Eye Safety, Prevention & Care in the Workplace

January is National Eye Safety Month! 

Your eyesight is a priceless commodity and once lost can never be brought back.  Every day in the workplace employees are exposed to numerous hazards to the eyes from chemicals to flying objects.  Protecting your eyes starts with education and utilizing the right equipment. 

There are many different types of eye protection available to you and choosing the right equipment should be based on the hazards YOU face in your environment.  Your eye protection should be;

•Strong, durable & lightweight

•Resistant to impact, penetration & heat

•Easy to clean

Eye Protection can include safety glasses,goggles,face shields or helmets.  They should always fit snugly and be comfortable without becoming obtrusive throughout the workday.  If you wear contact lenses be especially careful because they can absorb or trap particles and gases that can injure your eyes.

Remember: Regular prescription glasses can’t protect you on the job!   You must wear only “approved” protective gear (check with your employer).  OSHA requires that safety glasses or goggles meet standards developed by ANSI (American National Standards Institute).

Too many eye injuries occur because eye protection was required, issued & available- and NOT USED!!!

KNOW WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY 

♦Particles in the eyes- Flush eyes with water until the particle comes out.

♦Chemical splash or burn- Hold your eyes open and flush with water for at least 15 minutes.  Get immediate medical attention and check your MSDS for specific 1st aid treatment.

♦Blow to the eye- Apply a cold compress for 15 minutes to reduce pain & swelling.

♦Cuts near the eye- Bandage the eyes loosely and get immediate medical attention.

Always seek professional medical attention if warrented!

EYE CARE

Regular care of your eyes is also very important, eye exams on a regular basis (every 2-5 years) can uncover underlying medical problems such as diabetes , hypertension or the onset of Glaucoma.   And for eye diseases such as Glaucoma, the damage may be detected through your normal exams before you notice any signs or symptoms.

According to the study “Vision Problems in the U.S.” by Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute (NEI), there are nearly 2.3 million Americans ages 40 and older who have glaucoma.  Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and the leading cause of blindness in African American and Hispanic populations in America. 

Pertinent risk factors for Glaucoma;

•Over 40 years of age

•Race- Leading cause of blindness in african and hispanic populations

•Family history

•Diabetes- If you have diabetes you have a higher risk of developing Glaucoma

•Nearsightedness

•Eye injury or surgery

•Extended use of steroid medications

REMEMBER TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR EYES!

 

 

Prevent Injuries with Diet, Weight Management & Exercise

Most companies have injury prevention programs in place that will cover topics such as lifting, proper equipment or attire, but not often do these programs cover eating and exercise, which are important aspects of injury prevention.

We all know about eating healthy to keep out hearts strong and/or to lose weight and feel good. Most of us however, don’t take the time to think of eating as a form of injury prevention. Rock hard abs aren’t just for show. They can also help you to remain injury free.  Having a strong “core” will alleviate stress on the back, reducing back injuries. Engaging your “core” muscles in all of your activities (not just lifting) will help keep you strong and as injury free as possible. Think about flexing your abdominal muscles when you do things as mundane as getting out of your chair. You know you want to try it when you get off of the computer.

Staying at a healthy weight will also keep unwanted stress off of your joints. There is no lack of gravity, so you don’t need to worry about weighing yourself down. Have you ever seen a pick-up truck loaded down with a heavy load and thought “those poor shocks”? Well, it is the same thing for your joints. Any excess weight  that you might be carrying is going to work against you, and eventually break you down. More…

Accident Investigations: An Essential Tool in Every Work Comp Management Program

Performing accident investigations when an employee gets injured is an important step in carrying out your company’s work comp management program. The first reason that comes to many people’s minds for conducting an accident investigation is probably to prevent a fraudulent claim from being filed, but there are many other good reasons for conducting these investigations.

Accident investigations help to identify the root cause of the injury. Was an inadequate workstation to blame? Or, maybe a malfunctioning tool or machine? If it is found that one of these scenarios was the cause of the accident, they can be promptly corrected before another employee suffers a similar fate. Maybe the employee had a pre-existing problem with their injured body part. Or, maybe they were doing something that they weren’t supposed to be doing so there is no equipment that needs to be fixed.

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Believe in Your Employees and Create a Safer Workplace

Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your employees? Do you believe that every job assignment makes a company flow and is just as important as the next? Do you believe that if any employee is injured, it affects the entire company? Take time to think that if any one of your employees was injured, who could pick up the slack to keep your business on course? If you are an employer who believes in your employees, then you are already on the right track to creating a safer workplace.

Returning an injured worker back to the assembly line is just as important as returning the CEO to his or her desk. Whether it is a repetitive strain injury such as carpal tunnel, an ergonomic issue such as neck or back strain, or even a fracture from a traumatic injury; recovery and return to pre-injury employment is the most important and mutual goal.

Action should be taken to assist with the needs for your injured worker. Your injured employee needs to have a plan for the beginning, middle and end of his or her recovery. With graduating work, programs like work hardening, and safety classes your workplace can have the chance to prevent future injuries as well.

Contact Proof:Positive for more information about preventing future workplace injuries, and assisting those who have already been injured.

Injury Recovery is Golden for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are still at work, and a larger and older workforce means complete rehabilitation is very important. We all know that due to aging our wounds and injuries don’t heal the way they used to. Keeping that in mind, a Health and Wellness Room is exactly what you need. We provide the environment for your employees to heal properly with education and instruction on a proper recovery, all the while being monitored by staff that has a background in injury care and proper ergonomics.

Nobody likes to be in pain, and no employer wants an injured worker, but when accidents happen or repetitive motion injuries finally catch up, it good to know that your employees are on the road to recovery. Having rooms that provide equipment to strengthen, to educate, and to keep an employee on the right track is being proactive. And, it is so important for older employees to keep active, both mind and body, during recuperation.

We say it over and over that prevention is key, but education is just as vital. With a growing number of workers approaching retirement, it is essential that we prevent further long term injury.  The availability of onsite instruction, and even onsite injury prevention inspection, enables us to help you retire your prized workers into longer and more active golden years.

A Stressed Employee Can Be An Expensive Employee

Studies show that Americans today are more stressed than ever. Experiencing and coping with high levels of stress for an extended period of time can factor into many different negative health-related outcomes such as; depression, anxiety, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and increased risk of injury.

High levels of stress are also related to workplace violence and absenteeism. The United States has the highest violent crime rate of any industrialized nation with 18,000 non-fatal violent crimes and 20 people murdered while on the job every week. The number of employees calling in sick because of stress increases every year and in very large companies, this could add up to costs of millions of dollars annually.

Stress also differs between men and women. Studies have shown that women reported a higher level of overall job stress than men. Stress had the highest level of association with migraines and psychological distress in men and with work-related injuries in women. Also, blue-collar workers experienced the highest amount of stress induced work injuries.

You may be asking how you can protect your employees from the dangers associated with stress. A few examples of things that employers can do to help reduce the stress levels of their employees are:

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Get on the Ball and Stay on the Job

Want a quick and easy tip that can help your employees stay flexible and injury free? There are many exercises that can be done during breaks at work that will complete a routine daily workout – and a number of them can be done with this simple tool called an exercise ball (aka: swiss ball).

Employees can do activities such as sit ups, pushups, or placing the ball on the wall, in the small of their backs, and doing rolling squats! There are countless ways to get a full workout in just a few extra minutes throughout the day. These few extra minutes taken by the active employee, instead of getting up an extra hour before work or trying to squeeze the gym in after work, can bring about a reduced stress level and reduced potential for injury. Plus those precious extra minutes are valuable to an employee, and that could mean a happier worker. And we all know a happier worker means a more productive worker. And the long term benefit of having healthy imployees is increased productivity, and more time at the job – so it’s a win/win.

Here’s to getting on the ball and promoting the health of all your employees!

Get on the Ball

Source: Gaiam.com

The Rights Tools and Education Can Help You Save!

Do your employees have the right tools for the job? Are their tools ergonomic, do they fit right, and are they the right ones for the specific task they are performing? Some research suggests that the improper use of tools at work can cause musculoskeletal disorders. This can lead to lost time at work and costly worker compensation claims. Implementing a program to prevent these injuries is extremely important. Larger companies realize the need for safety programs and so should smaller businesses. Work related injuries for big or small companies can severely damage your profits.

Tools are marketed in many different ways. Some say ergonomic and some say ‘impact resistant’ or ‘lightweight.’ All of these descriptions sound beneficial! But what if the workers hand is too small for that handle, or because it is so lightweight it really does not do the job effectively? When the tool fits, or is the right tool for the job, there is less risk of injury or repetitive injuries to your employees. When tools get used improperly, a whole list of risks pops up. Your employees may develop carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or muscle strain.

Here are some considerations from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to help you select tools that are ergonomically correct for the employee and the job:

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Get Your World Turning

Let’s get this straight you have employees that:

  1. Have a specific job goal
  2. Are willing to participate
  3. Have a deficit of their physical, emotional, functional, and occupational abilities
  4. Are at the point that a modified work program would not be prohibited

Are they at home collecting dust? Goodness, I hope not! Let’s get them in a modified program. Get them up, get them moving, and then put them into a work hardening program.  The Health and Wellness Rooms and Work Hardening Programs numbers do not lie, your employees will be up more than 50% faster than if they participated in self recovery at home. Not only that, but money makes the world go round, and it’s the hard workers that turn it for you. Research shows that having employees in a Wellness Program and/ or a Work Hardening Program drastically reduces costs to our inundated workers’ compensation system.

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Preventing and Rehabilitating Injuries in the Workplace

If you are like most people, you suffer an injury from time to time. No matter if it is as severe as a herniated disc, or as miniscule as a paper cut, it is still an inconvenience. Some minor injuries, like a paper cut, can simply be avoided by being a little bit more careful and maybe doing our work a little bit slower. While the same rule applies to preventing major injuries, they also require a little bit more work on our part.

The best ‘treatment’ for injuries is prevention. Good agility, technical skills, and cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness are important in injury prevention. In order to achieve all of these things, a multiphasic training regimen (training regimen consisting of multiple phases) should be used. A good multiphasic training program should include warming up and cooling down, the use of safe and familiar equipment, muscle strengthening exercises, cardiovascular exercises, and the training of neurophysiological functions (balance, coordination and reaction time). These are all essential in preventing injuries and they become increasingly important as you get older.

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