Monday, November 19, 2012

Extent of Exposure - Thankful for Safety


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.

Funny Turkey

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 ( 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
Joe Wheatley 

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

Aaron M. Lamb
President, Ergologistics

Monday, November 12, 2012

Is Your Company A Safe One? Yes or no, someone is WATCHING you!


In honor of Veterans Day, not only do we respect the vets here at Ergologistics, we rallied our own troops to each contribute a few points on workplace safety.  

First, I would like to point you to a great webinar from the National Safety Council. This weeks blog title should resonate and take deep root with everyone in charge of keeping records for workplace safety initiatives and programs.  When inspected, a company's attitude towards safety is ONLY as good as its records. Like it, or be forced to liked it, somebody is watching your company.  My advice is to be prepared and PROUD when this happens, because your motivation should be to show off how excellently compliant your company is to safety standards.  

The following webinar is worth your time and resources.  Click on the following for full registration:

Course Description:
Recordkeeping is now on OSHA’s enforcement radar as more employers face penalties for incomplete or incorrect safety records. Are your records in order? More importantly, are they OSHA compliant and ready to be presented should OSHA drop by for a surprise inspection? Don’t get caught off guard! Attend this Webinar, where you’ll receive proven and practical strategies for maintaining safety records that can pass OSHA’s tough recordkeeping standards.

By the end of this Webinar, participants will learn:

• Key elements of the OSHA recordkeeping regulation, including OSHA Recordkeeping Regulation 29 CFR 1904, Subparts- A-G

• Records you must keep for statutory compliance, including injury/illness records, training certifications, maintenance and inspection records, MSDSs, and more

• Key OSHA reporting requirements for workplace injuries, hospitalizations, and fatalities

• How to use the OSHA forms correctly, including OSHA forms 300 and 301

• How to record workplace injuries without error

• How to maintain records that will pass inspection

• Risks and exposures you face by not having complete and accurate records
Presenter: Robert Lewis, JD, Senior Safety Consultant, National Safety Council

Take advantage of this educational opportunity to improve your ground game of preparedness when safety overseers come a-knocking.  

Enjoy the next contributions by a couple of Ergologistic's own 'boots-on-the-ground':

Dale Bromenshenkel
Demand Generation Specialist:

Lifting heavy and bulky objects can overtime cause serious damage to your body and specifically your back.   The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety did a study and found that three out of every four workers whose job involves manual material handling (MMH) suffers from back pain due to working at some time.  The back injuries due to MMH account for one third of all lost work and one third of all compensation costs.  Financial costs and loss of work are bad, but worse is the human suffering.  Several thousands of workers each year are permanently disabled by back injuries, and many others are unable to return to their previous jobs due to back injury.  

Many people have to find new jobs due to work related injury.  All these facts and more are reasons why MMH should be limited in the work place by using automated machinery to lift heavy or bulky items.  The initial cost of buying the machinery will be high, but the long run costs of saving labor and workers compensation is much lower and not to mention saving some people some pain and suffering.

Joe Wheatley
Demand Generation Specialist:

7 Steps to Workplace Safety

The Workers Safety Corporation puts out a list of ways to minimize workplace safety. It is important to note these are relevant for any kind of business from manufacturing to shipping and are vital to worker safety. As we view each step it is evident that each category is as significant and the next and only when a company succeeds in all aspects can they truly minimize injuries to workers and the cost of that compensation. An OSHA study noted that occupational injuries make up 77 percent of workers compensation costs (OSHA). In order to minimize those injuries and costs to business, Make-It-Safe Monday will focus on the 7 steps you and your company can take to make the workplace a safer place.

Health and Safety Policy
Develop a statement of the employers commitment to the health and safety program, including the aims of the program and the responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and workers. This statement really unites employer and employee and states the main focuses to ensure safety in the workplace.

Regular Inspection
Regularly monitor work procedures, equipment and machinery to ensure hazards to workers are eliminated and controlled.

Education and Training
Make sure workers know about all pertinent hazards in the workplace; are familiar with health and safety regulations that apply and ensure and that workers demonstrate competency at the tasks they are required to perform. It is important to note education/training is not a one-time event but an continuous fluid program to ensure safety.

Monthly Meetings
Discuss health and safety matters, identify any unsafe condition or practice and implement solutions to any health or safety concerns. Communication at this monthly meeting between employer and employee is vital to safety. The employees are the ones experiences everyday challenges and risks while the employers are the keys to implementing safety corrections.

Accident Investigation
Determine the causes of accidents and near misses so that corrective actions can be taken to prevent similar incidents.

Records and Statistics
Maintain a first aid treatment record book, inspection and accident investigation reports, and records of program activities and training. These will allow you to identify trends of unsafe conditions or work procedures.

Maintaining an Effective Program
Review the program annually to identify the extent of effectiveness and deficiencies of the existing health and safety activities. Examine the potential for future injury and the progress of the organizations current safety effort. Maintain a strong commitment to safety policies and procedures and the interest and involvement of the workers. A strong annual evaluation is vital to future injury prevention. In some cases major safety overhaul may be needed while at other times only minor adjustments necessary.

For the full article or more information on workplace safety similar to this, visit

Just remember nothing is more important in the workplace than safety so everyone has the opportunity and right of a safe, injury free week.

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

Aaron M. Lamb
President, Ergologistics

Monday, November 5, 2012

Back Savings Time - ALL YEAR LONG


I found this wonderful post below from The Spine and Injury Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Obviously, when you need to report to a chiropractor or a doctor, things have gone too far in terms of workplace injury.  PREVENTATIVE MEASURES are key to curb back injuries in the workplace.  However, some of the food for thought in this article are great to have on the front of the mind when even experiencing the slightest of ailments. Dr. Reno and Dr. Erika do a unique job in framing injuries from the standpoint of how a child manages pain:
It’s been reported that educating the patient about their condition reduces unnecessary anxiety and fear, which in turn, allows a more swift resolution of their condition. The intensity of low back pain (LBP) can sometimes be so severe, the patient can hardly move without getting a sharp, knife-like pain that stops them in their tracks. When one experiences this kind of pain, it’s very easy to assume what’s causing this, “….must be lethal!” Or perhaps, “how can anything hurt this bad and not be cancer?” These types of thoughts can lead to unnecessary (and frankly, inappropriate) behavior including fear of activity (including work), anxiety, depression, and poor coping skills. In this regard, all LBP guidelines include the important recommendation of offering appropriate reassurance and advice through patient education as it is KEY to reducing this unnecessary fear and anxiety. This includes educating the patient as to what hurts them (anatomical tissue damage), why it hurts so badly (the inflammatory cycle), and what they can and should do to get out of the acute, painful stage as quickly as possible (“RICE” or, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate).
It's one thing to treat acute Lower Back Pain,
it's quite another to address chronic LBP.
Education is related to experience. Stop and think about how a child manages pain. When they fall down and skin their knees, the intensity of their crying can be deafening! It’s obvious the child’s the reaction is exaggerated, as exemplified by that blood curdling scream. The reason for this heightened reaction is due to the lack of experience or, “knowledge” about this type of injury – they don’t realize the pain will dissipate with a few minutes and as a result, they over react. As we age, skinning our knees is more irritating mentally than it is painful – we look at it, after muttering a few words under our breath (which won’t be repeated here), and then we go about our daily routine, knowing fully well that it will hurt for a while and eventually get better. Studies have shown that people who have graduated from high school or college have a higher pain threshold than those who have not. This may be because, through learning about the body in science class, they understand the anatomy and physiology (structure and function) behind a cut on the skin. As a result, there is no overreaction, just a “reaction.”
So, when can this educational process start? The answer is simple – as soon as possible; and actually, before we become patients! A recent study published in the journal “SPINE,” found 8 year old school children were capable of out-performing a similar aged “control” group that were not educated on management and prevention of low back pain. Tests were administered initially, at 15 days and at 98 days after beginning the education process. They used a comic book as the method to educate the 266 member group of 8 year old's while a “control” group of 231 kids did not receive the comic book educational tool. Initially, the 2 groups scored similarly (about 73% correct answers for both groups). The comic book was given to the 266 kid group at day 8 and both groups were retested again at the 15 and 98 day time points. The results showed the group receiving the comic book education about LBP scored significantly higher at 15 days and retained the information at 3 months. Though no one will know if the educated kids will be less prone to develop chronic pain due to this gain of knowledge, the increased likelihood certainly exists.
The take home message is, use the internet and all other resources to learn as much as you can about your back condition. A great website to help you is
Again, special thanks to Dr. Reno and Dr. Erika from The Spine and Injury Center on their thoughts on back pain.  I am a firm believer in the age old adage, 'an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.'  Let's keep a colossal distance between pain and your back.
Thank you for your time and attention.  Let's make it safe this Monday.

Aaron Lamb 
President, Ergologistics