Safety and You at ISU
Brought to you by ISU Public Safety and the ISU Safety Committee December, 2005
Back Injuries Can Be Avoided!
When it comes to lifting and bending, employees aren’t always as careful as they should be. Work-related back injuries are among the most common injuries that lead to lost workdays, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The American Academy of Family Physicians offers the following tips to keep your back healthy:
- Pace Yourself. Take small breaks between lifts if you are lifting a number of items.
- Don’t overdo it by trying to lift something too heavy for you. If you have to strain to carry the load, it’s too heavy.
- Make sure you have enough room to lift safely. Clear a space around the object before lifting it. Look around before you lift, and look around as you carry. Make sure you can see where you are walking so you don’t trip and fall. Know where you are going to put down the load.
- Get help before you try to lift a heavy load. Use a dolly or forklift, if possible. Avoid walking on slippery, uneven surfaces while carrying something.
- Don’t rely on a back belt to protect you. It hasn’t been proven that back belts can protect you from back injury.
Lifestyle changes can also ward off back injuries. Workers Should:
- Exercise regularly to keep their back and abdominal muscles strong and flexible, and build activity tolerance.
- Choose healthy foods and maintain a proper weight.
- Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
- Avoid smoking as it reduces the blood and fluid flow to the spine.
- Get sufficient sleep every day and try sleeping on your side or back.
The Road To Safety
Operating a vehicle in a way that endangers other people and property—such as improper passing, weaving in and out of traffic, or following too closely—compromises the safety of both the driver and everyone around them.
- Aggressive driving typically encompasses: speeding, tailgating, making frequent and sudden lane changes, failure to yield right-of-way, and disregarding traffic signals. These types of behaviors cause over 50% of all crashes.
- Seemingly harmless maneuvers can be considered aggressive when performed knowingly or without regard for other drivers. These drivers can then, in turn, become aggressive.
Defined as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property,” aggressive driving is a traffic offense that can easily escalate into “road rage,” which is a criminal offense. Road rage is “the use of a vehicle as a weapon with intent to do harm or physical assault of an individual as a result of traffic occurrences.” The NHTSA has documented incidents in all 50 states where motorists have killed or injured other motorists for trivial reasons. Even drivers who are courteous and obey traffic laws can become targets of aggressive drivers. It’s always important to stay aware, watch for aggressive drivers, and drive defensively.
Safety Tips You Can Use
- Driving is not a win or lose situation. The only winners are those drivers who reach their destination safely. Allow other vehicles to pass by making room ahead of your vehicle.
- Aggressive driving only leads to more aggressive driving. In general, the more courtesy a driver shows to others, the more they get back.
- Time spent in a car is not time wasted. Driving doesn’t have to be a nervous, anxious experience focused on hurrying to a destination. Let it be personal time spent in a personal space. Listen to music, or think about something pleasant. Make the space inside the vehicle comfortable.
- Drive in the appropriate lane and allow enough distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
- Don’t worry about the behavior of other drivers; concentrate on driving safely.
- Plan your trips with enough time so that you don’t feel rushed. Let the trip be relaxing.
- Don’t drive when angry, upset or overly tired.
- Personalize other drivers. Remember that every driver is someone’s family member or friend.
(excerpts from the National Safety Council)
April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Know the Facts!
MYTH:Rape is caused by the rapist’s uncontrollable sexual urge.
FACT: Rape is an act of power and control, not sex. Rapes are often carried out by intimate partners acquaintances, a family member, or strangers.
MYTH: The victim must have “asked for it” by being seductive, careless, drunk, high, etc….
FACT: No one asks to be abused, injured, or humiliated. Individuals of all ages, from all walks of life, have been targets of sexual assault. Most rapes are planned. In one study in 87% of the cases, the assailant either carried a weapon or threatened the victim with death if she resisted (The Problem of Rape On Campus. Fact Sheet of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault).
MYTH: Women lie about sexual assault to save their reputation or to get revenge on someone.
FACT: Sexual assault is a vastly under-reported crime. Women are more likely to lie and say that they haven’t been sexually assaulted, out of shame or fear of further assaults or harassment.
The rate of “false reports” of rape (fabricated stories) is 2% to 3%, no different than that for other crimes. (Schafran, L.H. (1993). Writing and reading about rape: A primer. St. John’s Law Review, 66 979-1045.)
MYTH: If the victim did not physically struggle with or fight the assailant, it wasn’t really rape.
FACT: Assailants are not looking for a fight and they use many forms of coercion, threats and manipulation to rape. Alcohol and other drugs, such as Rohypnol, are often used to incapacitate victims.
MYTH: Men cannot be sexually assaulted.
FACT: Men can be and are sexually assaulted, as boys and adults.
In one study, 5% of boys in grades 9-12 and 3% of boys in grades 5-8 reported that they had been sexually abused. (The Commonwealth Fund (1997). The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls. New York: The Commonwealth Fund.)
What Students Need To Know
Most college students are at high risk for sexual assault. College students are in one of the most vulnerable age groups for sexual assault. In the Rape in America Study (National Victim Center 1992), over 80% of the women who reported being raped were under 25 years old; 29% were less than 11 years old, 32% were between 11 and 17; 22% were between 18 and 24; 7% were between 25 and 29; 6% were older than 29.
Most college students are sexually assaulted or victimized by someone they know. Although stranger rapes occur, acquaintance rape is by far the most prevalent form of sexual violence among college students.
In the Rape In America study, 80% of the girls and women were raped or assaulted by someone they knew. Similarly, in a report in “Violence
Against Women” published by the Department of Justice, 82% of the victims were raped by someone they knew (acquaintance, friend, intimate partner, relative).
Certain drugs, such as Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine, are sometimes called “Rape Drugs” or “Date Rape Drugs” because they can be used as a weapon in sexual assault crimes. The drugs are usually slipped into a victim’s drink without the victim’s knowledge or consent. When the drugs dissolve in the drink, they are colorless and odorless. Sometimes the drugs are also tasteless. You can’t tell that you are being drugged. They are powerful and dangerous. They put you at risk for sexual assault. They can seriously harm or even kill you. Many of these drugs are also known as “club drugs” - they are used at raves, clubs and concerts.
Signs You Have Been Drugged:
- Feeling a lot more intoxicated than your usual response to the amount of alcohol you have consumed.
- Waking up very hung over, feeling “fuzzy,” experiencing memory lapse, and being unable to account for a period of time.
- Feeling as though someone had sex with you, but being unable to remember any or all of the incident.
What to Do if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted:
- Get to a safe place.
- Get help immediately. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you & assist you in getting the services you need.
- Call ISU Public Safety or Pocatello Police.
- Get medical care immediately.
- If you think you may have been sexually assaulted, preserve all evidence of the assault, do not shower, bathe, douche, eat, drink, wash your hands, or brush your teeth before you have a medical exam. Do not disturb anything in the area where the assault may have occurred.
Protecting Yourself & Your Friends:
- Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know.
- Don’t drink beverages that you did not open yourself.
- Don’t take a drink from a punch bowl or container that is being passed around.
- If possible, bring your own drinks to parties.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended. If you realize your drink has been left unattended, discard it.
- Go to clubs or parties with friends you trust and agree to look out for one another. Appoint a “designated sober person” - a friend who won’t drink and who will regularly check up on the others in your group.
- Leave parties with people you know. Don’t leave alone or with someone you don't know very well.
Important Numbers To Know:
ISU Public Safety 282-2515
Janet C. Anderson Project Hope Crisis Line 282-4673
Pocatello Police Department 234-6100
Pocatello Free Clinic 233-6245
Portneuf Medical Center 239-1000
Bannock County Sheriff 236-7114
Bannock County Court Services 236-7083
Bannock Co. Victim/Witness Coordinator 236-7824
Idaho Dept. of Corrections VINE Program 1-877-846-3443
ISU Student Affairs 282-2794
ISU Student Health 282-2330
ISU Counseling & Testing 282-2130