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Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: How They Got Hurt

Recently, I presented a speech at the American Society of Safety Engineers, International Conference in Las Vegas. My speech was entitled, “So You Want To Be An Expert, Eh?” I thought of all the times that I have been asked to be an expert witness for one side or the other and the end result was always the same. Someone was hurt and a lawsuit ensued.

Let’s face it, no one wants to get hurt on the job or elsewhere. Yet, each year millions of workers suffer worksite injuries that were largely preventable. Knowing leading causes of these injuries is the first step in learning how to protect against them.

Management’s attitude plays the most important part in accident prevention. The other day I was out working with one of my clients and I heard the manager say, “Jack, I just cannot get the employees to use their protective equipment and the machine guards. Nothing that I do can convince them to use them!” Sound familiar? Well let’s take a closer look at these words. You are the manager, you have the responsibility to operate the business, follow all laws and regulations and then also make a profit. Now you are going to have an employee tell you that they are not going to do something. Do you think there is a problem here? I do! One of the major factors that I use when supporting a case is, “Management either enforced, or if representing the other side, did not enforce the safety policy and training.” Think of how many times that you told an employee to do something and they did not do it, how did you enforce your own program?

The number one cause of on-the-job related injuries is management not enforcing their own policies and employees being allowed to bypass the safety procedures. Many times, some management officials even reward the employee for not following safety by thanking them when they get the job done a little faster and by circumventing safety switches, or cutting corners.

Let’s take a closer look at the leading cause of accidents in your facility.

Physical overload is the number two cause of accidents. Lifting too much (or improperly), straining, overreaching, bending, twisting and otherwise making our bodies bend or twist in ways that they are not designed to maneuver. To avoid physical overload, learn and use proper lifting techniques, never bend or twist while lifting or carrying, and whenever possible, use mechanical help. Question? Do you know of anyone who lifts safely all of the time? Well here is the answer, toddlers—watch a toddler lift something and they always bend at the knees.

The third leading cause of injuries on the job is impact injuries. Being hit or striking an object. The best way to avoid impact accidents, is to be alert to potential hazards (for example never walk under a loaded forklift or crane). Use personal protective equipment necessary for the hazards you face and have all of your employees follow the safety procedures that your company has developed.

The fourth cause of on-the-job injures are falls. Fall injuries are as common in the home as they are in the workplace. So fall protection is everyone’s business. To avoid injuries from falls, be sure that your footing is firm, wear slip resistant footwear and avoid hurrying. Make sure that walkways are well lighted and clear of obstacles and always use the handrails when climbing or descending stairways.

The fifth cause of injuries on the job is machinery accidents. Employees getting caught by moving machine parts. When working around any machine that rotates, slides, or presses, use extreme caution. Always use safety-guards, shields, and follow appropriate lockout, tagout and tryout procedures. Employees should never wear loose clothing and jewelry while operating machinery.

Be Safe, Not Sorry. The nature of accidents is that they can happen anywhere, any time, and to anybody. Do not tolerate the excuse that your employees cannot do something or utilize a piece of safety equipment. When the employee gets hurt, they hurt the company, their family and the community. Most importantly they impact your bottom line.

Please feel free to contact me anytime through the magazine should you have a safety, health or environmental question. This magazine is your source for information. Need a program developed or reviewed? Have an OSHA issue clarified? Visit my website at www.podojilconsulting. com. Need specific training? Visit Convenience Learning International’s website at www.clearning.com and they will let you take a free preview of any of their on-line safety courses. This magazine is your one stop shop for safety information.

For more information, click on the Author Biography at the top of this page.

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