Safety is Key

Focus on your safety with these tips from SME members

SME's Health & Safety Division

Learn about the division's efforts to promote health and safety as a profession.

Health & Safety Focused Webinars

Further your professional development as a health & safety professional

NMA CORESafety Program

CORESafety is a partnership led by the members of the National Mining Association (NMA).

What are SME Safety Shares?

A safety share is when one or more individuals voluntarily provide everyone a reminder to work safe and to keep safety in the forefront of their minds. Safety shares often come in the form of a story or a lesson learned. The intent is to maximize the function of sharing widely across the industry and to build a library of valuable safety-related moments from which others could benefit. These can be anything that will help others be safe at work, home or anyplace else.

In one of his first acts as the 2015 SME President, Steven Gardner initiated the practice of beginning every SME meeting, be it the SME Annual Conference & Expo or a committee teleconference, with a safety share.

The SME Health and Safety Division, with help from SME members from all corners of the Society, has compiled a list of safety shares as a reference point for any meeting or gathering. This is a living list and will grow as safety shares are submitted to the list. So please feel free to use these shares for your next meeting or gathering, and please share your safety moments with the rest of the Society.

How can I use SME Safety Shares?

By beginning every meeting, every shift, every day with a safety share it helps people have a mindset that allows them to work safely, and return home safely. These safety shares are here to help you begin your day with a moment of safety. Each safety share is listed with the topic of the safety share and the person who submitted it.

Submit a Safety Share

Please click on the button below to submit a safety share. Each safety share will be reviewed and posted as quickly as possible. Please share your tips and help your fellow members be safe in all they do.

Submit a Safety Share

Safety Shares

Portable X-ray fluorescence analyzers (pXRF) are becoming more common and can be utilized from exploration work through operations grade control and on into the closure phase. They are useful for the rapid assessment of the elemental chemistry, but they are also sources of radiation. The analyzers have several inherent safety features to reduce risk to the operator: X-rays can only be generated when the X-ray tube is powered. There is no open source of ionizing radiation within the analyzer. The analyzer has a built-in proximity detector that prevents an air shot, or X-ray generation if nothing is immediately in front of the analyzer. The analyzer can be configured to operate with a "dead man’s finger” (i.e., you need to continually press the trigger to operate the analyzer). Even with these safety features, there are several other safety considerations you should be aware of when you either operate or are in proximity of a pXRF. Do not use if you have not been appropriately trained (certain countries require a formal operating license). The generated X-ray beam is emitted at 45 degrees to the analyzer, away from the operator and so any resulting backscatter is prominently in that direction. Do not stand or permit others to stand within 3 m (9 ft) in front of an operating unit or 1 m (3 ft) either side. Maximize your distance from the pXRF where possible. Never use the pXRF at a desk with operator’s legs directly beneath the sample; do not hold the sample in your hand while analyzing. Do not fire the pXRF at anyone. Never use a damaged analyzer as there are risks for radiation leakage.

Matt Dey, SRK Consulting
The oxygen available to the human body at high altitudes (greater than 1,500 m or 4,900 ft above sea level) is reduced. The effects of these conditions on the human body may vary depending on the physical health of each individual and they increase in severity with an increase in altitude. Most, if not all, operators working on sites located in high altitudes are aware of the potential effects these conditions can have on people and provide guidance to their workforce and visitors to help address or eliminate negative effects caused as a result of higher altitudes. Some operators require each worker and/or visitor to undergo a medical examination prior to allowing access to their site. Consider these items before and during your visit: Before ascending light dinner and light breakfast, hydrate properly, avoid alcohol for 24 hours, postpone ascending if you are sick especially with respiratory symptoms (cold, flu, sore throat, headache etc.). Avoid smoking or at least reduce the amount you smoke the day before and while at altitude, sleep at least 8 hours. During ascent: Drink fluids, especially mineral water. You should drink at least 2.5 liters or 2.6 quarts of water and/or liquids (non-carbonated). If you must physically exert yourself, try to do it slowly. Consume rice, cereals, pasta and white meat or fish so as to maintain stable levels of blood sugar and avoid excessive intake of fried foods, pork, diary and red meat. Do not eat large amounts of food at once. Dress warm in order to avoid exposure to the cold. Do not take medication to sleep or urinate. If you have a chronic disease you should not stop taking medications prescribed by your doctor.

Mark Liskowich, SRK Consulting
Thousands of people are killed or injured around the world every year from lightning strikes. When working outdoors be sure to have a plan whenever you hear the roll of thunder. The sound of thunder is your best indication that lightning is close enough to strike you. When outside, your first reaction should be to stop what you are doing and get everyone into a safe shelter. Even though threating clouds may appear to be far away, lighting has been known to travel 10 miles before it strikes. Safe shelters include substantial buildings (ones that are enclosed and grounded) or fully enclosed metal vehicles. If a safe shelter is not available avoid high grounds, tall metal objects (e.g. drill rigs, power pools, or cell towers), bodies of water and tall isolated trees. Precautions inside of buildings should also be taken during lightning events. Stay away from windows and outside doors. Don’t touch electrical equipment that is connected to power or network receptacles. Surge protectors will not stop an electrical pulse from a lightning strike. Avoid plumbing. Don’t use running water in a sink or take a bath or shower. Wait 30 minutes after that last thunderclap before resuming normal activities. If someone is struck by lightning or receives an electrical shock, call emergency medical services first. Move the victim out of a high risk area, if necessary (the victim is safe to touch, they are not electrically charged). Lighting often causes a heart attack. If the victim is unconscious and does not have a pulse, use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) or begin CPR. Aggressive resuscitation greatly improves their chance of survival.

Mike York, SRK Consulting
Safety Tip: With the beginning of spring comes the beginning of allergies. Allergies are when our immune system overreacts and attacks harmless foreign substances such as pollen, pet dander, dust, etc. This reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways and digestive system. These reactions can cause sneezing, itching of the nose and eyes, stuffy or runny nose, watery, red or swollen eyes, congestion etc. These symptoms can have a significant impact on our daily lives causing things such as fatigue, irritability and distraction. Many of these things can cause workers to have slower reaction times and to be distracted causing other potential safety issues. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) allergies contribute to $17.5 billion in healthcare costs and 6 million lost work and school days. Preparing for the allergy season and preventing allergies can help workers feel better and hopefully avoid any distractions and fatigue caused by allergies. Some tips to avoid the symptoms of allergies are: Keep car and house windows closed (use AC if possible) to avoid pollen getting in your house. Take a shower before bed to rinse off pollen accumulated during the day and avoid pollen and dust accumulation in your bed. Avoid drinking excessive alcohol (every additional alcoholic drink a week can increase your risk of allergies by 3%). If you suffer from itchy eyes from seasonal allergies, avoid wearing contacts which can trap the pollen. Bananas, melons, tomatoes and some other fruits and vegetables can intensify symptoms, so avoid these foods. High humidity in your home can cause mold spores which can aggravate allergies. Keep your blankets, sheets and pillows clean (wash sheets and blankets weekly and be sure to get rid of pillows over 2 years old). Do a saline nasal irrigation (neti pot) to help with the symptoms and clean out your sinuses. Use local honey in your tea, coffee, etc. (bees use the local pollen to make the honey which can prepare you for allergy season).

Melissa Anderson, Barrick Gold
The effects of changing seasons, such as “seasonal affective disorder” can seriously affect mining operations. At a surface mine site in Wyoming, the winter has taken a toll on the physical working environment, as well as on workers’ attitudes and behaviors. With record snow fall and freezing temperatures, production has been slowed or even halted at times over the past few months. After heavy snowfall and freezing, thaw results, creating significant amounts of mud leading to tripping hazards and ground conditions impeding the safe operation of heavy equipment. Employees have been working additional overtime hours in response to delayed production, which has further contributed to fatigue risk and poor morale. In fact, an increased number of suicides in the community has been attributed to this record winter. Companies must ensure that weather-related risks and unintended consequences are considered and controlled in order to maintain both a safe physical work environment and safe states-of-mind for all workers. Applying the hierarchy of controls and utilizing human resources to respond to the negative effects of the changing seasons is key to maintaining a safe and productive operation.

Lori Guasta
Instead of starting meetings, line-outs, toolbox talks, etc., with a safety share, consider ending such meetings with these important safety reminders and related stories to reinforce the value and effect of these important lessons. This idea is worth considering and is supported by human performance and cognitive science literature suggesting that the content, information, and stories that humans are most recently exposed to are more likely to stay on our “front-of-mind-awareness.” This modification is a safety awareness technique with potential to improve the effectiveness of safety shares across the mining industry.

Lori Guasta
When a person is having a stroke, his or her brain is not getting the blood it needs. Sometimes a stroke develops gradually, but more likely there are sudden warning signs such as numbness or weakness in the face, arms, legs or one side of the body. At the SME midyear meeting, I urged attendees to know the signs and use the FAST test. If you suspect someone is having a stroke conduct this test: Face: Smile. Does one side of the face droop? Arms: Raise both arms. Is one higher than the other? Do they have trouble holding one up? Speech: Repeat a short simple sentence, like Mary had a little lamb. Is the speech slurred? Time: If the answer to any of these is “yes”, call 911.

Tim Arnold, Pershing Gold
Prescription drug abuse has changed the paradigm of substance abuse. Previous stigmas and detection methods are no longer sufficient. Fortunately, regulators and doctors are working closer to rein in opioid prescription drug abuse. However, there is still much to be done and companies need programs to address these issues with their employees and families. Are your procedures sufficient to detect prescription drug abuse? Do these procedures include front line management, human resources and other managerial positions? Is the focus of these procedures just for hourly employees? Considering the societal impact this new wave of substance abuse is having, it would be prudent to review your policies, philosophy, and culture regarding substance abuse detection and prevention.

Pratt Rogers, University of Utah
To focus industry attention on safe drilling practices and the importance of well-maintained equipment, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a drill entanglement safety alert to the mining community on Aug. 10, 2016. Mine drill operators often work alone and, at times, in locations away and removed from other miners, which adds to the job’s risks. MSHA urges drillers to consider the following before beginning drill operations: Examine the drill and surrounding work area. Eliminate all tripping hazards. Do not wear loose-fitting or bulky clothing when working around drilling machinery. Avoid using objects that could entangle in – and be thrown by – moving or rotating parts. Stay clear of augers and drill stems in motion. Never manually thread the drill steel while the drill head rotates. Drill from a position with good footing and access to the controls. Assure that machine controls and safety devices such as emergency shutdowns operate effectively. Never nullify or bypass machine control safety equipment. Place emergency shutdown devices – such as panic bars, slap bars, rope switches, two-handed controls – in easily accessible locations.

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
One of the biggest challenges we face in mining today is predicting and managing low frequency, high potential incidents, that could cause a fatality in our mines. We all have great procedures and policies that provide a clear view of what we need to do to remove or control these risks both on surface and underground. The real challenge comes when we have to get our competent team members out into the field, checking that those critical controls we have identified as an absolute minimum to ensure no fatal outcome can occur, are in place and effective. Everyone within the organization including Operators and Maintainers to Geotechnical Engineers and the General Manager has to contribute to checking and supporting these controls. When it comes to fatal risk management we all rely on each other to do a great job. There is nothing more important than for us all to take care of each other and help to make sure everyone goes home safe at the end of every shift. What is your system to check these controls are in place?

Mick Routledge - RUT LLC
If anyone should find themselves in a terrorist attack situation, they should remember four different activities: think, run, hide and call. Think – make a quick assessment of your surroundings and recognize what the threat is or where the threat may be. Run – once you have recognized the threat, do what you can to distance yourself from the threat. Consider a safe route and see if there are multiple ways to remove yourself from this threat as soon as possible. Remember to leave your belongings behind; they can be retrieved later. Hide - if you cannot run or get far away, get out of view of the attacker and try to find cover. Make sure you understand where the exit points are so, should an opportunity present itself later, you can still run. Stay quiet, silence your cell phone and don’t bring attention to yourself in any way. Lock all doors, barricade yourself, stay low and away from the doors. Call – once you have done everything to secure yourself from the threat, take the time to call emergency services, your family and your friends. Remain calm and wait for emergency services to arrive. After the emergency services arrive, treat them with respect and follow their direction. "If You See Something, Say Something™" is a national campaign being led by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that raises public awareness of the indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, as well as the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement. If you see something you know shouldn't be there, or if someone's behavior doesn't seem quite right, say something to help prevent tragedies from happening. Informed and alert communities play a critical role in keeping our nation safe.

Dean Gehring, Co-chair of the SMEF Corporate Giving Committee
Critical Control Field Verifications: One of the biggest challenges we face in mining today is predicting and managing low frequency, high potential incidents that could cause a fatality in our mines. We all have great procedures and policies that provide a clear view of what we need to do to remove or control these risks both on surface and underground. The real challenge comes when we have to get our competent team members out into the field, checking that those critical controls we have identified as an absolute minimum to ensure no fatal outcome can occur, are in place and effective. Everyone within the organization including operators and maintainers to geotechnical engineers and the general manager has to contribute to checking and supporting these controls. When it comes to fatal risk management we all rely on each other to do a great job. There is nothing more important than for us all to take care of each other and help to make sure everyone goes home safe at the end of every shift. What is your system to check these controls are in place?

Mick Routledge
While working on a ladder approximately 20 feet in the air, a gentleman was attempting to reach something that was just beyond his wingspan. He was working alone, was not harnessed, did not have a hard hat on, and did not want move the ladder due to limited options for the foot placement of the ladder base. He continued to extend his reach and began moving his torso beyond the vertical supports of the ladder to touch the object of interest. After falling, the gentleman was not discovered for was estimated to be more than 20 minutes. He experienced extreme head trauma and it was unclear if he would survive. Medical personnel were able to save this gentleman’s life, but he spent months in rehabilitative services and does not have the same physical and cognitive abilities that he once did. When we think about safety, we need to think about all of the little decisions that we make and assume that any one of those decisions can affect the outcome of our situation. Having a “buddy” would have decreased medical response time. Wearing a harness would have prevented the fall. Wearing a hard hat with a chin strap may have diminished the impact and head trauma. Moving the ladder would have eliminated the need for the reach. Doing any one of those things could have been a game changer for this gentleman. Never forget that the little stuff is game changing stuff.

Susan Moore, NIOSH
Sometimes our own experience can be related to by others as a safety share example. Many times as we evaluate the work or chores to be completed around our homes we can forget safety basic procedures we would use at work. As a safety share think of a situation when you took a few minutes to ask yourself how you would handle this task at work. Take time to implement these safety solutions to ensure the task at hand can be completed in a more safe manner.

Baron Fidler
Safety Share from Nantucket: Ours is a bicycle-intensive domain so we have our share of motorized/non-motorized vehicle accidents. Under State law, a bicycle is a vehicle and should follow all of the rules of the road: formal and informal. Car and truck drivers should know to swing wide when passing a bicycle because they are passing another vehicle. Bicycle riders should respect the rules of the road: signal at turns, stop at stop signs, do not ride the wrong way on one-way streets (walk the bike instead), use front and rear lights at night, wear bright, reflective clothing, and ride single file. OK, so what do I have that is a specific example? I was backing out of my driveway at night, in the dark, when I nearly hit a bicyclist. The cyclist had no lights and was depending on reflectors to identify his/her existence. Unfortunately, my reversing lamps were insufficient to pick up these reflectors until it was almost too late. The good news was that it was “almost” and we did avoid a collision but it was close. Oh, also, while shorts and flip-flops are fine for the beach they invite foot-pedal confusion and leave a large smear (road-burn) on the asphalt if knocked off.

Lee Saperstein
One of the most fundamental elements of mining safety is the process and/or act of hazard identification. This process occurs every hour of every day in every mine in the world, whether conducted informally or formally. It is a core element of most regulations pertaining to mining safety and health management. It occurs both as an individual and collective activity, i.e., for teams, crews, departments, etc. As individuals, it likely occurs the same way off the job as on the job. However, despite its ubiquitous nature, there is very little discussion in the industry about the specific steps involved in hazard identification and how to optimize our ability to ‘see’ the hazards we encounter, both on and off the job. We just take it for granted, however it occurs. One reason for this is the common assumption that hazard identification is an uncomplicated process. You either see the hazard or you don’t and deal with them accordingly. Historically, we have associated the ability to see what is in our immediate environment with experience. That is, experienced miners see more because they should know more. This is logical, but research from the discipline of situational awareness (SA) suggests that our assumptions about hazard identification may not be correct. A focus on SA grew out of the concern for the survivability of military, police, fire personnel and to other at-risk occupations with regular/frequent risk exposure for themselves or the public, e.g., pilots and air traffic controllers, etc. Obviously, miners face many of the same complex, dynamic and potentially risky environments and circumstances such that the mining industry can directly benefit from the work being done in this area. SA research reveals that the cognitive process of hazard identification and risk assessment, for an individual, occurs in three steps: 1) perception of the environmental elements including hazards in our immediate area (within range of our senses); 2) understanding the meaning of those elements; and 3) projecting the status of those elements or hazards in time as changes occur in the environment. These steps occur sequentially and most often subconsciously. If this is true, than it would be good to understand which of the three SA steps is most susceptible to errors. Again, research suggests it is step one and not step three – the seemingly most cognitively complex step. We are also gaining an appreciation that having strong SA abilities is related to effective decision-making. People with a strong sense of SA will be knowledgeable about their environment, the system that operates within it, and understand how changes in people and environmental conditions can affect other activities. As importantly, those with poor SA are being shown to be more susceptible to human error. But that doesn’t mean those with strong SA will only be the most experienced miners. It appears that having SA is part hardwired and part learned. Clearly, this is an important development in mining. Mine operators should be asking themselves: 1) How do I measure SA in my workforce? 2) Who is strong and who is weak? 3) How can I improve SA in my workforce?

Tom Hethmon
Before you get in your vehicle, walk around it, be aware of your surroundings and make sure there is nothing obstructing the vehicle. Especially anytime you are leaving a parking place or the driveway, make sure there is nobody standing behind you. Some of us drive big pickup trucks or SUVs, and many times it is difficult to see what is behind you. Unfortunately, we have heard about many accidents where someone has backed up and run over someone, which is especially heartbreaking when it’s a child or a loved one. So in any setting, be aware of your surroundings.

Steven Gardner, 2015 SME President
Across the country we have experienced the Spring tornadoes and rains. Many SME members are avid campers, hikers and love the outdoors. Recently, in Kentucky a young mother of three, camping with her husband and sons, was killed when a large tree limb fell onto their tent during a storm. High waters made rescue difficult because of where they had placed their campsite. The take away is to check your surroundings and anticipate hazards to the best of your ability when in the outdoors.

Steven Gardner, 2015 SME President
We have all heard about tragic accidents involving someone we know falling from a ladder or the ladder hitting electric lines. There was none more tragic than one that occurred near my hometown in Kentucky last year, when a local fire department was going to use a truck to spray water from above onto a group of college students as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Somehow the bucket got too close to electric lines, and an arc-over killed one fireman and severely injured another. The take away, once again, for any situation at home or work, is to be aware of your surroundings before raising a ladder and then to use extra care in placement and climbing. Stop and think about the situation in which you are placing yourself.

Steven Gardner, 2015 SME President
With field work and vacations ongoing, please be aware of the precautions to avoid tick bites, which can result in diseases. Different types of ticks can be found throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the brown dog tick can be encountered in nearly every neck of the woods in the continental U.S. Some species and some life stages of ticks are so small that they can be difficult to see. A complete list of practical tips for avoiding tick bites during and after working in the field can be found at the CDC website,

Steven Gardner, 2015 SME President
When working in or visiting an underground mining operation, make it a habit to “look up and live.” This was the mantra of a supervisor I had while working many years ago in an underground mine in Australia. No matter where you park in the mine or how many times you have been there before, the first thing you should do when getting out of your vehicle in an underground environment is look up and inspect the roof conditions. You can quickly get back into your vehicle and move to a safer location if need be. Conditions frequently change, and it pays to take the time to check all your surroundings, including those above your head.

Annette Glefi
In mining, what we mean by being “safe at work” is embodied by the H.L. Boling term “safe production.” This includes everyone from the front office staff to the working-face miners to the contractors. In fact, at many operations, mining and safety are reaching consonance; that is, we don’t do any task without consideration of safety…ever. So safety has become very much a part of not only our mining vernacular, but how we actually think of mining. So what happens at home? Do you consider safety implications when doing your chores at home? Do you communicate the expectation to others that safety must be considered prior to initiating mowing the grass, cleaning the gutters, working on the car, etc.? Are you leading by example at home like you consistently do at work? The top five causes of accidental death at home involve: falls, poisoning, fire/burns, airway obstruction and water (Home Safety Council). Set the safety expectation with your family and neighbors. Make safety a habit…all the time.

Eric Lutz
We return to standard time (except in Arizona) in November, and it’s worth noting that the change in light and dark patterns that affect our days are significant in terms of the body’s waking and sleeping cues. In other words, it can create a sensation much like jet lag even though you haven’t traveled. For those working rotating shifts, it can be particularly disruptive. It is normally advisable that it be treated essentially the same as jet, plenty of hydration, step back and re-evaluate.

Mark Savit
As the holiday season approaches and thoughts of putting up decorations or changing the batteries in the smoke detectors arrives, it seems like a good time to review the four rules for ladder safety. 1. Pick the right ladder for the job you are going to do. Do not use a metal ladder around any electrical installation. 2. Make sure the ladder is in good working condition. Make sure the nonslip rubber feet are in good condition. 3. Set up the ladder correctly. If a straight ladder is used it should be placed one foot away from the wall for every four feet of height. 4. Work safely on the ladder. Maintain three points of contact and keep centered on the ladder. Whether in the mine or at home, the proper use of ladders can help prevent injuries.

John “Ros” Hill
The Thanksgiving holiday is the most dangerous holiday on the roads in the U.S. More than 400 people that are between the ages of 20-35 years old die in automobile accidents during this holiday. Take your time, prepare for the trip and pay attention while traveling. And when using turkey fryers when deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey be extra careful. They are the leading cause of nearly 4,300 fires, 15 deaths and almost $27 million in property damage during the holiday season.

Bart Hyita, SMEF
Statistics show that between 60-80 people are killed by lightning each year. Lightning, from its source, has a 10 mile range; if you hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Do not take shelter under trees, stay away from windows and doors and stay off things that put you in direct contact with electricity such as computers and corded telephones. Take shelter inside a home, large building or hard-topped vehicle right away. To be safe, wait 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter.

Bart Hyita and Dale Elifrits, SMEF
Replace the tires on your high performance car every four to five years, regardless of mileage. The tires that are formulated for high speed contain a “sticky compound” that decomposes quickly, resulting in dry rot. This ultimately makes the tires unsafe on the road.

Bart Hyita, SMEF
Five fundamentals of safety that everyone should apply before attempting to begin an unfamiliar project: Knowledge: be sure to have knowledge about what you are going to do; if not, gain it. Attitude: never do anything that is not clearly focused in your mind. Observation: look at your surroundings and confirm you have the right tools for the job. Cooperation: if you are working with someone, make sure everyone is on the same page and communicate clearly. Consideration: be sincere and think of others.

Bart Hyita, SMEF
Alcohol raises the pulse and blood pressure, making you feel warm, but alcohol causes the body to lose heat. Be careful when mixing alcohol with cold weather.

Bart Hyita, SMEF
The Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. These drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness. In the event of an earthquake, Dr. Seal suggests that by placing yourself adjacent to a very sturdy object, instead of underneath an object, is one of the best ways to survive a tremendous earthquake.

Thom Seal
Be aware of safety in the home when using pet gates. Pet gates should measure at least 30” high and should be secured properly. Do not create make-shift barriers in the home; they can lead to dangerous tripping and falls if left unattended in the dark. Dale Elifrits also noted that caution should be taken with throw rugs on a tile floor which can also create dangerous situations.

Dennis Bryan, SMEF
Be aware of the dry conditions and drought throughout various times of the year that increase the risk for wildfires. Careless use of fire in highly wooded areas can also dramatically increase the chance of a wildfire, which can then quickly spread across trees and dry brush and threaten homes and businesses that are in the vicinity. Wildfire safety tips include never leaving a campfire unattended; completely extinguish the fire by dousing it with water and stirring the ashes until cold. Take care when using lawn mowers, trimmers, camping stoves, heaters, chain saws, tractors and fire arms as the smallest spark can ignite a flame. Do not discard cigarettes, matches, and smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere outdoors. Wildfires often begin unnoticed; however, they spread quickly and every second counts!

Dennis Bryan, SMEF
Gasoline generators emit carbon monoxide and should never be used inside a home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, that neither a fan nor open doors and windows can provide enough fresh air. A generator should be used outdoors, away from open windows, vents, or doors and a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector should be placed in the area where a generator is being used.

Dale Elifrits
Take caution when driving on icy roads. When traveling downhill on ice, be sure that the automobile is in a lower gear. Avoid using the cruise control feature while driving in snow or rain. AAA recommends avoiding driving all together during extreme weather conditions. If an automobile accident does occur, stay in the vehicle until help arrives. Everyone is encouraged to investigate road conditions, know your vehicle, use proper driving techniques for the conditions you find, and have the right emergency gear and equipment along.

Barb Arnold
The biggest safety hazards we face in our daily lives is driving a vehicle. Whether on the job or on the way to and from work, most of us are exposed to these hazards for several hours each day. In the mine, we typically do a pre-operational check before starting up each vehicle or piece of equipment. What about your personal vehicle? When did you last check all the lights, tires, tire pressures, oil, water, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, coolant, etc? When did you do a walk-around to ensure your car is in good condition? Simple checks can help prevent accidents and improve the likelihood of having a safe drive.

J├╝rgen Brune