Proper preparation makes every job safer

It’s hard to believe that it is almost the middle of September. Wow are the days just flying by. Students have settled into the school routine. After school activities have begun and yes, even hockey season is back. Cooler mornings and the overheard honking of geese signal that fall is here.

There is sense of urgency by our farmers to get the crop cut and in the bin. With the urgency comes long days, likely longer nights and hopefully no major breakdowns. All that stress might lead to taking a short cut just to get done. For all our farmers and farm families, be sure to get plenty of rest. The stress of harvest might be overwhelming. Know who to call and when to call to get that important help. Please remember to turn equipment off be servicing; keep small children and pets away from large equipment; always share where you are working and a time to expect you back at the house.

Some of you might shrug your shoulders and say what could go wrong with a ladder? How about falling? Seems like a big deal to me! Here are some basic ladder safety tips to consider before stepping up to wash windows, clean eaves or make some house repairs.

•   Is the ladder tall enough to reach to avoid standing on the very top rung of the ladder?
•   Do I have the right ladder? For example, an extension ladder is great for added heights.
•   Position the ladder on solid ground; braced properly if needed – never place the ladder onto another surface like a table or pallets to make it reach. Silly as it sounds, it’s been done!
•   A ladder is not designed to be used as scaffolding i.e., to lay across another surface as a work platform.
•   Be sure your ladder is properly locked into place before stepping onto it. Warning/instruction labels on the ladder give you additional information on how to use it safely.
•   Once on the ladder never overreach to get something. Get down, reposition the ladder, and head back up!
•   If using the ladder to head up onto your roof for work. Please remember that there are added safety precautions needed that should include a proper safety harness.
•   Pulling up items to the roof can be placed into a bucket/basket and a rope freeing your hands to safely hang onto the ladder.
•   Lastly, good footwear. Flip flops and sandals are not designed for ladder use!

Wearing the right gear, helmets, skates, shoulder pads, both for size and fit of the participant, is essential. Make sure that the gear is in good condition, not worn out and not expired. Proper fitting equipment in any sport is essential for safety and reducing, if not preventing, severe injury. Maybe your child has grown over the summer but teach them to take care of their sport equipment. Dropping or kicking a helmet across the garage floor is certainly not taking care of it.

Getting ready for winter ahead, and sadly yes, it is coming, time to get your furnace checked. Simple things you can do like checking the chimney for obstructions and changing the furnace filter are easy things you can do. A high efficiency furnace may require a licensed contractor to ensure its safe operation. Time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Do you have one and we hope more than one? Change the batteries too! Fall is fast approaching – get ready. Have a safe day!