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Top 10 Most Common Injuries on the Job and How to Avoid Them

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Unplanned and definitely unwanted, workplace injuries do not need to result in serious harm to cause a disruption in the flow of productivity. While one would think that most common injuries would be the first place employers look to when trying to eliminate challenges within their processes, these injuries continue to persist in facilities around America.

When workers are stressed and emotions are running high the potential for violence in the workplace increases. Anything from office politics to outside personal issues can be just the catalyst a worker needs to push them over the edge. Providing violence training and clear communication channels for reporting suspicious activity will help to curb this threat. In addition, having a hands-on management approach that keeps in regular contact with workers will also help in gauging that current mood of the workplace and its employees.

In facilities where repetitive motions occur, strain on muscles and tendons become more prevalent as well and can lead to chronic back pain, vision problems or cumulative trauma disorder. Providing the proper ergonomic adjustments to machines , equipment or encouraging workers to take regularly scheduled breaks to stretch when possible would cut down on these risks.

Machine Accidents including caught in or compressed by hazards typically occur in facilities where heavy machinery is present. To avoid these types of injuries it is essential to provide workers with the proper training and procedures for the machinery before they begin work highlighting proper dress and how to recognize and secure potential dangers.

A means of transportation is necessary whether it be for commuting back and forth from work or an employee is working out in the field. However with this necessity comes great risk. Distracted driving continues to creep up as a leading cause of auto crashes and fatalities. Providing safe driving policies for workers who drive for business purposes that emphasize defensive and safe driving tactics with help to reinforce their importance with workers.

Walking into Injuries are a no brainier. When busy and running around it is easy to clumsily forget where a corner is or not notice a new piece of furniture in the office. Head, neck, knee and foot injuries are most common and can easily be reduced by maintaining a clean working environment and notifying workers when equipment is being moved.

Objects that fall from unsecured locations or are dropped from other can have serious consequences. Not too long ago we heard of a news story where a man lost his life due to a falling tape measure. While that is not the most common of injuries it just further reinforces the importance of safe practices at all times. Ensuring proper stacking and storage in addition to using signage and PPE where falling debris should act as additional lines of defense against these injuries.

Catching yourself from falling, reaching or twisting are prime examples of reaction Injuries. Muscle strains, near falls and body trauma can result in a variety of medical issues down the road. Address slippery areas in your facility and place labeling or marking on uneven walkways.

Whether a fall happens at heights or at the same level the injuries of both can be catastrophic.

Falls that happen at heights in areas such as on ladders, roofs, or stairways can be reduced through PPE, installation of guard rails, and training and reinforcement. Falls at same level including slipping and tripping on uneven surfaces or objects on a walkway can be reduced through signage and nonslip rugs. While the fixes seem effortless falls remain a serious problem throughout workplace safety.

Pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, throwing are all common Overexertion activities that account for approximately $13.6 billion in benefit costs annually. If a workers job includes these movement make sure they receive training showing the proper ways to perform these physical activities, coupled with providing helpful equipment to eliminate exertion hazards.

Now that you know the top causes of injuries in workplaces across America, what can you do at you facility to cut down on the injuries most common with your workers?

 


 

Fit for Work: The Importance of Getting Needed Sleep for Work Safety

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“I forgot.” “That’ll do.” “Ouch!” “Watch out for that.” “Oh No.”

Lack of sleep is a dangerous impairment. So dangerous in fact that it has widely been referred to as being just as disorienting as drugs or alcohol use. Sleeping is not a luxury it is a necessity and when it suffers so does your concentration, creativity, mood regulation, and productivity. With approximately 70 million Americans suffering from sleep problems, as the clocks turn forward and yet another hour is lost it is important to note how important your sleep really is.

Throughout history lack of sleep has been a factor in some of the biggest disasters including the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl to name a few. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as drunk driving and accounts for around 100,000 accidents a year and 1,550 related deaths just on the roads alone.

When you aren’t sleeping well, reaction time is not the only action that suffers. Sleep plays a paramount role in your thinking and learning cognitive processes. Your ability to pay attention decrease, along with your alertness, concentration, memory, reasoning and problem solving. Your overall awareness of what is going on around you suffers which leads to poor decision making and the compromising of your safety and the safety of others around you. Once actions that you would never find acceptable with a good night’s sleep begin to creep into the way in which you perform your duties such as cutting corners and skipping critical check points , increased injuries are bound to follow.

Not only your work life suffers when you don’t get a good night’s sleep, sleep deprivation can cause serious health problems. Some huge issues that accompany chronic sleep loss include heart disease, risk of heart attack or stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes.

Your overall mind body and mood suffers when you aren’t getting enough sleep. If it feels like you just can’t seem to relax your mind and fall asleep try these tips before bed:

  • Work through your thoughts about the day before getting into bed.
  • Nap — wisely.
    When done right, a little daytime snooze won’t destroy your nighttime slumber, and can boost memory, alertness and job performance while you’re at it. Just make sure you limit your nap to 30 minutes, max, and don’t snooze too close to bedtime.
  • Reserve the bed for sleep.
  • Keep a consistent sleep/wake schedule, even on weekends.
  • Avoid heavy meals when it’s late.
  • Power down an hour before bed.
  • Slip on some socks.
  • Keep your bedroom dark.

Countdown to Compliance: GHS Frequently Asked Questions

Is your facility still struggling with GHS compliance? Deadlines  are quickly approaching. Find the answers you are looking for to the most frequently asked questions around GHS all in one place on our FAQ at a glance sheet.

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Workplace Safety News Roundup

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Keeping track of new OSHA regulations and taking advantage of supplemental safety training and reading materials makes a big difference in the success of the programs you implement in your workplace. Seeing what others are doing both for the better and worse help mold an all encompassing safety initiative. Here is a sampling of some of the news buzzing around workplace safety this month.

Lack of safety training, experience blamed for rise in work fatalities

A younger and newer workforce in manufacturing and construction have led to a rise in deadly industrial work accidents in Ohio, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, could this be an emerging trend across America?

Job cuts as well as baby boomer retirements could be leading to a lack of experience in the field. Now that activity is bouncing back from the 2007-09 economic recession, companies are complaining about the lack of skilled workers to be found, and it could be hurting safety.

Many fatal accidents could be prevented with the right equipment, but still there have been six deaths on the job so far this year in the region overseen just by Cincinnati area OSHA Director Bill Wilkerson. He estimates 17 total workers have died across Ohio so far in 2015.

For more information about this article click here.

OSHA, EPA, and Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners sign alliance to protect workers and first responders from hazardous chemicals

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today entered into an alliance with the Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners and the Environmental Protection Agency to provide safety and health information and training resources to workers, emergency responders and communities surrounding establishments in the agricultural retail and supply industry. The alliance will focus on the safe storage and handling of fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia.

To read more about this alliance click here.

Finger amputations lead to OSHA inspection: $1.76M in fines, finds more than 1,000 worker injuries at Wisconsin site in past 36 months

In a three-and-a-half year period, 4,500 employees at a Wisconsin Furniture company in Arcadia, experienced more than 1,000 work-related injuries. One worker became another terrible statistic when he lost three fingers in July 2014 while operating a dangerous woodworking machine without required safety mechanisms in place. Of the injuries recorded, more than 100 were caused by similar machinery.

To learn more about this citation click here.