Manual material handling (MMH) work contributes to a large percentage of the over half a million cases of musculoskeletal disorders reported annually in the United States. Musculoskeletal disorders often involve strains and sprains to the lower back, shoulders, and upper limbs. They can result in protracted pain, disability, medical treatment, and financial stress for those afflicted with them, and employers often find themselves paying the bill, either directly or through workers’ compensation insurance, at the same time they must cope with the loss of the full capacity of their workers.
- To increase and maintain the interest of employees in health and safety issues.
- To convince managers, supervisors and employees through awareness and training activities that they are primarily responsible for the prevention of workplace accidents.
- To help make health and safety activities an integral part of the organizations operating procedures, culture and programs.
- To provide an opportunity for the free discussion of health and safety problems and possible solutions.
- To inform and educate employees and supervisors about health and safety issues, new standards, research findings, etc.
- To help reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses.
- To help insure compliance with federal and state health and safety standards.
Working with ignition sources near flammable materials is referred to as “hot work.” Welding and cutting are examples of hot work. Fires are often the result of the “quick five minute” job in areas not intended for welding or cutting. Getting a hot work permit before performing hot work is just one of steps involved in a hot work management program that helps to reduce the risk of starting a fire by welding or cutting in areas where there are flammable or combustible materials.
Your employees may be at risk of health hazards if their jobs include exposure to chemicals. Substances that can harm your workers include fumes, gases, liquids, solids, dust, vapors and corrosives. Whether your employees are at risk of ingesting the substance, inhaling it or absorbing it through the skin, you have a responsibility to ensure the risks are minimized. These types of hazards can be in any type of business you run, from manufacturing to retail.
Fire is a risk for your business, no matter what type of company you are running. The Seattle Fire Department Fire Prevention Division estimates 70,000 to 80,000 fires occur in businesses in the U.S. each year. Knowing where your fire extinguishers are, holding fire drills and informing employees of your emergency escape routes can ensure safety.
Repetitive Use Injury
When your employees repeat the same actions throughout the day, such as typing or rolling dough, or washing windows, they are at risk of repetitive use injury. The parts of the body that suffer from repetitive use are the back, shoulders, forearms, wrists and hands. Ensuring adequate breaks from job duties can reduce the risk of injury.
People who work directly with electricity, including electricians and engineers, are at risk of injury; personnel who work with electrical equipment in the office are also at risk of injury. Even an office worker making a fix with power tools outdoors can sustain electrical injury during adverse weather. You can minimize the risk of injuries by using one extension cord or power strip per connection, keeping liquids clear of electrical equipment and conducting regular safety examinations.
Accidental Falls and Falling Objects
If your employees work at elevated heights, they may be at risk of accidental falls. Anytime objects are stored at or above head level, there is a risk of injury caused by falling objects. Wearing safety gear including a hard hat or harness, and installing guardrails or a safety net can reduce the risk of injury. Instruct employees on the safe use of equipment.
The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) is a Federal program that establishes requirements for healthcare professionals who perform physical qualification examinations for truck and bus drivers. To become a certified medical examiner (ME) and be listed on the National Registry, healthcare professionals must complete training and testing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) physical qualifications standards and guidelines. The National Registry website is accessible to carriers, drivers, enforcement officials, and the general public.
All healthcare professionals whose scope of practice authorizes them to perform physical examinations, as defined by the State in which they practice,and who intend to perform physical examinations and issue medical certificates for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to meet the requirements of Section 391.41 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) must be certified and listed on FMCSA’s National Registry by May 21, 2014.
- Slips and trips: Anything lying around on the floor can cause a tripping hazard. Slips and trips can result in injuries such as strains or fractures.
- Lifting: Lifting heavy items alone, or lifting items incorrectly, can cause serious and long-term back injury
- Electricity: Electricity can kill in an instant. Always follow safety instructions on equipment.
- Moving machinery: Make sure you stay behind barriers and avoid loose clothing which can get tangled in moving parts.
- Fire: Depending on the environment, fire can take hold in minutes or seconds. Not only can it cause burns, but serious damage from smoke inhalation.
- Working at heights: Falling from any height can result in serious injury and even death.
Only 4,547 workers died on the job last year, a 23% decline from the 5,915 fatalities that occurred in 2000, according to the latest report on workplace fatalities from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Workplace deaths in 2010 were more or less flat with the year before, which was deemed the “safest” year since the Bureau of Labor started tracking fatal occupational injuries. About 3.5 workers died for every 100,000 employed in 2010, the same rate as in 2009.
The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA. OSHA publishes this list to alert employers about these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these and other standards before OSHA shows up. Far too many preventable injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace.
- 1926.451 – Scaffolding
- 1926.501 – Fall Protection
- 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
- 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
- 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
- 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
- 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
- 1926.1053 – Ladders
- 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements
- 1910.212 – Machine Guarding
Neither a company’s size, its location, nor its industry is a deterrent to cyber crime, which costs organizations an average of $5.5 million per data breach and can have an impact on the privacy of customers, employees, and business partners, experts say.
In the past, cyber-risk management was mostly about protecting intellectual property and trade secrets from competitors, says Mark Melodia, chair of the data security, privacy, and management practice at law firm Reed Smith. Now, because of changes in technology, it is easier for competitors, nation states, and the Mafia to infiltrate.
Before entering a trailer, make sure that the wheels are chocked. If tractors are not attached, make sure that the landing gear is secure and supports are placed under the trailer. Never take for granted that the trailer or railcar is braked or chocked. Take the time to check for yourself.