Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tips to Avoid Work-Place Injuries

Depending on what industry you work in, you will be worried about different types of work-place injuries. For example, if you primarily do clerical work then you are probably worried more about ergonomics or back strain from lifting office supplies; if you work as a nurse you might be worried about getting pricked by a needle; and if you work as a construction worker you may be worried about falling from a roof, scaffolding, or type of machinery.  

In addition to the tips below, your broker or workers’ compensation insurance carrier would also be able to provide you with industry-specific safety pamphlets and tips to hand out to your employees.

Tips for Employees (http://www.workers-comp-news.com/preventing.php)
  • While working at a computer, sit with your knees at a 90- to 120-degree angle. Using an angled foot rest can help reduce back strain.
  • Make sure your chair fits correctly and is ergonomically designed.
  • When lifting heavy or awkward items, life with your knees not with your back. Always bend your hips and knees and squat to pick a heavy object while keeping your back straight and holding the object close to your body.
  • Don't twist your body while lifting.
  • If you must sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stretch.
  • Exercise regularly, focusing on strength and flexibility.
  • Change tools and/or equipment. For example, use tools with extension handles that let you stand up rather than stooping.
  • To reduce the amount of overhead work you must do, use a lift to raise yourself so you are closer to the work.
  • When you pick up or set down a load, don't reach more than 10 inches away from your body.
  • Lift any load using a solid two-handed grip
  • Use ergonomically designed tools that are designed to fit the hand and body and the job.
  • Avoid overexertion. Many injuries at work occur when employees are tired or strained. Don't overdo it because you could suffer an injury. Instead, give your body and your mind time to rest and recover.
  • Report any unsafe conditions immediately to a supervisor. If your employer doesn't do anything to fix the hazardous condition, take your concerns to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or another government agency.
Tips for Employers (http://www.workers-comp-news.com/preventing.php)
  • Adopt and enforce safety procedures. OSHA requires employers to follow certain safety procedures, but companies should also develop additional safety rules for their workplaces and their employees.
  • Provide adequate safety training for workers and review safety policies with employees on a regular basis.
  • Ensure that spills and other potential hazards are cleaned up immediately.
  • Do not allow employees to continue working if they are tired or in danger of overexertion because this is a clear recipe for accidents and injuries.
  • Ensure that anyone who is operating power equipment or handling hazardous materials has received adequate training on how to use these tools and materials. It's also important that employees know what to do in an emergency.
  • Involve employees in the creation of health and safety policies. In addition, listen to workers concerns about unsafe conditions and potentially hazardous processes.
  • Correct employees and supervisors who are not following safety procedures
  • Create a safety checklist that includes all potential hazards in your workplace.
  • Understand the role that ergonomics can play in preventing workplace injuries and reducing repetitive motion disorders.


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