidents and fatalities. You can see what those questions are by checking out DEKRA’s knowledge center.

Sleep Apnea Putting Commercial Drivers at Risk

About 2 out of every 5 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers suffer from sleep apnea – potentially increasing their risk of being involved in a crash, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.

The researchers examined sleep laboratory data from 16 studies that looked at occupation as a risk factor for the most common type of sleep apnea. They found over 40 percent of people who make a living driving vehicles have about twice the rate of sleep apnea than counterparts in the general public. Researchers noted that CMV drivers may have other sleep apnea risk factors, such as elevated obesity levels, high blood pressure, stress and irregular sleep schedules.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Paul Blanc, says that although further studies are needed to clarify possible association, “clinicians should take into account occupational factors in considering sleep disorders and [sleep apnea].”

The most common type of sleep apnea – known as OSA -- occurs when the airway becomes blocked and normal breathing is interrupted. It can lead to increased sleepiness during the day and make drivers less alert.

You can learn how fatigue impacts safety performance – and what you can do to prevent that from happening – by downloading DEKRA’s ebook on Brain-Centered Performance.

New State-by-State Grades on Safety

​No state has earned an “A” in the most recent grading of preventable deaths and injuries from the National Safety Council (NSC). The NSC just completed a year-long project to grade states on actions and policies they have taken – or not taken – to reduce risk for all residents. The report shows where states are on track or falling short on road safety, home and community safety, and workplace safety. It offers a bird's-eye view of safety policies and legislation that can help us reduce preventable deaths from things like distracted driving, prescription painkillers and falls.

According to the NSC, only a handful of US states get its highest grade in the report, a “B,” while more than half of all US states got a “D” or “F.”

DEKRA recently published a Q & A with two of its senior consultants on one of the most popular measures for safety performance, the OSHA recordable rate. Read why these thought-leaders say the OSHA recordable rate is a bad metric.

"The change in our trajectory is pretty amazing."
What's Your Best & Worst Safety Decision?

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020