In our over 55 years of combined legal experience, the Law Office of Steven R. Whitman has handled countless cases of individuals who suffered injuries through another person’s negligence. These accidents can leave you hurt, but our firm can pursue the at-fault party through a personal injury suit.
Other times accidents simply happen due to nature, or the business of our lives distracts us. At the Law Office of Steven R. Whitman we strive to ensure our community is aware of common causes of accidents so people feel empowered to drive safely and conduct their lives free of fear. For this reason, we have compiled our monthly safety tips below and will be adding to it over time. The Law Office of Steven R. Whitman wants your community to be informed and protected at all times!
Here are some of our past safety tips:
March Safety Tips - Driving on busy, crowded roadways can be stressful. But aggressive driving
is never the answer. Here are some tips on how to avoid unnecessary issues:
- Never make gestures with your hands – keep them on the wheel. “Avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver, even seemingly harmless expressions of irritation like shaking your head,” If you are confronted by an aggressive driver, make every reasonable attempt to get out of the person’s way. Never challenge the other driver by speeding up or attempting to block the person’s vehicle. Refrain from making eye contact and ignore any gestures the driver may make.
- Slow down as conditions warrant, and keep a safe following distance.
- Know that you may be delayed. Take a deep breath and accept it.
- Give yourself plenty of time for traveling and factor in delays, such as bad weather, traffic or road construction.
- Remember that how another person is driving has nothing to do with you. Don’t take other people’s behaviors personally.
- Refrain from driving slowly in the left lane.
- Try to give other motorists the benefit of the doubt.
- Give the roadway your full attention, and don’t let yourself be distracted by eating or grooming. Never talk on a cellphone while driving.
January Safety Tips
- Drive Safely in the snow
- Avoid strain while shoveling.
- Always loosen up before shoveling and take breaks before getting winded
- Treat Frostbite immediately
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide detectors save lives, but less than one-third of American homes have one installed. With December and January at the peak of CO poisonings, Be sure to follow tips like these:
- Replace the battery for your home’s CO detector each spring and fall
- Do not heat your home with a gas range or oven
- Never run a car or truck inside an attached garage
December Safety Tip: Six Ways to Stay Safe this Holiday Season
- Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. It’s flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
- Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
- Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
- Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
- Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
November Safety Tip- Millions of people will travel to visit loved ones for the Thanksgiving
holiday. The American Red Cross offers these tips to help people have
a safe trip over the upcoming holiday.
- Buckle up, slow down, don’t drive impaired.
- Be well rested and alert.
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Use caution in work zones.
- Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- Observe speed limits – driving too fast or too slow can increase your chance of being in a collision.
- Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
- October Safety Tip- According to the Occupational Safety and Health Association, falls were the leading cause of death in the construction industry between 2003 and 2013. It is imperative that employers plan ahead of construction work to understand what equipment will be needed to assist workers who are working at dangerous heights. Employers must also provide proper fall protection and equipment so that workers can adequately and safely do their jobs. It is also vital that employers train their employees on how to use and set up the equipment and to ensure that workers are educated on the importance of following safety procedures.
September Safety Tips- September is back to school month. There are several ways to keep your
child safe as the school year commences. Here are five safety tips to
help keep your child safe:
- Choose a safe route to school for your child.
- Teach your child not to talk to strangers.
- Use the buddy system.
- Make sure your child knows their information.
- Make sure they lock the doors to their home if they are home alone.
Summer Season Safety- July Safety Tip- As the seasons turn to summer, children spend more time
outside. There as some simple rules to keep your children safe:
- Your child should know his/her name, phone number and address
- Do not walk off the yard alone
- Do not experiment with fire
- Never go anywhere with a stranger
- Always go around fences, do not climb them.
National Water Safety Month- May Safety Tip- Summer is here, and scores of children will be swimming
in pools across the nation. The smartest way to keep your kids safe is
to enroll them in age-appropriate swimming lessons, but it is also important
to follow these water safety tips whenever you're near any body of water:
- Swim in lifeguard-supervised areas
- Never swim alone
- Never leave a young child unattended near water
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets
- Enforce water safety rules consistently and constantly!
- Most boating fatalities occur from drowning, but BUI accidents are a common issue as well. Avoid drinking while on the water: alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
Parking Lot Safety- April Safety Tip- Many employees begin and end their workday in parking
lots, but they may overlook the potential dangers of the area. Employees
should approach parking lots the same way they would any street or intersection.
When walking in a parking lot, we recommend the following:
- Watch for vehicles and check your surroundings.
- Never assume a driver can or will see you.
- Always look both ways before crossing, and use sidewalks when available.
- Avoid walking between parked cars - use the lot’s main aisles instead.
- Walk in groups so it’s easier for drivers to see you.
- Wear appropriate shoes in inclement weather
- Park in spots with less vehicle and foot traffic, and always watch for pedestrians.
- Avoid driving in reverse when possible. Instead, pull all the way through a parking spot to avoid backing out and dealing with blind spots.
- Drive slowly – no faster than 10 mph. Drive even slower in bad weather, and remember that vehicles tend to skid in wet weather.
- Be mindful of tight spaces and low clearance.
- "Buckle Up"- March Safety Tip- It’s important to understand the proper seat belt fit and position for your kids and yourself, and to make sure everyone buckles up every time. Children under 13 should ride in the back seat for maximum safety. All children younger than 8 years old or under 4’9” in height are required to be in the appropriate child safety seat system whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle.
- "Watch for Sports Head Injuries to Your Child" - February Safety Tip- If your child gets hit on the head, do not assume he just had his bell rung, or she was just dinged. Concussions are very serious and always require medical attention. Research indicates most children and teens who have a concussion feel better within a couple of weeks. However, for some, symptoms may last for months or longer and can lead to short- and long-term problems affecting how they think, act, learn and feel. Following a concussion, athletes of all ages are advised to undergo a series of steps before returning to play: rest, then light exercise and sport-specific training. Only then should they be cleared to resume contact drills. Make sure all coaches know how to recognize the signs of a concussion and have a plan in case of emergency. Signs and symptoms of concussion include: Confusion, Forgetfulness, Glassy eyes, Disorientation, Clumsiness or poor balance, Slowed speech and Changes in mood, behavior or personality
- "Fire a Leading Cause of Death for Kids"- January Safety Tip- According to the National Safety Institute, over the past several decades, deaths from home structure fires in the United States have steadily gone down – from 5,200 in 1980 to 2,755 in 2013, according to Injury Facts 2016®. But even one death from a preventable fire is too many. While fire doesn't discriminate by age, it is the third leading cause of death for children ages 2 to 14. In 2013, 202 children in this age group died from fire and smoke inhalation. As we look at the causes of home structure fires – smoking, heating equipment, electricity – all major causes have decreased, except for one. Candle-related fires are up 125%. Most deaths from fire occurred during the fall and winter months, which includes the candle-heavy holiday season. NSC provides the following tips to keep your home safe from fire: Install both types of smoke alarms (ionization and photoelectric) and carbon monoxide alarms; change the batteries at least once a year in these devices, Plan – and practice – an escape route and agree on a meeting place outside of your home; be prepared to assist young children, family members with special needs and pets, Know two ways out of every room in the home, Learn how to use your fire extinguisher, If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll, When evacuating, if door handles are hot, pick an alternate route; learn two ways out of every room and Leave your house and call for help; do not go back to help someone else.
- "Speed Limit Safety Tip"- In December for all those driving in the City of Boston in 2017, a new default speed limit will take effect. Boston's City Council recently passed a local ordinance declaring 25 mile per hour default speed limit on otherwise unmarked city streets. Currently that default limit is 30 miles per hour. The new speed limits will take effect starting next year. The new limits apply only to city streets, and does not include state-owned roadways.
- "Workplace Safety Tips"- November is Workplace Safety Month. OSHA reported that in 2010, 4690 workers were killed on the job. Eighteen percent of those deaths occurred in the construction trades. OSHA concluded that 437 of the 774 deaths in construction that year could have been prevented by keeping workplace safety tips in mind on the job. No matter what industry you work in, applying safety awareness prevent accidents. Tips for Avoiding Slips and Falls: Falls are the leading cause of injury in the workplace. Keep these tips in mind to avoid an injury: As you walk, keep an eye on the floor in front of you for spills, If you see a spill, never just walk by it. Always clean it up or call someone to clean it up, Wear nonskid shoes when you work in kitchens, outdoors, or any other place where you will commonly be walking on slippery surfaces, Never climb on shelving units or storage units to get things. Use only approved ladders, Never lean on railings, even if they look solid. They could be improperly secured, and you could fall & Always use safety harnesses when working at heights.
- "Baby Safety” - September is Baby Safety Month. One important area of baby safety is being informed of product recall. As such, an important safety tip for parents is to complete and return registration cards for purchased products used for your baby.
- “Dog Safety” - August is the month known as the dog days of summer. Due to the excessive, dog safety is as important as ever. Here are some tips for keeping your pet safe: Never leave your dog in a hot car, Make sure your dog is protected from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, Keep your dog’s paws cool (stay off hot asphalt and metal), Access to fresh drinking water and shade and Give your dog his own “kiddy pool”. Perhaps the most important tip is to pay attention to your dog – you’ll know when he seems uncomfortable. Summer can be a great time to spend with your dog, but it’s important to keep these tips in mind.
- "Heat Waves Safety Tips" - July in New England brings the first heat waves of the summer season. Here are some safety tips to ensure a safe summer: Always put on sunblock before leaving the house, Wear a hat when you go outside, Stay hydrated because by the time you realize you are not hydrated it is too late; As a general rule, always drink more water than you think you need, Keep children away from gas and charcoal grills, Wear sunglasses with UV protection, If you are going on an extended trip contact the post office to hold your mail so potential burglars do not become aware you may not be home and If you are taking an extended trip, join AAA just in case you need emergency roadside assistance.
- “National Safety Month” - As everyone begins their summer it is important to remember that June is National Safety Month. One of the purposes June as safety month is to ensure safe practices in the workplace. One of the best ways to prevent accidents or injuries is to assure that all employees are properly trained. Any person that is required to use tools, machines or other equipment while working should also be taught how to properly work them. Supervisors and managers should also explain what types of injuries could occur from misuse and how to handle the situation if an injury does happen. The importance of a clean work environment cannot be overestimated. A clean workplace will make it easier to locate important equipment and safety gear. The floor should be kept free of clutter or debris. They should also be cleaned at least once daily or more depending on the job.
- “Memorial Day Safety Tips” - May is the month of Memorial Day. In New England, that means plenty of outdoor activities. Consider these safety tips as you plan your holiday: #1 Food Safety- It's always important to thoroughly cook foods, especially when you're grilling with ground beef, poultry, and pork. #2 Fire Safety- Be sure to clean your grill before using it. #3 Sun Safety- Use plenty of sunblock and stay hydrated. Sunglasses and hats can help. #4 Water Safety- Do not take your eyes off children near swimming areas. Stay a safe distance away from motor boats if swimming. #5 Travel Safety- Before hitting the road make sure your vehicle has been serviced. Always wear your seatbelt and never drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking.
- "Child Safety Tips" - April is a month that New Englanders feel they are finally getting some nice weather after a long winter. This can lead to children playing near windows which could lead to unwanted injuries. The following safety tips will help to provide a safe environment for your family. Always supervise children and keep their play area away from windows. Keep windows closed and locked when children are present. If windows are open, make sure children can't reach them. For a double-hung window on an upper floor, open the top sash for ventilation and keep the bottom sash closed. Screens keep bugs out, but they do not keep children in. Keep furniture away from windows as they could tempt a curious child to climb and potentially fall. Don't allow children to jump on beds or other furniture. If you have young children at home, consider installing an ASTM-approved limited-opening hardware. This feature only allows the window to be opened a few inches.
"Work-Related Eye injuries" - March is the month for focusing on eye safety. About 2,000 eye injuries
occur in the workplace on a daily basis, and 10 percent of them require
missed work days to recover, according to a study by Oregon State University.
Of the total amount of work-related eye injuries, 10 to 20 percent will
cause partial and/or permanent vision loss. While eye injuries are associated
with industrial or construction trades, nearly 40 percent of work-related
eye injuries happen in office settings, research labs, and healthcare
businesses. Flying objects, tools, particles, chemicals, and radiation
are the leading causes of impaired vision. The worst part? Basic safety
practices and appropriate protective eyewear could prevent virtually every
kind of eye accident. We are taking the month of March to remind you of
a few tips to help protect your eyes while on the job.
- Wear the safest possible eye protection for your worksite, even if you are just passing through a hazardous area.
- If working where there are harmful particles or heavy dust, wear glasses with side shields for protection from debris.
- Always wear goggles to protect from splashing when working with liquid chemicals.
- When working around hazardous radiation like welding or lasers, use special-purpose goggles and head protection designed specifically for the task.
"Heating Equipment Safety"- Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. During February,
some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening.
Flammable items should be kept at least three feet away from any heating
equipment such as fireplaces, wood stoves, furnaces, and even portable
- Establish a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Do not treat your oven as a heater
- Inspect your heating equipment regularly and have your chimneys cleaned by a qualified professional every year
- Turn off portable heaters when not occupying a room or before going to bed
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.
- Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
"Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Safety"- According to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January
is the worst time of year for carbon monoxide poisoning. Approximately
two people die each day from carbon-monoxide poisoning in January alone.
There are certain steps that you and your family should take to give to
keep you safe from potential carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Have your heating system inspected each year by a qualified technician;
- Install carbon monoxide detectors installed on every level of your home or apartment;
- Confirm each year that the detector is working and if battery operated install new batteries each winter;
- Don’t let cars idle in the garage;
- Don’t heat your home with a gas oven;
- Don’t burn anything in a an unvented fireplace or stove.
- "Holiday Safety"- November is an exciting holiday month. I few simple tips can make it a safe month as well. If you are traveling to the airport around Thanksgiving plan on leaving early so as to alleviate any worries about not arriving on time since this is a very busy travel period. If traveling by car, make sure to start your trip with a full tank of gas. If you are cooking for others, follow all cooking instructions for your turkey to avoid any possibility of food poisoning.
- "Holiday Safety II"- December as we approach the holiday season we can be lulled into a sense that all is well. However, burglars, muggers and pickpockets see the holiday season as an opportunity to line their pockets with your good fortune. Click here for more detailed safety tips whether you are traveling, out for the evening or shopping.
- "Fire Prevention"- October is Fire Prevention Month. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that fires kill more than 4,000 Americans each year and approximately injure 20,000 more. There are several steps you can take to keep you and your family safe this month. Costumes for children should be flame retardant. Check your smoke detectors and check the batteries if detectors are not hard wired. Sweep your chimney and keep heaters away from flammable materials. It’s also a good idea to clear your roof and gutters of leaves and pine needles. If you are illuminating jack-o-lanterns use flashlights instead of candles.
- "Teenage Driver Collisions"- Teenage driver automobile collisions spike in September as many teens start to drive to school. There are many ways for teens to avoid these possible collisions. Staying off cell phones while driving, limiting night driving and setting strict rules for limiting passengers are all ways to prevent injury.
- "Grill Safety"- August is a great month for barbeques. However, with barbeques comes fire. A few safety tips can make for a safe an enjoyable summer. You should first make sure that the grill is on even ground. Inspect all hoses and gas lines. Check for potential gas leaks. Also, the grill should be checked for cleanliness so as to prevent grease fires and flare ups. Lastly, the grill should positioned away from play areas and high foot traffic areas.
- "Fourth of July Celebrations"- July welcomes in a host of Fourth of July celebrations. Fireworks and barbeques can give rise to unwanted fires. These fires can be costly not only to the government and insurance companies but to families who lose possessions or worse incur disfiguring injuries or death. Always keep fire extinguishers on hand. Alcohol should be kept away from children. Parents should watch small children to prevent swallowing and choking on small balloons or fireworks. Be safe and enjoy the holiday.
- "Ladder Safety" - Entering June after a long winter, homeowner’s and repairman are starting to climb onto roofs to do repairs and inspect damages. This is a time to take ladder safety very seriously. Ladders which haven’t been used since last season should be checked to make sure they are in proper working order before usage. Broken rungs, parts, missing bolts and other hazards should be evaluated carefully. Always make sure the ladder is on solid footing before ascending.
- "People are Finally Spending More Time Outside"- May is a month where people are finally spending more time outside. Motorists should be especially careful of joggers and small children running into streets as well as darting animals. Now is also a good time to change windshield wipers and have your tires checked for winter wear and pothole damage.
- "Be Cautious When Driving in the Rain" - April is the month for showers. This can lead to the possibility of hydroplaning if you are driving. Often, light showers mixed with oil on the road can lead to skidding, especially during the first 5 minutes of a shower. The faster one goes, the greater the likelihood of hydroplaning. Extra care should be used when entering or existing a highway ramp where the possibility of stopping abruptly may cause a skid. Always adjust your speed for road conditions regardless of the posted speed limit.
- "Watch out for Black Ice" - During the month of March there is a great deal of thawing and re-freezing. This can lead to black ice on the road way as well as sidewalks, driveways and walkways. Better to proceed with caution when there is even the possibility of black ice in front of you. Even if you are driving within the speed limit you must account for the road conditions.
- "Watch and Take Care of Your Back" - With lots of snow to shovel this month plan on stretching and warming up before and after shoveling. Also, pay extra attention to snow plows and other vehicles that may not be able to see you due to oversized snow banks.