McGregor Creek

Why is the water in McGregor Creek so brown?

The photo in this article is of the Forks of the Thames River at Tecumseh Park in Chatham–its junction with McGregor Creek. The McGregor Creek watershed starts on the ridge near Highgate and includes 54,000 total acres and 48,000 acres of Chatham-Kent farmland.

The McGregor Creek water is extremely muddy, even compared to the water in the Thames River.

Robert Richardson once farmed next door to the farm where I live today. His daughter Shirley tells of a family outing about 100 years ago on a three-deck excursion boat, from Tecumseh Park, down the Thames River to Detroit. Young Robert could look down into the clear water to see fish and the bottom of the river. The water in the river wasn’t always so murky. Read more

Heimlich Maneuver image

Safety: Emergency breathing situations

Oxygen is vital to life

  • Your body requires a constant supply of oxygen as a source of fuel. When the air you breathe reaches the lungs, oxygen from the air is transferred to the blood. It is a life-threatening situation when oxygen does not enter the body.
  • When you find an emergency situation, call 911, and then care for the life-threatening conditions.

How do you know if someone is choking?

  • Grabbing the throat with one or both hands is a sign that someone is choking.
  • If this person cannot talk, cough or breathe, you will need to help remove the object from his/her throat by giving quick, hard abdominal thrusts.

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Safety: Dangerous wind-chill and frostbite

Wind chill is the temperature it “feels like” outside based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As wind speed increases, the body is cooled at a faster rate, causing the skin temperature to drop.

The wind chill, “feels like,” temperature can freeze body tissue. The most susceptible parts are the extremities such as fingers, toes, earlobes, or the tip of the nose. Frostbite symptoms include the loss of feeling of an extremity and a white or pale skin appearance.

Frostbite may be prevented by:

• Wearing layers of loose fitting, light weight, warm clothing.

• Wearing outer garments that are tightly woven, water repellant, and hooded.

• Wearing a hat (40% of body heat is lost from the head).

• Covering the mouth to protect the lungs from extreme cold.

• Staying dry and staying out of the wind.

Working in an environment with twenty-mile-per-hour winds (32kph) and an air temperature of zero degrees (-18C) may cause frostbite to exposed skin within thirty minutes. Wind chill advisories are issued when the wind chill temperatures are potentially hazardous. A wind chill warning is issued when wind chill temperatures are life threatening.

Spotter safety image

Safety: Importance of having a spotter

While spotting for moving trucks and equipment, it may not seem like a dangerous task, but it certainly is. Every year in Canada and the U.S., back-over incidents between equipment and spotters result in fatalities.

Spotting for equipment has been proven to be an effective safeguard for preventing incidents between pedestrians and the equipment as well as preventing property damage incidents, but safe work practices need to be established to protect spotters as well.

Basic safe work practices for spotting

  • Never walk behind the equipment and spot at the same time.
  • Agree on hand signals prior to any spotting activities with equipment operators.
  • As the operator, stop anytime you lose sight of the spotter.
  • Review the work area for any additional hazards such as trip hazards or fixed objects that the equipment can strike. Remove any people, objects, or equipment prior to needing to back into an area to eliminate the possibility of a strike.

Other tips

  • When planning work, look at the task and determine if there is a way to eliminate backing up or minimize it.
  • Often times, personnel who are spotting for equipment may not have ever operated that specific piece or model of equipment. Work with operators to discuss and review the blind spots of the equipment onsite.
Brian Basting photo

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