Stay safe at work and play this summer

It’s almost summer again. Here are a few safety tips for you to keep in mind while you’re on vacation, at home, or at work. Enjoy the season! 

Photo of a person walking in shallow water on beach

Tofino, B.C. Photo credit: Susan Main

Please have fun this summer and keep these safety tips in mind.

Water safety

In Summer Water Safety, the Canadian Red Cross reminds us to be careful when spending time around water — especially with small children:

  • Whether it’s a pool, the bathtub, a water park, or the beach, always watch children around water, even if they can swim.
  • Be cautious about swimming in currents, and know what to do if you are caught in one.
  • Empty portable toddler pools after each use.

Be mindful about hot cars

Speaking of small children, never leave kids or pets in the car in warm weather — even for a few minutes. This CBC news story, Forgetting a child in a hot car can happen to anyone, expert says, suggests putting something you need — like a shoe, a phone, or a purse — in the back seat to remind you that your child is there.

A recent BC SPCA news story explains what happens to a dog in a hot car, and reminds well-meaning bystanders not to break car windows to free a pet in distress; instead, call the police or the BC SPCA hotline as soon as possible.

Camping safety in B.C.

Before you leave home, be sure to “know before you go” and check the DriveBC map to plan your route and be prepared for road conditions.

BC Hydro recently published 7 tips for a safe and fun camping trip. They include:

  • Wear sunscreen whenever the UV index is 3 or higher (even if it’s cloudy out).
  • Pack extra food and water in case you end up stranded and need to wait to be rescued.
  • Always let someone know where you’re going camping and when you expect to be back.

In Staying Safe in Bear Country, BC Parks tells us how to avoid encounters with bears. A key reminder is that food, garbage, and other smelly items should be placed in a metal bear-proof container provided in the park, hung from a tree away from your campsite, or locked in your car.

Safety for outdoor workers

Those who work outdoors also need protection from the heat (read more in my post Minimizing the risk of heat stress for outdoor workers). Employers need plans that may include:

  • Having workers complete the job in a cooler environment, if possible
  • Scheduling the hardest physical tasks for the coolest part of the day
  • Rotating work activities or using additional workers to reduce heat exposure

In Working Safely around Stinging Insects, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety offers much advice, including the following:

  • Tie back long hair to prevent bees or wasps from getting entangled in your hair.
  • Wear light-coloured clothes. Avoid brightly coloured, patterned, or black clothing.
  • Do not swat at bees and wasps or make fast movements. The best option is to let them fly away on their own.

For more about other insects, see my post It’s time to talk ticks and this WorkSafeBC bulletin, Protecting yourself from ticks.

Have any of your own tips to share? Please leave a comment.

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