Shopping Cart Summary
Your cart is currently empty.

Category Archives: Safety tips

Prepare Your Business for Winter

winter_stormWinter storms can disrupt businesses of all sizes, but are particularly bad for smaller entities that don’t have the financial or human resources to form a rapid response to severe weather. Being caught unprepared for a sudden snowstorm can leave businesses vulnerable to everything from slip-and-fall accident claims to structural damage to the facilities. That’s why small business owners are encouraged to prepare early for the coming winter by doing the following:

  • Inspect the roof and gutters for problems in need of immediate repairs. Ensure that all drains and spouts are free of debris so melting snow has a clear path to the ground.
  • Walk around the property after dark to confirm that all parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and entrances are adequately lighted.
  • Mark parking lot and ground features that may become obscured or hidden due to heavy snowfall. These may include things like speed bumps, fire hydrants, car stops, curbs, shrubs, and anything else that could cause damage to vehicles or injuries to pedestrians.
  • Formulate a response plan to winter storms and emergencies that includes provisions for snow and ice removal, generators and other backup power sources, and evacuation routes for employees. Post the plan in the cafeteria or break room, and distribute a copy to all employees.
  • Install industrial carpeting, mats, and/or runners near entrances and in lobbies to absorb moisture and ward off indoor slip-and-fall incidents.
  • Provide all employees with ice cleats for extra traction when walking or working outdoors and to reduce the chances of accidents and subsequent worker’s compensation claims.
  • Review your insurance policies to confirm that property coverage is adequate and up to date. If necessary, take photos of your offices, warehouse, and inventory to help facilitate replacement in the event of a claim.

Taking the time to prepare your small business for winter can help you avoid disruptions to ordinary operations, damage to property and inventory, and negligence lawsuits. Start protecting your business now by implementing the tips listed here so you’ll be ready for whatever winter weather comes your way.

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween pet safety tipsThere’s no question that Halloween is an exciting time for kids—and even many adults. After all, it’s a day filled with free candy, awesome costumes, spooky decorations, and great parties, so what’s not to love?

But all of this extra activity can be very stressful for pets and could lead to some dangerous scenarios, which is why we urge you to take the following precautions for keeping your dog or cat safe this Halloween:

  • Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag on at all times in case he manages to escape from the house or yard during the general commotion.
  • Keep all treats, especially those containing dark chocolate, baking chocolate, or the artificial sweetener xylitol, well out of reach of pets.
  • Consider keeping your pet crated or closed off in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat hours to lessen the anxiety caused by a constantly ringing doorbell and endless parade of strangers. You might also try turning on a TV or radio near the pet to mask all the noise from trick-or-treaters.
  • Never leave an unsupervised dog or cat alone in a room filled with Halloween decorations as the pet might knock over candles, choke on fake cobwebs and rubber spiders, or be tempted to chew through electrical cords.
  • If dressing your pet in a costume, make sure the garment fits properly and doesn’t impair vision, prohibit barking or meowing, or interfere with free movement.
  • Bring outdoor pets inside for the night (or at the very least, keep them in the garage) to minimize the chances of them being targeted by pranksters.
  • Look up the emergency vet’s contact information as well as the animal poison control helpline number, and keep them on hand just in case.

Don’t let worries about your pet’s health and safety get in the way of Halloween fun this year. Take these precautions into consideration and implement the ones that apply to your household so the whole family can enjoy this spookiest of days!

Employers Can’t Afford to Ignore Winter Safety Hazards

cautionAlthough winter is still a couple of months away, it’s never too early for employers to begin making plans to deal with the safety hazards caused by the season’s abundance of ice and snow. Poor traction and slick surfaces in particular are two concerns that employers simply cannot afford to ignore, as these conditions are leading causes of slip-and-fall accidents that can negatively impact businesses. The average slip and fall injury costs a business $28,000, according to the Bureau of Labor. Costs due to these injuries can add up in the following ways:

  • Direct workers compensation payouts
  • Lost employee work days
  • Decreased on-the-job productivity for injured workers
  • Lower employee morale
  • Possible litigation and punitive damages
  • Legal fees and court costs
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Lost business if victim is a client, customer, or other visitor to the facility

All of the above can happen as the result of a single incident, which is why preventive measures must be taken well before the first snowstorm and why swift responses to inclement weather are required throughout the winter. Some of the most effective actions for avoiding potential slip-and-fall claims include:

  • Mandating the use of ice cleats for all employees that work outdoors
  • Making ice cleats or other traction devices available for office employees that must occasionally walk outside for considerable distances (e.g. across campus or through an airport parking lot)
  • Removing snow from walkways and sprinkling salt on exposed surfaces to melt ice
  • Eliminating uneven surfaces in parking lots and on sidewalks
  • Placing floor mats or carpeting inside doorways to absorb snow, ice, and debris from employees’ footwear

Providing safe winter walking gear for employees and visitors is clearly in everyone’s best interest, not only for avoiding all the detrimental outcomes listed here but also for preventing sprains, broken bones, and other serious injuries. So check out the variety of ice cleats and stabilizers we have on sale now at CozyWinters, and be sure to inquire about volume pricing deals for larger orders.

Think your industry’s employees don’t need ice cleats? Think again.

falling-on-iceFiguring out what kind of personal protective equipment employees need for a particular job is often a straightforward task. In fact, within most industries there’s very little guesswork involved. For example, hearing protection, safety glasses, steel-toed boots, and gloves are fairly standard issue for employees in manufacturing positions, while those in carpentry or construction jobs might also need a hardhat, high-visibility vest, and/or respiratory protection.

However, it can be a bit more difficult to determine which industry’s employees should be given ice cleats for the winter. That’s because we tend to think that only workers in outdoor jobs, such as mail or package delivery and landscaping, would benefit from the extra traction ice cleats provide.

But consider how frequently employees that have “desk jobs” are required to go outside in the winter as part of their ordinary duties. All of those offsite business meetings, trips to the post office, lunches and dinners with clients, and visits to trade shows and conferences put even corporate employees at risk for slip-and-fall accidents—leaving you, as the employer, potentially liable for workman’s compensation claims, increased insurance costs, and lost productivity.

To protect your employees and your business, we recommend ice cleats for the following types of workers:

  • Firefighters
  • Police officers and security guards
  • EMT personnel
  • Newspaper reporters and photographers
  • College and university staff (especially on large campuses located in areas that receive heavy snowfall)
  • Traveling salespeople
  • Frequent-flyer type executives

The goal here is to provide ice cleats for any employee that is required to leave the building and visit other locations during the workday. Since you can’t be sure that the other site has followed safety protocols in terms of shoveling snow and salting walkways to eliminate ice buildup, you’re better off giving your employees the means to protect themselves.

Now that you’re ready to purchase ice cleats for your employees, visit CozyWinters to check out all the different brands and styles we carry. We offer volume pricing on government and corporate orders, so get ready to stock up on winter footwear today.

7 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer

Summertime provides dog owners with ample opportunities to romp with pets in a variety of fun settings. From barbecues on the beach and boating on the lake to hiking in the woods, fishing in the river, or simply playing fetch at the local dog park, there are always plenty of great destinations and activities to choose from.

But summer also provides ample opportunities for dogs to get sick or injured, which is why extra vigilance and preventive measures are so important for maintaining good health. Here are 7 ways to keep your dog safe from summer hazards:

  1. Beware of walking your dog on hot surfaces such as asphalt, cement, and even beach sand. The pads on dogs’ paws are sensitive to heat, and can burn or blister after prolonged contact with these surfaces, so save your walks for the early morning or late evening hours.
  2. Immediately clean up any antifreeze/coolant spills in your garage or driveway. This substance is appealing to dogs because of its sweet taste, but is incredibly toxic and can cause serious illness or death.
  3. Do not leave your dog in an unattended vehicle while you pop into the store for “a few minutes.” Even with the windows cracked, the interior temperature of a vehicle can reach triple digits very quickly in the summer and might result in heat stroke for any pet trapped inside.
  4. Understand that dogs cool from the bottom up (that is, from their belly to the top of their back and head), so a product like the portable Hound Cooler cooling bed is much more effective at regulating your pet’s body temperature than an ordinary fan or the shade of a tree.
  5. Keep your dog away from lawns or gardens that have been treated with pesticides. Though many commercial products are labeled “pet safe,” quite a few industrial strength varieties are toxic to dogs and could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other forms of gastrointestinal distress.
  6. Use a doggy life jacket, such as the Fido Float vest available at CozyWinters, to keep your dog safe while boating, fishing, and frolicking on the beach. Even if your dog enjoys swimming, you never know when exhaustion might kick in, so it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
  7. Take appropriate measures, including using special collars, shampoos, dips, and prescription medications, to protect your dog from fleas, worms, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites.

Short of staying indoors all summer long, there’s no surefire way to avoid the many pet related dangers out there. But following the above tips will do much to keep your dog safe while participating in all the fun activities the season has to offer.

Help Pets Stay Safe and Calm During Fireworks

It’s no secret that dogs and cats of all sizes can be spooked by loud noises. Thunderstorms, jackhammers, drums, motorcycles, and backfiring cars are just a few of the sounds that might cause these house pets to whimper, hide, or engage in destructively anxious behavior.

nervous dogIn the summer months—particularly July when Independence Day rolls around—you can add fireworks to this list of scary noises. Many local humane societies cite the Fourth of July as one of the busiest days of the year for reports of lost or runaway pets, presumably due to the animals’ desire to escape from noisy displays of patriotism.

Obviously, you don’t want anything like this to happen to your precious pet, so here are some expert tips on how to help dogs and cats stay safe and calm during fireworks:

  • Identify the dates and times of scheduled fireworks shows near your home so you can make all necessary preparations well in advance.
  • Create a safe, cozy space for your pets to stay in for the duration of the show. Place a favorite bed or cooling mat in a small, enclosed room or under a table to help them feel secure during all the chaos.
  • Try to acclimatize pets to loud noises prior to the event. Do this gradually and in a controlled manner by using a sound CD or similar recording to introduce pets to the kinds of disturbing sounds they might encounter.
  • Feed, water, and walk your pets before the fireworks begin, as the noise might make them too anxious to eat or too jumpy while in the backyard or on a leash.
  • Block out the fireworks by closing the windows, pulling the curtains, and turning on the television, radio, or white noise machine.
  • Try to physically comfort your pet (by hugging, cuddling, putting on a “thundershirt” type product, etc.) if the animal seems receptive, but don’t force the issue.
  • Dogs and cats are notoriously adept at taking behavioral cues from humans, so make sure you remain levelheaded and calm regardless of how your pet is reacting to the fireworks.

Loud noises like those associated with fireworks displays can scare pets and cause potentially harmful responses. If you think your dog or cat might get spooked, try the above techniques to help keep them safe during the Fourth of July and other summertime festivities.

7 Tips to Beat the Heat

Hiking in summer May blog 4As the seasons change from winter and spring into summer, the focus of outdoor safety shifts from staying warm to staying cool.

High temperatures and intense sunshine combine to make heat exhaustion and heat stroke serious risks for those engaging in moderate to vigorous outdoor activities for sustained periods of time. So if you’re planning a running, hiking, biking, climbing, or similar outdoor adventure for the near future, be sure to follow these 7 tips to beat the heat:

  1. Wear lightweight clothing made of breathable fabrics or moisture-wicking material to absorb sweat and keep your skin dry. Avoid cotton and dark colored clothing, which tend to retain more heat than high-tech synthetics.
  2. Soak small face cloths or hand towels in water, and then roll them up and place them in the freezer the night before your outing. You can carry the frozen towels in a plastic bag and pull one out to dab your face and neck whenever you need a quick cool-down.
  3. Begin hydrating approximately one hour prior to the start of your activity by sipping 8 to 12 ounces of water, juice, or other nonalcoholic, decaffeinated beverages.
  4. When possible and if safe to do so, try to schedule vigorous exercise for the coolest times of the day. In most places, this generally means before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m. during the summer months.
  5. For longer outings, be sure to pace yourself or your group to help prevent overexertion. Allow adequate time to acclimatize to the weather and temperature conditions, and increase speed or intensity very gradually.
  6. Take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded area away from direct sunlight. Use these opportunities to rehydrate, refuel with nutritious food choices such as cold fruit or yogurt, and assess all group members’ physical condition.
  7. Consider wearing an evaporative or hybrid cooling vest from CozyWinters. Available in many styles, these vests provide up to 10 hours of cooling action even in very hot conditions, making them perfect for sports and other strenuous activities.

Summer is coming, which means triple digit temperatures, high humidity, and the very real dangers of extreme heat are not far behind. But don’t let the elements keep you cooped up at home for the entire season. Instead, use these tips to help beat the heat so you can enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer.

How to Keep Family and Pets Hydrated

Proper hydration is the foundation for a number of essential physiological processes such as temperature and heart rate regulation, joint lubrication, nutrition absorption, and more. This is true for both humans and animals, and is a constant requirement all year round.

That said, staying hydrated is particularly important in summer when sizzling temperatures and the scorching sun combine to quickly deplete the body of water and electrolytes. Add in some moderate to strenuous outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or playing sports, and it’s not long before dehydration (along with its accompanying symptoms of dizziness, headache, confusion, and excessive thirst) can set in.

Fortunately, keeping your family and pets hydrated is easy—especially when you follow these tips.

For people:

  • family pets hydratedBring plenty of bottled water for outdoor activities and sip liberally for the duration of the session. A general guideline to follow for adults is to drink approximately seven to 10 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exertion. Children may have lower requirements depending on relative size.
  • Even when staying at home or in the office, strive to consume at least 64 ounces of water daily.
  • Although water is the best for replenishing lost fluids and maintaining hydration, juice, coffee, tea, milk, and even soft drinks can also be helpful in this regard.
  • Don’t forget that certain foods, including broth, citrus fruits, yogurt, and many vegetables are high in water content and thus contribute to overall hydration.
  • Monitor hydration level by keeping an eye on your urine. A pale yellow color is most desirable, while dark yellow urine or significantly lower output could indicate dehydration.

For pets:

  • Cats subsisting on a diet of canned food should drink an additional two to four ounces of water per day. Cats on a diet of dry food need approximately two to three times the amount they eat (e.g. five ounces of dry food would translate to about 10 to 15 ounces of water).
  • The widely accepted rule of thumb for dogs is 8.5 to 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds of bodyweight, meaning a 25-pound dog needs anywhere from 21 to 42 ounces per day.
  • Provide pets with constant access to clean water. A product such as the CleanFlow Filtered Water Bowl at CozyWinters helps remove impurities and promote consumption.
  • When taking pets on extended car trips and outings, be sure to bring a portable water bowl and provide frequent opportunities for drinking.

Now that we’re edging into summer, the dangers of family members and pets becoming dehydrated are ever increasing. But you can keep your outings safe and fun for all involved by using our ideas to stay cool and hydrated.

Dealing with Spring Colds

april 2While getting a cold is never any fun, it’s particularly annoying in the springtime. Instead of being able to go out and bask in the mild weather and sunshine, you’ll be stuck indoors trying to treat your runny nose, cough, sore throat, and general fatigue. These symptoms can linger for anywhere from a few days to up to two weeks, depending on different factors such as the type of virus that initially caused the illness and the strength of your immune system. To help speed recovery, follow these tips for dealing with spring colds:

  • Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids, including juice, tea with lemon and honey, and clear broth.
  • Run a humidifier—such as one of the quiet ultrasonic models available at CozyWinters—in your home or office to moisturize the air, relieve congestion, and ease breathing. Change the water in the humidifier daily and follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations to prevent the buildup and discharge of mold and mildew.
  • Supplement the effects of your new humidifier with the use of a decongestant nasal spray or decongestant tablets. Just be sure not to use any nasal spray for more than three consecutive days, as doing so can lead to further congestion.
  • Gargle with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of table salt dissolved in a cup of warm water several times a day to soothe a sore throat.
  • Fill up on chicken soup to take advantage of its anti-inflammatory properties and natural decongesting action.
  • Use over-the-counter cough syrups or cold medicines to provide temporary relief for various cold symptoms.

Although the common cold is considered a minor illness, it can cause major disruptions in your life by keeping you away from work, school, or the outdoor activities you love. To get back on track faster, follow the tips listed here as soon as you detect any telltale symptoms.

How to Minimize Slips and Falls this Winter

icy-sidewalk-caution-signThe calendar now says March, but that doesn’t mean the dangers associated with winter weather have suddenly vanished. Many parts of the country remain covered by snow and ice, so the risks of slip and fall accidents are still out there.

In fact, this time of year could be even more dangerous for pedestrians than the middle of January or February. That’s because people tend to let down their guard when they think spring is on the way, thus leaving themselves vulnerable to ice-induced tumbles. In addition, property owners might not be as attentive to sidewalks and parking lots in March as they are during the height of winter, so ice and snow are often left on the ground for longer periods.

To help minimize your own risk of slipping and falling in the coming weeks before spring sets in for good, keep these useful tips in mind whenever you’re walking outside:

  • Walk slowly across uneven pavement or on surfaces covered with snow and ice. Use handrails where available, particularly when going up or down stairs.
  • When crossing treacherous ground, maintain a low center of gravity by keeping your hands out of your pockets, bending your knees a bit, and positioning your torso over your feet. Take very short steps and be sure to stop periodically to prevent momentum from carrying you too fast.
  • As frequently as possible, try to wear nonslip shoes or boots that have some kind of traction on their soles. When dress shoes or other smooth-soled footwear is required, consider using an easy on/off traction device like the WinterGrips Ice Cleats from CozyWinters for extra grip and stability.
  • Avoid loading both arms with heavy bags, packages, or other bulky items. Doing so not only throws off your balance, but also prevents you from grabbing onto handrails or breaking your fall if you slip.
  • Use extra caution when climbing in and out of vehicles, as the spaces between parked cars are often left untouched by snow shovels and plows.
  • If you feel yourself falling, make an effort to land on “softer” parts of your body (such as your side or butt) instead of your wrists, knees, or other bony areas.

Winter is not over just yet, so walking outdoors requires that you be extra aware of the potential dangers around you. Take these precautions to minimize the chances of slipping and falling in the late stages of the season.