Let’s connect at OSC19!

The 2019 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo continues today with a full day of educational sessions and expo activities!

Some of today’s highlights include general session speaker Colette Carlson sharing the importance of connecting with others, live safety demonstrations, Passport to Safety prize giveaways and much more. We look forward to connecting with you!

Yesterday was an exciting day with BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud kicking off the first day of OSC by sharing the story of a family member who was injured while working around electricity.

The Expo Marketplace was busy all day! It was great to see exhibitors, instructors and attendees sharing their experiences on Twitter. See @OhioBWC for retweets.

Passport to Safety prizes were awarded throughout the day thanks to many generous vendors.

Live demonstration: Pushing and Pulling – What is Safe?

We had a full house for many popular sessions including, How to Be a Powerful Safety Change Agent.

If you have questions about BWC programs or services, we hope you’ll stop by booth 715 to chat with our experts.

Remember to refer to your event guide or the mobile app for session descriptions and locations, expo marketplace map and Passport to Safety guide. Enjoy your day!

OSC19 is all about workplace safety and health connections

By Abe Al-Tarawneh, Superintendent, BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene

Workplace safety and health are about connections; connecting best practices to work processes, connecting safety and health to your organization’s core values, and connecting your workforce to the resources it needs.

Every year, the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo (OSC) provides these resources to attendees during a three-day event, but the knowledge they receive lasts well beyond their brief time at OSC. Attendees take what they learn back to their businesses and use it to improve their workplaces as well as the safety and health of their employees, sharpen the quality of their products and services, and expand their productivity.

The theme for OSC, which opens today at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, is Connecting YOU to Safety & Health. This theme gets to the heart of the event – it connects Ohio employers with safety experts from all parts of the U.S., to provide the know-how to make their workplaces even safer and healthier. The Expo Marketplace – featuring more than 300 exhibitors – also connects attendees with the latest and greatest safety products and services.

The event is truly about and for YOU, the attendees. Every year we ask our attendees to complete a customer satisfaction survey. Your feedback shapes our offerings and it allows us to continuously improve our educational programming and services and thereby your experiences during the event.

Speaking of which, I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that go into this event each year. From our planning committees and guest speakers to the expo vendors and BWC staff, the planning, preparation and commitment from staff and volunteers results in an event I’m truly proud of, and one that makes Ohio one of the safest and best places to work and live.

Tips for adjusting to daylight saving time

By Delia Treaster, Ph.D., CPE, Ergonomic Technical Advisor, BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene

Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. this Sunday, meaning it’s once again time to “spring forward” and set the clocks ahead one hour.

The time change, which costs you an hour of sleep, can impact your circadian rhythm, cause you to be sleepier on your Monday morning commute, and thus, affect road safety. It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with the time change and to prepare accordingly.

Drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep nearly double their risk of a crash. Drowsiness can slow reaction time, impair vision and judgment and delay the processing of information. It’s critical to take steps to prepare for the time change and be extremely cautious on the road in the days following the transition as you, and other drivers, reset your circadian rhythm.

To help prevent drowsy driving and stay safe on the road following the time change, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation offers the following tips:

  • Start going to bed and waking up earlier than normal in the days prior to daylight saving time. This can help reset your circadian rhythm and cue your body to sleep earlier on Sunday; thus, helping to minimize sleep loss from the time change.
  • Eat dinner earlier on Saturday. Our eating times are linked to our circadian rhythm, so try eating dinner an hour earlier on Saturday to help prime you for an earlier bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol on Saturday. Stimulants like caffeine and alcohol interfere with our circadian rhythm and may increase the number of times you wake up at night and decrease the quality of sleep you get, so it’s best to avoid them before the time change.
  • Use light to help reset your circadian rhythm after the time change. Light is one of the main cues of time and strongly affects the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Expose yourself to bright lights when you wake up and during the day, especially in the late afternoon. Conversely, avoid bright lights at night. Dim bedroom lights, turn off the TV and put electronic devices away about an hour before you plan to go to bed.
  • Prepare for a darker morning commute after the time change. Remember to turn on your car headlights in the morning following daylight saving time to make yourself more visible on the road. Also, slow down and increase your following distance to compensate for the limited visibility and reduced stopping time that may result from the darker commute.
  • Avoid distractions while driving. Drink your coffee at home or at work, don’t take breakfast to go and save all of your calls for later (even if you have a hands-free device). Distracted driving limits your attention to the road and can put you at greater risk for an accident, especially if you’re also driving on less hours of sleep than you normally would.

If you are driving in the days following the time change and begin to notice yourself losing focus, yawning, drifting out of your lane or notice your eyelids becoming heavy, you may be too tired to drive and should find a safe place to pull over and rest until you are able to drive safely.

For more driving-related safety tips, as well as advice on preventing slips, trips, falls and overexertions this spring, visit BeSafeOhio.com.