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workplace injuries

Feb 15, 2010

The most Common Accidents are often the most Avoidable

When a warehouse or material handling accident is mentioned it often conjures up images of something serious, like a large rack collapse or a forklift that’s been driven off of a dock.  Though these are accidents that certainly can and do occur, they are in reality much more rare than the most common type of accident seen in warehousing – the trip (or slip) and fall.

When your employees have to physically carry materials from one location to another (locations that are often on different levels), lines of vision can get impaired making it difficult or impossible to see obstacles, spills or alterations in the surface that could lead to a nasty fall.  The potential for injury when a fall occurs, when the subject is carrying something, is greater due to the fact that the person can’t easily brace themselves for the impact because their hands are occupied.

These potentially dangerous accidents could easily be avoided if your material handlers were using equipment that was ergonomically designed for moving material rather than having to manually move it.  DJ Products carries a wide array of equipment that is safe and reliable and that will greatly lessen the chances of dangerous accidents in your warehouse.  The lifts and carts from DJ Products will quickly move material (much more than could be manually moved by an individual) and will put it in the proper position for your employees to lift.  Since the lifts are doing the work, your employees can focus and concentrate on the path they are traveling which will drastically reduce the chances of a trip or slip and fall accident.

When you can effectively eliminate the most common accidents from your work environment, you make it a much safer place for your employees.  You’ll lose less man hours to injury and increase your employee’s productivity, which can also do wonders for your bottom line.

Sep 17, 2008

Ergonomics Should Drive Injury-Reduction Plan

Today we continue our September 15 post on developing a proactive plan to reduce costly workplace injuries.

2. Set priorities.

After you have determined activities and areas that carry a high risk of injury, set priorities for initiating improvements. Activities resulting in the most severe and most frequent injuries should receive the highest priority, followed by those garnering the highest incidence of worker complaint. Other factors to be considered include technical and financial resources at your disposal and the difficulty in implementing improvements. Be sure to include worker ideas in your plan. Develop a timeframe for making improvements. Communicate the plan and timeline to managers and workers.

3. Implement improvements

Ergonomics — improving the fit between worker tasks and worker capabilities — should drive implementation of your injury-reduction plan. Manual handling of materials and products should be reduced or eliminated wherever possible. Operations and processes can often be combined or restructured to reduce manual tasks. Task procedures can be modified to reduce the strain of unavoidable manual tasks. Ergonomically-designed equipment can eliminate or dramatically decrease the need for physical effort. Don’t neglect proper training for new equipment, procedures, processes, etc.

4. Follow up.

After implementation of each improvement and after allowing for a reasonable adjustment period, it is important to follow up with an evaluation of effectiveness. Review reports and data for signs that injuries, fatigue, discomfort, complaints and risk factors have been reduced or eliminated. Talk to workers to see whether improvements have been accepted and assimilated, that training has been sufficient, and whether there are new complaints. Look for new problems that may have been resulted from the changes made. Refine your plan and made additional improvements as necessary. 

The technical specialists at DJ Products can assist you in evaluating the ergonomic needs of your business. DJ Products manufactures a wide range of ergonomically designed carts, pushers and tugs designed to eliminate and reduce worker injuries. Contact a DJ Products specialist today to find out how you can use ergonomic equipment to reduce injuries in your workplace.

Sep 15, 2008

Proactive Problem Solving Reduces Workplace Injuries

Reducing workplace injuries is every responsible business owner’s goal. Not only do you value your employees’ health and safety, but the cost of ignoring workplace safety — high medical, insurance, workers’ compensation and lost man-hour costs — can be staggering. It pays to be proactive in looking for potential injury-causing problems and coming up with ergonomic solutions that improve the fit between the work and the worker.

Developing a proactive plan to reduce workplace injuries is a four-step process:

  1. Observe and question
  2. Set priorities
  3. Implement improvements
  4. Follow up

1. Observe and question.

Look for clues to possible problem areas in available statistical data. Check injury reports for patterns that indicate higher injury rates for certain tasks or in certain areas. OSHA logs, worker reports and complaints, absence rates, and workers’ compensation reports are good starting points. Ask if your workers’ compensation insurance carrier provides workplace assessment surveys as part of their risk-management services.  

Look at production reports for bottleneck areas. Check quality control reports for poor quality product or service. Problems can indicate areas where workers are having difficulty completing tasks effectively under current conditions. The root cause of such problems is often poorly designed equipment or task procedures.

Spend some time following the entire process of your business from start to finish. Pay particular attention to areas highlighted by the data review. Observe the way workers do their jobs. Watch for risk factors such as awkward postures, repetitive motions, forceful exertions, pressure points or extended periods spent in the same position. Watch for signs of worker discomfort or pain such as self-restricting movements, efforts not to move certain body parts or massaging hands, arms, legs, necks or backs. Pay attention to unnecessary handling and duplication of material or product movement.

Look for ways in which workers have modified standard procedures to make it easier to do their work, including modifications to tools, equipment, workstations or task performance. Talk to managers but also talk to the workers who actually perform the tasks. Ask workers how they would change the work process, operations, tools or equipment to make their jobs less physically demanding and more efficient. You’ll get a clear idea of what isn’t working and may get some excellent suggestions for improvement.

Continued next time