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:

  • Tools without finger grooves are a better choice than those with grooves. If your fingers don’t fit the grooves, pressure from the grooves’ edges can injure your hands.
  • Tools with cushioning on the handles are more comfortable, provide a firmer grip and cut down on slippage.
  • If you are using double-handed gripping and cutting tools, spring-loaded handles that return to the open position automatically reduce muscle strain.
  • A clamp or a grip to hold an object in place for an extended time also can reduce or prevent muscle strain.
  • Handles of tools need to be long enough that their ends will not press into your palms, potentially damaging nerves and blood vessels.

But in fact there is one tool that needs to be brought into play when talking about work safety, the brain!

Educating your employees and teaching them how to use their tools safely is the most important aspect of safety. Not everyone knows how to use the tools provided correctly. Develop a safety program that not only covers proper tool usage but safety, good health, ergonomics and awareness. Evaluate your work environment and develop a plan that encompasses all the factors for safety before and after an accident.  These plans should include the services offered by Proof:Positive, such as: Safety Training and Seminars, Injury Prevention and Methods Implementation, Ergonomics, Work Hardening, Early Return to Work Programs and Health and Wellness Rooms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *