Try weekly plan to increase safety, decrease workplace injuries
"Each June the National Safety Council encourages organizations to get involved and participate in National Safety Month," the association says on its website. "NSM is an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and death."
Each week in June has a specific theme. The NSC provides fact sheets and other materials and asks employers to raise awareness and take steps to reduce unnecessary claims.
Week one: Employee wellness.
"Small changes can make a big different to your health and wellness," says an NSC poster. "If people made the choices to eat better, engage in more physical activity, reduce the harmful use of alcohol and quit smoking, at least 80 percent of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes -- and over a third of cancers -- could be prevented, according to the World Health Organization."
The NSC has a list of ways employees can make better food choices such as:
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Make half the grains you eat whole grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
- Pay attention to portion size -- when eating out, avoid supersizing your meal or take some home for later.
Physical activity is touted as helping to control blood pressure, managing weight, and managing stress level. The NSC suggests taking a brisk walk at lunch, working in the yard, joining a sports league, and swimming laps at a pool.
Week two: Ergonomics.
Learning to work smarter and prevent conditions such as overexertion are important aspects of ergonomics. Designing the job environment to fit the person is the main thrust.
Ergonomic conditions are defined as "disorders of the soft tissues, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels, and spinal disks."
Overexertion while lifting, repetitive motions, and working in awkward positions are among the factors that can cause ergonomic-related problems. The NSC says employers should be aware of the common symptoms, including pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, tenderness, clicking, and loss of grip strength.
Week three: Fall prevention.
Falls account for more than 8.7 million emergency room visits each year in the U.S. and are by far, the leading unintentional injury, the NSC says. Most falls, it says, are preventable.
"Many people attribute falls to being clumsy or not paying attention, but many risk factors exist."
Removing common fall hazards in the workplace is key to preventing falls. Suggestions include:
- Keeping floors and stairs clean and clear of clutter.
- Maintaining good lighting indoors and on outdoor walkways.
- Securing electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas.
- Using non-skid throw rugs in potentially slippery places such as bathrooms.
With the aging workforce and older adults more prone to falling, the NSC suggests these workers stay active to improve strength and balance.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
April 19, 2012
Copyright 2012© LRP Publications