Slips, trips, and falls as well as overexertion were responsible for 60 percent of Ohio's lost time claims in 2010. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation is offering easy-to-implement, low-cost strategies to prevent what it says are mostly preventable injuries.
"Preventing the most common injuries can be as simple as maintaining good housekeeping practices, using slip resistance shoes, eliminating lifting tasks, and training employees on proper lifting techniques," said Steve Beuhrer, BWC's administrator/CEO. "Attentive employers can make a few minor changes at minimal cost that can significantly increase safety in the workplace and provide the added benefits of healthy, productive workers and lower workers' comp premiums."
Many of the injuries were due to employees slipping on ice or snow, water or grease, and tripping over objects. The BWC suggests:
- Fix poor lighting.
- Keep floors and stairs clean and free of objects.
- Clean slippery surfaces regularly.
- Cover hoses and cords or run them out of the path of walking areas.
- Keep aisles clutter free.
- Repair uneven surfaces.
More than 30 percent of Ohio's lost time claims were due to overexertion in 2010, mainly related to lifting, pushing and pulling, bending and twisting, repetitive motions, and awkward postures. More than half the claims were due to overexertion associated with lifting and pushing and pulling tasks.
The BWC suggests employers use conveyors, hoists, lift-assist devices, and other mechanical means to reduce material handling and manual lifting. Reducing the weight of objects to be lifted is another strategy suggested.
Teaching employees proper techniques -- lifting with the legs not the back and bending the tool not the wrist -- can go a long way to preventing injuries. Common-sense solutions include using handles on objects to be lifted, reducing the frequency and distances of lifts, locating frequently used items as close to the body as possible to minimize reaching, and adding padding to tools.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
August 16, 2012
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