OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ADMINISTRATION (OSHA)
RE: STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FOR WORKER SAFETY AND HEALTH GUIDELINES FOR DRIVERS OF FAMILY VEHICLES
OSHA has identified drivers of minivans as a new at-risk group for injury. At the urging of the White House and the auto insurance industry, a team of experts, BIGDEAL(acronym) has been created to reduce occupational and environmental hazards effecting drivers of family vehicles, most expressly drivers of minivans.
Family vehicles, especially minivans, have been classified recently as “workplaces” due to the growing number of job related activities occurring within them including: conference calling via cell phone, trading stocks and bonds, and authoring novels and office memos on laptops, all accomplished while waiting gazillions of hours on school car lines.
First Lady Bush has led the effort and declared, “You are trapped in this giant steel abdomen, towing your noisy flock of children up and down highway and village, in and out of fast food lines. The noise pollution, stress, and poor ergonomics inherent in minivan driving are bound to cause injury.”
Physicians around the country have experienced a huge jump in the numbers of patients they are seeing with van-related conditions. Emergency room treatment is lagging as more and more parents show up with injuries to the thumb, cerebral cortex, and shoulder.
BIGDEAL (Basic, Incomprehensible, Generalized, Directions to Expand, Agonize over and Legislate) will pursue its mandate in a series of advisories in order to reduce the two million achy backs, mashed thumbs and brain traumas occurring each year to drivers of minivans. The effort will also contain an outreach to effected groups driving SUVs, sedans, and station wagons.
The group is a consortium of mothers, fathers, OSHA experts in ergonomics, and the insurance industry. “Members left their titles at the door to create the new advisories. Parents worked shoulder to shoulder with technicians,” Mrs. Bush reports.
1. FAILURE OF THE GLOBAL IMAGING SYSTEM:
The brain is made up of three parts: the Thermometer which tells you when you are hungry, thirsty and must walk the dog; the Pulsing Primitive Impulse Zone (PPIZ), and the Cerebral Cortex which pretty much kisses and makes up for the rest of the brain. The Cerebral Cortex (CC) is in constant and wearying demand in the rearing of children. Imagine if you will, the impulse zone in control of our behavior! Experts agree that the spike in road rage is attributable to failures of the Cerebral Cortex to give the PPIZ a “time out.”
Indeed, The CC becomes so flooded with information that it involuntarily shuts down. The most vulnerable area effected is the Global Imaging Capability, which involves the ability to concentrate on the multi-tasking of errands, handing out of snacks, settling arguments, maintaining seatbelt compliance and paying attention to road signs.
This area of the CC fails without warning. Police have documented many incidents of vans straddling the roadside. “Parent down!” they bark.
Another problem area in the CC is related to failures in the brain’s directional feature. In this scenario, a mother finds her keys, straps all children into car seats, garners all the snacks in little zip-lock bags, and sets out on the road only to find that she cannot remember where she is going.
Safe and efficient van driving clearly warrants awareness and training. The following interventions are designed to address brain trauma injuries. Please post them in a prominent location.
FROM RAP TO RACHMANINOFF: MAINTAINING CONTROL OF YOUR VAN’S SOUND AND PA SYSTEMS: See that little knob on the left-hand side of the radio. That’s YOUR knob, parents!
Zipped lips save brains! OSHA has developed the following materials to keep baby-to-teen quietly occupied.
Much has been made of this simple, but effective, innovation: duct tape. Invented in WWII, duct tape has served our country well. Indeed, there are over 1,000 documented ways to use it: now, 1001. OSHA’s “cut to fit” strategy applies a small, pliable (that’s duct tape!) patch of the material over the mouth of the little offenders. Van time is now QUIET TIME. Please be advised this is not to be confused with NAPTIME, so parents don’t nod off!
Forget where you are going? Don’t panic! Begin to re-orient yourself with the following mantra: “I am safe inside my car. I will look for the little sign that tells me how fast to go. I am (am not!) on the right side of the road. If I drive a little further I will surely remember where on earth I am headed. I can always pull safely to the side of the road and bang my head against the steering wheel until I do remember.”
Next in our series: repetitive motion car seat thumb and other ergonomic issues affecting drivers of family vehicles.