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Workplace Safety

Summer Safety Tips

By Workplace Safety

Although the human body naturally cools itself, continuous exposure to extreme heat can overwhelm those mechanisms, leading to illness and even death.

The following are four types of heat-related ailments listed in order of severity (four being the most severe). Even a less severe condition can become more severe unless steps are taken to remedy the problem as early as possible.

Heat Cramps – painful muscles spasms in the arms, legs, or abdomen, often with dizziness, weakness, and profuse sweating. Such cramps actually occur more often in well-conditioned people after prolonged heat exertion and are caused by the loss of sodium through sweating. Increasing daily sodium intake slightly during hot weather exertion can help prevent cramping.

Heat Syncope – fainting caused when the body compensates for too much heat by diverting blood from the brain to the skin. Heat Exhaustion – extreme fatigue with muscle aches, nausea, and fever. Additional symptoms can include clammy skin, diarrhea, rapid pulse, vomiting, and weakness.

Heat Stroke – failure of the body’s temperature control systems. Symptoms can include disorientation, agitation, hyperventilation, racing pulse, lethargy, convulsions, and eventually loss of consciousness. The body temperature rises to extremely high levels, sometimes above 110 F.

Helping a victim of heat-related illness:

  • Take the person out of the heat.
  • Loosen their clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths (not freezing or cold) and/or soak the victim’s clothing with water.
  • Elevate the feet eight to 10 inches.
  • And, if the person is conscious and not vomiting, offer plenty of fluids.

Preventing heat-related illness:

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Use sunscreen to prevent sunburn, which can hinder the skin’s ability to cool itself.
  • Wear a hat that provides shade and allows ventilation.
  • Limit vigorous activity during hot, humid weather.
  • Drink plenty of water — even more than you need to satisfy your thirst — before, during, and after exercise. Drinks with sugar and/or caffeine will not help; they actually rob your body of fluids. Alcohol causes you to lose more fluid than you consume.
  • Avoid hot, confined places. If you can’t, then work in shifts. Work a while, and then rest in a cooler place for a few minutes.
  • Electric fans might provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.
  • Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Discuss with your doctor whether any of your medications might have this effect and, if so, be especially careful to limit your exertion and drink plenty of water.

At the first sign of heat illness such as cramps, nausea, dizziness, or severe headaches, get away from the heat. Find a cool spot and rest for a few minutes and get some fresh air. Remember, it is easier to prevent heat illness than to treat it once symptoms develop. And always seek immediate medical help if you or a co-worker develops any of the symptoms described above.

Ways Technology Changes Workers’ Compensation

By Workplace Safety

Computers, smartphones, tablets and wearable technology change the way we live our daily lives, and now they’re changing Workers’ Compensation, too. Learn more about how technology can decrease accidents, improve recovery, lower claim costs and allow employees to return to work sooner.

Improve Communication With Employees

Employers must share important Workers’ Compensation information with employees. Employee handbooks or memos can be effective, but these papers are not always accessible or easy to understand.

Smartphone mobile applications provide employees with the information they need. At a glance, an employee can stay safe while discovering:

  • Injury prevention tips
  • Updates to safety procedures
  • How to file a claim
  • Claim updates

Share Workplace Training

Many companies offer safety trainings to employees. Held throughout the year, these trainings share important safety procedures, tips and protocols.

Formerly conducted in person, safety trainings can now be shared and viewed online via podcasts, videos and infographs. Employees can access the latest safety trainings directly from their computer or mobile device at work or at home.

Monitor Employee Activities

Workplace accidents and injuries occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, faulty equipment or slippery stairs are the culprits, but fatigue and employee error can also be causes.

Wearable technology such as watches, glasses, vests and helmets can reduce injuries, accidents and Workers’ Compensation claims as they:

  • Monitor an employee’s movements, alertness and other potentially dangerous or hazardous situations.
  • Vibrate or send a visual alert about threats to the employee, a co-worker or a supervisor.
  • Promote safety and prevent claims.
  • Assist training efforts.
  • Prevent fraud.
  • Improve wellness programs.

Improve Care for Injured Employees

Employees who are injured on the job are encouraged to file a Workers’ Compensation claim as soon as possible. Unanswered or incomplete answers and poor penmanship can delay treatment, though.

With technological advances, incident reporting rates and accurate claim filings have risen. Employees can use an app or call an 800-number to file a claim which is then distributed automatically to a supervisor, safety coordinator or Human Resources department. Additionally, online resources assist employees in finding doctors and decrease wait time for necessary treatment.

Simplify Claim Management

After an employee files a Workers’ Compensation claim, they will need treatment. Tracking doctor appointments and test results can be complicated.

Technology simplifies claim management and increases the likelihood that an injured employee will receive the treatment they need. Customizable email or text alerts send appointment reminders and prescription refill or pickup notifications. Employees can also access online medical records, see which claims have been paid or call a nurse for answers to medical questions.

New technology improves Workers’ Compensation in many ways. Talk to your Human Resource manager about these options as you promote safety at your workplace.

It’s Time to Review Potential Job Hazards

By Workplace Safety

One of the best ways to protect workers in a particular job is to conduct a job hazard analysis.

This simple but powerful technique identifies hazards before they occur, focusing on the relationships among the worker, task, tools and equipment, and the work environment. Once you’ve identified job hazards, you can eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

This is a relatively easy task, although it takes time to analyze hazards for each job category and each step in the job. You also have to do some digging into past performance.

Priority should go to jobs with the highest injury or illness rates; the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness through simple human error, complex enough to require written instructions; or that have undergone changes in processes and procedures.

Job hazard analysis involves these steps: 

Involve employees. 

Their unique understanding of the job can be invaluable for finding hazards. Involving employees will help minimize oversights, ensure quality analysis, and get workers to buy in to the solutions because they’ll share ownership in their safety and health program.

Review accident history. 

This includes the workplace record of accidents and occupational illnesses, accident damage that required repair or replacement, and any near misses. These are indicators that existing hazard controls might be inadequate and need more scrutiny.

Conduct a preliminary job review. 

Discuss with employees the hazards they know exist in their work and surroundings. Brainstorm with them for ideas to eliminate or control these perils. Of course, if any hazards pose an immediate danger to an employee’s life or health, take immediate action to protect the worker.

List, rank, and set priorities. 

List jobs with hazards that present unacceptable risks, based on those most likely to occur and with the most severe consequences. Make these jobs your first priority for analysis.

Outline steps or tasks. 

Nearly every job can be broken down into job tasks or steps. When beginning a job hazard analysis, watch the employee perform the job and list each step (it might help to photograph or video the worker performing the job – these visual records can provide handy references when doing a more detailed analysis of the work). Record enough information to describe each job action without getting bogged down in details. Avoid making the breakdown so detailed that it becomes unnecessarily long or so broad that it fails to include basic steps. Review the job steps with the employee to make sure you haven’t omitted anything. Stress that you’re evaluating the job itself, not the employee’s job performance.

Identify hazards. 

List the hazards you identified in Step 3 (as well as any additional hazards you discovered when observing the employee) with each step or task involved in the job.

Workers’ Compensation Risks in the Logging Industry

By Workplace Safety

Logging is one of the oldest and most dangerous professions in the United States. Workers are exposed to dozens of potential illnesses and injuries on the ground, in heavy equipment or around a sawmill. Discover the Workers’ Compensation risks in the logging industry as you protect yourself on the job.

Logging Dangers

Employees in the logging industry face dozens of challenges. They typically work in rough terrain outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions around heavy logs and heavy equipment. Accidents can happen easily in these conditions.

Accidents are also common due to falling trees or equipment troubles. The work is hard, too, and can be exhausting, making it easy for employees to let down their guard.

Isolated logging locations can also increase the negative effects of an illness or injury since employees may be far from medical treatment.

Consider these additional risks, too.

  • Being hit by dangling branches or falling logs
  • Falling from trees
  • Chainsaw and axe injuries
  • Tractor or heavy equipment accidents
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Uneven terrain that causes fractures, sprains, lower body injuries, lacerations or contusions

Logging Jobs Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The logging industry comprises dozens of different jobs in timbering, hauling, processing and manufacturing. In each of these jobs, you’re at risk for injury or illness. Here’s an example of several jobs that are eligible for Workers’ Compensation.

  • Timber excavation
  • Manual or mechanized fallers
  • Buckers
  • Tree climbers
  • Choke setters
  • Rigging slingers and chasers
  • Tractor, loader or other heavy machine operators
  • Log sorters
  • Transporters
  • Debarking crew
  • Planing crew
  • Machine operators
  • Log and chip processors
  • Machine mechanics
  • Lumberyard employees
  • Log graders and scalers
  • Customer service specialists
  • Building material dealers
  • Foremen and crew

How to Prevent Logging Injuries and Illnesses

Even though you’re careful and use proper safety equipment, you can still be injured or become ill on the job. Take these precautions as you prevent logging injuries or illnesses that are eligible for Workers’ Compensation.

Wear safety equipment. Your gear should include a hard hat, sturdy boots with slip-proof soles, appropriate clothing and protective-hearing devices.

Know how to operate equipment whether you’re in charge of a chainsaw or logging truck.

Take ongoing safety training to stay updated on industry safety procedures and practices.

Insist others follow safety procedures. Always point out unsafe practices as you encourage a culture of safety.

Are you Covered?

If you work in the logging industry, you need Workers’ Compensation insurance for loggers. It covers a variety of work-related illnesses and injuries and ensures you receive medical care and income if you’re injured or become ill because of your job. Whether you cut, haul or process logs, make sure your employer carries this valuable coverage as you protect yourself on the job.

How to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Claims

By Workplace Safety

When it comes to Workers Compensation claims, companies are looking constantly for ways to reduce claims and reduce costs.

Ascribing the cost of Workers Compensation claims to applicable internal departments can encourage supervisors and managers to pay more attention to training and safety programs and more carefully monitor injured employees returning to work. Some companies have even deducted the claim cost from the budget of the ascribed department instead of a general company fund as an additional incentive to curb Workers Compensation costs. Through implementing a few procedures that place Workers Compensation expenses directly on internal departments, employers have more control over prevention and injury management measures that can decrease the severity and frequency of workplace injury. The reduced claims and Workers Compensation premiums add up to a substantial amount of savings.

Safety goals can be met by communicating directly with all potential Workers Compensation employees. Use a claim and injury history to identify high-risk employee groups. Then, on a departmental level, discuss the injury management process with employees. Communication will improve as employees are given a chance to discuss how they feel the job could be performed with less risk of injury. It also gives the employer an opportunity to modify safety procedures or dangers in the work environment, such as faulty equipment or inadequate work protocols that are identified by employees.

A common problem related to workplace injuries is a lack of prompt reporting. Too often supervisors don’t appropriately acknowledge workplace accidents. The hope is that the incident will not result in time off of work or medical expenses. However, putting an initial injury off and not reporting it immediately often actually results in increased costs. Managers and supervisors need to know that they aren’t saving money when they don’t report injuries immediately. One study of more than 50,000 temporary total disability and permanent partial disability claims showed:

Injuries reported one to two weeks following the incident were 18% more expensive than those reported within a week of the incident.

Injuries reported three to four weeks after the incident were 30% more expensive than those reported within a week of the incident.

Injuries reported after four weeks of the incident were 45% more expensive than those reported within a week of the incident.

Showing supervisors and managers statistics such as these will help to ensure timely injury reporting, especially if Workers Compensation costs will be coming out of the departmental budget. Although the goal is prevention of workplace injury, once an employee has been injured, the objective should turn to a timely and safe return to work. This can best be achieved if both employer and employee share a desire to obtain the most effective care, which will help to expedite recovery and a safe return to the job.

Since each department is faced with the claim cost coming out of their own budget, managers and supervisors can take a more active role in assisting injured employees returning to work. For example, instead of the usual claim adjuster or attorney contacting the injured employee, the company concern can be conveyed through the department head(s). One last element is fraudulent claims. Although deliberate fraudulent claims are a rarity, they do exist. These fraudulent claims will be much more difficult to file when Workers Compensation costs are analyzed departmentally.

Accidents are going to happen. There simply isn’t a way to prevent all accidents and eliminate all claims. But, it is realistic to reduce the frequency and severity of workplace injuries by making the department responsible directly, whether by penalty or by reward, for a safe work environment.

Workers’ Compensation Risks for Mechanics

By Workplace Safety

As a mechanic, you spend your workdays fixing cars, trucks and a variety of machines. While the job is different every day, it’s also risky. Workers’ Compensation for mechanics is an important insurance product that provides medical care and financial support if you’re injured or become ill because of your job.

Workers’ Compensation Mechanics Risks

Mechanics face numerous risks on the job every day. In fact, this job is one of the most dangerous careers in the United States.

Falls and Slips

Oil, gas and other fluids make shop floors slippery, and it’s easy to trip over parts or tools on the ground. Falls and slips could easily cause a fracture, sprain or other injury.

Being Struck by a Tool or Vehicle Part

Over one in four accidents occur when something like a dropped tool or loose part strikes you as you work. These accidents could cause a concussion, sprain or other injury.


If the vehicle you work on is hot or you change hot fluids, you risk a serious burn.


Operating manual or power tools is essential as you disassemble and assemble vehicles, but if you’re cut, the resulting laceration could require stitches or result in a more serious injury.

Getting Caught in Equipment

Moving tires and engines pose a serious risk for mechanics. You could be injured or disabled.

Falling Objects

Even though you secure a vehicle on a jack, lift or rack, it could fall off and pin you underneath, causing a serious injury or disability.


Overexertion from repetitive lifting or other repetitive movements can cause carpal tunnel or arm, wrist, elbow, back or leg strain. Lifting heavy objects, sitting or standing in one position for a long time or bending over might also cause strain.

Toxic Exposure

Chemicals, gasoline additives and other chemicals can cause long-term illnesses like respiratory disease or cancer when you’re exposed to them over time. Lead is another risk that causes anemia, kidney disease and other illnesses.

What Does Workers’ Compensation for Mechanics Cover?

Workers’ Compensation covers expenses related to injuries or illnesses you receive on the job. It can pay for medical treatment, a portion of lost wages or education and job training.

How to Prevent Workers’ Compensation Risks for Mechanics

While you can’t prevent every injury or illness on the job, you can take several precautions.

  • Always secure vehicles.
  • Wear safety equipment.
  • Use proper lifting techniques.
  • Employ tools when lifting heavy objects.
  • Keep the shop clean.
  • Take frequent breaks.

The Workers’ Compensation risk for mechanics is high. Protect yourself as you work and make sure your employer carries the right Workers’ Compensation insurance in case you’re injured or become ill on the job.

Tips for Safety In Distribution Centers

By Workplace Safety

Safety in distribution centers is your top priority at work. After all, going home in one piece at the end of the day is as important as fulfilling orders. You can do your part to ensure safety in distribution centers when you follow these tips.

Evaluate Each Area

Most distribution centers have potential hazards in dozens of areas. Check each area regularly to remove potential hazards in:

  • Housekeeping
  • Storage height
  • Aisle width
  • Fire protection
  • Hazardous product storage

Train Everyone

While your company may employ a safety manager, everyone is responsible for safety in distribution centers. Train all employees to spot and remove or report hazards and to follow safety protocols at all times, even before and after work or during breaks.

Obtain Proper Safety Certifications

Everyone who operates equipment or works around hazardous materials must obtain the proper certifications. That training includes safety lessons and protects everyone on the job.

Talk About Safety in Distribution Centers

Prioritize safety conversations as often as possible. Ask your co-workers if they’re having a safe day, encourage them to stay safe and discuss safety numbers as you maintain a safe job site.

Take Charge of Safety in Your Area

You may not be the distribution center’s safety manager, but you are responsible to exercise safety precautions. Be an example of safe practices for everyone else as you protect the entire center.

Cooperate With Safety Drills

Safety drills ensure everyone knows how to react in an emergency. Enthusiastically cooperate with these drills, and encourage your co-workers to participate as you promote safety in distribution centers.

Clean Your Work Station

Keep your work station clean. If you spill something, pick it up so no one slips, and encourage your co-workers to clean their work stations, too.

Maintain Proper Posture

As you perform your duties, maintain proper posture and prevent injuries.

  • Use proper lifting techniques.
  • Avoid twisting.
  • Use an order picker, pulleys, carts and mechanized equipment as necessary.

Protect Visitors

It’s your job to keep your customers, colleagues and visitors safe when they’re on your property. Provide hard hats, ear protection and non-slip shoes if appropriate, and brief delivery drivers and vendors on safety procedures. Chaperone visitors, too, so they stay safe as they navigate your facility.

Confront Unsafe Behavior

When you see a co-worker acting in an unsafe manner, talk to them about it. Make sure they know what they should be doing as you partner together to promote a safe work environment.

Keep Improving

While your distribution center may have earned safety records, there’s always room for improvement. Push your team to continue learning about safety protocols and focusing on safety in distribution centers.

Safety in distribution centers is everyone’s responsibility. Do your part by following these 11 tips.

Explore Auto Shop Workers Compensation Options

By Workplace Safety

Workers’ Compensation is insurance coverage most employers must purchase. It provides numerous benefits for employees and helps them return to work after a work-related injury or illness. Explore auto shop Workers’ Compensation options for your business.

What is Auto Shop Workers’ Compensation?

An employee who sustains an injury or suffers from an illness while on the job can claim Workers’ Compensation. It pays for medical treatment and other expenses until the employee can safely return to work.

Types of Auto Businesses that Qualify for Auto Shop Workers Compensation Options

Numerous auto industries may purchase Workers’ Compensation. They include:

  • Sellers and Dealers of new and used vehicles
  • Service and Repair Centers that perform repair or service work on mufflers, brakes, engines and other auto parts, including auto dealers, glass replacement or tinting companies and car washes
  • Body Repair businesses that work on fiberglass, metal or plastic or perform dent removal, upholstery services and painting
  • Parts Stores, including retail and wholesale parts and accessories stores and drivers
  • Machine Shops that fabricate, manufacture or rebuild parts that aren’t attached to a vehicle
  • Recycling and Drivers in salvage yards or dismantling operations

What Are Your Auto Shop Workers Compensation Options?

State guidelines include details on the specific auto shop Workers’ Compensation options available to your auto business. Possible expenses covered by Workers’ Compensation include:

    1. Medical Treatment

      Injured or ill employers receive medical treatment, including:

      • Medical services
      • Emergency room and other hospital treatment
      • Surgery
      • Medicine and medical supplies
      • Lab testing and procedures
      • Orthopedic appliances and prostheses
      • Physical or occupational therapy


    1. Payments for Lost Wages

      Employees who are disabled or unable to return to work may receive a portion of their lost wages.


    1. Specific Loss Benefits

      An employee who suffers from a serious and permanent face, neck or head disfigurement or loses the permanent use of sight, hearing or a finger, thumb, hand, arm, toe, foot or leg may receive a specific loss amount.


    1. Death Benefits

      An employee’s survivors may receive a death benefit if the employee is killed on the job.


  1. Vocational Rehabilitation

    Training and education that helps an injured or ill employee return to work may be covered by Workers’ Compensation. Benefits may also pay for an evaluation, retraining and other expenses associated with helping an employee qualify to work in a different job or industry.

Auto shop Workers’ Compensation options is important coverage that ensures employees receive necessary medical treatment that allows them to return to work as quickly as possible. It also protects auto businesses. Explore your auto shop Workers’ Compensation options and update your coverage as you meet your needs.

Reduce Stress to Legs, Back and Neck at Work

By Workplace Safety

After several hours of sitting at your work desk, it’s finally time for your break. The moment you stand up for your break, you realize that your legs are numb, stiff, or just won’t work. This is a common scenario experienced everyday by a variety of desk workers. Not that being devoted or working hard is a negative thing, but it can be detrimental to the body if smart work habits aren’t employed.

When workers become immersed in their work, it’s often hours before they even realize that they haven’t moved their lower extremities. This type of prolonged motionless work might seem like something that would increase productivity, but it can lead to an array of health problems, such as obesity and stress. The resulting problems actually make for a less productive employee.

Obviously, the first smart work habit is to get up and stretch the lower extremities and get blood flowing again. Ideally, workers should get up from their desk every hour for just a few minutes. This can be accomplished simply by walking to the water cooler, bathroom, copier, or such.

The computer is a key source of bad work ergonomics and negative impacts on the health of workers. Experts suggest that computer monitors be positioned directly in front of and arms-length away from workers. To minimize any eye strain from glares on a computer monitor, it should be tilted slightly downward. The worker can help minimize eye strain by blinking frequently to keep the eyes moist. It might be necessary to focus from a different angle, such as by slightly tilting the head upward.

Likewise, the computer keyboard should be placed directly in front of workers. It should be positioned at a comfortable distance. Try the computer at a sloped and flat position to see what feels more comfortable. It might also be helpful to rest and relax the palms when not typing.

Now that the computer and keyboard are positioned properly, workers should make sure that their own body is in good alignment. Make sure that the feet are flat on the floor and the back is supported. A lumbar support may be helpful to support the back. Stores that sell ergonomic office supplies will have work equipment, such as a chair with the lumbar support or a lumbar support insert, that’s been designed scientifically for comfort and ease of use.

Workers who take care of their body at work will feel better at work and at home. Even with the tiny amount of time lost to stretching and ensuring proper body mechanics and equipment positioning, this worker will also ultimately be more productive.

Electrical Safety Tips

By Workplace Safety

A preventable electrical injury occurs in the workplace every 23 minutes.

Jim White, training director for Shermco Industries, Inc., a Dallas-based electrical power systems test and maintenance company, has developed this list of 10 tips for keeping workers safe from shocks, burns, and electrocution on the job:

Develop a zero-tolerance policy toward energized work. Get serious about “no hot work.” This includes conducting an electrical hazard analysis for energized work. Fine and discipline violators.

Get out in the field or plant and see what your workers are doing. (aka “management by walking around”).

Develop checklists or other ways to track who is qualified to perform which tasks. Some businesses use job-task analyses to provide a blueprint of employees’ activities.

Train your employees. To be qualified to perform any task, workers must know the construction, operation, and hazards associated with the equipment they’re using. Make supervisors responsible for knowing what employees can – and can’t – do safely.

Develop safe work practices and procedures. Practices such as energized electrical work permits, clearance procedures, and switching orders can help prevent accidents and can help document that the right steps were taken. These precautions become especially important in case of an accident.

Perform periodic safety audits. When workers know that they’ll be subject to random audits, they’ll try to maintain safe work procedures and practices. Remember: what gets measured, gets done.

Conduct job briefings any time the scope of the work changes significantly and when new or different hazards are present.

Be cautious about implementing safety awards programs, especially if they might discourage accident reporting.

Become familiar with industry standards. Examples include with NFPA 70E and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations.

Document everything. If you don’t have it in writing, you never did it. Show a good-faith effort; OSHA will notice – and compliance could save you big dollars and legal penalties.