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Environmental Health and Safety Blog | EHSWire

Top 10: Water Safety at Work and Play

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Jul 21, 2009 10:31:34 AM

Capt. John DeFillippo, CHMP, EMT-B

The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. It’s never too late and kids should learn to treat the water with respect at an early age. As a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, an EMT and a licensed captain working in marine salvage, I’ve seen my share of tragedies on the water. Sadly, nearly all were avoidable. Here are some tips to help you stay safe in and on the water this summer when on and off the clock.

At Play

1. Swim in a supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present and never swim alone.

2. Enter the water feet first. Enter the water headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving .

3. Adults should never leave a child unobserved around water. Practice "reach supervision" by staying within an arm's length when around the water.

4. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. You can't swim against a rip, don’t’ try.

5. Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.

6. If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom, and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.

7. Take a Safe Boating Course. Many states now require this for operation of vessels, including personal water craft or jet-skies. Check your local laws.

8. Learn CPR and Basic First Aid. Knowing what to do in an emergency can save a life.

9. Leave water rescue to those who are trained. Too many would-be rescuers become victims themselves.

At Work

10. Do you or your employees work on, near or over water? Did you know that there are specific OSHA regulations covering the safety of such workers including required training and protective equipment? If you have any questions or you’re not sure, reply to this post or visit our Twitter page - @Emilcott and send a DM.

Topics: General Industry H&S, Construction H&S, H&S Training, Compliance, worker safety, Occupational Health, Occupational Safety, Safety Training in Spanish, water safety, EMT

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