Monday, June 29, 2015

Reduce Material Handling Injuries...NOW!


Material handling injuries are very common among construction workers and other workers that have to do similar physical work.  Back, hip, and shoulder injuries are commonly associated with workers that have to handle materials.  The job the workers do needs to be done, but immediate and long term safety are very important to keep in mind while working.  Proper lifting and carrying procedures will help dramatically with reducing injuries in the long term while working. 

Workers that have to lift heavy objects, awkwardly shaped objects, or repetitively lift objects are at higher risk for injury.  Many construction workers have to move and carry materials such as concrete blocks, lumber, sheetrock, cement mixes, shingles and many other things.

The back is one of the main places that worked are injured when handling materials.  The back can be injured when lifting or carrying items.  It is important to bend at your knees and lift with your legs when handling materials that are heavy.  When lifting things like long wooden boards or sheets of metal or sheetrock using a partner is highly advised. 

Accidents causing injury in the workplaceThe shoulders are another common area that material workers may be injured.  This is due to them holding things above their heads like boards or sheetrock when fastening them to the ceiling or toward the top of the wall.  Shoulders can also be injured when you are moving heavy objects with one arm repeatedly, for example laying concreate blocks.  When workers lay concreate blocks they usually grab the blocks off the ground and lift them with one hand to the desired location.  That doesn’t seem like a problem, but doing it over and over could strain the muscles that make up your shoulder. To reduce shoulder injuries involving lifting materials over your head, a lift is advised so you don’t have to hold it and fasten it at the same time.  To reduce shoulder injuries when laying brick or other similar jobs that require repetitive shoulder movements it is suggested that you place materials close to where you will be using them so you don’t have to move too far or spin around to grab them.  You can also have the materials lifted up on a table or an automated lift so the workers don’t have to bend down all the time. It is also important to take a short break every once in a while to rest the joints and muscles.

Manual handling injuriesInjuries can also occur when workers are moving materials to higher locations such as onto roofs while using a ladder or lifts.  When you are climbing ladders don’t carry heaving things with you that could cause you to become off balance or cause you not to have both hands on the ladder while climbing.  Also, making sure the ladder is sturdy and will not fall as you make your way up it.  When lifting really heavy objects a crane or other machine lift is suggested for ease and safety of workers.

To help reduce some of the injuries above regular stretching of legs, arms, neck, and back will help strengthen the muscles and lower the risk for injury.  There are many sites that demonstrate stretching and other workouts to keep your muscles loose and strong.  

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

Dale Bromenshenkel
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, June 1, 2015

Dust & Fume Safety


When it comes to proper ventilation in the workplace, it’s important to address dust and fume safety. When it comes to industrial ventilation equipment, it can be difficult to properly evaluate a dust collector’s capabilities. It’s important to achieve high air-quality in the workplace and there is a wide range of variables that you should consider when purchasing a dust and fume collector. Today, let us focus on five specific things you can consider when purchasing ventilation equipment.

1. Durability and Usability

A well-designed dust collector should come ready to use with nothing more than on site electricity and compressed air. Choosing a complete package dust collector eliminates the need to coordinate a complex installation.

2. Controls and Wiring

For years, the best way to improve the performance of a dust and fume collector was to hire an electrician to wire and install an add-on control panel to automate specific functions. These days, companies are designing ventilation equipment that comes equipped with an intuitive electronic control panel to automate the entire process. When you’re purchasing a new dust collector be sure to look for machines that start and stop instantaneously as a welder or machine operator works.

3. Efficiency

It’s important to look into the efficiency of the dust collector and how long it can perform before the efficiency starts decreasing. Some collectors have advanced pulse-cleaning technology that utilizes a more highly engineered filter mechanism to help increase peak efficiency for a longer period of time.

4. Longevity

This one is simple, how long are the filters projected to last? Three months? A year? Will they be simple to replace when the time does come?

5. Manufacturer 

This one is also straightforward; does the manufacturer have a good reputation and customer service? You need to be confident that if something does go wrong with your ventilation equipment that the manufacturer will be cooperative and will help resolve the issue as quickly as possible. 

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

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company