April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Thousands die needlessly each year because people continue to use their cell phones while driving. Join the National Safety Council this April in urging those you care about to:

  • Stop using cell phones while driving
  • Inform people who call you while driving that you'd be happy to continue the conversation once they have reached their destination
  • Share what you know about the dangers of cell phone distracted driving

Read more

March is Eye Safety Month

Eye Safety Month

More than 2,000 eye injuries occur on the job site every day and about one in 10 of them require missed work days to recover. Of the total amount of work-related eye injuries, 10 to 20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss in the affected employees.

And, while many people think that eye injuries primarily occur in manufacturing, construction or trade jobs, nearly 40 percent of work-related eye injuries occur in offices, healthcare facilities, laboratories and similar environments.

Flying objects, tools, particles, chemicals and harmful radiation, are the causes of most eye injuries. And in many cases, implementing safe work practices and utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment could prevent them entirely.

March is Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month and that is why we are taking this opportunity to remind you of a few tips to help protect your eyes while on the job.

  • Always wear the appropriate safety eyewear for your job site or role, even if you are just passing through a hazardous area.
  • If working in an area with particles or dust, be sure to wear safety glasses with side shields to protect against flying objects.
  • When working with chemicals, always wear safety goggles or face shields to protect against splashing.
  • When working around hazardous radiation like welding, lasers or fiber optics, be sure to use special-purpose safety goggles and helmets designed specifically for the task.

So remember - something as simple as putting on a pair of safety glasses can prevent serious eye injuries. These injuries are painful, cause many lost workdays and sometimes lead to permanent vision loss. So during the month of March, and year round, remember to wear your safety glasses! 

Laboratory Safety Class - sign up now!

There will be a Laboratory Safety class on Wednesday, September 21, from 10:00 to 11:50 am.  Anyone who works in a lab should plan to attend.  The class will be in Kelley Engineering Center (KEC) 1001.  Pre-register by emailing [email protected].

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Selection Guides

These guides, offered by Grainger, contain good general information to assist in the selection of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.  PPE may be purchased from many sources, including but not limited to Grainger.

http://www.labsafety.com/refinfo/ezfacts/default.htm (scroll down to "Personal Protection")


Contact Environmental Health and Safety if you have further questions about PPE.

Heads Up! Several New Laws Aimed at Improving Safety

Several new laws going into effect on January 1, 2010 are aimed at making roads safer for travelers of all kinds: pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and passengers. Here’s an overview of several specific laws:
‘Move Over’ law. The Move Over law requires a motorist to move over to another lane if there is an emergency vehicle on the shoulder with its lights flashing. If you cannot move over safely (for example, there is a big truck in the next lane or it’s a two-lane road), you are required to slow down. For 2010, the law has added two types of vehicles to the list of “emergency vehicles” requiring motorists to move over or slow down: 1) roadside assistance vehicles; and 2) tow trucks. In addition, the law clarifies that “slow down” means slowing down to at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit.
Cell phone use. A new law bans using mobile communications devices while driving unless you are using a hands-free device (drivers under 18 are banned from using any kind of mobile communications device whether it is hands free or not). The law is intended to improve safety on Oregon roads by discouraging distracted driving. There are some exceptions to the ban, such as for those using a mobile communications device while driving if the vehicle is necessary for the person’s job, or for emergencies. In general, however, drivers should stay focused on the driving task and avoid distractions of any kind.
Motorcycle endorsement. The new law increases the penalty for riding a motorcycle without a motorcycle endorsement from a Class B ($360) to a Class A ($720) violation. The law also requires a court to suspend the fine for the violation if the rider completes training and receives a motorcycle endorsement within 120 days of sentencing. For information on how to get a motorcycle endorsement, visit the DMV Web site,
www.oregondmv.com. For information on Oregon’s approved motorcycle rider education courses, visit the TEAM Oregon Web site, www.team-oregon.org.
Motorcycle training. The new law phases in the requirement that all new motorcycle riders complete an ODOT-approved motorcycle safety course before they can be issued a motorcycle endorsement by DMV. Beginning Jan 1, 2011, all new motorcycle riders under the age of 31 must complete the TEAM Oregon basic rider training course as part of the endorsement process unless they have a valid motorcycle-endorsed license from another state. The knowledge test and on-cycle drive test option, as well as the intermediate rider course and knowledge test option, will not be available to riders under age 31. Additional age groups will be phased-in.

For information on how to get a motorcycle endorsement, visit the DMV Web site, www.oregondmv.com. For information on Oregon’s approved motorcycle rider education courses, visit the TEAM Oregon Web site, www.team-oregon.org.
DUII penalties. A revised law allows a greater minimum fine for a person convicted of DUII with a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or higher. The new minimum is $2,000. Previously, there wasn’t a different fine based on BAC level.

Additional information may be found at:  http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT

Winter Driving Safety Tips - Remind Yourself

 How should you prepare yourself for winter driving?

 Plan your driving in advance.

  • Avoid driving when fatigued.
  • Contact your provincial "Road Reports" to get updates regarding road conditions in the region to which you are going.
  • Check weather conditions for your travel route (and time) before you begin driving.
  • Plan your arrival time at a destination by taking into account any delays due to slower traffic, reduced visibility, roadblocks, abandoned automobiles, collisions, etc.
  • Inform someone of your route and planned arrival time.
  • Choose warm and comfortable clothing. If you need to remove outdoor clothing later while driving, STOP the vehicle in a safe spot.
  • Warm up your vehicle BEFORE driving off. It reduces moisture condensing on the inside of the windows.
  • NEVER warm up your vehicle in a closed garage.
  • Remove snow and ice from your vehicle. It helps to see and, equally important, to be seen.
  • Wear sunglasses on bright sunny days.
  • Bring a cell phone if you have one but do not leave it in the car as the battery will freeze.

How should you drive in winter weather?


  • Buckle up before you start driving. Keep your seat belt buckled at all times.
  • SLOW DOWN! - posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions. Driving at reduced speeds is the best precautionary measure against any misfortune while driving on slippery roads. "Black ice" is invisible.
  • Be alert. Black ice will make a road look like shiney new asphalt. Pavement should look grey-white in winter.
  • Do not use cruise control. Winter driving requires you to be in full control at all times.
  • Reduce your speed while approaching intersections covered with ice or snow.
  • Allow for extra travelling time or even consider delaying a trip if the weather is inclement.
  • Drive with low-beam headlights on. Not only are they brighter than daytime running lights but turning them on also activates the tail lights. This makes your vehicle more visible.
  • Lengthen your following distance behind the vehicle ahead of you. Stopping distance on an icy road is double that of stopping on a dry one. For example, from around 45 meters (140 ft) at the speed of 60 km/h, to 80 meters (over 260 ft) on an icy road surface.
  • Stay in the right-hand lane except when passing and use turn signals when changing lanes.
  • Steer with smooth and precise movements. Changing lanes too quickly and jerky steering while braking or accelerating can cause skidding.
  • Be aware and slow down when you see a sign warning that you are approaching a bridge. Steel and concrete bridges are likely to be icy even when there is no ice on the asphalt surface, (because bridges over open air cool down faster than roads which tend to be insulated somewhat by solid ground.)
  • Consider getting off the road before getting stranded if the weather is worsening.
  • Be patient and pass other cars only when it is safe to do so.

© 2009 CLMI - Safety Training           December E-newsletter            December 30, 2009



Welcome to the new Environmental Health and Safety website!

The EH&S website has been upgraded for easier access to important information.  Content will continue to be added to the site over the next several months.  Announcements will be updated regularly - be sure to bookmark and check this site often. 

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