Did you know your body is constantly in a struggle to disperse the heat it produces? Most of the time, you're hardly aware of it – unless your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle. In 2017, 87 people died in the U.S. from exposure to excessive heat, according to Injury Facts, the annual statistical report on unintentional injuries produced by the National Safety Council. Heat-related illnesses can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death.
State of Safety: A State-by-State Report
National Safety Council is on a mission to eliminate preventable deaths in our lifetime, but safety can be difficult to quantify. That's why NSC took on a year-long project to grade states on actions and policies they have taken – or not taken – to reduce risk for all residents. The State of Safety: A State-by-State Report provides insight into promising practices, and it shows where states are on track or falling short on road safety, home and community safety, and workplace safety. It offers a bird's-eye view of safety policies and legislation that can help us reduce preventable deaths from things like distracted driving, prescription painkillers and falls. Get the methodology here.
On July 30, 2014, Western Kentucky University became accredited by the National Safety Council as a Safe Community. WKU is the fourth university, and 25th community to receive this accreditation. Safe Communities America is a program associated with an accreditation in which any community can receive if certain criteria are met. This program is an approach that is proven to reduce injuries within a community through the use of community coalition members.
So, what is a Safe Community?
- Shares a geographical area (such as a municipality, campus, district, county, or region)
- Works together in a coordinated and collaborative way
- Promotes safety and health to prevent injury of its residents
- Uses community data to prioritize safety and health areas in greatest need of attention
- Is committed to the process of continuous improvement
- Saves lives and prevents injuries
To become a Safe Community, WKU Safe Community Coalition members coordinated and discussed current programs regarding different safety categories. Upon gathering this information, the application process began and the coalition members started addressing the four areas of competency (established by the National Safety Council). After review of the application, a 2-day site visit was conducted at Western Kentucky University. This site visit consisted of touring WKU, meeting with coalition members, and discussing current safety programs, as well as brainstorming future program enhancements. After a very successful site visit, a designation ceremony was coordinated to celebrate WKU's accreditation success!