Your Personal Safety

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Your Personal Safety


The world we live in today is much safer than the one known by your
parents and grandparents. Even considering the constant bombardment of news
to the contrary, the government and industry have taken some major steps to
protect us all. In almost everything we do, we are surrounded by protection
based on safety experience from the past.

You'll be safer - - but only if you have a strong feeling for safety.
Why? Because many of the safety factors developed to protect you function
only if you do something about them. Do you buckle your seat belt every time
you get in the car? Do you cross the street at crosswalks instead of
jaywalking? Do you walk or jog on the left side of the road so that you are
facing oncoming traffic? These are just a few of the things that you know and
can do something about.

We all must acknowledge the fact that we bear some of the
responsibility for making our environment safe and safety is thinking about
other people, too. Because in this safety awareness, we can take steps to
help others. For instance, a jagged piece of metal and certain types of
broken bottles on the street can cause tire problems to cars. Broken glass on
the beach might also send someone to the hospital for stitches. When you take
time to clean up things such as broken bottles, etc., you're taking a big
step toward protecting others.

An accident is something that happens to you and to others. It's easy
to think that these accidents just happen. Buy they don't. They're not just
bad luck or bad breaks that come to you out of nowhere. An accident is never
supposed to happen. It isn't planned and it isn't deliberate. Accidents are

An accident can be caused by an unsafe condition. Look at your
automobile. It can be a typical example of an unsafe condition. Bad brakes
and unsafe tires, faulty headlights, loose steering, and, yes, even dirty
windshields and side windows can cause accidents, and they are all unsafe
conditions. And along this same line, we need to consider unsafe acts as also
contributing to the cause of accidents. These are not "conditions."
They are what you, or someone else, does or doesn't do. A good example is
jaywalking. You know it's dangerous to walk out between parked cars to cross
the street, but it's easier than walking down to the next corner.

Both unsafe conditions and unsafe actions exist, and either one can
cause accidents. But you can put the two together, as well. That car with the
poor brakes, and all the other unsafe conditions, isn't unsafe at all until
someone starts to use it. It's the act of using that causes the accident. Oh
sure, the car was at fault, but the driver of that car was the ultimate cause
of the accident.

You will find many unsafe conditions in your daily life, but most of
them become truly unsafe based on your own actions related to them. What
causes you to act in an unsafe way? Is it carelessness? Poor judgement, were
you at the wrong place at the wrong time?

There's never a total absence of risks in our lives. Risks are
voluntary actions and can be managed. Emergencies can be met and handled, but
it takes know-how and constant awareness. What you can't prevent, you can
usually compensate for or protect against.

Safety experts classify accidents in four broad categories: Motor
vehicle, work and job related, home, and public. The public category excludes
motor vehicle and work accidents in public places. It covers sports and
recreation (swimming, hunting, etc.), air, water, or land transportation
excluding motor vehicle and public building accidents. On the average, there
are 10 accidental deaths and about 1,000 disabling injuries every hour during
the year. About one-half of the deaths occur in motor vehicle accidents while
about one-third of the injuries occur in and around the home.

It's not hard to imagine adding yourself to the accident statistics.
Any day of the week, you'll be swamped with stories in the newspapers and on
television about the many tragic accidents going on all over the country and
it seems to be getting worse all the time. And in every case the victim was
somebody who did not plan or expect that they would be hurt or killed.

In a matter of seconds, everything you were ever going to do and be can
be snuffed out. At the least, you suffer pain and inconvenience from an
accident. At worst, an accident kills or damages you for life.

Safety saves you, but it does more than that. Mix each safety
ingredient with all of your day to day activities. An use common sense in
everything you do.

Safety in your home is a combination of mind and matter. You mind must
be constantly aware of the home safety dangers. The matter is the safety
condition of your home. The safety condition of your home isn't a case of
rebuilding things to make it safe. It's more the disposal of dangerous items,
and a case of good housekeeping. A safe home has a place for everything, and
that along with the right mental attitude about keeping those things in place
is just good housekeeping.

The home is the most frequent place for injury accidents to occur, and
it is second only to motor vehicle accidents for the number of deaths in the
country today. Family members are busier than ever rushing in and out so it's
easy to understand how careless mistakes are often made.

When you read the daily newspaper or watch newscasts on TV, you'll see
that home accidents can be classified in two major ways. There are things
that can totally disrupt your entire community - - such as earthquakes,
tornadoes, storms and floods. And then there are those kinds of accidents
that are centred in your own home, and not involving the whole community.
These are things like fires, local earth sliding, flooding and wind damage.

You will need to consider both types when thinking about safety at
home. For the community - wide disasters, you may or may not receive any
outside help for a considerable period of time, and you must be prepared to
survive on your own home resources. With the second type, your home may be
destroyed, but some help should be there from the outside, early in the

Most cities and communities have some agencies and organisations in
place to assist the public in times of severe emergencies. It is wise for
everyone to do a home safety check on a regular basis and get the family
members involved. Naturally, every family needs to develop its own plan
because every house and every family is different.

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