We recently blogged about the National Safety Council’s efforts in the U.S. to get people to “take safety home” when they leave the workplace. But it’s summertime, and a lot of people are enjoying themselves away from home.
It’s easy to get so excited about a vacation that you don’t think much about safety. Unfortunately, safety hazards don’t take vacations.
If you’re careless while having your summer fun, the fun can abruptly become a nightmare.
The Checker helps businesses improve safety through better inspection processes, and inspections are also a key part of preparing for a safe vacation. Here are seven tips for being as safe as possible this summer, four of which involve inspections.
1. Do a complete inspection of your vehicle before leaving on vacation. Check the brakes, fluid levels, lights, tires, spare tire, etc. before you hit the road. Not only can vehicle problems screw up a vacation, they can cause potentially tragic crashes.
2. If you’re hauling a trailer, thoroughly inspect it and the towing mechanism. This also goes for towing cars behind motor homes, as many people do as they set off for summer adventure. (This guide to inspecting commercial trailers also applies to personal towing.)
3. Don’t get so relaxed that you forget to follow the basic common-sense rules for safe driving: Drive defensively, don’t drive too fast, don’t drink and drive, don’t text or send emails while driving, and don’t drive if you’re too sleepy.
4. If you’re doing any outdoor grilling, be sure to inspect the propane tank before firing up the grill. You want to cook food, not yourself!
5. Don’t grill in enclosed spaces such as garages; the carbon monoxide buildup can be deadly. This carbon monoxide danger also applies to heaters in tightly sealed spaces (e.g., camping tents, ice fishing huts).
6. Be safe on the water. You don’t have to be racing boats or water skiing to get hurt on the water. Obviously, inspect the boat before taking it on the water to make sure it’s water-safe and running well. Wear life vests, always supervise children, don’t drink and operate a boat, pay attention to the weather, be aware of your surroundings and other boats on the water, etc. It’s a good idea to take boater education classes if you’re not an experienced boater.
7. Pay attention to what you’re doing. Many injuries that happen on vacation are rather mundane—straining your back with heavy luggage, taking a misstep while taking a photo or filming a video, staying in the heat too long and suffering a heat stroke, forgetting to put on sun screen and getting a severe sun burn, etc. In many cases, when such injuries happen it’s because people have gotten so caught up in the fun they’re having, that they forget to look out for their own safety. You’re on vacation, but that doesn’t make you invincible!
Vacations should be a worry-free, no-stress time, but you can’t afford to stop thinking about safety—even when you’re having the time of your life.
Image courtesy of Matthew Baron, Creative Commons.