Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Workplace Safety

"TEAMWORK, a lot of people doing things my way" - quote on an office coffee mug

Recently my workplace required that I complete three safety courses online. Here are some of the notes I took.

Slips, trips and falls are the second leading cause of injuries in America after motor vehicle accidents. Annually there are
  • 1 Million injuries
  • 11,000 deaths
  • 300,000 disabling worker injuries
  • 1,400 worker deaths
Injuries account for 15-20% of workman's compensation at a cost to employers of 10K and up.

Top reasons for slips, trips and falls: spilled liquids, loose floor mats, improper use of ladders, walking with a load that obstructs view.

A trip is called a same level fall. A fall from a ladder is an elevated level fall. Elevated level falls are less frequent but cause more damage.

Keep work areas neat  (no clutter on floor, clean spills, conceal power cords) and well lit.  Use proper equipment and follow good habits like learning to fall correctly (don't fall on head, better to land on your butt vs your back, don't try to stop fall with hands or elbows)

Back Injury:
  • affects 1 million workers and is the largest single contributor in injury cases and insurance claims.
  • 1 out of 5 workplace injuries are for back pain
  • 100 million workdays are lost annually
  • 8 out of 10 people in the US will go to doctor for back pain sometime in their life.
  • There is 80% chance of reinjury
Types of back injury include:
  • strain & fatigue
  • fractured vertebrae
  • spinal cord nerve injury
  • pressure on nerves
  • disc tear, fracture, or rupture
Signs of overexertion include spasms & pain. Stop what you're doing!
Improper lifting accounts for 90% of back injuries.
If injured, get into a comfortable position and apply ice. Get medical help ASAP.
Bottom Line
Accidents happen, even in offices. Each year there 300-400 deaths in offices.

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