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Parking Lot Safety

The holiday season brings joy…and safety challenges. Help to protect your loved ones by offering awareness. Whether they are shopping or traveling, the need to be aware in parking lots is critical. We are easily distracted and a reminder of parking lot safety tips can help prevent crime.

Tips to Keep You and Your Valuables Safe

Pedestrians can make themselves easy targets in parking lots. Usually, they don’t even realize it. The following tips can help make you safer in parking lots:

Walking in the Parking Lot

  • Stay alert and walk briskly with your head up and your shoulders back. Criminals look for easy marks, such as people who are slouched over, preoccupied or fumbling with packages.
  • Avoid texting or talking on the phone and walking so that you can see where you’re going and who is coming toward you.
  • Know your surroundings. Look around the parking lot and your vehicle for suspicious people. If you notice odd behavior, inform security or the police immediately.
  • Walk with others when possible.
  • Walk in a well-lit area.
  • Remove your headphones or earbuds while walking through a parking lot. Be aware of noises and movements.
  • Have your keys in your hand and ready to open your vehicle.

When You Get to Your Vehicle

  • Look into your vehicle’s windows and under the body before entering to ensure no one is waiting for you.
  • If someone approaches your vehicle, do not open your door or roll down your window.
  • When you get in your vehicle, lock the doors and start the engine immediately.

If There is Suspicious Activity in the Parking Lot

  • Retreat to a well-populated area and call the police or security.
  • Wait in a safe place until the police or security arrive to survey the area and let you know it is safe to go to your vehicle.
  • If you are nervous about walking to the parking lot alone, ask security to escort you.
  • If you notice someone in or around your vehicle, leave the area quickly and call the police or security. Describe as many details about the individual as you can to the authorities

Safety Tips for Your Thanksgiving

  • Never cut towards yourself. One slip of the knife can cause a horrific injury. While carving a turkey or cutting a pumpkin your free hand should be placed opposite the side that you are carving towards. Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of meat.
  • Keep your cutting area well-lit and dry. Good lighting will help prevent an accidental cut of the finger and making sure your cutting surface is dry will prevent ingredients from slipping while chopping.
  • Keep your knife handles dry. A wet handle can prove slippery and cause your hand to slip down onto the blade resulting in a nasty cut.
  • Keep all cutting utensils sharp. A sharp knife will never need to be forced to cut, chop, carve or slice. A knife too dull to cut properly is still sharp enough to cause an injury.
  • Use an electric knife to ease the carving of the turkey or ham.
  • Use kitchen shears to tackle the job of cutting bones and joints.
  • Leave meat and pumpkin carving to adults. Children have not yet developed the dexterity skills necessary to handle sharp utensils.
  • Lastly, should you cut your finger or your hand, bleeding from minor cuts will often stop on their own by applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth.

Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road

schoolsafety

Things get a little crazy on the roads during the school year: Buses are everywhere, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present—especially before and after school.

If You’re Dropping Off

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

  • Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
  • Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

  • Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
  • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
  • If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door

By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.

In-House Counsel Profile:
Ray Angelini Inc.’s James Merkins

 James J. Merkins, Jr., general counsel of Ray Angelini, Inc.

James J. Merkins, Jr., general counsel of Ray Angelini, Inc.

COMPANY PROFILE

Ray Angelini Inc. (RAI) is a privately held electrical contracting company and solar energy provider based in Sewell, New Jersey. Its clients include data centers, hospitals and utility substations.

Among its projects, the company built and installed a solar- and wind-power system for the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. It provides LED lighting design and retrofits; wireless infrastructure services such as distributed antenna systems and cell tower construction and modifications; and power systems testing and commissioning.

LEGAL TEAM

General counsel James Merkins is the company’s sole attorney, although he presides over administrative staff, project coordinators and the human-resources department.

His work day breaks down into a mix of contract review and negotiation, management of outside counsel and overseeing the company’s insurance program. He is a member of the senior leadership team.

He estimates that he handles about 70 percent of the work in-house, farming out mostly litigation.

OUTSIDE COUNSEL

Merkins has engaged Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young (general corporate and succession planning) and Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman (construction litigation and employment law services.) When looking for outside counsel, Merkins seeks “excellent service at reasonable rates.” He’s also used alternative billing to set price caps on projects.

DAILY DUTIES

Merkins typically arrives at the office by 8 a.m. and does his best to return home by 7 p.m., sometimes with laptop in tow to finish emails or other projects. “Most of my time is spent on contracts and the contract-review process,” he said. “When I joined RAI, I instituted a formal contract review process to streamline activities for better speed, accuracy, and reduction of risk.”

He travels on business less than 10 percent of the time, usually involving dispute resolution, new business presentation or biannual meetings. He reports to founder and president Ray Angelini. He enjoys advising management and negotiating contracts. “I take an active role in all of the company’s litigation.”

ROUTE TO THE TOP

Merkins wanted to be a lawyer since the fourth grade, when a teacher complimented him on his efforts to stay out of trouble. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University and earned his J.D. at Widener University School of Law in 2002. While in law school, Merkins interned at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and after graduation clerked for then Delaware Chief Justice Myron Steele.

He joined Blank Rome, practicing corporate and commercial law, and in 2008 moved to Bouchard Margules & Friedlander in Wilming­ton, Delaware. He joined RAI in 2010 as general counsel. “I had a lunch meeting with Ray Angelini, pitching him for litigation work,” Merkins said, “and it turned into a job offer.”

PERSONAL

The Aston, Pennsylvania, native’s hobbies include jogging, Penn State football and time with the family. He and wife Suzy are parents to Annie (11) and Jimmy (10).

LAST BOOK AND MOVIE

“Paterno Legacy: Enduring Lessons from the Life and Death of My Father,” by Jay Paterno. The last movie he caught was “Home.”

By Richard Acello, The National Law Journal. August 17, 2015

 

North American Clean Energy Magazine Featured Article: Solar Rooftop Installations Demand Safety

Solar power systems have experienced widespread popularity and growth in recent years. in 2010, less than 2,000 MW of solar power was installed, and in 2014 it was projected that over 7,000 MW would be installed. As solar becomes more affordable, more businesses are utilizing it as a way to “go green” and reduce electricity costs. However, installing a solar power system in a place of business may not be as easy as it seems. In fact, one aspect of installation – safety – is critical, not only to ensuring long-term output of the array, but also to keeping the building and workers out of harm’s way.

READ MORE! Click here to download the full article as printed in North American Clean Energy Magazine.

Exercise—Something’s Always Better Than Nothing!

safety515

The following article is excerpted from the Occupational Athletics (OAI) monthly “Partners in Prevention” newsletter. OAI’s mission is “…to provide preventative care utilizing sports medicine principles and lifestyle modification training to create an atmosphere of health, safety, and performance to allow employees to enjoy an enhanced quality of life and reach their retirement—and beyond—successfully! For more information, please visit www.occupationalathletics.com.

It seems one of our favorite sayings here at Occupational Athletics is confirmed to be true; something is always better than nothing! According to The American Heart Association’s journal “Circulation,” even just 10-15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day can make a significant difference compared to doing nothing. They still recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise, but if you do less, it is still beneficial for you!

Also noted in the article:

  • People who do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (or 75 minutes of high intensity) have a 14% lower risk of heart disease compared with sedentary people.
  • There’s a progressive reduction of risk. If you do twice the guidelines (300 minutes), you lower your risk 20%. If you do 750 minutes, risk drops to 25%.

You can up your physical activity in simple ways!

  • While sitting at your computer, take a break every once in a while to stretch – sit up as straight as you can, hold your core tight, and stretch your arms, wrists, shoulder and neck. Then tighten your core and arm muscles and do arm circles.
  • Put some energy into your shopping. (1) Park far away and walk swiftly. (2) Squeeze your glutes and hold your core in firmly. (3) Take the steps. (4) Squeeze your arm muscles to carry your bags.
  • Before you start watching a TV show – commit to doing pushups, sit ups, leg lifts, and floor exercises during the commercials. Each time, try to do a few more than the last!
  • Turn up the music while you’re cleaning the house! It will put pep in your step and will encourage movement. Go up and down the stairs a few times with the laundry basket before you start the load or lift it and lower it on your way to the laundry room.
  • Play with kids! Kids don’t care what activity they’re doing; they just like to have someone to do it with. Run around with them or teach them a new activity!
  • If you’ve committed time to a friend or loved one, suggest something active to do.
  • If you’re on the phone – pace around and do some lunges.

By Risk Control Consulting Services Division Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.

$3.2 Million Clean Energy Infrastructure Project at Philadelphia Senior Living Facility

ENER-G Rudox Inc., in conjunction with clean energy specialists, Blue Sky Power, MCFA Global, and Ray Angelini Inc. to design, engineer, construct, and finance a sustainable makeover of its facility.

The multi-million dollar energy infrastructure improvements to the 40 acre campus will include the installation of a highly efficient 265 kW natural gas ENER-G Rudox CHP system that will provide heat and electricity for the facility. Additionally, the project will include comprehensive lighting upgrades throughout the facility and the replacement of six rooftop heating and cooling units.

The entire project will be financed using ENER-G Rudox’s ‘Energy Services Agreement. Under this 20 year arrangement, Cathedral Village will be responsible for $0 in up-front investment capital, and will reduce their utility electric bill by over $145,000 annually. The upgrades will reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by approximately 350 metric tons per year, the equivalent benefit of removing 74 passenger cars from the road, or the carbon dioxide that would be offset by 287 acres of US forest in one year.

“Assisted living and senior care facilities are often excellent candidates for clean energy projects, but many facilities are deterred by the assumption that executing these projects requires a large initial capital expenditure.” said Blue Sky Power CEO Ben Parvey. “By utilizing alternative finance structures, such as ENER-G Rudox’s Energy Services Agreement, many institutional, commercial and industrial facilities can realize the operational, economic and environmental benefits of energy systems upgrades, without the capital burden typically associated with such endeavors.”

The Cathedral Village project received support from both state and local sources, including a $500,000 grant from Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority. In addition, PECO will contribute $123,500 through its Smart-On Site Program and PGW will be offering an attractive long term cogen gas service contract to the facility.

“Executing these types of projects is truly a team effort, and the contributions from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, PECO, and PGW were critical in allowing this project to move forward,” said ENER-G Rudox President Ryan Goodman. “However, at the end of the day, the most important criteria we evaluate is the strength of our client’s decision making team, as our Energy Services Agreement represents a long term partnership. We couldn’t be more impressed with Cathedral Village’s team, and we are tremendously excited to work closely with them over the next 20 years.”

For more information on this project, or to have a free CHP feasibility study performed for your building, please contact ENER-G Rudox or Blue Sky Power at www.energ-rudox.com, www.blueskypower.com

Colds and Flu at Work

Each year, between 5% and 20% of Americans get the flu and miss a staggering 70 million work days as a result. The indirect costs? Between $3 billion to $12 billion a year.

Fact: Workplace prevention is key. Get vaccinated.

Too Sick to Work?

You rise from a fitful night’s sleep with a sore throat and headache. Your temperature is slightly over 100 degrees, but judging by how crummy you feel, you wonder if it will spike to 103 degrees by day’s end. Should you drag yourself to work and risk infecting coworkers? Or should you telephone in sick, even though your boss desperately needs you to pitch in during a stressful week? “People are concerned about calling in sick, but if you’re really feeling unwell and especially if you have a fever,… (click here to read full article).

Both the flu shot and the nasal flu vaccine are highly effective for preventing the flu. However, they are not 100% effective. You can still get the flu even if you are vaccinated, although it’s usually less severe and resolves more quickly.

To reduce your risk of sharing cold and flu viruses at work, try these five prevention strategies:

    1. Call in sick when necessary. Viruses are easily transmitted in close quarters like offices. Stay home if you have any of these symptoms:
      • Fever
      • Headache
      • Extreme tiredness
      • Cough
      • Sore throat
      • Runny or stuffy nose
      • Muscle aches
      • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
    2. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Viruses are primarily transmitted through mucus. Cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow to avoid coughing or sneezing into your hand.

 

    1. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Rub your hands for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gels.

 

    1. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

 

    1. Wipe down your desk and other common areas with disinfectant wipes. Research from the University of Arizona found that telephones, desks, water fountain handles, microwave door handles, and computer keyboards in offices contain large amounts of germs that cause colds and flu.

 

Cell Phone Safety

cellimageOn July 1, 2014, the fines for talking or texting on a hand-held wireless communications device increased. First time offenders now face a fine of at least $200. The fine associated with a second offense increased to a minimum of $400, and drivers who are caught a third time face a fine of at least $600, a possible 90-day suspension of their driver’s license, and (3) three motor vehicle penalty points.

Although it is discouraged, drivers may use a hands-free device if it does not interfere with standard safety equipment. “Use” of a wireless phone and any other hand-held communication device includes, but is not limited to, talking or listening to another person, texting, or sending and receiving electronic messages.

A hand-held phone may be used for an emergency only and the driver must keep one hand on the wheel at all times.

Cell Phone Safety Tips:

  1. Turn your phone off or put ring on silent to avoid the urge to answer.
  2. Put your phone in a secure location that is easy to reach, in case of emergency.
  3. Never dial while driving, move to a safe area off of the road.
  4. Prior to driving, store important contact information in your phone.
  5. Use a hands-free unit, so that both of your hands are on the steering wheel at all times.
  6. Become familiar with your phone’s speed dialing and voice-activation features to minimize dialing.
  7. Prior to driving, set up your voice-mail to take messages.

Must Know Ladder Safety Tips

ladder

What’s wrong with this picture?

In many workplaces, workers are vulnerable to falls. There are many kinds of falls and this picture illustrates two of them:

  1. Falls from ladders
  2. Falls through floor openings

As if simply falling off a ladder to the ground below isn’t dangerous enough, a worker using this ladder the way it has been positioned would also be at risk of falling through the open doors into this building’s basement.

This hazardous situation is easily avoidable. First, the ladder could be placed a safe distance from either side of the open basement doors, so that the opening doesn’t pose a risk to a worker on the ladder. Second, if the ladder had to be positioned in that particular location, say, to access the window, the basement doors should be closed and secured before the ladder is put in place.

To protect your workers from falling off ladders, make sure they:

  • Place ladders on solid, level ground
  • Do not position ladders near an edge or floor opening that would significantly increase the potential fall distance
  • Face the treads when going up and down the ladder and stay in the center of the side rails
  • Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times
  • Avoid leaning to one side or overreaching
  • Carry tools in a tool belt or raise and lower them with a hand line
  • Wear shoes/boots with clean, slip-free soles
  • Do not place a step ladder on boxes or scaffolds to gain extra height
  • Take extra care when positioning a ladder in corridors or driveways where it could be hit by a person or vehicle
  • Do not move a ladder while someone is on it
  • Wear fall protection when required by the OHS regulations

And, to protect workers from falls through openings, you should:

  • Identify hazardous openings
  • Install either guardrails or coverings that comply with the requirements in the OHS regulations for these safety measures
  • Develop a hazardous openings policy, which should bar workers from placing ladders near or over floor openings such as the one in the picture
  • Train workers on these policies
This information provided by SafetySmart www.safetysmart.com

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