NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Summer has a way of lulling otherwise careful people into a false sense of security -- one that can leave them more vulnerable to health and safety hazards.
"An accident can happen in a split second, and the key is to avoid situations that could result in an injury," says Rick Gerlach, senior director of safety and health at Cincinnati work apparel and safety company Cintas. "Summertime safety is something we stress with our more than 30,000 employee-partners to keep them safe at work and at home every day. By being aware of the potential risks, you can experience a safer summer."
Cintas offers a list of potential summer safety hazards, and how to avoid them:
Head injuries in the yard. Americans love their yards and lawns and spend hours outside working to beautify both. But watch out when using lawn mowers and power tools -- they can spit out rocks and other hard debris that can cause injury. "To protect yourself, always wear closed-toe shoes, protective eyewear and hearing protection equipment," Cintas advises.
Glass shards. Cool beverages on the patio are a great idea, but have a quick "clean-up" plan if a glass, dish or pitcher breaks, especially around kids. "If glass shatters, first alert people nearby of the hazard," Cintas says. "Using a broom, sweep all of the large pieces into a dust pan. Next, use a portable vacuum to safely remove small pieces and shards. In case of a minor laceration, make sure your first-aid cabinet is stocked with antibiotic ointment and bandages. For more serious lacerations, seek immediate medical assistance."
Bugs. Ever hear of "parasitosis"? Cintas describes it as "the condition of being parasitized, bitten or lived on by another organism, and it happens more often during the summer." Have plenty of bug spray on hand to ensure you and your loved ones don't get bitten or stung, and heighten your chances of Lyme disease or West Nile Virus.
Food poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six Americans experience food poisoning each year. To prevent food health issues, always make sure you know what you're eating, how long it's been sitting in the heat or how long it's been in the fridge. By and large, any food that has been sitting outside for two hours or more is a health risk and should be avoided.
Ladders. The CDC also reports that 43% of falls in the past decade involved a ladder. To reduce the odds, make sure you give the ladder a thorough inspection before climbing one to paint, clear tree branches or drain spouts. "Always use a three-point stance, which means always having two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot, on the ladder at all times," Cintas says.
Don't let the heat and humidity lull you into a false sense of security this summer. Take precautions, be vigilant, and recognize the heightened risks of safety hazards between Memorial Day and Labor Day.