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September 2012
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November 2012

October 2012

Fall Driving Hazards

John DeRoia 2012 Posted by John DeRoia

Autumn is one of the prettiest times of year.  The trees are changing colors creating a spectacular view.  Autumn also presents a set of challenges when driving. 

There are several factors that play against safe driving this time of year.  We can expect wet leaves, fog, sun glare, frost and even extra deer activity.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Wet leaves can be as slippery as black ice.  The leaves may also cover road markings and traffic lines.  Avoid parking on piles of dry leaves as your catalytic convertor and exhaust may be hot enough to start a fire.
  • During this time of year the sun is rising and setting during your morning and evening commute causing extra sun glare.  Pay attention to traffic patterns and don’t forget your sunglasses. This is also a great time to clean the inside of your windows and windshield.  This will help reduce glare.
  • The mornings are getting colder.  Frost can be a concern on the roads as well as your windshields.  Take a few extra minutes to clear your windshield before heading out on the road.  Also watch for those bridges and overpasses; they may have ice accumulating on them already.
  • Slow down when driving in foggy conditions.  If the fog is severe turn on your hazards lights.  Do not use high beams as they will reflect back at you making driving even more difficult.  Use your low beams and/or fog lights if so equipped. 
  • Deer are particularly active this time of year.  Almost 50% of all deer related car accidents occur during the months of October and November.  Deer are most active around dawn and dusk.  If you see a deer cross the roadway, slow down as deer typically travel in groups. Check out these tips from the Wisconsin DOT to avoid the “deer in the headlights”.  

Following these safety tips will help you keep safe during this beautiful time of year.  More information on safe driving can be found through webinars and safety talks at


The Seven Steps to Stagnation

Klatt Randy Posted by Randy Klatt

The Seven Steps to Stagnation, often cited to prevent change, have been heard time and time again by MEMIC consultants when discussing workplace safety.  Take a look at this list and see if you, your coworker, supervisor, or even company owner has used any of them to avoid making safety related improvements. 

Seven Steps to Stagnation
1.  We’ve never done it that way
2.  We’re not ready for that
3.  We’re doing all right without it
4.  We tried that once before
5.  It costs too much
6.  That’s not our responsibility
7.  It just won’t work

Do you recognize any of these?  Change is uncomfortable for many people, even if that change is beneficial.  So even when we are on the path to stagnation, or worse, the path to injury, we avoid taking the necessary actions and making the needed changes to improve the situation. 

We can all benefit from avoiding The Seven Steps, since investments in safety-related improvements pay us back many times over.  The cost of work-related injury is simply too high.  For more information regarding the estimated costs of workplace injuries check out a bulletin from the National Safety Council

Although people are reluctant to change, once they have adopted a new system or used a new piece of equipment for a period of time it becomes much more comfortable.  We should all strive to develop a safety culture that encourages ingenuity and does not tolerate stagnation. 

The next time you hear one of The Seven Steps used to prevent safety-related change, step back and take a critical look at the options available.  Is there a better or safer way to do the job?  Does everyone understand that we actually save money by reducing our injury rate?  In most cases I think you’ll find that not only can stagnation be avoided, but people respond positively when their safety is a priority. 

Lastly, change shouldn’t be made for the sake of change; and, resistance to change, just because it’s different, should not be automatic either.