Back Injury and Back Pain

Back-Injury-300x200Back symptoms are among the top ten reasons for medical visits. For 5% to 10% of patients, the back pain becomes chronic.

  • In 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 372,683 back injury cases involving days away from work. Most cases involved workers who were aged 25–54 (79%), male (64%), and white, non-Hispanic (70%)
  • Two occupational groups accounted for more than 54% of back injury cases: operators, fabricators, and laborers (38%); and precision production, craft, and repair (17%)

Data from scientific studies of primary and secondary interventions indicate that low back pain can be reduced by:

  • Engineering controls (e.g., ergonomic workplace redesign)
  • Administrative controls (specifically, adjusting work schedules and workloads)
  • Programs designed to modify individual factors, such as employee exercise
  • Combinations of these approaches

via CDC – Workplace Health – Implementation – Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD) Prevention.

Lightning Safety Tips

Safety_Lightning_400pxLightning Outdoor Safety Tips

The best defense is to avoid lightning. Here are some outdoor safety tips that can help you avoid being struck:


Be aware – Check the weather forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If the forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is readily available.

Go indoors – Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.

Crouch close to the ground and separate – If you are caught in an open area, crouch down in a ball-like position (feet and knees together) with your head tucked and hands over your ears so that you are down low with minimal contact with the ground. Do NOT lie down. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away. Crouching down is the best combination of being low and touching the ground as little as possible.

Separate – If you are in a group during a thunderstorm, separate from each other. This will reduce the number of injuries if lightning strikes the ground.

Remember the 30-30 rule – The main lightning safety guide is the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.


Stay in open vehicles, structures, and spaces – During a thunderstorm, avoid open vehicles such as convertibles, motorcycles, and golf carts. Be sure to avoid open structures such as porches, gazebos, baseball dugouts, and sports arenas. And stay away from open spaces such as golf courses, parks, playgrounds, ponds, lakes, swimming pools, and beaches.

Stay near tall structures – Do NOT lie on concrete floors during a thunderstorm. Also, avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

via Lightning Safety Tips | Lightning.

Safer and Healthier at Any Age: Strategies for an Aging Workforce

bigstock_Older_A_worker_with_scanner_in_16883183-300x200Many effective workplace solutions for aging workers are simple, don’t have to cost very much, and can have large benefits if implemented properly with worker input and support throughout all levels of management. Below are strategies for preparing your workplace for an older and healthier, safer workforce.  Consider putting these in place today.

  • Prioritize workplace flexibility.  Workers prefer jobs that offer more flexibility over those that offer more vacation days.  To the extent possible, give workers a say in their schedule, work conditions, work organization, work location and work tasks.
  • Match tasks to abilities.  Use self-paced work, self-directed rest breaks and less repetitive tasks
  • Avoid prolonged, sedentary work – it’s bad for workers at every age.  Consider sit/stand workstations and walking workstations for workers who traditionally sit all day.  Provide onsite physical activity opportunities or connections to low-cost community options.
  • Manage noise hazards (including excess background noise), slip/trip hazards, and physical hazards, conditions that can challenge an aging workforce more.
  • Provide ergo-friendly work environments — workstations, tools, floor surfaces, adjustable seating, better illumination where needed, and screens and surfaces with less glare.
  • Utilize teams and teamwork strategies for aging-associated problem solving.  Workers closest to the problem are often best equipped to find the fix.
  • Provide health promotion and lifestyle interventions including physical activity, healthy meal options, tobacco cessation assistance, risk factor reduction and screenings, coaching, and onsite medical care. Accommodate medical self-care in the workplace and time away for health visits.
  • Invest in training and building worker skills and competencies at all age levels. Help older employees adapt to new technologies, often a concern for employers and older workers.
  • Proactively manage reasonable accommodations and the return-to-work process after illness or injury absences.
  • Require aging workforce management skills training for supervisors.  Include a focus on the most effective ways to manage a multi-generational workplace.

via CDC – NIOSH Science Blog – Safer and Healthier at Any Age: Strategies for an Aging Workforce.

Staying Safe and Sober During Prom and Graduation Season

jaleel-feurtadoProm night and graduation are probably the most anticipated nights of the year for teens and the most dreaded for their parents. Prom night and graduation always seem to be linked with drunk driving injuries, deaths, and other risky behaviors.

This time of year has become a time where teens’ poor judgment and dangerous choices become institutionalized. Parents must take action to ensure their teens are safe this prom and graduation season. The following are some tips for teens for staying safe and sober during these end of the school year celebrations.

Tips for Teens

  • Alcohol is illegal for persons under the age of twenty-one. Underage drinking is illegal and can result in arrest, injury, or worse!
  • Do not let friends drink and drive.
  • Plan ahead—make sure you have a safe plan for prom night.
  • Discuss your plans with your friends, remind each other about responsible decision-making and confronting peer pressure.
  • Do not accept any drinks from some-one you do not know. If you leave your drink, discard it and get a new one. Do not leave your possessions unattended.
  • Learn the warning signs for alcohol poisoning and drug intoxication, contact 911 for assistance and immediate treatment.
  • Have a responsible person available for transportation for a safe ride home or in case an emergency arises.
  • Remember to charge your cell phone and have it with you.
  • Know where you are and where you are going, keep your parents and friends informed.
  • Trust your instincts – if you feel endangered or uncomfortable, leave immediately.
  • Intoxication by alcohol or drugs can lead to poor judgment and dangerous situations.
  • Remember to contact your parents if your plans change.
  • Practice and discuss answers you can use to get out of uncomfortable situations.
  • Do not allow anyone in your car or limo that has alcohol, drugs or weapons. It is dangerous and everyone in the car is at risk of getting arrested.
  • It is illegal to alter your drivers’ license or any other form of government identification.

via Staying Safe and Sober During Prom and Graduation Season – Jennifer Rossi’s Blog – East Haven, CT Patch.

What is a Drug Free Workplace?

drug-free_workplace_signA drug free workplace is an employment setting where all employees adhere to a program of policies and activities designed to provide a safe workplace, discourage alcohol and drug abuse and encourage treatment, recovery and the return to work of those employees with such abuse problems. The intent of the program is to educate adults on the problems relating to substance abuse. The one place where there can be mandated adult education is the workplace. This empowers the individual and the family, resulting in stronger communities.

via The Council on Alcohol and Drugs: Drug Free Workplace FAQ.

Prevent Lawn Mower Injuries

877Fortunately, most lawn mower injuries can be prevented. The list below provides some useful guidelines for staying safe around lawn mowers. Most importantly, both adults and children must be aware of a lawn mower’s inherent dangers.

  • Only use a mower that has protection over hot and sharp parts.
  • Riding mowers should have the reverse switch behind the driver, forcing the driver to look behind when placing the machine in reverse.
  • Push mowers should have a control that stops forward motion when the handle is released.
  • If children must be in the yard during mowing, they should remain at least 20 feet away from the running lawn mower at all times. Ideally, children should not be allowed outside in the yard when the grass is being cut.
  • Children should be at least age 12 years before operating a push lawn mower, and age 16 to operate a riding lawn mower.
  • Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing the lawn – do not wear sandals.
  • Remove stones, toys, and debris from the lawn before mowing to prevent injuries from flying objects.
  • Always wear eye and hearing protection.

via Lawn Mower Injuries in Children-OrthoInfo – AAOS.

Formula to Change Poor Health Behaviors

omag_200701_potato_chip-949x534In the past there have been remarkable advances in curing acute illnesses. This has lead to prolonged life expectancy. From the perspective of health care capabilities we should be heather than ever before. Yet there are signs that young adults today may be the first generation in modern history to be less healthy than their parents. Respiratory diseases and cancers, diabetes and obesity, heart and liver disease and some psychological problems are largely preventable or controlled through health behavior change. What can be done to get someone to change their behavior? One method is motivational interviewing by a health coach or medical professional.

There are four guiding principles:

  1. to resist the righting reflex
  2. to understand and explore the patient’s own motivations
  3. to listen with empathy
  4. to empower the patient, encouraging hope and optimism

These for principles can be remembered by the acronym RULE: Resist, Understand, Listen, Empower.

For more information about health and safety coaching at work go to:

Motorcycle Safety

motorcycle-safety-signShare The Road

  • All motorists are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists.

Ride Sober

  • Statistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads. This is why NHTSA urges all motorcycle riders to always ride smart and sober.

via Motorcycles | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Leading Indicators for Injury Prevention

safety-indicatorsForward-thinking safety leadership requires leading indicators, which enable the understanding of the effectiveness of safety efforts underway at an operation. Management that dedicates time to continuous improvement uses leading indicators not only as a way to prevent injuries, but also to continuously improve productivity and quality in plants.

via Leading Indicators for Injury Prevention.

Spring Gardening And Yard Work Hazards

????????????????????Spring yard and garden work could mean trouble if you don’t take the proper precautions. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 135,000 people per year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with power lawn and garden tools, including lawnmowers.

Injuries often occur because of improper use, improper safety apparel, failure to heed safety instructions and owners’ manuals, inadequate maintenance of tools, and mechanical problems. Often, the victims of these accidents are children who are unaware of any danger and are playing in the area where power equipment is being used.

via Approach Spring Gardening And Yard Work With Caution |