Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Apr. 16, 2014


Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. I’m your host Jim Person. Coming up, learn about work zone awareness, an active shooter resource available for your work place, Virginia 811 and National 9-1-1 Education Month. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

April 7-11 was National Work Zone Awareness Week. As you know, there are many roads in the area that have traffic work zones due to road construction. Keep these tips in mind when driving in work zones to help protect yourself, your passengers, other drivers and the workers in traffic work zones:

  • Expect the Unexpected: Work zones can change overnight and throughout a work day. Speeds limits may change, traffic lanes may have closed, shifted or narrowed and there may be workers and equipment near the road.

  • Don’t Speed: Pay attention to and obey posted speed limit signs at all times, even if it appears there are no workers on site. 

  • Don’t Tailgate: Keep a safe distance between you, the vehicle ahead of you and construction workers and equipment. This will allow time to react if there is a sudden stop or other unexpected event. Rear-end collisions account for 30 percent of work zone crashes.

  • Obey Road Signs and Road Crew Flaggers: Warning signs are posted to help you move through the work zone and flaggers know when it is safe to move through a work zone.

In addition, don’t be distracted and stay alert, keep up with the traffic flow and always wear your seat belt in case of a collision. And remember to be patient. Work zones are not meant to be an inconvenience to you. Work crews are working to improve the road conditions to make it better in the future. Learn more at


The recent Ft. Hood shootings is a good reminder that an active shooter incident can occur any where. Get copies of the Department of Homeland Security active shooter poster for your worksite online at and search for active shooter poster. The poster can be printed out and posted at multiple locations in your office. It provides quick guidance on what to do if an active shooter is in your vicinity, how to respond when law enforcement arrives on the scene, as well as how to recognize the signs of potential workplace violence. The Web address again is, and search for active shooter poster.


The Virginia Utility Protection Service, commonly called Miss Utility of Virginia, is the not-for-profit organization created by Virginia’s utilities to protect their underground facilities. Virginia 811 is the free “one call” Virginia communications center for excavators, contractors, property owners and those planning any kind of excavation, digging or demolition. Miss Utility of Virginia notifies participating utilities of the upcoming excavation work so they can locate and mark their underground facilities in advance to prevent possible damage to underground utility lines, injury, property damage and service outages. Calling before you dig is a simple step, but one that can make your construction, planting or home improvement project safer while preventing utility outages that can be inconvenient or even dangerous for your neighbors. In addition, calling 811 before you dig is the law. To learn more visit


Finally, April is National 9-1-1 Education Month. When calling 9-1-1 in an emergency, remember to know where you are so you can tell 9-1-1 exactly where to find you.Stay calm and ready to listen: 9-1-1 will stay on the line to help you until help arrives. And never hang up, even if you called 9-1-1 by accident, or if you think the problem has gone away. It is the 9-1-1 call taker’s job to make sure that you are okay and that help has gotten to whoever needs it. In situations where you aren’t able to talk or have to leave, keep the phone off the hook so that the 9-1-1 operator can hear what is going on in the room. They also may be able to use the computers at the 9-1-1 Center to find your address. Learn more about Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center, the largest in Virginia and one of the 50 largest in the country, at

That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Va., Government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

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