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 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





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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Machine Guarding

Working with machinery and other heavy equipment is one of the top causes of workplace injuries. Thousands of workers each year suffer from amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries and abrasions, and some of those injuries result in death.


Despite the potential for injury and death, many workers still do not take machine hazards and machine guarding seriously. Often, machine guards thought to interfere with production are tampered with or removed by employees or unintentionally left off machines after repair work is done. In situations like these, employees are unnecessarily exposed to hazards that can severely injure or kill them.

What You Can Do?

·      Be able to identify various machine guards and how they protect you and your co-workers.

·      Understand your role. For example, if you are a machine operator, it is your responsibility to know how guards work and how to keep them in good working condition. If you repair or maintain machinery, it is your responsibility to ensure the guard is securely back in place when your work is complete.

·      Know who is permitted to remove a safeguard and under what circumstances it is okay to remove it.

·      Contact your supervisor if a safeguard is damaged, missing, provides inadequate protection or is itself a hazard.

·      Be aware of the disciplinary actions that you may face as a result of tampering with or removing a safeguard, including not inspecting the machine before using it or not following machine safety procedures.

·      Have a safety-first attitude toward machinery and respect the work it does – as well as the injuries it can cause.


Make Safety a Priority
Machine guards are made for your protection, but your cooperation is needed to ensure that they work properly. Always complete maintenance or repairs as scheduled, ensure guards are in place before using any machine and let your supervisor know if you see an unsafe working condition. Maintaining a safe work environment is a team effort, so do your part to ensure the safety of you and your co-workers.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Safety Awareness in the Workplace

Safety awareness in the workplace is the first step to ensuring an injury free zone. Making sure that all employees are concerned with safety awareness can often be a difficult task. There are several things that employers can and should be doing to promote safety awareness in the workplace. It is every person’s job to work safely and efficiently but it is the owner, manager or safety leader’s job to make sure all employees understand what working safely means.

Safety awareness in the workplace starts at the top and makes it way down to all workers. If the boss isn’t using safety gear than why should the workers. This of course is not true but many people often say if he isn’t doing it than why should I do it the right way. The best way to teach safety awareness in the workplace is to practice safety awareness in the workplaces. Below is a list of things you can do to help boost safety awareness.

Promoting Safety Awareness in the Workplace

  • Have monthly safety meetings. This is a great time to cover the safety protocols of the company. Also it gives people an opportunity to ask questions and get answers about their safety concerns.
  • Hang safety related posters in common areas such as break rooms.
  • Pick safety leaders that can check all equipment for malfunctions and also answer questions or show an unsafe worker how to do the job safely.
  • Make sure any employee that uses a machine while working is trained to use it properly. They should also know what to do in an emergency.
  • Show your employees that you are a safe worker. This will encourage them to work safe as well.