Some people would say that the world has gone safety mad. Everywhere we turn there are massive warning signs or bright coloured tape marking ‘hazards’. Here are 10 safety facts that I bet you didn’t know…
- Every year, approximately 4 million employees are disabled at work. I must admit, when I was researching this post, this figure blew me away! That is 4 million people’s lives that are changed in an unthinkable way each year. While foreign countries with poor safety cultures account for a large portion of this statistic, it reinforces our duty to educate the third-world on necessary precautions and processes.
- Fire kills more Americans each year than all natural disasters combined. Again, this shocked me! Fire in the home is totally preventable. If more people used fire alarms and were more sensible with cigarette butts, this statistic would be drastically reduced. Only last week in the UK, a family were all burned alive. Tragic.
- Road traffic accidents costs countries around 4% of their Gross Natural Product each year! WOWSERS!!
- For every 1km/h reduction in speed limit, there is a 2% reduction in the number of average crashes. Interestingly, I recently went on a road safety course recently (an alternative to taking a speeding fine) and learned about the significance of reduced speed in urban areas. Let’s stop for a moment to consider the increased likelihood of killing a pedestrian with increased speed. While most urban areas have a 30mph limit in the UK, the following diagram shows the huge increased chances of killing someone if you hit them any faster:
- If you drive after being awake for 24 hours, your response times are impaired the equivalent of somebody just over the drink-driving limit. Furthermore, on only four hours sleep, a single beer will give a driver the same reaction time as a 6-pack of beer after a normal nights sleep. In reality, the drink driving limit does not measure what reaction times are safe. This purely measures a legal blood-alcohol level and does not take sleep and other factors into account. Just because you are under the legal limit, it does not necessarily mean that it’s safe to drive. Sleep, health, concentration, age, drugs etc. all impact reaction times.
- 55% of teens in fatal car accidents last year were not wearing their seat belts at the time of collision. In addition to this, 31% had been drinking. It is a no-brainer. Wear your seat belt and simply DON’T drink and drive!
- Fire fighters in the states responded to over 362,000 house fires in 2009. These collectively caused 12,600 injuries, 2,600 deaths and $7.6 billion in property damage! I hope these people had insurance… If this isn’t a prompt to check your smoke alarms before Christmas to ensure that your family/children are safe, then I don’t know what is!
- Over 25,000 children under 5 attend accident & emergency every year after accidentally being poisoned. Furthermore, approximately 120 children under 14 die each year as a result of an accident at home. Home accidents costs the UK £25 billion annually.
- A recent study found that safety signs which inform you of danger can reduce accident rates in the workplace by up to 80%. This is an incredible reduction in accident rates. It probably explains why my work has safety signs positioned on every available door, blind corner and potential hazard possible! Some might say it is overkill, but I guess the statistics show that it works.
- Contrary to what people might say, Alcohol does not destroy brain cells. In fact, according to studies, drinking in moderation has been proved to improve cognitive function! Perhaps the improvement is your imagination?
So, next time you notice warning signs (even fire safety signs) it might just be worth paying attention…
And my favourite from Phuket…
Seen any Crazy Safety Signs Around lately?