Strained muscles and sprained ligaments are the most common causes of back pain. This type of back pain, which lasts less than three months, is considered to be “acute”. With proper treatment these injuries usually heal within a few weeks.
When back pain persists or frequently reoccurs, it is considered to be “chronic”. Chronic back pain may indicate that something is wrong with the spine itself.
Several factors may increase the onset of acute or chronic back pain including:
- Lifting incorrectly
- Carrying objects incorrectly
- Pushing or pulling heavy objects
- Frequent back bending
- Poor posture
- Being overweight
- Lack of physical fitness
- Inadequate tools
- Environmental barriers
Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing either acute or chronic back pain.
via Back safety – Environment, Health & Safety – University of Wisconsin System.
A safety and health management system (SHMS) is your best defense against a workplace injury.
An effective safety and health management system has five primary elements:
• Management Commitment
• Employee Involvement
• Workplace Analysis
• Hazard Prevention and Control
• Safety and Health Training
This systematic approach integrates occupational safety and health objectives into the company’s organizational structure.
The results of a system approach include:
• An effective system supports the organization’s philosophy.
• Safety and health policies and goals are clearly communicated.
• Accountability for implementing the system is understood and accepted.
• Long-term solutions are implemented rather than one-time fixes.
• Evaluation of results over time promotes continual improvement.
• An effective system positively impacts the company’s bottom line.
“Confined Space” refers to a space which by design has limited openings for entry and exit, unfavorable natural ventilation which could contain or produce dangerous air contaminants, and which is not intended for continuous employee occupancy. Confined spaces include but are not limited to storage tanks, compartments of ships, process vessels, pits, silos, vats, degreasers, reaction vessels, boilers, ventilation and exhaust ducts, sewers, tunnels, underground utility vaults, and pipelines. According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program, fatal injuries in confined spaces fluctuated from a low of 81 in 1998 to a high of 100 in 2000 during the five-year period, averaging 92 fatalities per year.
via CDC – Confined Spaces – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
Lockout-tagout (LOTO) or lock and tag is a safety procedure which is used in industry and research settings to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not started up again prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing work. It requires that hazardous power sources be “isolated and rendered inoperative” before any repair procedure is started. “Lock and tag” works in conjunction with a lock usually locking the device or the power source with the hasp, and placing it in such a position that no hazardous power sources can be turned on. The procedure requires that a tag be affixed to the locked device indicating that it should not be turned on.
via Lockout-tagout – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Employers MUST provide their employees with a workplace that does not have serious hazards and follow all relevant OSHA safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct safety and health problems. OSHA further requires employers to try to eliminate or reduce hazards first by making changes in working conditions rather than just relying on masks, gloves, ear plugs or other types of personal protective equipment (PPE). Switching to safer chemicals, enclosing processes to trap harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to get rid of or minimize risks.
Employers MUST also:
- Inform employees about hazards through training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets and other methods.
- Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling required by some OSHA standards.
- Provide hearing exams or other medical tests required by OSHA standards.
- Post OSHA citations, injury and illness data, and the OSHA poster in the workplace where workers will see them.
- Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace incident in which there is a death or when three or more workers go to a hospital.
- Not discriminate or retaliate against a worker for using their rights under the law.
Safe workplaces don’t happen by accident…They happen when there is a culture of safety within the workplace. To help encourage that culture of safety within your organization – here are 10 Workplace Safety Tips to follow.
- Design a safe work area: A work area may include work benches, conveyors, furniture, equipment and vehicles. The layout of an area where a particular job is based is critical to preventing injuries and ensuring an efficient job and workplace;
- Maintain a clean work area: A clean work area is a Safe work area. Not only will a clean environment remove many hazards, you will ensure greater productivity from your employees;
- Involve your employees in the safety planning: The single most powerful source of motivation for workplace safety – is employee ownership of the safety process;
- Provide clear work instructions: Provide thorough training and clear, written instructions and make sure that each worker reads and acknowledges your safety program;
- Focus your safety efforts on the most likely problems: Although it’s necessary to plan for major safety concerns, your greatest impact will come from eliminating the small safety violations that contribute the most frequent injuries;
- Encourage your employees to bring safety deficiencies to management’s attention: Employees who provide information and insight into common workplace safety issues are contributing to the culture of safety in your workplace;
- Watch and learn how each employee performs their job: Watch for employees who are taking shortcuts that could reduce safety but also keep an eye out for employees who are performing tasks in an improved manner that could be adopted by the other staff;
- Maintain all machinery in good working order: It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all machinery is in good working order and that a routing maintenance program is in place;
- Avoid unnecessary hazards: Do a routine inspection of your workplace frequently to identify any unnecessary hazards;
- Revisit your safety guidelines every year. Start off each year with an inspection of your workplace and a thorough review of your safety program.
via 10 Workplace Safety Tips for 2013.
A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or damage; in other words, a miss that was nonetheless very near. Although the label of ‘human error’ is commonly applied to an initiating event, a faulty process or system invariably permits or compounds the harm, and should be the focus of improvement. Other familiar terms for these events is a “close call”, or in the case of moving objects, “near collision” or a near hit.
via Near miss (safety) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Each day about 2000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments and more than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days of lost work. The majority of these injuries result from small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye. Examples include metal slivers, wood chips, dust, and cement chips that are ejected by tools, wind blown, or fall from above a worker. Some of these objects, such as nails, staples, or slivers of wood or metal penetrate the eyeball and result in a permanent loss of vision. Large objects may also strike the eye/face, or a worker may run into an object causing blunt force trauma to the eyeball or eye socket. Chemical burns to one or both eyes from splashes of industrial chemicals or cleaning products are common. Thermal burns to the eye occur as well. Among welders, their assistants, and nearby workers, UV radiation burns (welder’s flash) routinely damage workers’ eyes and surrounding tissue.
via CDC – Eye Safety – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
Women face different workplace health challenges than men. This is partly because men and women tend to have different kinds of jobs. Women generally have more work-related cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, respiratory diseases, infectious and parasitic diseases, and anxiety and stress disorders. Social, economic, and cultural factors also put women at risk for injury and illness. For example, women are more likely than men to do contingent work part-time, temporary, or contract work. Compared to workers in traditional job arrangements, contingent workers have lower incomes and fewer benefits. Like all workers in insecure jobs, women may fear that bringing up a safety issue could result in job loss or more difficult work situations. They may also be less likely to report a work-related injury.
via CDC – Women’s Safety and Health Issues at Work – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
Opioids are powerful pain killers that are highly addictive. Opioid dependence affects nearly 5 million people in the United States and leads to approximately 17,000 deaths annually.
via Opioid Abuse.