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Ergonomics

NSC Celebrates National Safety Month in June


The month of June is National Safety Month as the National Safety Council (NSC) offers tips on workplace safety.

National Safety Month began with a week devoted to workplace safety to continue the declining number of injuries on the job. The cost of on- and off-the-job accidental injuries is $380 billion, of which 58 percent, or $220 billion, are costs related to employee injuries off-the-job, reports NSC.

Safety in the workplace can be broken down into falls, personal protective equipment, ergonomics and emergency preparedness.

Falls

  • Slips, trips and falls are the third leading cause of workplace injury

  • Keep all aisles, stairs and walkways free of clutter and keep doors and drawers closed when not in use

  • Use handrails on stairways

  • When walking on a wet or slippery surface, slow down and take small steps while keeping one hand free for balance.

  • Report broken stairs or loose stair coverings

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Make sure hard hat fits properly and suspension is adjusted correctly.

  • Keep protective glasses or goggles clean and have a spare pair handy.

  • Wear the right safety footwear- the ANSI-Z41 label inside means your footwear meets recognized safety standards.

  • Wear gloves and protective clothing when working with chemicals, cleaning solvents, etc.

Ergonomics

  • Includes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, back strain, and eye strain.

  • Desk chair should have good back support; keyboards should be placed so wrists are in a neutral position; computer monitors should be at or slightly below eye level.

  • Use matte finishes or indirect lighting to avoid glare.

  • Shift posture regularly when sitting in a chair or use an anti-fatigue mat when standing.

  • Avoid repetitive motions, vary the pace and even job rotation to reduce stresses through repetition.

Emergency Preparedness

  • Know the company's emergency procedures and evacuation plan- including exit routes and assembly locations.

  • Know who to notify in your organization in the event of an emergency.

  • Keep personal items (wallet, keys) in your pockets if possible.

  • Never ignore an alarm and never go back to your desk to retrieve personal items.

  • Learn first aid and CPR.

Tips for driving safety and safety in the home and community are also offered by the NSC. The event's theme for 2007 is "Celebrating Safe Communities," and encourages employers to promote safety not only in the workplace, but at home and in any other community in which employees are in.

For more information on the National Safety Council, visit www.nsc.org.


© 2007 Health Resources Publishing