Tips for an Injury Free Labour Day Weekend
Labour Day long weekend is upon us and it’s once again time to say goodbye to summer in Canada. I think we can all agree Canadian summers fly by way too quickly, and with looming cold and snow on the mind, we all want to make the absolute most out of our last weekend in the sun.
Nothing throws a wrench into fun summer plans like an accidental injury, so the Hercules Group of Companies is here for some tips to keep your labour day weekend safe and injury free.
1. Driving Safety
Whether you’re headed on an epic road trip or a loading up for the cottage, keeping safety top of mind is key for travel over one of the busiest weekends on the road. More cars on the road mean more chance for accidents, and in previous years labour day weekend has ranked in the top 3 for most motor vehicle accidents.
Follow these safety tips to keep yourself self travelling over the labour day weekend:
- Ensure you are well-rested – you may want to beat the traffic and leave early in the morning, but be sure you are well rested and alert when getting behind the wheel.
- Take the path less travelled – If you can take the back roads, do it! Enjoy the scenic ride because less traffic means less opportunities for accidents and a smoother drive to your destination.
- Personal space – We all want to get to our vacation destinations as fast as possible, but getting too close to the vehicles ahead of you won’t shave any time off your route, but will increase your risk of an accident.
- Buckle up – Always ensure you are wearing your seat-belt properly when in a moving vehicle.
- NEVER drink and drive – We all know how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel under the influence. According to police-reported data, impaired driving killed as many as 155 people in Canada in 2019. Don’t be part of that statistic – Always have a plan for a safe ride home when consuming drugs or alcohol.
2. Firework Safety
Canada Safety Council advises that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend an exhibition fireworks show handled by professionals. The safest choice would be to check and see if there’s an event hosted by your community, overseen by a trained, certified professional.
If you do host your own fireworks show – check with your local firework laws and regulations to ensure you are permitted to do so. In Canada you cannot set off fireworks on city property such as parks, roads and fields.
Firework injuries almost always result from improper handling and a disregard to safety. If permitted, keep these tips from the Canada Safety Council in mind to keep your private firework shows safe:
- Purchase your fireworks from a reliable source that sells products meeting safety standards.
- Stay away from illegal explosives or firecrackers and do not improvise and make your own fireworks.
- Read the instructions, cautions and warnings on each firework item.
- Store unused fireworks in a closed box away from the firework being lit and do not smoke around the fireworks.
- Set up outdoors in a clear, open space. Light fireworks on a hard, flat and level surface to insure stability.
- Check the wind and have the wind blowing away from the spectators.
- Spectators should be at least the safety distance written on the fireworks label away from the display, keeping special supervision on children.
- Have a bucket of sand, supply of water and a working fire extinguisher on hand.
- Only adults (18 years or over) should handle the fireworks. If you are impaired (alcohol or drugs) do not handle the fireworks.
- Light only one firework item at a time.
- Wear protective eye glasses and gloves. Light at arm’s length and then stand back.
- Never lean over the fireworks and keep hair and clothes away from fire sources.
- Never attempt to re-light a “dud” or defective firework.
- Never hold a lighted firework item in your hand.
- Sparklers should be immersed in a bucket of sand to cool down after burning out, as they remain very hot for some time.
- Fireworks should be disposed of safely and properly.
3. Heat Safety
While this weekend in Canada isn’t set to be one of the hottest of the year, it will still be quite warm in many parts of the country. It’s important to know how to stay safe while in the sun, especially if you plan to spend extra time outside in the direct heat.
Heat does more than give you a burn and can result in vomiting. fainting, and even death. A healthy, normal human body maintains an internal temperature of 37°C, and generally feels most comfortable with an air temperature between 20°C-27°C, and humidity ranges from 35 to 60%.
If you’re spending time in the heat this long weekend, keep these tips in mind:
- Stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol that actually dehydrate your body, even though you’re taking in liquid. Remember the golden rule: If your urine is yellow, you’re not drinking enough water.
- Apply sunscreen – apply before you head out in the sun and reapply as necessary. Remember that the elderly and the young have especially sensitive skin and don’t forget that some medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing – avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
Learn more about staying safe in the heat by reading our block, Herc How-To: Stay Cool While Working in Extreme Heat.
4. Water Safety
Swimming and water-sports are a huge part of the labour day long weekend. For many of us, this may be our last chance to participate in these types of activities for the year – so you may feel inclined to go extra hard and pack as much activity in as possible.
However, make sure to slow down and pay attention to safety measures when in and around water. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Always supervise children – Children aged 1-4 are at the highest risk for injury around water. All children should be supervised at all times when in or near water. Consider visiting a public beach or pool with staffed lifeguards for water fun with children.
- Do not drink and drive a boat – The same rules apply to driving an boat as they do a car when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Never operate a boat while impaired.
- Wear a life jacket when boating or doing watersports – Avoid the risk of drowning by wearing a correct size life jacket when participating in any activities that take you into open water. (Psssst, need water safety products? Check out our sister company Spartan Marine.)
- Do not swim in bad weather conditions – It is Canada after all, so beautiful weather is never promised for our last weekend of the summer, even though we’d like it to be. Pay attention to the weather before you swim and keep an eye out for bad weather conditions while swimming to avoid dangerous situations
The #1 way to ensure your safety is being in the know – And that comes with proper training and education! Hercules SLR recognizes that and through the Hercules Training Academy, offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses.
Brand new classrooms and specialized training equipment enable us to provide an even higher quality of service than ever before when it comes to safety training. Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.
Our courses can be customized to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!
If you’re interested in building a customized training program, please get in touch. One of our training representatives would be happy to help you get started.