Nov 27 2009

Black Friday Violence is Back

It’s safe to say that when you think of Black Friday, you think about tons of sales to save you money on holiday shopping. Unfortunately, some of these savings come with a high price. Last year on Black Friday a Wal-Mart security guard was trampled to death by overly eager shoppers trying to make the most out of the potential savings that awaited them. This particular incident received news coverage all over the U.S. and even internationally in hopes of getting people to realize that no amount of financial savings is worth someone’s life.

But apparently not everyone got the message. There have been multiple reports of violent incidents occurring across the country just to save a buck. In a Sheboygan, Wisconsin Wal-Mart this morning police were called in a scuffle broke out over discounted GPS units. Another case in Centennial, Colorado Toys ‘R’ Us resulted in a 78-year-old woman being thrown to the floor. 14 Police patrol cars were called to another Toys ‘R’ Us in Jantzen Beach, Oregon when a physicla dispute took place amongst 100 shoppers who had been waiting since midnight.

Shoppers also need to be aware of the added risk that lies ahead of them on the road. Contrary to popular belief  the most dangerous holiday to be driving is not New Years’ but actually Thanksgiving. This is not that surprising when you put all elements into consideration and can be used when driving during the rest of the holiday season:

The one thing to learn from all of this is that Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude for what you have, not to hurt others in order to get what you want.

Nov 23 2009

Shooting for Safety

Gun No matter what your opinion is on the right to bear arms one thing is for certain – as long as gun ownership exists, gun safety is necessary. Gun safety is a valid concern for everyone because it can affect everyone. Individuals with high risk jobs (such as convenience store clerks and security guards), as well as people who simply own guns for either protection or a hobby, knowing the proper way to handle and care for a firearm is only being responsible.

Accidental shootings have been a long-standing issue and taking proper safety measures with any weapon is extremely important to avoid injury or death. Taking SafetySkills™ new and free Gun Safety course will help prevent accidental shootings, like the ones that have been making headlines. 

Just last month, John Tabutt of Winter Springs, Florida accidentally shot and killed his fiancee, Nancy Dinsmore, when he mistook her for an intruder on the eve of their wedding. Tabutt said that he thought that she was laying next to him in bed at the time.  

This summer another accidental domestic shooting occurred in San Miguel, California. On July 9, 2009, John Aaron Norris tripped on the stairs while emptying his gun when his dog ran under his feet causing the gun to go off. Norris’ wife, Tasha Dawn Norris, was fatally shot while sitting on the couch.

 These two incidents alone prove that more gun safety courses need to be taken by those with guns, not to mention the added concern of what could happen with children in the home. According to the National Safety Council, 8 children die each year in an accidental shooting.
“I think that much of the fear about guns in the general public comes from misunderstandings and the lack of education on the subject,” said Melissa Kaupke, mother and gun owner. “The more familiar one is with how they work and how to handle them, the less chance of any accident.”

To learn more about gun safety and to take SafetySkills™ free Gun Safety course, go to

Nov 20 2009

That tattoo may not be the only thing that you’re stuck with for life.


You really have to give it to people that get tattoos – they know how to commit. Without medical removal procedures, tattoos will last for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, so do the bloodborne diseases that can be transmitted during tattooing. That’s why safety in the tattoo and body art industry is so important.  No one should ever be faced with getting an incurable disease because they committed to some body art.

As a huge fan of tattoos and piercings, I always make sure everything is safe before I let someone stick me. One careless decision can haunt you the rest of your life, and nothing could be more haunting than an incurable disease like HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis.

Here are some tips to ensure your safety while getting a tattoo or body piercing:

  1. Always make sure your tattoo artist or body piercing professional uses gloves and needles from an unopened package.
  2. Look at your surroundings. If it looks dirty, don’t let them stick a needle in your body because it could be dirty, too.
  3.  You should always ask questions about the shop’s safety precautions and procedures. They won’t mind at all and if they do, you don’t want to be there. 

There are low-cost training resources available to tattoo studios to help them protect their artists and customers.  SafetySkills™ has an online Tattoo and Body Piercing Safety Training Series that even has a free introductory Tattoo Safety Awareness course.

Online training can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection, making it convenient to learn about tattoo safety from work or home, depending on each tattoo artist’s schedule.  Click here for more information on these  online Tattoo and Body Piercing courses:

  • Tattoo Safety Awareness (free)
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Basic First Aid
  • CPR Refresher

Nov 9 2009

Violence in the Workplace is Taking its Toll

These past two days have been horrific across the U.S. The stunning tragedy at Fort Hood claiming the lives of 13 people along with many injured, and then today’s workplace shooting in Orlando. All that seems to come to mind is, what is wrong with people today and why is it that signs of danger get ignored until it is too late?

091105-hassan_standardIn Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m. suspected shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, gunned down the very soldiers who he was there to help. 13 have died and 30 are seriously wounded. So what made this man crack to the point of violence and were there any signs that could have been an indication of what was to come?

It was reported by several individuals that Hasan was frequently expressing anger about his upcoming deployment. He was also involved in many office arguments about his disapproval of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. His final and most explosive outburst took the lives of his fellow soldiers and he now lies in a hospital bed breathing on a ventilator. Now don’t get me wrong, not foreseeing the future is nobody’s fault in this tragic situation. But being aware and alert to possible dangers is important to everyone. Unfortunately, it seems that our soldiers can’t even feel safe on their own base. It’s hard enough to have to become mentally prepared for the dangers of war without having to worry about your safety at home.

OrlandoShootingAs if that wasn’t enough horror for one week, another shooting occured in Orlando, Florida at the office of Reynolds, Smith and Hills. This shooting left Otis Beckford, 26, dead and five others injured. This incident reportedly occured due to the anger of disgruntled former employee, Jason Rodriguez. Rodriguez is currently in police custody facing a charge of first-degree murder.

With two fatal episodes of workplace violence taking place within two days, one has to wonder – could anything have been done to prevent such tragedies? From 1992 to 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) found that 11,613 workplace homicides took place. Many have even indicated that this type of violence is expected to grow due to the stress of the economy and job market. Employers need to take the extra time to ensure their employees’ safety by taking extra security precautions as well as training efforts.

Here are some helpful tips on creating a safer work environment to avoid workplace violence:

  • Do thorough background checks on employees. Many employers currently do this, but some have become more lax due to financial reasons. If you find out that a potential employee has a violent past, it may be in everyone’s best interest if you pass.
  • Provide proper training. All employees should be administered not only training for the physical hazards of their jobs, but the emotional ones as well. There is a reason companies have a Human Resources department. Take advantage of all of the recommended HR training, such as Violence in the Workplace.
  • Create an open-door policy and protocols for safety concerns. Make sure that employees feel safe when coming to a supervisor about a possible safety issue. All discussions should be respected and stay confidential. Create a protocol for reporting a concern for violence and follow-up on the matter with discretion.
  • Have a no tolerance policy. Never condone or forgive a violent matter of any kind in your workplace. It doesn’t matter how minor the incident or if it was a joke gone awry. This needs to be embedded into the minds of your staff that your number one concern is their safety.
  • Get security. Get some type of security in your workplace. This can mean an actual security guard, a monitoring system or a personal keycode system that can be removed upon the termination of an employee. The harder it is for a disgruntled employee to get into the building, the less likely they will try.

Nov 4 2009

Forklift accident that could ruin your business!

I think this video says it all – provide forklift training for your staff!  Oh, and if you’re company sells alcohol, make sure that the workers aren’t keeping the party going while on the clock.

Nov 4 2009

Parking for Dummies

This video won’t teach anyone to park a car, but it definitely lets us know that we are surrounded by dummies who need to take a driver safety course or two. This driver, a 62 year-old woman, was arrested after completing this stellar parking job and leaving the scene of the crime. This video reminds us all that driver safety is extremely important because this could have been a tragic situation if the owners of those cars were inside.