Thursday, July 10, 2014

Staying Hydrated



 We all know how hot it can get working in a shop environment over the next few months. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke (also known as sun stroke). As your body works to cool itself under extreme or prolonged heat, blood rushes to the surface of your skin. As a result, less blood reaches your brain, muscles, and other organs. This can interfere with both your physical strength and your mental capacity, leading, in some cases, to serious danger and injury.
Most heat-related illnesses can be prevented by avoiding dehydration in hot environments. When you are working, try and remember to drink lots of water to keep yourself properly hydrated. Everyone knows where sinks and/or drinking fountains are located in their workplace. Also, try and keep a water bottle with you at your work station to ensure you are not going too long without hydrating your body. When it gets hot, it is very important that we try and keep a close eye on each other to try and spot any irregularities in our co-workers behavior due to dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
Some jobs can be very dangerous in even the most comfortable environments.  These jobs can be made much more dangerous when we aren’t thinking properly due to discomfort in the heat. Try to remember not to lose focus on your safety and the safety of those around you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Keeping your feet safe and comfortable on the job


With all the equipment you may use to do your job, ensuring that your body is protected is extremely important in agriculture. This applies to every part of your body, especially your feet. Since you are often exposed to conditions that could potentially be hazardous to your feet, wearing safety footwear is essential in protecting your feet against injury. 

There are several factors that determine what type of footwear is appropriate for you:
·         Job activity
·         Equipment handled
·         Potential hazards
·         Requirements for the position

What’s Your Type?
There are several types of safety boots made for workers operating under specific conditions:

·         High-cut: protect feet and ankles from sparks, molten metals and chemicals
·         Steel toe, reinforced safety toe or reinforced toecap: cushion feet in case of contact with heavy materials
·         Reinforced metal soles: protect feet against punctures from nails, screws or scrap metal
·         Steel mid-soles: protect feet against puncture from sharp objects
·         Non-slip soles (rubber or wooden): protect worker from slipping on wet surfaces
·         Insulated footwear: protect feet against extremely cold temperatures
·         Metal-free footwear: worn when working around electricity
·         Treated footwear: protect against chemicals

The Right Fit for You
Once you determine what safety footwear is needed, select the boot with the right fit for your foot. Follow these tips when making your selection:

·         Walk around to ensure comfort
·         Examine toe room—there should be ½ to 1 inch from the big toe to the front of the shoe with your heavy work socks or arch supports
·         When laced completely, the boot should fit snug around the heel and ankle

Keep Them Like New
To maintain your boots, apply a water-resistant protective coating. Also regularly check for wear and tear to ensure that your feet are always fully protected.

Comfort Counts
Choose footwear according to the hazards at your workplace, but do not sacrifice comfort. Your feet can only be as comfortable as the footwear permits.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Three Rules to Avoid Back Injury

The following are three rules to follow in order to help avoid painful back injuries:

1. Keep the Chest Forward

Always be sure to bend at the hips - not the low back. Most people believe bending their knees will ensure a safe lift, but this form alone can still lead to a back injury. The most important tip is to bend the hips and push the chest out, pointing forward. Also, one should never twist.

Bending the knees alone will still allow a person to curve the back and risk and injury, but keeping the chest pointing forward will guarantee a straight back. The back muscles will then be used most effectively for maintaining good posture, as they are designed to do. The knees will bend automatically so the muscles of the legs and hips will produce the power for lifting correctly.

2. Lead with the Hips, Not the Shoulders

Twisting is another dangerous mistake that can lead to back injury. The shoulders should be kept in line with the hips to avoid this movement. For changing directions, move the hips first so the shoulders will move in unison.

When moving the shoulders first, the hips tend to lag behind creating the dangerous twisting that can cause back injury, especially to the joints in the back and pelvis.

3. Keep the Weight Close to the Body

The further an object is held from one's center of gravity, the more force required to hold that object up. For example, for most people it is not too difficult to hold a gallon of milk close to the chest, but it can be quite difficult to hold a gallon of milk stretched out in front at arm's reach.

Of course, the milk does not get heavier when it is further from the body, but it does require much more force to hold it up. This extra force will also run through the lower back. Therefore, the closer the object is to one's body, the less likely it is to lead to back injury.

If the object is too wide to get it between the knees when lifting, consider getting help from another person instead of trying to lift it alone. Larger objects require lifting at a long reach and increase the load on one's back just like an improper lift technique.

These three rules are applicable to most lifting situations. Following them whenever possible will reduce the amount of stress the back must go through during activity.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Stretching Tips for avoiding injury at your workstation

 

In spite of the fact that spending 8 to 10 hours at a desk may not seem as taxing as a five-mile hike or an intense kickboxing class, researchers argue that it can cause serious problems for your joints, muscles and bones.  The way you answer the phone, sit in your chair and organize the items on your desk directly affects your physical state.

 

Focusing on ergonomics, the study of human movement capabilities in relation to work demands, may assist in lessening the physical strain caused by workstation layout.  Try the following stretches to help ease the tension in your muscles and joints right from the comfort of your cubicle.

 

Stretches for your Whole Body

·         Stand up and sit down without using your hands.

·         Sit on an exercise ball for 30-minute periods to engage your back, abdomen, legs and rear- end muscles, and maintain good posture.

·         Stand, stretch your arms to the ceiling and breathe deeply for five seconds. Repeat.

 

Stretches for your Neck, Back and Shoulders

·         Inhale and shrug your shoulders to your ears. Hold for five seconds and release.  Repeat. 

·         Grab your right elbow with your left hand and stretch your arm across your chest. Hold this position for five seconds and switch to your other arm.

Stretch your arms around the opposite shoulder blade and give yourself a hug.

·         Hug your legs with your arms while sitting, allowing your chest to rest on your legs. 

 

Stretches for your Fingers, Hands and Wrists

·         Clench your fists, stretch your hands out parallel to the ground and do 10 wrist circles in each direction.

  • Extend your arm to the floor and push your fingers with your opposite hand towards your body. Hold this stretch for five seconds and then switch hands. 

 

Stretches for your Lower Body

·         Grab the right side of your chair with your left hand as you twist your upper body to the right. Hold pose for five seconds. Then, reverse movement for left side.

·         Stretch your legs in front of you and point and flex your toes 10 times. 

 
To implement these stretches into your daily routine, take regular mini-breaks every hour.  After stretching, get a beverage or use the restroom. This will allow your eyes to rest, your mind a chance to regroup and your body to move about

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Working In Cold Weather

Working in cold weather puts enormous strain on your body. To fight back, try these cold-weather safety tips while working on the job:

·         Securely tie down or weigh down supplies so they are safe from gusts of wind.

·         Wear a hat—20 to 30 percent of your body heat is lost through your head.

·         Take frequent breaks in warm, dry shelters to allow your body to warm up.

·         Sweep water out of passageways inside of buildings under construction to avoid slipping.

·         Clean off and sand work surfaces covered by ice or snow to prevent falling.

·         Use the buddy system–always work in pairs.

·         Drink warm, sweet beverages, like sugar water or sports drinks, and avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, soda and hot chocolate.

·         Eat warm, high-calorie foods like hot pasta.

 

When your body temperature drops, your nerve cells and muscles work more slowly, which makes you clumsier. This is easy to notice when tying a shoelace or fastening a button in cold weather.

 

Frostbite

Frostbite occurs after prolonged exposure to low temperatures or wet working conditions. Frostbite can be dangerous and even life-threatening. That’s why it is important to look for the following symptoms when working in cold temperatures:

·  Burning or tingling sensations

·  Partial or complete numbness

·  Discoloration of the skin

·  Intense pain

·  Blistering

·  Hard or waxy-looking skin

Frostbite darkens gradually if left untreated and will eventually turn skin black. Nerve and blood vessel damage can lead to gangrene and amputation of a limb.

To prevent frostbite, wear loose-fitting layers of clothing and always cover your hands, feet, nose and ears. At the first sign of pain or if your skin gets cold and wet, it’s time to look for a place to warm up.

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Near Miss Reporting

 

What is a Near Miss?

 

A Near Miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or damage; in other words, a miss that was nonetheless very near.

A faulty process or management system invariably is the root cause for the increased risk that leads to the near miss and should be the focus of improvement. Other familiar terms for these events are a “close call,” a “narrow escape,” or in the case of moving objects, “near collision” or a “near hit.”

 

How Does Near Miss Reporting Prevent Future Incidents?

 

Many safety activities are reactive and not proactive, and some organizations wait for losses to occur before taking steps to prevent a recurrence. Near miss incidents often precede loss producing events but may be overlooked as there was no harm (no injury, damage or loss).

An organization may not have a reporting culture where employees are encouraged to report these close calls. Thus, many opportunities to prevent the incidents are lost. History has shown repeatedly that most loss producing events (incidents), both serious and catastrophic, were preceded by warnings or near miss incidents. Recognizing and reporting near miss incidents can significantly improve worker safety and enhance an organization’s safety culture.

 

Key Points

 

• Incidents occur every day at the workplace that could result in a serious injury or damage.

• A near-miss program may help prevent future incidents.

• One problem that companies must overcome is employee’s fear of being blamed after reporting a near miss.

• Employers need to make the process of reporting a near miss as easy as possible.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Benefits of 5-S


 
A factory that has not adopted the 5-S’s is dirty with oil, dirt, and chips. Parts and boxes are lying around in non-designated areas; high precision equipment is bought, but not maintained. When a jig or fixture is needed, it cannot be found. The morale of associates is poor and the plant is doomed for trouble.

Here’s what 5-S means

Sort

Set-In-Order

Shine

Standardize

PRESCRIPTION: Dose of 5-S daily
Ingredients: Sort, Set-In-Order, Shine, Sustain, and Standardize
Effects: For all trouble symptoms.
Usage: No matter how long you take the 5-S remedy, it is very effective, and there are no side effects.
Caution: Once implemented, never discontinue improving
Sustain