According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electric-related fires are the third leading cause for fires in the United States. Electrical failure or malfunction served as the ignition source for a yearly average of 45,210 home fires, resulting in 420 deaths, 1,370 injuries and over $1.4 billion in property damage per year between 2010 and 2014. Arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) circuits and receptacles can prevent an estimated 52% of these fires. Similar to efforts in preventing electrocutions and childhood shocks and burns, education for the public on fire prevention with new electrical technologies required by the National Electrical Code can help save numerous lives and property.
The inspiration for this week's safety blog topic was a result of an accident I witnessed on my way in to work recently. I was almost to the Thruway entrance and was nearly cut off by an electrical contractor's truck; which a minute later failed to yield right of way and made a left turn directly into the driver's side of an oncoming pickup truck. The pickup truck was pushed nearly 20 feet, and the explosion of glass was so incredible I was sure that the driver was going to need medical assistance. As I pulled to the side of the road and dialed 911 I saw both drivers exit their vehicles; the pickup truck driver was crawling out of the passenger side of his. I crossed the street to make sure everyone was ok and I heard the electrical contractor state to another witness "I guess I was just distracted by the thoughts of all I had to do at work today."
Crystalline silica is a common mineral in the earth's crust, and is found in many types of rock including sand, quartz, and granite. When you inhale crystalline silica, the lung tissue reacts by developing fibrous tissue around trapped silica particles. Silica is present in both work and non-work environments, and exposure to crystalline silica dust has long been known to cause a disease called silicosis.
With fall upon us, I sit drinking my coffee on the back porch listening to the rustling of the leaves and can't help but get the itch to string up my bow, clean my gun and get my gear treated. September is a month when all hunters fill the shops, by their tags and stock the cabin. Countless times though, a number of hunters will completely disregard their own safety in the hopes that the freezer back at home will once again be full. As one strolls through the aisles of hunting gear, the vendors pile on the importance of high visibility and keeping your feet dry. However, one hazard still looms, and is the leading cause of hunting related injuries and deaths nationwide.