A New Year, A Safer Year

A New Year, A Safer Year

What resolutions will you make to protect yourself and others in 2018?

Deborah A.P. Hersman is president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

​The end of the calendar year typically brings resolutions for change in the new year. The resolutions often are familiar; people want to improve their health, get organized, have more fun, learn new hobbies and spend less money.

These are certainly worthwhile goals, but I would also suggest 2018 be the year we make changes that will make us and the people around us safer every day.

Making changes usually means developing new habits. To get healthier, you could make a habit of spending 20 minutes of your lunch break taking a brisk walk. To be safer, you could make a habit of shutting off your cell phone and putting it in your glove box before starting the car, asking doctors about the medications they are prescribing, looking out for hazards at work and holding the hand rail on a flight of stairs. Like many changes that can have big impacts, it requires establishing new habits and doing small things that are sustainable for the long run.

To make some habits stick, it helps to schedule them into your life, like signing up to take an exercise class beginning in April, or calling a financial planner and making an appointment for February. But also, to increase safety awareness, you could schedule family fire drills, register for a first aid class or organize a safety training program for coworkers.

A good first step might be to assess the hazards that are most likely to affect you. By using the NSC Safety Checkup tool, you can get a snapshot of the biggest safety threats based on your age, gender and state of residence. It can even assess the risks facing your kids.

You also can examine the Council's State of Safety report, which looks at actions individual states have taken – or not taken – to reduce risk for all residents.

By taking some time to assess the risks you face, and then resolving to better protect yourself and your family against them, you will set yourself up to have a safer 2018.

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