June is National Safety Month and the perfect time to focus on protecting your family from preventable harm. With summer activities just around the corner, injuries will be on the rise. While some injuries may only result in bumps and bruises, others can have life-threatening consequences when the safety of others is neglected. Connecticut families can stay ahead of the most common safety hazards this season by knowing the facts and prevention techniques to avoiding fatal accidents this year.
Accidental Injuries-Third Leading Cause of Death
Accidents happen every day. Unfortunately, some are far worse than others. Over 400 Americans die every day from preventable injuries. In January of 2018, the National Safety Council (N.S.C.) released a shocking report identifying preventable injuries as the new third leading cause of death in our country. From 2015 to 2016, unintentional deaths rose a terrifying 10 percent, resulting in 14,803 more lives lost in just one year.
Connecticut Fatal Injury Facts
In 2017, there were 169,936 Americans who died from unintentional injuries- 2,078 of these fatalities were in Connecticut. These were the leading causes of death across all age groups:
- Falls- 398 deaths
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – 293
- Unspecified – 137 deaths
- Suffocation- 97 deaths
- Fire/burn- 19 deaths
Other causes of accidental death included poisoning and drownings. The highest age groups affected were individuals 65 and older with 670 preventable deaths and 25 to 34 with 343 preventable deaths.
Similar to the rest of the nation, fatal accidents have been on the rise in Connecticut. Since 2012, our state has seen a steady increase. In 2017, Connecticut saw 57.91 deaths for every 100,000 people in the state, surprisingly higher than all surrounding states: New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.
National Safety Weeks
Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing the number of preventable injuries through education and awareness. For each week of National Safety Month, the N.S.C. will highlight a leading hazard to preventable injuries with recommendations on how to spot these around your community and how to prevent them from causing accidents:
- Week 1: Hazard Recognition– learning to detect and anticipate all safety hazards that can cause harm.
- Week 2: Slips, Trips, and Falls– learning what causes slip, trip, and fall injuries and how to prevent them in multiple environments.
- Week 3: Fatigue– learning why lack of sleep is so dangerous and how it affects your health and safety.
- Week 4: Impairment– learning the most common impairments that cloud your judgment and how they lead to accidents.
Preventable accidents can happen anywhere: at home, work, on the road, or in the community. It’s essential for all Connecticut residents to stay alert to the most common hazards in each one of these environments to help reduce their chances of fatal injuries:
If you have children who will be home all summer, it is especially important to keep safety in mind around the house. Young children are at higher risks of poisoning, falls, choking, suffocation, and burn injuries when unsupervised. Keep all sharp items, medications, and small objects out of reach. Place safety gates and baby proofing locks where hazardous chemicals are kept children away.
If your family enjoys the pool, lake, or ocean, take extra precautions to keep your children safe. Know the hazards for each body of water your family plans to swim in this summer and ensure you have enough supervision for all the young children in your family to reduce the possibility of drowning. If you have a pool, install gates to keep young children from wandering into the pool unsupervised.
Severe storms and natural disasters can also put your family at serious risk this summer. Consider creating an emergency plan for your family to follow and keep provisions in a safe place if a natural disaster prevents you from leaving your home.
Over 4,414 workers died in 2017 from preventable work injuries. Training and organization are two of the most effective methods for preventing injuries in the workplace. By focusing on these areas, employers can help keep workers safe and alert:
- Workplace Training: Make sure employers are aware of all hazards in their working environment that can cause them harm and the safety measures to prevent accidents. If their jobs require them to work with hazardous materials or dangerous machines, ensure they know how to properly use them to avoid injuries.
- First Aid: Train employees on how to immediately react to workplace injuries to save lives from delayed medical treatment.
- Defensive Driving Training: Most fatal work accidents happen while workers are driving. Invest in your employee’s road safety by requiring defensive driving courses and making distraction-free work zone to discourage the use of cellphones behind the wheel.
- Engage Employees: Employees are more likely to stay safe at work when they are motivated. Engage employees by holding safety events and building employee morale to establish a positive work culture.
Help your workers keep each other accountable for workplace safety by taking the SafeAtWork Pledge to save lives on the job!
In 2017, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents. Educate the drivers in your family on the three leading causes of vehicle accidents and how they can prevent them by driving safe:
- Alcohol and Drugs: Impaired drivers have poor judgment and can cause massive causalities in vehicle accidents. Remind your family members of the dangers when it comes to impaired driving and create a safety plan for how they can avoid driving under the influence.
- Speeding: Driving at increased speeds increases the severity of vehicle accidents and reduces a driver’s ability to react quickly to hazards. Plan to leave early to get where you need to go to avoid needing to speed and slow down, even if you are late- it’s not worth the risk.
- Distracted Driving: Music, friends, and cellphones can easily take a drivers attention off the road long enough to cause an accident. Keep your hands on the wheel, electronic devices away, and the noise inside the vehicle low to reduce harmful distractions.
Teens are more susceptible to all three leading causes of fatal road accidents than any other age group. Educate your teens on road safety and ensure they are practicing safe driving habits. If your teen refuses to drive safe, make sure they do not drive.
All residents are responsible for helping to keep their communities safe, not just law enforcement. Connecticut residents can help reduce accidents in their neighborhood by removing clutter from sidewalks, checking in on neighbors, driving safe, reporting suspicious behavior, keeping public spaces clean, and spreading awareness. The more involved you become in reducing preventable accidents in your community, the more support you will gain in your cause.
There are plenty of ways Connecticut residents can get involved with National Safety Month by merely sharing the message and spreading information. If you would like to get involved this summer, here are a few ways to participate:
- Post public safety announcements for each safety week at work, on community boards, or online.
- Host a community safety event with refreshments and flyers for people to connect about safety.
- Start a social media group in your neighborhood to discuss safety issues that need to be addressed.
- Attend an N.S.C. conference to become an advocate for your area.
- Join the Injury Facts: Data You Can Count On Webinar to find out more information on injury prevention.
Connecticut Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved has been injured in an accident due to the negligent acts of someone else, you may be eligible to receive compensation for any damages suffered. Contact our expert team of personal injury attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace for a free consultation to explore your options.