Monday, April 15, 2013

Identifying Risk Factors and Preventing Them


Today’s Make-It-Safe Monday focuses on identifying risk factors at work and taking steps to prevent them. Every day at work we face risks, dangers, and hazards to our health, but by identifying these factors and avoiding them we can limit many injuries. By recognizing these risks and stopping them before they occur we not only remain much happier and healthier workers, but also save lots of missed time and wasted money.

Heavy Lifting- Many jobs require heavy lifting and for obvious reasons the added strain leads to an increase in injuries. When required to perform heavy lifting use the aid of equipment if possible, such as the easy to operate, efficient Lift’n Buddy. Also avoid repetitive lifting over a long period of time

Twisting- Twisting at the waist while lifting or holding a heavy loads increasing the risk of injury immensely. When lifting remember to turn your entire body, not just at the waist, to remain safe.

Reaching and Lifting- When reaching either over your head, across a table, or out the back of a truck there is already strain on the body, when combining that reaching with lifting it provides a high risk of injury and should be avoided whenever possible.

Carrying and Lifting- Risk of injury increases when carrying or lifting objects of strange shape. Always ask for help if available or use mechanical aid when necessary. Also remember to lift with your legs not back.

Awkward Positions- Similar to when reaching, awkward positions created an added amount of strain on the body that leads to injuries over time. Inappropriate posture that contributes to back pain can be caused by poor workstation layout or equipment design. Make sure to have a proper work area design to improve posture and minimize this risk.

Slips, Trips, and Falls- Common accidents from slips, trips and falls lead to many injuries, but proper setup and precautions in the workplace can greatly minimize the odds of falling. Make sure to report and fix any areas or situations that appear to be unsafe.

Sitting or standing- Many employees are probably either behind a desk or on our feet for a majority of our day. The long hours in one position creates a large amount of strain on our bodies over time and leads to injury. Make sure for every hour either sitting or standing and take a short break from that position to relax the muscles. A brief stretch can also be very beneficial.
This is a general list of many of the risk factors we face daily in the workplace. Make sure to avoid them when possible and if you see an unsafe situation be sure to report it. The safety of all workers in paramount in the workplace, so I hope you all have a safe week.

Contributed by Joe Wheatley
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company