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September begins with Labor Day, a day to honor those, like you and me, who work for a living; who are the backbone of this country. Labor Day also "officially" signifies that summer is over, and that means that in the next few weeks our children will be returning to school. Some of these boys and girls may be your own or perhaps your neighbors, but all of us need to be concerned about their safety. Remember when you went back to school after the long summer and your mind was focused on everything but school? In fact, you may have some of the same feelings coming back to work if you've just returned from vacation.

Knowing that the kids are probably not thinking much about safety, we have to watch out for them, especially in school zones and at bus stops! Big children, little children, and even adults will now be using the crosswalks, sidewalks and driveways around our schools. Watch for reduced speed limits in these zones in the morning and afternoon and obey them. Keep a sharp lookout for stopped school buses, flashing red lights, and the child that waits until the last second to catch the bus and darts from one side of the street to the other. Adjust your schedule to allow extra time to get to work in the morning, and use extra caution on rainy days.

If you're the one returning from vacation, make sure you reacquaint yourself with the safety rules at your workplace. To get up to speed, check with your supervisor to see what has changed while you were gone. Check your safety equipment, dust it off, and make sure it's working properly before using it. Think carefully about what you're doing and don't take any chances. Vacations are great. They take our minds off our work and it's a chance to relax. You deserved it and hopefully really enjoyed it, but now it's back to the old grind. Just remember, now that you're back on the job, don't relax when it comes to safety.

Whether ‘back to school' or 'back to work,' it's up to each of us to practice safety. Watch out for that child and watch out for yourself. If we all use just a little extra caution, we can significantly reduce 'back to school' accidents and keep ourselves from becoming an end of summer statistics

Safety Excellence is never achieved by Accident!