Sunday, October 28, 2012

Totally SCARY Stats


Today's blog is multi-themed; working together to avoid injury and scary statistics. Halloween is right around the corner. In honor of this, let's go right to the TOTALLY SCARY STATS:

If you receive this document, there is a major hole
in your company's safety program.

Musculoskeletal Disorders are the #2 Cause of lost time from work, behind only the common cold. Slightly over 20% of all workplace injuries are back injuries and of those back injuries 80% of all back injuries are to the lower back. The total direct and indirect costs are estimated to exceed over $50 billion annually.” (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Is your company OKAY with just paying  for injuries,
rather than safety programs and devices?!

It is clear these musculoskeletal back injuries are a major problem for employers. Mayo clinic lists the major causes of these injuries as:
  1. Excessive force-moving heaving objects and exerting too much force on the back.
  2. Repetition- repeating certain lifting movements leading to fatigue of muscles and injury.

The best ways to limit back injury in the workplace are to modify repeated tasks, avoid over lifting, limit stresses on employees back, and to lift properly. (Mayo Clinic)

A great way to prevent excessive stress on the back and repeated lifting movements is by using a mechanical lifting device such as the Lift’n Buddy ( The Lift’n Buddy provides repeated lifting cycles to limit repetitive stress on the employee and with a lift capacity up to 500 lbs. it can provide a mobile solution to lifting heavy loads of any form. Limiting back injuries in the workplace can significantly limit missed time and loss of productivity and a great solution is the Lift’n Buddy.

Injury statistics, as referenced above, are everywhere.  They are a dime a dozen. They are so prevalent, that for the common reader it is far to easy to gloss over these.  Because of this, the scare factor is diminished and complacency can take over.  This is when you are at the epicenter of the danger zone of workplace injury.  Therefore, I will exclamate, highlight, underline, and bold text to SCREAM through type the seriousness of workplace injury and the SOLUTIONS to eradicate this disease.  The following post is a contribution from Joe Wheatley, Demand Generation Specialist for Ergologistics:

Working Together to Prevent Injuries in the Workplace

This Monday represents the beginning of European Week for Safety and Health at Work. This year’s campaign theme is “Working Together for Risk Prevention”, a valuable safety lesson for all to learn. It emphasizes employers and employees to work closely together focusing on making workplaces as safe and healthy as possible.

Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority states, “Although the management of any organization has the ultimate responsibility for workplace safety and health, it is vital that workers can do their part and contribute to a safe and healthy working environment. We know that the best results will be found where managers and employees are working closely together towards the goal of healthy, accident-free workplaces.”

O’Halloran continues on to emphasize cooperation, “The efforts of employers are likely to fail without active worker participation. Managers should do more than just consult with their employees; they should foster a culture of genuine cooperation. Right from the top of the organization and down through all employees, the effective management of safety and health should be seen as an everyday part of running a business.

The theme of working together on prevention to create a safe workplace is something we should all take to heart. Employees face the daily risks are able to make suggestions to improve them, while a cooperating employer has a great opportunity to listen and put into effective safe solutions. Working together to create a safe workplace is something that benefits everyone involved. Employees receive a safe workplace while businesses are improved though fewer missed days, reduced insurance, and increased productivity.

Make it a safe Monday by keeping in mind cooperation between workers and employers is key to a safe workplace.

Joe Wheatley.

Thanks Joe, I couldn't agree more.  

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let's make it safe this Monday.

Aaron Lamb 
President, Ergologistics


Monday, October 22, 2012

Indiana Foundry Hits Record on Days Without Lost Time

Make-It-Safe Monday

A colleague of mine forwarded me the following article posted a couple weeks ago.  I was moved to incorporate it into our Make-It-Safe Monday blog, while I give this organization a HUGE standing ovation on how to address workplace injuries head on.  Pay particular attention to the underline portions, as I believe these are key points to mimic their success:

Bremen Castings Celebrates 495 Days
Indiana Foundry Hits Record on Days Without Lost Time

Foundries and machine shops are notoriously known for being dangerous places, but one Indiana foundry is changing the tides of the industry. Bremen Castings Inc. (BCI) in Bremen, Indiana has gone almost 500 days without lost time. Lost time injury is defined as an occurrence that resulted in a fatality, permanent disability or lost time from work of one day or shift and possibly more.

President JB Brown notes, “We have an incredible staff that come to work and every single day, but we’ve implanted strategies and procedures to make sure that everyone is accountable for everyone’s safety while at work. One example is that require all employees to file “near miss” reports. So if there is a cable in the way or a slippery step, the employee is responsible for moving it and filing a report to inform upper management of the issue. This example is then looked at by our executive team to determine how we can possibly change things in the future to prevent a possible situation from happening.”  BCI’s last lost time occurred over a year ago and required their employee to miss one full shift of work. Since then the foundry and machine shop have gone incident free.

In the future BCI would like to establish a zero incident culture, 1,000,000 man hours without a lost work time and two years without lost work time. JB Brown is available to speaking about this milestone and their safety initiatives within Bremen Castings. Please contact me to schedule an interview.


About Bremen Castings Inc.: this family owned foundry and machine shop was founded in 1939 in Bremen, Indiana. With over 70 years of experience, BCI is known worldwide for its quality gray and ductile iron machined castings. As a leader in the machining & foundry industry, Bremen houses its own machine shop & foundry. Keeping up with technology is high on the priority list with the Brown family as the company continually reinvests in new equipment for production, environmental, and automation improvements. BCI uses 92% recycled ferrous material to produce world class gray and ductile iron castings for our world market. For more information about Bremen Castings Inc. please visit their website at

I can only imagine you are just as impressed as I am with how they approach work place injury.  Let's break this down into key talking and DOING points:
  1. Indiana Foundry Hits Record on Days Without Lost Time.  I love how they turned their success into a press release.  This is how it should be.  Notice the release did not highlight increased productivity, higher revenue streams, greater positioning in the marketplace.  It focused solely how their bragging rights to bring greater command on dealing with workplace injury.
  2. Foundries and machine shops are notoriously known for being dangerous places.  Tremendous first start, they recognized the problem.  Identifying the problem is paramount to  a path to elimation.  I am sure there are many companies out there that may be in a semi-state of denial when it comes to their own problems.  Bremen Castings Inc. can be a good example of how a very good place to start is to admit the problems are there.
  3. 500 days without lost time.  Bravo!  It can be done.  Bremen Castings Inc. set a goal, put policy in place, and made it a reality.  
  4. We have an incredible staff that come to work.  That's right, it is STILL always about the people.  I love how Bremen Castings Inc. is giving its compliments to its workforce.  As I said in my first post, workplace safety is a TEAM sport.  It is by the people, and for the people.
  5. Everyone is accountable.  This is exactly how it should be.  I think there are few moments in life where you resign your survival to the hands of others; being a passanger in an airplane or car, jumping in a roller coaster, or maybe putting yourself in the hands of a doctor for surgery. When it comes to workplace safety, EVERY INDIVIDUAL has a say through actions of how safe they remain that day.  
  6. Require all employees to file “near miss” reports.  I think this is the most compelling statement of the above article.  First, notice what this is NOT.  It is NOT an accident report. It is NOT a hospital report.  It is NOT an insurance claim report.  It is NOT a report to a family informing of lost work by the families' primary wage earner.  Simply, it is the acme of preventative measures.  I imagine this to be much like a game of safety telephone that could play out like this:  THE FLOOR ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE WAREHOUSE IS UNUSUALLY SLIPPERY.  EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN WALKING. PASS IT ON.  By informing others of impending danger, and filing these BEAUTIFUL near-miss reports is the front line to workplace injury prevention.
  7. Looked at by our executive team to determine how we can possibly change things in the future.  Clear leadership on workplace safety is vital to not only initiate measures, but to maintain them overtime and throughout an organization.  In the case with Bremen Castings Inc.  it is part of their daily and weekly agenda to make regular assessment on their safety policy and its effectiveness.  Imagine if the President of the United States gave a "state of the union" address on a daily basis.  Despite a little ennui, issues of the nation would be on the front of your mind DAILY.  In essence, this is how companies need to be when it comes to addressing injury.  This is how you get to 500 days without an injury.
  8. Establish a zero incident culture.  I was once told by a business mentor of mine that the difference between dreams and goals are that goals have a timeline.  I would be willing to bet that there are a significant amount of Environment and Health Safety managers that dream of turning their company into a completely injury-free environment.  Save from rendering themselves jobless if this were to actually occur, The spirit is there when a goal like establishing a zero incident culture is the true objective.  To make this policy, you have to put a timeline to the dream.  Little by little, bit by bit, calculated improvements can be made to eradicate the disease of workplace injury.  Do you think Bremen Castings Inc. is done with safety considerations now that they acheived 500 days without injury?  NO! 1000 days is right around the corner for them, and I look forward to reporting this when it happens.
Thank you for your time and attention.  Let's make it safe this Monday.

Aaron Lamb 
President, Ergologistics

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Make-It-Safe Monday

Make-It-Safe Monday

The phrase you see above - WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR HEALTH, YOU HAVE EVERYTHING - was told to me by my grandmother since I was a little boy.  How true this is!  This statement has ricocheted in my brain throughout the years, and became more profound when I started studying work place safety.  To study worker safety is actually a study in lack of safety, injuries in the workplace, incidence rates, sorting through a mountain of statistics, and the ability to decipher relevance, trends, and match these up with preventative measures. 

Make-It-Safe Monday is a blog by Ergologistics, developers of Lift'n Buddy.  Lift'n Buddy is line of ergonomic lift assists that are designed to take the heavy out of heavy lifting, save workers backs, and improve a company's bottom line by lowering insurance payouts and compensation claims.  Because we are a company that provides solutions in the work place, we are front and center to treat and prevent the disease of work place injury.  This series will be tidbits of our own observations, things we have learned along the way through discussion with workers, managers, and even competitors.  We felt it best to share our blog on MONDAY - early in the day, early in the week, to keep safety as fresh on the mind as possible.

Safety programs and injury prevention are a team sport.  Much like a doctor who needs to be a diagnostician in the first steps to eradicate a disease, This blog will reflect our efforts to study and analyze safety and what works.  It will show our dedication to be a voice and and agent of change.  It will position us as advocates for the worker and to keep their safety and well-being as paramount.

Feel free to enter your own comments to keep these conversations fluid and dynamic.   

The following data is compiled by Joe Wheatley, Demand Generation Specialist for Ergologisitics:

“Preventing back injuries is a major workplace safety challenge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Further, one-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing industry billions of dollars on top of the pain and suffering borne by employees.” (U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet)

“Lifting which occurs below knee height or above shoulder height is more strenuous than lifting between these limits. In a recent study it was determined that up to one-third of compensable back injuries could be prevented through better job design, known as ergonomics.”  (OSHA Fact Sheet)

The award winning Lift’n Buddy ( can provide the proper ergonomic help to employees. It provides easy movement of products as well as lifting the products to the proper height, resulting in fewer workplace back injuries due to lifting heavy, awkward, and bulky objects.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let's make it safe this Monday.

Aaron M. Lamb
President, Ergologistics