Safety Moment - April 2020
By DCC Hans Uhr, DCC Safety, Shining Waters Council
Hi Everyone
I hope you and your family is well and hopefully found ways to deal with the current trail.
Parents are surely overwhelmed with staying at home, faced with shopping issues, homework, help with home schooling, working from home, etc. Not an easy task.
Thank you parents for all your great work and thank you to all the members who keep the spirit of Scouting going and alive.
" Thank you "
I noticed that many groups, councils and national organizations have adopted new ways to offer a challenging and interesting program. This is great and shows that our youth and Scouters are very capable to deal with new situations and emergencies.
While we promote the outdoors, this could be an alternative for future scouting initiatives. It’s probably safe to assume that our life style, scouting, school, work 
etc. will be different as we are used to. Even if we go back to the way it was, this could be an alternative for bad weather situations, group committee meeting or other leadership meetings. While this never replaces the in person meetings where we can interact, this opportunity can safe time, environment, costs, etc.
We can create new vocational groups and call them Cyber Scouts!
Now some good news. There are almost no incidents or accidents to report. (Not considering, stress, insanity, broken phones, I-Pad’s computers and gaming consoles).
Last month we have been looking into Internet Safety and this time I would like to focus on virtual scouting and video meetings.
“Virtual Scouting / Video Calls”
One of the benefits of virtual scouting is, that we have less or none of accidents to report. However it is strongly recommended that you observe privacy protection and of course to protect your health.
There are a many articles in regards to computer ergonomics but it would be to much to cover in our monthly send out.
It is easy to find some study material but I recommend checking into:
-    Posture (back, neck, wrist problems)
-    Equipment (right equipment in the right position)
-    Schedule (How long to be on the computer, etc.)
-    Breaks (don’t eat at the computer, walk away)
-    Fitness (stand up do regular exercises)
-    Eyes (give your eyes a break, use night mode)
-    Ears (headphones, use correct volume)
-    Safety (don’t forget your environment, fire, etc.)
Video Conferencing
I do not make suggestions in regards to video conferencing tools as they change constantly and their safety protocols as well.
In general, paid video conferencing tools are safer, while free platforms have its pros and cons.
Free platform usually keep the rights on everything that’s processed on their platform. Her I suggest that you use it with keeping in your mind that:
-    You and your background can be seen. Watch what’s in the back or watch your dressing. You may have to get up and get some paperwork, etc.
Turn off the video if you don’t like to be watched.
-    Everybody can hear what you say including background noise. Keep others and pets away and watch when you eat. Just mute the channel.
-    Everything could be recorded and reposted. You have no control who is using it and for what purpose.
-    Nothing you do or say can be taken back.
-    Once on the network you can assume it stays there.
So having said that execute the call as it would be an in person meeting.
I have attached the Virtual Scouting Safety Tip from Scouts Canada for your reference.
Further I have attached some video conferencing etiquette guideline for your consideration.
Last but not least. The Code of Conduct shall be observed at any given time. A few key points:
-    Two Scouter Rule
-    Parents consent when needed
-    Appropriate behavior
-    No video recording or screen shoots taken without consent.
-    No posting without approval and consent
     I have attached the Code of Conduct for further reference.
“Weekly Safety Tips”
Since the operation has changed to “Scouting at Home” I didn’t receive any report in regards to accidents. However one thing that was brought to my attention and what I have observed by myself is driving.
While we have only a fraction of cars on the road, it seams that many of them have forgotten the traffic rules.
Speeding, running stop and red lights, racing, distracted driving has become a problem in curtain areas.
Many regions do not allow for gatherings, meetings and social events. If you should be able to go out while observing social distancing you may like to monitor what children, youth, elderly and other participants are doing. It’s hard to pull somebody back or out of dangers while keeping social distance.
“Vincent and I have been playing catch out in the street while the ground firms up. I can’t believe how many people are running the stop sign or driving fast. When I put out my cardboard recycling yesterday, I wrote on a big box ‘please slow down, children are playing’. It seems to be taking off…..if only I had written at the bottom.”
Safety Tip:
“With every child in Canada home from school, our communities are vibrant with activity. While respecting physical distancing, children and young people are finding creative ways to burn off energy and are going outside to ride their bikes or to play with their siblings and parents. With this being the current situation, it is important we remind motorists to be extra vigilant of children playing outdoors. Essentially, every community is now a school zone – please slow down.”
Reference Links
Week #31 Safety Report  

Sharing information (Third party)
If you have any questions, concerns or you would like to address a certain topic please let me know.
Thank you and stay safe
Hans Uhr, DCC Safety, Shining Water Council
Etiquette Tips & Best Practices for Effective Video Conferencing
To make your video conferencing meetings more productive and rewarding for everyone, review the general video conferencing best practices and learn how to improve the experience whether you are an onsite participant or a remote participant.

Meeting Etiquette Tips

Communicate Effectively
When you begin the meeting:
• _Once all attendees are present, take a minute to conduct an audio check. Making a quick round of introductions is an effective way to do this. Introductions break the ice and ensure that everyone can hear each other properly.
• _If you plan to record the meeting, notify all participants at the beginning of the meeting.
• _Always remember and acknowledge when there are remote participants. Reach out to them periodically to see if they have a question or something to contribute. Having remote participants on video, versus audio only, ensures that you remember they are in the meeting. Remote participants should not be an afterthought.
During the meeting:
• _When not speaking, make sure your audio is muted. This will prevent inadvertent noises, such as coughs, rattling papers, or chair squeaks, from interrupting others.
• _In the primary conference room, do not shuffle papers or cover the microphones on the table.
• _Speak clearly and in a normal voice. There is no need to shout.
• _When videoconferencing with many sites, start your comment or question by stating your name. This helps other sites identify who is speaking.
• _As with any meeting, limit side conversations and multitasking.
• _Leverage online collaboration tools like OneDrive or Google Drive to take notes, share content, and collaborate real-time. This enables all participants to interact, versus using a physical whiteboard or other physical visuals only available in the primary conference room.
• _Tell others if you leave the video conference early.
Minimize Body Movements
• _Avoid quick movements, which make it difficult for cameras and microphones to keep up with you. Quick movements may appear jumpy or choppy to others on the call.
• _Maintain eye contact with the camera and stay engaged in the meeting.
• _Do not turn your back to the camera.
Work Effectively with video conferencing technology
• _When you ask a question or request information, allow time for slightly delayed responses because the system may experience slight transmission delays.
• _Direct your questions to a specific individual.
This information was adapted by Stanford University IT, and can be accessed at
• _When possible, avoid interrupting others as they are speaking. Many video conferencing systems have a voice-activated switching feature to automatically move the camera to the active speaker. Interrupting another speaker may confuse the voice activation.
• _Establish an understanding among participants of when and how to interrupt. For example, have people raise hands or otherwise signal that they want to speak.
• _Consider posting pending questions via chat.
• _Make it safe to call out participants on poor meeting etiquette.
Video conferencing best practices
Prior to a meeting:
• _When using equipment or locations not regularly used, test your meeting connections in advance.
• _When possible, establish online video conferencing connections several minutes before the meeting start time.
• _Create a backup communication plan in case you have trouble connecting with remote participants. A backup plan can include asking onsite participants to connect to the meeting through their laptops, using a mobile or speakerphone, and/or collaborating through an online collaboration tool (e.g., OneDrive, Google docs).
During a meeting:
• _Ensure all participants can see and hear all other participants, as appropriate.
• _Ensure conference room microphones are distributed appropriately to pick up all speakers.
• _Ensure location lighting does not limit a participant’s visibility (e.g., avoid backlighting from windows or lamps).
• _Have participants mute their microphones if their location has excessive background noise or if they will not be speaking.
• _Have a meeting facilitator — often, but not always, the person who called the meeting. The facilitator is responsible for: o providing an agenda to participants — ahead of the meeting is nice, but minimally at the start of the meeting — that includes an overview of topics to be covered and planned outcome;
o establishing the visual or verbal cues, such as raising a hand, to indicate when someone wants to actively contribute verbally to the meeting;
o engaging participants at all locations to ensure discussion understanding, and alignment;
o limiting “side conversations” and multitasking or ensure all participants are made aware of that content;
• _Make sure all participants have equal access to content by sharing all content within the video conferencing connection and using online tools (e.g., OneDrive, Google docs) whenever possible.
Shining Waters Council
Scouts Canada | Website