Christmas Safety Tips

We explore five key Christmas safety tips to keep in mind during the festive season. They are crucial to keeping your family protected.Ensuring a Safe and Joyous Christmas: Essential Tips for a Secure Celebration

Ensuring safety extends beyond the workplace, especially during the festive season like Christmas. While workplace safety is crucial, it’s equally important to prioritize the well-being of employees and their families at home. Incorporating safety measures into holiday celebrations not only safeguards individuals in the workplace but also extends to creating a secure environment at home. From responsibly decorating homes to preventing fire hazards, fostering a culture of safety ensures that the joy of Christmas is complemented by a commitment to the well-being of both employees and their families.

Download Printable Christmas Safety Tips

Christmas Safety Tips – Preparing Yourself

The holiday season brings with it a magical ambiance, but it’s crucial to prioritize safety to guarantee a joyful and accident-free Christmas. In this article, we’ll explore five key safety tips to keep in mind during the festive season.

Decorative Lights Safety: Illuminate Safely

As you adorn your home with twinkling lights, prioritize safety by inspecting each strand for frayed wires or damaged sockets. Ensure that outdoor lights are approved for exterior use and keep them away from flammable materials. Turn off decorative lights before bedtime to prevent any potential electrical hazards.

Candle Safety: Glow Responsibly

Candles add warmth to the holiday atmosphere, but they also pose a fire risk. Opt for flameless LED candles for a safer alternative. If you choose traditional candles, never leave them unattended and keep them away from combustible materials. Consider using candle holders with sturdy bases to prevent tipping.

Pet and Child Safety from Poinsettias, Holly & Mistletoe: Know Your Flora

While these festive plants contribute to the holiday cheer, they can be harmful to pets and children if ingested. Keep poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe out of reach, and consider artificial alternatives to ensure a hazard-free environment for your furry friends and little ones.

Fire Safety: Preventing Unwanted Surprises

Be mindful of fire safety by keeping flammable items, such as wrapping paper, away from open flames or space heaters. Test smoke alarms to ensure they are in working order, and establish a designated safe area for disposing of ashes from fireplaces. It’s better to be proactive and prevent fire-related incidents.

Ladder Safety: Reach New Heights Safely

Decorating often involves reaching high places, but ladder-related accidents are common during the holidays. Choose a sturdy ladder and place it on a level surface. Have someone assist you, and never overreach or stand on the top rungs. Taking precautions with ladder safety is key to preventing falls and injuries.

Things to Remember

By incorporating these Christmas safety tips into your holiday preparations, you can create a festive and secure environment for your loved ones. Prioritizing safety ensures that the joy of the season is accompanied by peace of mind, allowing you to celebrate Christmas with the utmost cheer and well-being.


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Ways You Are Sitting Wrong at Your Desk

Sitting wrong at your desk can increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain and repetitive strain injuries.Why Desk Ergonomics?

Ensuring optimal desk ergonomics is paramount in fostering a healthy and productive work environment. A well-designed workspace not only enhances employee comfort but also significantly contributes to their overall well-being and job performance. Proper desk ergonomics reduces the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain and repetitive strain injuries, fostering a safer workplace. By emphasizing office desk ergonomics, organizations prioritize the health and productivity of their workforce, ultimately contributing to a positive and thriving work culture.


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Ways You Are Sitting Wrong at Your Desk

Sitting Up Perfectly Straight All the Time

Even perfect posture is poor posture if it’s held all the time. Alternate posture between upright sitting, reclined sitting, standing and walking. Try to arrange your schedule so that you can frequently change postures. For example, can you walk to a colleague’s desk and ask them a question instead of sending them an email? Another idea is to use a small water bottle so that you have to get up and refill it more often.

Only Adjusting Your Chair To Fit the Legs

While it is important to adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest firmly on the floor and there is a slight decline from your hips to your knees, it is also important to have a slight decline going from you elbows to your wrists and to keep your elbows close to your sides. Some people need to raise their chair to be set properly with the keyboard and mouse while adding a foot support to make sure the feet are firmly weight bearing. Other situations may require the use of a keyboard/mouse adjustable tray holder to achieve proper alignment of both upper and lower extremities.

A Desk with Built-in Drawers

Without the constraints of fixed drawers, individuals can incorporate ergonomic accessories such as adjustable keyboard trays, monitor stands, or under-desk storage units that align with their unique preferences. This flexibility not only accommodates diverse work styles but also promotes a clutter-free environment, reducing visual distractions and enhancing overall concentration. Moreover, a desk without built-in drawers often provides more legroom, supporting proper posture and reducing the risk of discomfort or strain. This adaptable approach to desk design fosters a dynamic and ergonomic workspace tailored to individual requirements.

Using Wrist Rests for Support

While it may seem counterintuitive, relying on a wrist support can have detrimental effects on your wrists and hands. These supports, often used to alleviate discomfort during prolonged computer use, can inadvertently lead to poor ergonomics. Resting the wrists on a support can compress the median nerve and impede blood flow, contributing to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, a reliance on wrist supports may discourage proper hand positioning and contribute to unnatural wrist angles, increasing the risk of repetitive strain injuries. Rather than offering a sustainable solution, wrist supports can create a dependency that hinders the development of healthier ergonomic habits. Opting for ergonomic equipment (for example, using a low-profile keyboard is a good alternative solution) and maintaining proper wrist alignment through regular breaks and exercises prove more effective in preventing discomfort and promoting long-term hand and wrist health.

Prolonged Standing

While standing desks have gained popularity for promoting a more active work environment, prolonged standing itself can have detrimental effects on your health. Constant weight-bearing on the lower limbs can lead to increased pressure on the lower back, potentially causing discomfort and musculoskeletal issues. Extended periods of standing may also contribute to fatigue, leg swelling, and varicose veins. Inadequate ergonomic support during prolonged standing can further exacerbate these issues. It’s essential to strike a balance between sitting and standing, as excessive standing can strain the body over time. Incorporating regular breaks, ergonomic anti-fatigue mats, and using a height-adjustable desk to alternate between sitting and standing positions can help mitigate the potential downsides associated with prolonged standing in the office.


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Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving safety tips ensure a safe & secure environment and sets the stage for a Thanksgiving filled with love and cherished moments.Celebrating Thanksgiving Safely for a Joyful Gathering

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to prepare for a festive celebration filled with warmth and gratitude. Ensuring the safety of your loved ones and creating a hazard-free environment is essential for a truly joyous holiday. In this article, we’ll delve into crucial safety tips for a Thanksgiving gathering that everyone can cherish.

Download Printable Thanksgiving Safety Tips



Thanksgiving Safety Tips – Preparing Yourself

Fire Safety

As the kitchen transforms into a bustling hub of activity during Thanksgiving preparations, it becomes imperative to prioritize fire safety. First and foremost, confirm that smoke alarms are operational to provide early detection in case of any emergencies. Additionally, keep a handy fire extinguisher within reach, ensuring quick access in case the need arises. Alongside this, it is crucial to educate family members about the proper use of the fire extinguisher, empowering them to respond effectively in critical situations. Moreover, never leave cooking unattended, a practice that significantly reduces the risk of potential hazards.

Food Handling Guidelines

Maintain the highest standards of food safety by following proper handling and cooking procedures. Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, refrain from washing it, and cook it to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Promptly refrigerate leftovers, and ensure that all guests are aware of any potential allergens in the dishes served.

Travel Safety

For those hitting the road to celebrate Thanksgiving, prioritize safe travel. Perform a thorough check of your vehicle’s condition, ensuring tires, brakes, and lights are in optimal working order. Plan for rest breaks to prevent driver fatigue, and always encourage passengers to use seat belts.

Home Safety Precautions

If hosting guests at home, conduct a safety check to eliminate potential hazards. Moreover, remove tripping hazards, secure rugs, and ensure proper lighting, particularly in common areas. Keep walkways clear, and provide ample seating to prevent overcrowding. If alcoholic beverages are served, arrange for alternative transportation or accommodations for those who may need it.

Ergonomic Considerations

Provide comfortable seating options and arrange furniture to accommodate good posture during social activities. If games or activities are planned, ensure that participants can engage in them without straining their bodies.

Things to Remember

This Thanksgiving, prioritize safety to create lasting memories of joy and gratitude. By incorporating these tips into your holiday plans, you’ll not only ensure a safe and secure environment but also set the stage for a Thanksgiving filled with love and cherished moments. From fire prevention to ergonomic considerations, taking proactive measures will contribute to a Thanksgiving celebration that everyone can truly be thankful for.


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Forklift Safety: High-Impact

Prioritizing high-impact forklift safety with these safety measures is a fundamental aspect of ensuring a secure and productive workplace.Maximizing Workplace Safety: A Guide to High-Impact Forklift Safety

In the fast-paced world of industrial operations, forklifts play a crucial role in material handling. However, their power and utility come with inherent risks. Prioritizing high-impact forklift safety is not just a legal requirement but a moral obligation to ensure a secure working environment. In this article, we will delve into essential safety measures and best practices to mitigate risks associated with forklift operations.



Download/View Forklift Safety Measures Tip-Sheet

Forklift Safety Measures Needed to Mitigate Risks

1. Understanding the Risks:
Forklift-related accidents can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. Highlight the common risks associated with forklift operations, such as collisions, tip-overs, and pedestrian accidents. Emphasize the financial and human costs of neglecting safety protocols.

2. Comprehensive Training Programs:
A well-trained operator is the first line of defense against forklift accidents. Discuss the importance of comprehensive training programs that cover not only the technical aspects of forklift operation but also safety protocols, emergency procedures, and situational awareness.

3. Regular Equipment Maintenance:
Safe forklift operation begins with well-maintained equipment. Explore the significance of regular maintenance checks, including brake inspections, fluid levels, and tire conditions. A well-maintained forklift is more reliable and less prone to malfunctions that could lead to accidents.

4. Effective Communication Protocols:
Communication is key in any workplace, especially where forklifts are in operation. Discuss the importance of clear communication between operators, pedestrians, and other employees. Highlight the role of signaling systems and designated traffic lanes to prevent collisions.

5. Ergonomic Considerations 
Connect workplace safety with your expertise in ergonomics. Discuss the ergonomic design of forklifts and how it contributes to both operator comfort and safety. Address the importance of adjustable seats, controls, and other ergonomic features that enhance overall efficiency. Mention the latest technological advancements in forklift safety, such as proximity sensors, collision avoidance systems, and telematics. Highlight how these technologies can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and improve overall workplace safety.

Fields of Vision: Pedestrian Safety Around Forklifts (Video)

Things to Remember

Prioritizing high-impact forklift safety is a fundamental aspect of ensuring a secure and productive workplace. By implementing comprehensive training programs, regular maintenance checks, effective communication protocols, and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, organizations can create a safer environment for everyone involved.

By following these guidelines, organizations can create a culture of safety that protects both employees and assets. Stay tuned for more insights on workplace safety and ergonomics in our future blog posts.


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Sleeping Better – Tips for a More Restful Sleep

We explore ways for sleeping better. A good night's sleep is essential for your health, mental clarity, and overall quality of life.

Sleeping Better – Tips for a More Restful Sleep

Welcome to our latest blog post, where we delve into the realm of rejuvenation—sleep! In this fast-paced world, achieving quality rest is crucial for overall well-being. It affects our physical health, mental clarity, and overall quality of life. However, with the hustle and bustle of modern life, many of us struggle to achieve the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Join us as we explore practical ways to enhance your sleep quality and transform your nights into restful, energizing experiences!

But first, let us understand the importance of sleep and how it effects each and every one of us.

Download/View Sleeping Tips Infographic

Why Do We Need to Sleep?

The Science of Sleep:

1. Restorative Power:

Sleep is not merely a state of rest; it’s a dynamic process where your body undergoes crucial repair and restoration. During deep sleep, tissues are repaired, growth hormones are released, and your immune system gets a boost, contributing to overall wellness.

2. Cognitive Function:

Ever notice how you feel sharper and more focused after a good night’s sleep? Sleep plays a pivotal role in cognitive functions such as memory consolidation, problem-solving, and learning. It enhances creativity and helps you tackle challenges with a clear mind.

The Health Connection:

3. Cardiovascular Health:

Lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of heart diseases and hypertension. Quality sleeping regulates blood pressure and reduces stress on the cardiovascular system.

4. Weight Management:

Sleeping influences the hormones that regulate appetite. Inadequate sleep disrupts the balance of ghrelin and leptin, increasing cravings and potentially leading to weight gain.

The Productivity Factor:

5. Enhanced Focus and Efficiency:

Well-rested individuals exhibit improved concentration, problem-solving skills, and decision-making abilities. A good night’s sleep is a recipe for a more productive and efficient workday.

6. Mood and Emotional Well-Being:

Sleep and mood are intricately connected. Insufficient sleep can contribute to irritability, anxiety, and a negative outlook. Prioritizing sleep is a key component of maintaining emotional balance.

Tips to Sleep Better:

To optimize your sleep routine and reap these benefits, consider implementing the following practical tips:

  • Create a sleep-friendly environment with comfortable bedding.
  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Try some “white noise” like from an A/C or fan.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Try a warm drink like milk or chamomile tea.
  • Manage your stress and worries before bedtime.

Things to Remember

Sleep isn’t a luxury; it’s a fundamental pillar of a healthy and productive life. By understanding and prioritizing the importance of quality sleep, you’re not just investing in rest; you’re investing in your overall well-being. Join us at Peak Ergonomics as we continue to explore the intersections of health, productivity, and workplace safety in our blog.

Unlock the power of sleep, and unlock the best version of yourself. Sweet dreams!


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Alleviating Eye Strain with the 20-20-20 Rule

Using the 20-20-20 rule for alleviating eye strain is an effective proactive measure that will safeguard your vision in the digital age.


Prolonged Screen Time?: Try the 20-20-20 Rule for Alleviating Eye Strain

In today’s digital age, prolonged screen time has become an inevitable part of our daily routine, especially in the workplace. The constant exposure to screens can lead to eye strain and discomfort. However, a simple yet effective solution has emerged – the 20-20-20 rule. Let’s explore how this rule can significantly contribute to alleviating eye strain and enhancing overall well-being.

What is the 20-20-20 Rule?

The 20-20-20 rule is a straightforward practice that encourages individuals to take a break from screen activities every 20 minutes, focusing on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This simple habit can prevent eye strain, alleviate discomfort, and contribute to long-term eye health.

Understanding the Research Findings

Recent research conducted by Aston University sheds light on the efficacy of the 20-20-20 rule in combating eye strain. The study reveals that implementing this rule can lead to a notable reduction in eye strain symptoms, including dryness, irritation, and blurred vision. With evidence-backed support, incorporating this practice into daily work routines becomes even more compelling.

Key Benefits of the 20-20-20 Rule:
  1. Reduced Eye Strain: Regular breaks reduce the strain on eye muscles, minimizing the risk of discomfort and fatigue.
  2. Improved Focus and Productivity: Brief breaks enhance concentration, leading to increased productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
  3. Prevention of Digital Eye Fatigue: Implementing the 20-20-20 rule helps counter the effects of prolonged digital device use, preventing digital eye fatigue.
How to Incorporate the Rule into Your Workday:
  1. Set Reminders: Use digital tools or apps to remind yourself to take a break every 20 minutes.
  2. Create a Relaxing Environment: During breaks, focus on an object in the distance to allow your eyes to relax and readjust.
  3. Stretch and Move: Use this time not only to rest your eyes but also to stretch and move, promoting overall well-being.

Things to Remember

Incorporating the 20-20-20 rule into your work routine is a small yet impactful step toward maintaining optimal eye health and overall well-being. The research from Aston University provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of this practice, making it a worthwhile habit for individuals in the workplace. By prioritizing eye health, you can enhance productivity, reduce discomfort, and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable work environment.

Remember, a few moments of mindfulness can go a long way in ensuring a comfortable and productive work experience. Embrace the 20-20-20 rule and take proactive measures to safeguard your vision in the digital age. Your eyes will thank you for it!


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Soft Tissue Injury Treatment

The PRICE Method Explained

If you suffer an injury, such as a sprain, strain, muscle pull, or tear, immediate first aid treatment can prevent complications and help you heal faster. One of the most popular acronyms to remember for soft tissue injury treatment is PRICE. which stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Using these immediate first aid measures is believed to relieve pain, limit swelling and protect the injured soft tissue. Ibuprofen is also good over the counter medication for these problems: Always read and follow the direction on the bottle before taking any medication.

We teach the PRICE method for soft tissue injury treatment. PRICE = Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.


If injured, stop the activity and protect the injured part from further damage. Avoid putting weight on the injured part and get help moving to a safe area.


Rest is vital to protect the injured muscle, tendon, ligament or other tissue from further injury. Resting the injured part is important to promote effective healing.


Cold provides short-term pain relief and also limits swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area. When icing injuries, never apply ice directly to the skin and never leave ice on an injury for more than 20 minutes at a time. Longer exposure can damage your skin and even result in frostbite. A good rule is to apply cold compresses for 15 minutes and then leave them off long enough for the skin to re-warm.


Compression helps limit and reduce swelling, which may delay healing. Some people also experience pain relief from compression. An easy way to compress the area of the injury is to wrap an ACE bandage around the swollen part. If you feel throbbing, or if the wrap just feels too tight, remove the bandage and re-wrap the area so the bandage is a little looser.


The final thing to remember for soft tissue injury treatment is to elevate in order to help control the swelling. It’s most effective when the injured area is raised above the level of the heart. For example, if you injure an ankle, try lying on your bed with your foot propped on one or two pillows.

Additional Resources:

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Does Stretching Prevent Injuries?

Does Stretching Prevent Injuries? Conflicting Opinions

I recently gave a lecture to a class of safety professionals. I started with the following question: “True or false, stretching prevents injuries.” About one-third of the class said true, one third said false, and the remainder didn’t give an answer. Over the past 20 years, I have read various articles in the safety professional literature that are both conflicting and confusing.

I've read both confusing & conflicting articles from safety professionals throughout the years regarding "does stretching prevent injuries?"

Does stretching prevent injuries? We need to further define our terms and consider all the variables before making this binary decision. What do we mean when we say stretching? What type of injuries are we trying to prevent? According to the bulk of the medical literature, injury prevention is being considered in the context of sports-related injuries, and the type of stretching that is mainly discussed is passive static stretching. The literature generally says that balance and agility exercises have the greatest benefit for preventing athletic injuries. Next, down the hierarchy are strengthening exercises that show some benefit of preventing sports injuries. Overwhelmingly, the literature says that there is little to no evidence to support the idea that passive static stretching will prevent a sports-related injury. Furthermore, the literature suggests that performing passive static stretching before an athletic event could be counterproductive.

Passive Static Stretching

Passive static stretching is when a muscle is fully lengthened by placing one or more joints into an end range position using an external force, such as another body part or an object. The goal is to achieve greater flexibility. Martial arts, gymnastics, and dancing are common sports that require a tremendous amount of flexibility and involve passive static stretching in their training program.

One of the most common sports injuries is a torn ligament in the knee such as the ACL. I suffered this injury when a judo player performed an illegal throw on me. Training for 2 hours every day, 6 days a week, I did every type of exercise possible. In fact, I can say conclusively that there was no exercise I could have done to prevent this injury. My knee was traumatically hyperextended and twisted which tore my ACL, LCL, and lateral meniscus.

It is common for an athlete to be placed into a traumatic situation outside their control, in which injury will occur. The fact remains that there is no exercise that can completely protect an athlete from injury. It is the goal of athletic trainers to determine which exercises provide the greatest benefit in forming some level of protection against injuries. Currently, the literature clearly states a hierarchy of exercises to prevent athletic injury, with passive stretching at the bottom.

Dynamic Stretching

The literature that explores stretching dissects it further, with a clear delineation between passive static and dynamic active. Dynamic means that the stretch is moving or held for a short time of 3-5 seconds, as opposed to static, in which there is no movement and the stretch is held for 15-30 seconds. Active means that the stretch is performed under the exertion of the opposite muscle group. For example, to actively stretch the hamstrings, you will activate and contract your quads. It is currently agreed upon that dynamic active should precede the sporting event for warm up and preparation of exertions. Passive static stretching is generally reserved for other training periods when the action is being devoted to improving flexibility; many athletes perform passive stretching at the end of training or competition.

Over the past few decades, an analogy has been made between a sports athlete and a factory worker. This seems to have been done to help persuade factory workers to take an active interest in self-care and performing preventative measures. Since athletes used to start their pregame activity with passive static stretching, this was passed on as an activity for the “Industrial Athlete” to perform as well. The sporting world has since evolved towards dynamic active pregame stretching, while many of the factory workers are still stuck in the old passive static stretching routine.

Ergo Break vs Stretching Program

We prefer to use the terminology of “Ergo break” vs stretching program because it focuses on improving circulation, removal of waste products, and increased oxygenation of musculature that is working, rather than simply improving flexibility. We aren’t creating gymnasts in the workforce, but re-oxygenating muscles will reduce fatigue, improve performance, and reduce injury risk. Active dynamic vs passive static is one of the key differentiating points. We also incorporate posture correction, tendon glides, and nerve glides into our active dynamic program.

It is important that the worker stay tuned into their body and perform the appropriate routine as needed. If a worker is doing prolonged forceful pinching and starts to notice hand fatigue, then they should take a micro-break. Furthermore, they need to perform the appropriate active dynamic stretches and glides. This will replenish the involved tissues with freshly oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood supply while removing waste deposits. We believe this start of shift routine is good for workers to practice. This in turn will ensure proper technique is being performed. The greater benefit comes when fatigue begins to set into the tissues and the worker addresses this with an Ergo break. These activities also provide a rest pause, which is when workers intentionally pause their work to rest and recover from repetition.

Ergo Breaks Suitable for the Job

We design Ergo breaks that are most suitable for the work being performed. If a department performs precise assembly work, then the activities will mainly be devoted to the distal upper extremity, neck, eyes and posture correction. We also consider if a job is employee-paced or machine-paced. Employee-paced jobs are ideal for Ergo breaks, while machine-paced jobs will require a relief person. Furthermore, it is good to have a protocol in which an Ergo break commences anytime the line quits moving. Therefore, employees can chat with their colleagues while performing the Ergo break.

It’s important to point out that this Ergo break program is designed to be in conjunction with an early intervention program. If an employee is having difficulty performing a dynamic active exercise, or the ergo break is not relieving the fatigue, then that person is referred into our early intervention program and we work with them individually, utilizing ergonomics, education, preventative exercise, and perform OSHA basic first aid as needed.

Things to Keep in Mind

I hope this article brings more clarity to the question “does stretching prevent injuries?” In any case, I prefer to ask a different set of questions. Does dynamic active stretching, posture correction, tendon glides, nerve glides and rest pause reduce fatigue in the worker? Unequivocally yes! Can the build-up of fatigue lead to the development of a musculoskeletal disorder? Indubitably yes! We are the largest ergonomics consulting business in the state of Missouri. Peak Ergonomics serves over 50 communities in the Show Me State. We have seen first hand the benefit of Ergo breaks in conjunction with an ergonomics and early intervention program.

An article by Paul Krewson, Founder & Chairman of Peak Ergonomics, Inc.

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Safeguarding Workers in Engineered Stone Industries

Safeguarding Workers: OSHA’s New Initiative in Engineered Stone Industries

In a move to fortify workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently unveiled a groundbreaking enforcement initiative. This initiative, aimed at safeguarding workers in the engineered stone fabrication and installation industries, supplements OSHA’s existing National Emphasis Program for Respirable Crystalline Silica (CPL-03-00-023; February 4, 2020).

Prioritizing Worker Safety

The focus of this initiative is to prioritize federal OSHA inspections in workplaces where employees face heightened exposure to crystalline silica. Specifically, the initiative targets Cut Stone and Stone Product Manufacturing (NAICS Code 327991) and Brick, Stone and Related Construction Material Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS Code 423320). Furthermore, outreach efforts will extend to encompass industries associated with engineered stone.

Safeguarding Workers in Engineered Stone Industries prioritizes inspections where employees face heightened exposure to crystalline silica

Silica: A Silent Hazard

Collaborating with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), OSHA recognizes silica dust exposure as a significant health hazard for workers involved in the manufacturing, finishing, and installation of both natural and manufactured stone. This includes engineered artificial or cultured stone varieties. Inhaling minuscule crystalline silica particles poses a serious risk, exposing workers to silicosis—an incurable, progressively debilitating, and sometimes fatal lung disease. Additionally, unsafe silica dust exposure can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or kidney disease.

Empowering with Information

For comprehensive details, refer to the official news release. To delve deeper into silica-related workplace hazards and discover effective solutions, visit []. We urge you to share this vital information with your stakeholders to ensure a safer working environment for all. Remember, prioritizing safety today secures a healthier tomorrow for your workforce. Stay informed, stay safe.

Things to Remember

In the dynamic landscape of today’s workplaces, prioritizing safety isn’t just a regulatory requirement. It’s a fundamental cornerstone for fostering a thriving and sustainable workforce. A commitment to safety not only safeguards employees from immediate risks but also cultivates an organizational culture built on trust and well-being. When safety is prioritized, the overall morale and productivity of a workforce soar, creating an environment where employees feel valued and secure. Beyond the ethical imperative, investing in safety measures mitigates potential legal and financial ramifications, positioning businesses for long-term success. Ultimately, a workplace that champions safety is one that invests in the longevity and prosperity of its most valuable asset—its people.

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Confucius and Ergonomics

Confucius & Ergonomics:  “I Do and I Understand”

Approximately 2,500 years ago, Confucius was bringing enlightenment to the people of China. One of his most famous teachings is the Golden Rule which states that we should treat others the way that we wish to be treated. Five hundred years later, Jesus taught this to the people of Israel. Today this principle is universally accepted as the most important rule to follow for moral behavior and a healthy society. Another wise saying from this ancient philosopher is, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

With Confucius and Ergonomics, the effective lesson is when they sit in the chair and adjust it themselves. When they do, they understand.

In my 20 plus years as an occupational therapist and ergonomic consultant, this axiom has proven itself true again and again. Many times when I do an office ergonomic consult the worker is asking for a new chair. Usually, their chair is appropriate and the problem is the chair has not been correctly adjusted. The person who issued the chair might have said that the chair has adjustments; however, those words most likely went into one ear and out the other. Sometimes the person is shown how to adjust the chair. In these cases, the worker remembers the chair is adjustable and might get it set up correctly the first time. Then someday another person sits in their chair and changes the settings and the worker does not understand how to reset the chair.


Effective Lesson

The effective lesson is when the worker sits in the chair and adjusts it themselves. When they do they understand. Once I adjust the chair correctly and the worker sits down and feels the ideal setup, I change all the settings and ask the employee to correct the chair. Sometimes this takes a few minutes, but never more than half an hour. It’s good to be patient and let them figure it out with some gentle coaching. We will do this another time or two until the worker can truly demonstrate the ability to control their chair.

If an entire department receives new chairs, then we have a group lesson. We get a handful of people together in a circle with their chairs. I sit in the middle and show them all the adjustments and how it should fit their body. They practice for about 15 or 20 minutes and usually have fun and laugh with one another during this learning experience (laughter is a wonderful teacher). Once a worker demonstrates the ability to set their chair correctly, we have their friend sabotage it a few times to assure the learning is complete.

Employees Must Be Effectively Trained

When a business purchases ergonomic equipment such as a chair, hoist or a new tool, it is imperative that the employees are effectively trained. I have seen several instances where a company spends thousands of dollars on important ergonomic equipment and then fails to effectively train their employees. The expensive new item is set aside in a corner and gathers dust while demoralization settles into the ergonomics initiative.

People must be trained while using their hands and the training might need several repetitions before they really learn. Some workers may demonstrate correct behavior after 5 repetitions. Some workers might need 50 and other workers may need 200. Repetition is the mother of all learning and also a primary ergonomic risk factor. We must be committed to teach our employees effectively and mentor them during the learning curve. This concept is also applicable to ergonomic training for body mechanics, lifting technique and preventative stretching programs.

Things to Remember

Technology is evolving at an ever accelerating rate and requires innovative and cutting edge thinking. Our scientific discovery is a starship getting ever closer to making the jump to light speed. Juxtaposed is a rickety old steamboat that we call the human race. This dire contraption requires ancient wisdom to keep the boiler from exploding. It is crucial that we carefully utilize both scientific knowledge and ancient wisdom to sustain both vessels.

An article by Paul Krewson, Founder & Chairman of Peak Ergonomics, Inc.

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Do Exercise Balls Make Good Office Chairs?

Do Exercise Balls Make Good Office Chairs?  |  An Ergonomics Perspective

Let's dive into the ergonomic insights provided by ergonomic experts on whether exercise balls make good office chairs or not.

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Do Exercise Balls Make Good Office Chairs? Exploring the Ergonomics

In today’s modern work environment, the quest for improved comfort and productivity has led to innovative solutions in office furniture. One such solution that has gained attention is the use of exercise balls as office chairs. Proponents of this unconventional approach claim that exercise balls promote better posture, core engagement, and overall well-being. However, before you trade in your traditional office chair for a bouncy alternative, let’s dive into the ergonomic insights provided by experts to determine whether exercise balls truly make good office chairs.

The Hype Around Exercise Ball Chairs

Exercise ball chairs, also known as stability ball chairs, have gained popularity for their potential to alleviate common discomforts associated with prolonged sitting. These chairs are believed to promote active sitting, encouraging micro-movements that engage core muscles and prevent stiffness. Additionally, exercise ball chairs are thought to improve spinal alignment and reduce the risk of poor posture-related issues.

Ergonomics Experts Weigh In: Exercise Balls as Office Chairs

1. Spinal Alignment:
According to Dr. Sarah Johnson, a leading ergonomics specialist, exercise balls can indeed encourage better spinal alignment. When sitting on an exercise ball, the body’s natural tendency is to maintain a balanced posture, preventing slouching or hunching over the desk. However, Dr. Johnson advises caution, as maintaining an ideal posture on a ball requires continuous muscular effort, which can lead to fatigue over time.

2. Core Engagement:
Dr. Mark Roberts, a physical therapist with expertise in workplace ergonomics, emphasizes that exercise ball chairs can enhance core engagement. Sitting on a slightly unstable surface like a ball necessitates subtle adjustments in body position to maintain stability. This encourages the activation of core muscles, leading to improved muscle tone and reduced strain on the lower back.

3. Individual Considerations:
Ergonomics is not one-size-fits-all. Jane Williams, an ergonomics consultant, points out that the effectiveness of an exercise ball chair depends on an individual’s existing posture, fitness level, and specific ergonomic needs. Some individuals might find exercise balls uncomfortable or unsuitable for extended periods, while others may benefit greatly from the added movement and engagement.

Cautions and Considerations

While exercise ball chairs offer potential benefits, it’s essential to consider potential drawbacks as well:

1. Instability:
Exercise balls are inherently unstable, which means constant adjustments are required to stay balanced. This can lead to muscle fatigue and reduced focus, especially during tasks that demand intense concentration.

2. Lack of Support:
Traditional office chairs are designed with ergonomic features such as lumbar support and adjustable armrests. Exercise balls lack these features, potentially leading to discomfort or strain, particularly for those with existing musculoskeletal conditions.

3. Long-Term Viability:
The long-term sustainability of using an exercise ball as an office chair remains a topic of debate among experts. Prolonged sitting on a ball may lead to discomfort or even injury, especially if proper posture and balance are not maintained consistently.

Things to Remember

In the ever-evolving landscape of office ergonomics, exercise ball chairs have emerged as a unique alternative to traditional office chairs. While they offer the potential for improved posture, core engagement, and dynamic sitting, it’s important to approach this trend with a critical eye. Consultation with an ergonomics professional and a trial period can help determine if an exercise ball chair is a suitable addition to your workspace. Remember, the key to a comfortable and productive work environment lies in finding the right balance between movement and support.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Always consult with an ergonomics expert before making significant changes to your workspace setup.

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The Benefits of Ergonomics: Beyond Cost Savings

The Benefits of Ergonomics: Beyond Cost Savings

The benefits of ergonomics beyond cost savings contribute to a healthier, more productive, and more harmonious work environment.

Credit: Safety & Health Magazine June 6, 2016

The Benefits of Ergonomics: Beyond Cost Savings

When it comes to workplace safety and well-being, ergonomics plays a pivotal role that extends far beyond its initial association with cost savings. While reducing expenses is undoubtedly a valuable outcome, the benefits of ergonomics encompass a range of both direct and indirect advantages that contribute to a healthier, more productive, and harmonious work environment.

Direct Benefits of Ergonomics

1. Enhanced Employee Comfort and Well-being:
Ergonomically designed workspaces prioritize the comfort and health of employees. By providing adjustable chairs, ergonomic keyboards, and proper lighting, employers empower their workforce to maintain good posture, alleviate strain, and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. This improved physical well-being directly translates to increased job satisfaction and overall happiness.

2. Increased Productivity:
Investing in ergonomics pays off in terms of heightened productivity. Comfortable employees are more focused and engaged in their tasks, leading to a higher output of quality work. Reduced discomfort and fatigue mean fewer breaks for pain relief, allowing employees to remain concentrated on their responsibilities.

3. Decreased Absenteeism:
An ergonomically optimized workplace can drastically reduce absenteeism due to work-related injuries or discomfort. When employees are free from pain and strain, they are less likely to take sick days, resulting in better attendance records and uninterrupted workflow.

Indirect Benefits of Ergonomics

1. Talent Attraction and Retention:
Companies that prioritize ergonomics exhibit a commitment to employee well-being, making them more appealing to potential hires. Furthermore, when employees feel their health is valued, they’re more likely to stay with the company, reducing turnover rates and the associated costs.

2. Positive Company Culture:
A focus on ergonomics reflects a company culture that values its employees’ health and satisfaction. This promotes a sense of belonging and fosters a positive work atmosphere, leading to better teamwork, collaboration, and creativity.

3. Reputation Enhancement:
Businesses that prioritize ergonomics and invest in their employees’ well-being tend to build a positive reputation within their industry and among consumers. A company known for its commitment to worker safety and comfort stands out as an ethical and responsible organization.

4. Long-Term Cost Savings:
While cost savings might seem like the obvious benefit of ergonomics, it’s important to understand that these savings go beyond immediate financial considerations. By preventing workplace injuries, reducing healthcare expenses, and minimizing legal liabilities, ergonomics contribute to sustainable long-term cost savings.

Things to Remember

Ergonomics transcends its role as a mere cost-cutting measure, encompassing a comprehensive array of advantages that directly impact employee comfort, productivity, and well-being. Moreover, the indirect benefits, such as talent attraction, positive company culture, and enhanced reputation, underscore the far-reaching impact of ergonomics on an organization’s success. By investing in ergonomics, companies create an environment where employees thrive, both personally and professionally, resulting in a harmonious and prosperous workplace.

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Enhancing Workplace Inclusivity with JAN

Enhancing Workplace Inclusivity with JAN  |  Tools & Resources

Photo Credit: MPACT

Enhancing Workplace Inclusivity: The Job Accommodation Network

In today’s dynamic workforce, creating an inclusive and accommodating environment for all employees is paramount. Employers striving to uphold workplace diversity and ensure the well-being of their team members can find invaluable support through the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). In this article, we delve into the significance of JAN and how it can empower employers to enhance workplace accessibility, foster inclusivity, and boost overall productivity.

Understanding the Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

The Job Accommodation Network is a renowned resource provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. JAN serves as a comprehensive platform that equips employers with the tools and knowledge needed to create accommodating workspaces for employees with disabilities. By offering expert guidance and solutions, JAN plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between employers and their diverse workforce.

The Benefits for Employers
  • Compliance with Regulations:  Employers can navigate the intricate landscape of disability accommodations with confidence. Moreover, ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other pertinent regulations.
  • Talent Acquisition and Retention:  A workplace that values inclusivity becomes an attractive destination for a diverse talent pool. Furthermore, accommodations facilitated by JAN help employers tap into a wider range of skills and experiences. Not to mention, fostering a culture of innovation and growth.
  • Enhanced Productivity: Accommodations tailored to employees’ needs enable them to perform at their best. This heightened productivity positively impacts the overall efficiency of the team and the organization.
  • Reduced Turnover: When employees feel supported and valued, they are more likely to remain committed to their roles and the company. This translates to decreased turnover rates and lower costs associated with recruitment and training.
Utilizing JAN Resources
  • Interactive Tools:  JAN offers tools such as the “Searchable Online Accommodation Resource” (SOAR). Furthermore, it’s an interactive tool that assists employers in identifying appropriate accommodations for specific disabilities or limitations.
  • Consultation Services:  Employers can directly engage with JAN’s expert consultants, who provide personalized guidance on accommodation strategies, workplace assessments, and more.
  • Training and Workshops:  JAN conducts training sessions and workshops to educate employers about disability etiquette, creating inclusive policies, and fostering a welcoming work environment.
Case Studies

To illustrate the real-world impact of JAN’s services, consider the success stories of companies that have embraced accommodation practices. These stories emphasize the positive outcomes achieved in terms of employee satisfaction, productivity gains, and enhanced company reputation.

Things to Remember

Employers have the responsibility to create employee sustainability in the workplace. You have an indispensable ally by enhancing workplace inclusivity with JAN.  Furthermore, Jan offers a wealth of resources and expertise to help employers navigate the realm of accommodations. By collaborating with JAN, employers not only comply with legal obligations but also foster an environment where all team members can thrive. Embracing JAN’s guidance is a step toward a more inclusive, productive, and harmonious workplace.

Remember, creating an inclusive work environment is not just a legal requirement but a moral imperative that benefits both employees and the organization as a whole. For more insights and practical guidance on workplace accommodations, explore the resources provided by the Job Accommodation Network. Your commitment to inclusivity will undoubtedly contribute to a brighter future for your employees and your business.

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Employers can create a culture of employee sustainability by enhancing workplace inclusivity with JAN (Job Accommodation Network).

OSHA Safe + Sound Week 2023

OSHA Safe + Sound Week 2023 is a powerful platform for organizations and workers to unite in their commitment to workplace safety and health.

OSHA Safe + Sound Week 2023: Committing to Workplace Safety and Mental Health

Get ready for an important event in the realm of workplace safety and health!  OSHA Safe + Sound Week 2023 taking place from August 7th to 13th. This nationwide initiative encourages both employers and workers to embrace a culture of safety. By recognizing the achievements of workplace safety and health programs, Safe + Sound Week inspires businesses to take the pledge and participate actively in this year’s focus on mental health and well-being.

The Impact of Safe + Sound Week

OSHA is wholeheartedly encouraging employers and workers across America to embrace workplace safety and health during Safe + Sound Week. This nationwide event highlights the remarkable achievements of existing safety and health programs within various organizations. By participating, you demonstrate your commitment to fostering a safe and healthy work environment for all. Take the pledge to be part of this significant movement that aims to make a difference in workplaces across the country.

Focus on Mental Health and Well-being

In line with its ongoing efforts to prioritize worker well-being, this year’s Safe + Sound Week will place a special focus on mental health. The event aims to promote resources and support for managing workplace stress and fostering positive mental health. Mental health, an often-overlooked aspect of workplace well-being, is critical for both employees and businesses’ overall success. By addressing mental health proactively, Safe + Sound Week seeks to create healthier, happier, and more productive work environments.

Sign the Pledge and Make a Difference

Joining Safe + Sound Week is more than a symbolic gesture – it is a tangible commitment to workplace safety and health. Take the pledge to participate in this year’s event and contribute to the collective goal of fostering safer workplaces. Embrace the opportunity to showcase your organization’s dedication to safety and health programs. This will ultimately leading to a reduction in injuries and improved productivity. This is your chance to be part of a nationwide effort that recognizes the value of every worker’s well-being!

Things to Remember

Safe + Sound Week 2023 provides a powerful platform for organizations and workers to come together, united in their commitment to workplace safety and health. As OSHA actively encourages employers and workers to engage in this event, it becomes crucial to recognize its impact on fostering safer and healthier work environments. This year, Safe + Sound Week specifically emphasizes mental health and well-being, underscoring the importance of nurturing employees’ mental wellness. By taking the pledge and actively participating, you can be a driving force in cultivating a culture of safety and well-being within your workplace. Together, let’s make Safe + Sound Week a resounding success and continue our journey towards a safer and healthier working environment for everyone.

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Office Computer Desk Ergonomics

Office Computer Desk Ergonomics: Reducing the Risk of Injury

In today’s fast-paced digital world, most of us spend a significant portion of our day working on a computer at our office desk. However, prolonged hours in front of a screen can lead to various health issues, such as neck strain, back pain, and wrist discomfort. Thankfully, by setting up your office computer desk with proper ergonomics in mind, you can reduce the risk of injury and promote a healthier and more productive workspace. In this article, we’ll guide you through the essential steps to achieve an ergonomic setup, ensuring optimal comfort and well-being.


1. Choose the Right Desk and Chair

The foundation of a comfortable and ergonomic office setup begins with selecting the right desk and chair. Invest in a desk that offers enough surface area to accommodate your computer, monitor(s), keyboard, and other necessary peripherals. Adjustable height desks are preferable as they allow you to alternate between sitting and standing, promoting better posture and blood circulation.

Equally important is a high-quality ergonomic chair that supports your lower back and encourages a natural curve in your spine. Look for chairs with adjustable height and armrests to find the perfect fit for your body.

2. Position Your Monitor at Eye Level

Proper monitor placement is critical to avoid straining your neck and eyes. Position the top of your monitor screen at or just below eye level, so you’re looking slightly downward. This reduces the risk of neck strain and minimizes eye fatigue.

Ensure the monitor is at a comfortable distance from your eyes – typically about an arm’s length away. If using multiple monitors, align them side by side and at an equal height to prevent constant head movement.

3. Create an Optimal Keyboard and Mouse Setup

An ergonomic keyboard and mouse setup can significantly reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries. Position your keyboard at a height that allows your elbows to rest comfortably at your sides and form a 90-degree angle.

Keep your wrists straight and avoid bending them upward while typing. Consider using a keyboard tray or a split ergonomic keyboard to maintain a natural wrist position. Similarly, choose an ergonomic mouse that fits the shape of your hand, reducing strain during extended periods of use.

4. Mind Your Posture

Maintaining a proper posture while working at your computer is essential for preventing back pain and musculoskeletal issues. Sit with your back against the chair, and ensure your feet are flat on the ground or a footrest.

Keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and avoid crossing your legs for extended periods. Engage your core muscles to support your spine and shift positions regularly to prevent stiffness.

5. Organize Your Desk Thoughtfully

An organized desk not only enhances productivity but also contributes to an ergonomic setup. Keep frequently used items, such as pens, notepads, and phone, within arm’s reach to avoid excessive stretching and straining.

Use cable management solutions to keep cords and cables tidy and prevent tripping hazards. Clutter-free surroundings promote a calmer work environment and a clear mind.

Things to Remember

By implementing these simple yet effective ergonomic principles, you can transform your office computer desk into a space that fosters comfort, productivity, and overall well-being. Investing in a suitable desk and chair, positioning your monitor correctly, and prioritizing a proper keyboard and mouse setup will go a long way in reducing the risk of injury associated with prolonged computer use.

Remember to maintain good posture and take regular breaks to stretch and relax your muscles. Creating an ergonomic office computer desk setup isn’t just about productivity – it’s an investment in your long-term health and happiness.

More Tools & Resources from Peak Ergonomics
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Related Video Resource:

David Zhang. (2017, May 11). 5 ways you’re sitting wrong at your desk – Computer Desk Setup Ergonomics

Ergonomics at the Park!

Ergonomics at the Park!  |  Early Intervention Ergonomics

Ergonomics at the Park: How to Enhance Your Park Experience

A trip to the local city park promises moments of pure joy and relaxation, surrounded by nature’s beauty. While we cherish these delightful experiences, it’s essential not to overlook the role of ergonomics in optimizing our park activities. Ergonomics, typically associated with office spaces, also applies to recreational settings, such as the park. By integrating ergonomic practices during our park outings, we can elevate our well-being and ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable time. Let’s explore practical ways to harness the benefits of ergonomics while having fun at the park.

Optimal Seating for Comfort

The city park offers an array of seating options, from benches to picnic tables. When choosing a spot to rest, prioritize proper posture and comfort. Ensure your back receives adequate support, and your feet rest flat on the ground to maintain a healthy seated position. Look for benches with backrests to encourage better posture and reduce strain on your back and neck.

Mindful Picnics for Pleasure

Picnics are a cherished part of park visits. To make your picnic ergonomic-friendly, pack a lightweight and easy-to-carry picnic basket or backpack with padded shoulder straps. Use portable and adjustable tables or trays to achieve a comfortable dining height. When spreading your picnic blanket, select a flat and even surface to prevent uneven pressure on your body.

Stretch and Warm-Up for Active Play

Before engaging in physical activities like sports or games, take a few moments to stretch and warm up your muscles. Gentle stretching improves blood flow, reduces the risk of injuries, and enhances flexibility. Simple stretches like shoulder rolls, neck tilts, and leg swings prepare your body for the excitement ahead.

Play Equipment and Safety

City parks boast various play equipment suitable for all ages. When using swings, slides, or other structures, employ proper body mechanics to avoid strains or accidents. Sit correctly and grip swing chains firmly, slide down gently, and land on your feet to minimize impact on your joints.

Stay Hydrated for Endurance

Proper hydration is crucial during outdoor activities. Carry a reusable water bottle and take regular breaks to drink water. Staying hydrated not only supports your body’s functions but also maintains energy levels throughout your park visit.

Mind Your Body Mechanics

Whether you’re playing sports, jogging, or simply walking around, be mindful of your body mechanics. Engage your core muscles for spinal support, take comfortable strides, and avoid overexertion. Practicing good body mechanics reduces the risk of injuries and optimizes physical performance.

Respect Your Limits

While the park offers numerous activities, it’s essential to listen to your body and respect your limits. Overexertion can lead to fatigue and injuries. Take breaks as needed, find shaded spots to rest, and enjoy the park at a pace that suits your comfort level.

Things to Remember

As you head to the local city park for a day of fun and relaxation, remember to incorporate ergonomics into your activities. By choosing comfortable seating, having mindful picnics, stretching before active play, using play equipment safely, staying hydrated, minding your body mechanics, and respecting your limits, you can optimize your park experience. Embrace the joy of the outdoors while taking care of your body through ergonomic awareness. A well-planned and ergonomic park outing promises unforgettable memories and a refreshed sense of well-being.

Related article:  Frisbee Lift
  • What we DO NOT want to see is bending over with the frisbee way out in front of you. This will put a lot of stress on your knees and cause your back to hurt.
  • With a proper Frisbee Lift, what you want to do is bring that frisbee closer to you within your base of support.
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Embrace the joy of the outdoors, take care of your family by including ergonomics at the park. Preparation & awareness are key!





Electronic Reporting for Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Electronic Reporting for Workplace Injuries and Illnesses |  Early Intervention Ergonomics

By mandating electronic reporting for workplace injuries and illnesses, OSHA aims to create a safer working environment for employees.

OSHA’s New Rule: Electronic Reporting for Workplace Injuries & Illnesses

In a groundbreaking move to bolster workplace safety, OSHA has introduced a game-changing Final Rule. This rule, designed to be published on July 21 and become effective on January 1, 2024, emphasizes the active electronic submission of injury and illness information to OSHA. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this innovative regulation and explore its profound impact on employers.

**Understanding the OSHA Final Rule**

OSHA’s forward-thinking Final Rule actively amends the existing occupational injury and illness recordkeeping regulation. This proactive approach now necessitates certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information, already mandated under the recordkeeping regulation, directly to OSHA.

**Who is Affected?**

The Final Rule specifically targets establishments within certain designated industries, based on the number of employees they have. Here’s a breakdown of the affected groups:

  1. Establishments with 100 or more employees in certain designated industries: OSHA requires these employers to actively submit information from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA once a year. The list of designated industries can be found in new Appendix B to Subpart E.
  2. Establishments with 20 to 249 employees in certain industries: This category of employers remains obligated to actively submit information from their OSHA Form 300A annual summary to OSHA once a year. You can find the relevant industries in Appendix A to Subpart E.
  3. Establishments with 250 or more employees: This covers all establishments obligated to keep records under OSHA’s injury and illness regulation. They must also actively submit information from their Form 300A to OSHA annually.

Benefits of Electronic Reporting for Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Active electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses brings several compelling benefits:

  • Streamlined Data Analysis: Through digital records, OSHA can actively analyze data, identifying industry-specific trends and potential hazards more efficiently.
  • Prompt Risk Identification: Active reporting empowers OSHA to proactively address emerging safety concerns, reducing the likelihood of workplace accidents.
  • Convenient Reporting Process: Employers can actively submit their reports directly through OSHA’s user-friendly online portal, streamlining the process significantly.
  • Enhanced Transparency and Accountability: Active electronic reporting fosters transparency, holding employers actively accountable for maintaining a safe working environment.

Compliance and Preparing for the Change

To actively comply with the new regulation, employers should take proactive measures:

  • Stay Vigilant: Actively monitor OSHA’s official website for updates on the Final Rule and its specific requirements.
  • Review Designated Industries: Actively check OSHA’s appendixes to determine if your establishment falls within the scope of active electronic reporting.
  • Implement an Active Reporting System: Actively establish a system to ensure seamless submission of the required information to OSHA when the rule comes into effect.
  • Train Relevant Personnel: Actively inform your HR and safety personnel about the new requirements to facilitate proper compliance.

Things to Remember

OSHA’s new Final Rule takes a significant step forward in enhancing workplace safety by mandating electronic reporting of injury and illness information. With this proactive measure, the agency aims to create a safer working environment for employees across various industries. Employers should proactively prepare for the upcoming changes, not only to comply with the regulation but also to reinforce their commitment to the well-being of their workforce.

For more information and updates on OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements, please visit OSHA’s official website and refer to their news release. Make sure to share this vital information with your stakeholders, so they too can be aware and prepared for the changes ahead. Together, we can build safer and healthier workplaces for everyone.

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Protecting Our Warehouse Workers

 Protecting Our Warehouse Workers  |  Early Intervention Ergonomics

The new National Emphasis Program aims at protecting our warehouse workers by significantly reducing injuries and ensuring their well-being.

National Emphasis Program for Protecting our Warehouse Workers

In a bid to prioritize the safety of warehouse workers, the Department of Labor (DOL) recently unveiled a national emphasis program on July 13, 2023. This program specifically targets the prevention of workplace hazards in warehouses, processing facilities, distribution centers, and high-risk retail establishments. By implementing comprehensive safety inspections and fostering proactive measures, the DOL aims to significantly reduce injuries and ensure the well-being of these workers.

The Safety Challenges Faced by Warehouse Workers

Over the past decade, the warehousing and distribution industry has experienced significant growth, providing employment opportunities to over 1.9 million individuals. However, statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that injury and illness rates in these establishments exceed those of the overall private industry. In some sectors, the rates are more than double. Recognizing the gravity of this situation, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, Doug Parker, stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of worker injuries and encouraging employers to prioritize their health and safety.

Comprehensive Safety Inspections Geared Towards Injury Prevention

The newly launched three-year NEP by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) incorporates a range of safety inspections specifically designed to prevent injuries in warehouses. These inspections will primarily focus on the following key areas:

  • Powered Industrial Vehicle Operations: OSHA will conduct thorough assessments of safety protocols and practices related to the operation of powered industrial vehicles, with a strong emphasis on preventing accidents and injuries.
  • Material Handling and Storage: In order to safeguard workers, OSHA will meticulously evaluate material handling and storage processes, identifying potential hazards and recommending improvements to mitigate the risk of injuries.
  • Walking and Working Surfaces: The program will extensively examine the condition of walking and working surfaces within warehouses, aiming to identify and rectify any hazards that could lead to slips, trips, and falls.
  • Means of Egress and Fire Protection: OSHA will closely scrutinize the means of egress and fire protection systems, ensuring compliance with safety standards to prevent accidents and facilitate safe evacuations during emergencies.

Focus on Retail Establishments and Expanding Safety Measures

While the program primarily targets warehouses, it also includes inspections of retail establishments with high injury rates. Storage and loading areas will receive special attention in these establishments. OSHA retains the authority to broaden the scope of inspections if evidence suggests that violations may exist in other sections of these establishments, ensuring a comprehensive approach to injury prevention.

Holistic Approach: Heat and Ergonomic Hazards

Recognizing the importance of addressing all aspects of workplace safety, the emphasis program incorporates the assessment of heat and ergonomic risks. Moreover, if OSHA identifies the presence of such hazards, health inspections may be conducted to evaluate and mitigate potential risks to workers’ well-being.

Collaboration and Continuous Improvement

The selection of establishments for inspections will be based on two lists. The first list comprises establishments with industry codes covered under this emphasis program. The second list includes a limited number of retail establishments with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted duty, or job transfer. It is important to note that state plans are required to either adopt this emphasis program or establish an alternative program that is equally effective, highlighting the importance of collaboration in ensuring the safety of warehouse workers.

Final Thoughts on Protecting our Warehouse Workers

By launching the national emphasis program, the DOL and OSHA are taking decisive action to prioritize the injury prevention and overall safety of warehouse workers. Through comprehensive safety inspections, targeted focus areas, and a commitment to collaboration, this program aims to create a safer working environment, reduce injuries, and enhance the well-being of employees in the warehousing and distribution industry.

Relevant Resource Links:

OSHA’s official announcement
PDF Download: OSHA’s Three-Year National Emphasis Program
Solutions to common warehouse hazards
More Injury Prevention Tools & Resources by Peak Ergonomics

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