It is the week of Thanksgiving and that means one thing, we are all going to eat a lot, for a long time, and go back for multiple servings of that delicious Thanksgiving meal. What does this have to do with safety you may ask? Well when it comes to musculoskeletal injuries in the workplaces the three main factors all have striking similarities to a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Magnitude, duration, and frequency result in the loosening of your belt during Thanksgiving and are the leading causes of musculoskeletal injuries. While overdoing it during Thanksgiving is an acceptable tradition, exceeding your limits in the workplace is a major problem and needs to be avoided.
To ensure safety in the workplace, today’s Thanksgiving week Make-It-Safe Monday will examine the “Extent of Exposure” and review how to stay safe. To take extent of exposure into account, consider questions:
· What is the magnitude of the exposure?
o For example, how much force is needed or how severe is the awkward posture?
o Limit lifting objects that are too heavy, are awkward to lifting and have large lifting ranges
· How long (total time) is the worker exposed to the risk?
o For example, is the worker exposed to the risk for a full shift, or for two hours?
o Long periods of lifting or exposure should be limited, especially if at high magnitude
· How frequently is the worker exposed to the risk?
o For example, is the task repeated many times each shift, or does it occur only occasionally?
A Risk Assessment should also consider the following:
· What is the combined effect of all the identified risk factors?
o For example, lifting heavy objects from the floor to a height above the shoulders several times a minute poses a greater risk than lifting the same objects between the knee and waist level infrequently.
In order to limit injury, lost time, lost productivity, and compensation costs it is important to limit the magnitude, duration, and frequency of workplace procedures. Endless stats and facts can be found on the cost of workplace injuries to businesses which is why I include a friendly reminder that devices that aid in ergonomics in the workplaces can result in large savings in the long run. Equipment such as the Lift’n Buddy (www.liftnbuddy.com) can aid in all areas of “Extent of Exposure” in the workplace.
I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you all a safe week.
Demand Generation Specialist
Thank you for your time and attention. Let's make it safe this Monday.
Aaron M. Lamb
Aaron M. Lamb