Columbus, OH – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is wrapping up National Safety Month with tips for preventing some of the most common workplace injuries. BWC claims data show that more than 60-percent of Ohio’s lost-time injury claims in 2010 were caused by preventable slips, trips and falls and overexertion.
“Preventing the most common injuries can be as simple as maintaining good house-keeping practices, using slip resistant shoes, eliminating lifting tasks and training employees on proper lifting techniques,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “Attentive employers can make a few minor changes at minimal cost that can significantly increase safety in the workplace and provide the added benefits of healthy, productive workers and lower workers’ compensation premiums.”
Thirty percent of lost-time injury claims result from slips, trips and falls. They are largely associated with slipping on ice/snow, water/grease and tripping over objects. Overexertion is a cause associated with more than 30 percent of all lost-time injury claims, mostly related to lifting, pushing and pulling, bending and twisting, repetitive motions, and awkward postures. Fifty-four percent of lost-time injury claims resulting from overexertion are associated with lifting and pushing and pulling tasks.
There are several simple solutions that can prevent injuries caused by slips, trips and falls:
- Establish good house-keeping practices;
- Fix poor lighting;
- Keep floors and stairs clean and free of objects;
- Clean slippery surfaces (wet, oily, icy) regularly;
- Cover hoses and cords or run them out of the path of walking areas;
- Don’t allow aisles to become cluttered;
- Establish a procedure for regularly sweeping granular or powdered material;
- Wear slip resistant footwear;
- Repair uneven surfaces (such as cracks or holes).
Solutions to preventing injuries caused by overexertion include:
- Reduce forceful exertions;
- Reduce manual material handling and eliminate manual lifting by using convey-ors, hoists, lift-assist devices, lift gates on trucks, and other mechanical means;
- Reduce the weight of objects to be lifted;
- Lift with the legs not the back;
- Use handles on objects to be lifted;
- Reduce the frequency and distances of lifts;
- Bend the tool, not the wrist;
- Minimize reaching. Locate frequently used items as close to you as possible;
- Reduce mechanical pressure on soft tissues;
- Add padding to tools;
- Use cushioned chairs;
- Use floor mats.
BWC safety consultants provide on-site services to help implement injury-prevention solutions like these in Ohio workplaces. Employers can visit ohiobwc.com or call 1-800-OHIOBWC to request the services of a safety consultant at no additional cost.
The National Safety Council recognizes June each year as National Safety Month in a campaign to promote the importance of safety to reduce unintentional injuries and deaths.
Source: Ohio BWC