Tag Archives: workplace safety

Poll Results: How Often Do You Change Your Passwords for Your Work Devices?

Here’s what you had to say.

People like to hack things. If you don’t change your passwords often to protect your information, you’re putting yourself (and your company) at risk.

But changing passwords and keeping up with them is tough. And, honestly, more than a little annoying.

To find out whether our readers are changing their passwords enough, we put out a two-question survey earlier this month. Here are your responses:

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5 Tips to Stay Safe Around Mobile Equipment

Prevent disaster with these quick tips.

Forklift truck in warehouse or storage loading cardboard boxes.If you’ve never worked around moving equipment before, orientation at your new warehouse job should teach you about the dangers of walking alongside these workplace monsters. Just as with cars or trains, moving equipment can put you at risk of injury or even death.

And mobile equipment isn’t just a problem for new hires. Those of us established in our routines may forget to take proper precautions, which can result in tragedy.

Looking for a safety checklist? The graphic below should help.

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Safety Month: The Truth About Workplace Injuries

June is National Safety Month in the United States. Observed annually, the month focuses on bringing awareness to the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes in an effort to reduce the amount of injuries sustained. To help you learn more about workplace injuries, take a look at the infographic below.

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Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals. ​

Safety: Fire Prevention Week is Right Around the Corner

fire_prevention_webNational Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 5-11. The week commemorates The Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 9, 1871, which destroyed 17,400 structures, left more than 100,000 people homeless, and tragically killed more than 250 people.

Since that devastating fire, great advancements in fire prevention have been made in not only preventing fires, but stopping them from spreading. As a result, National Fire Prevention Week was created. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed.

This important week is meant to remind you about the importance of fire prevention. So, here are a few tips to ensure you stay safe on the job.

Know Your Surroundings
It’s vitally important that you always know where emergency exits are in your workplace so you can get to them quickly and safely in the event of a fire. If you don’t know the location of your emergency exits, there should be evacuation route maps located in the office. If not, ask your manager about the exits and find out if they can post evacuation routes. It’s also important to make sure you know the emergency and safety procedures at your workplace.

Check Your Exit Paths
Ensure your exits at work are not locked or blocked by any materials in their path. Sometimes, materials will be stacked outside exits that are seldom used, blocking them in an emergency. If the exit doors are blocked by any out-of-place material, tell someone who has the authority to move the materials to a safer location.

Act on Your Exit Strategy
In the event that a fire does occur, exit the building quickly. Though you may not want to leave your personal belongings behind, it’s not worth taking the risk to gather everything up – just exit the building. And, help those around you do the same.

How You Can Observe National Fire Prevention Week
While you may not have the authority at work to perform some of the following tasks, it doesn’t hurt to ask around to ensure someone is doing them.

The most important factor in saving lives in a fire is early detection and response. It’s recommended that smoke alarms are checked every month. To make sure these tests are being done, you can ask if anyone at your workplace is in charge of testing the alarms. And if your facility hasn’t had a fire drill in a while, it’s a great time to practice. Fire safety is just as important at home as it is in the workplace, so take this Fire Prevention Week as a reminder to test the batteries in your smoke alarms at home, too.

Fire extinguishers should also be checked once a month, and it helps to designate a specific person to perform the check. All fire extinguishers in your workplace should be checked so they stay properly pressurized, easily accessible, unobstructed, and appear to be in good working order.

Whether at work or at home, take time to focus on fire prevention during National Fire Prevention Week this year. Not only will it help keep you and your co-workers safe, but your preparations can help protect your community as well.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

It’s Heating Up – Summer Safety

SummerSafety_May2014_webIt’s heating up outside, and some regions are already experiencing heat waves. As we get closer to the summer months it’s important that everyone understands the signs of heat illness and practices prevention.

3 Degrees of Heat Illness
Although there are many types of heat illness, here are three basic types to be aware of:

  1. Heat stress often involves confusion and heat cramps. If you are experiencing muscle cramps due to heat, tell someone, move to a cool shaded area, and drink lots of fluids like water, a light juice, or sports drinks. You can return to work if the cramps subside and you are feeling better, but you should not return to strenuous duty. If you’re not better in an hour, discuss taking the rest of the day off with your supervisor.
  2. Heat exhaustion is more severe. Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness or confusion, nausea, clammy skin, pale complexion, cramps, high body temperature, and shallow breathing. The treatment is the same for heat exhaustion and heat stress, but the focus should be on drinking cool water.  It is also a good idea to cool the body with a cool shower or wet cloth. If you experience heat exhaustion, you should not return to work that day.
  3. Heat stroke is very serious and can even be life threatening. Signs include profuse sweating or the extreme – sweat suddenly stopping. You may also suffer from hallucinations, chills, a throbbing headache, high body temperature, and slurred speech. Contact a supervisor and seek medical treatment immediately if you think you or someone you work with is experiencing heat stroke. The body must be cooled immediately during heat stroke. Soaking or dousing the body in cool water is recommended.

Preventing Heat Illness
To prevent heat illness, it is best to begin drinking fluids before your shift begins and to drink water at least every 15 minutes. Preparing in advance of heat exposure is the best way to avoid heat illness.  Water helps the body stay cool internally and prepares you for losing moisture through sweating. Sweat cools us by evaporating into the air, releasing heat. Remember to include regular breaks in shaded areas as well.

As the temperature outside continue to increase, it’s important to remember these heat safety tips to protect yourself and those around you. How do you avoid heat illness when it’s warm outside? Let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

It’s Not Always the More the Merrier, Stay Safe this Season

morethemerrier_Nov2013Retailers increase staff, stock, and hopefully, customers during the holiday season. Although this is great for job seekers and businesses alike, the jump in activity also means a jump in potential hazards.  Retail employers need to vigilantly ensure the workplace is properly staffed and organized, and that employees are not rushing to complete all tasks to the exclusion of basic safety. You should report any unsafe condition, and supervisors should be instructed to recognize hazardous conditions and respond to them in a manner that supports employee and public safety.

The obvious hazards associated with the season are ones we talk about every day: ergonomic issues leading to numbness and pain as with carpel tunnel syndrome or other muscle and joint problems, or neck and back strain due to heavy lifting. You can protect yourself by using proper lifting techniques, avoiding twisting and reaching overhead as much as possible, and by communicating difficulties to your supervisors. Employers can help by providing well-designed work spaces, appropriate equipment for lifting awkward or oddly shaped loads, and keeping staff at proper levels to promote a safe place for employees.

Since a worker’s death in 2008 when a throng of Black Friday customers stormed a retail establishment and crushed an employee, crowd safety has also come to the forefront during this time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a site dedicated to helping retail employers manage crowds on special event days like Black Friday. The overall message is to plan, communicate to employees, and to customers before opening, and have an emergency response procedure in place.Check out the link to OSHA’s guide for retailers here.

Lastly, an easily overlooked safety concern is the increased hazards to the public shopping in the aisles of retail establishments. With stocking activity much higher during business hours, tasks m ay be in close proximity to customers. Consumers are exposed to more equipment and stock on the sales floor and stocking activity over their heads and feet. Stay safe by moving merchandise and equipment through stores with the help of someone to direct traffic on the aisles, stock heavier items on lower shelves, and stay aware of the special hazards associated with customer interaction.
Everyone must work together during the holiday season to ensure all go home healthy and happy to celebrate with their friends and family.

4 Ways to Prevent Musculoskeletal Injuries

MusculoskeletalInjury_Oct2013Musculoskeletal disorders and injuries are the leading cause of disability in America. One in two adults report a musculoskeletal condition requiring medical attention. Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) accounts for 43% of all lost-time claims, 43% of all lost-time claim costs, and 46% of all lost-time days. Musculoskeletal injuries and disorders can affect the body’s muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Most work-related MSDs develop over time and are caused either by the work itself or by the employees’ working environment. Musculoskeletal health is dependent on strength and flexibility, but it’s also dependent on overall good health. So, how can you make a difference and turn these statistics around? Here are four ways to prevent musculoskeletal injuries.

Stay Active
The musculoskeletal system, like every system in our body, benefits from a healthy lifestyle. A well-conditioned body, good nutrition, and healthy habits help strengthen the immune system. Being active helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels which also help fight off MSD. Stretching regularly is another good habit to pick up. Stretching keeps your muscles, tendons, and ligaments flexible.

Eat a Balanced Diet
Our muscles need vitamins, minerals, water, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats so they can function at their best. Maintaining a healthy weight is also very important for keeping your body aligned. A lack of alignment can cause undue stress on discs, bones, ligaments, and tendons, which can lead to MSD. Your muscles are made up of around 70 percent water, so make sure you drink at least eight tall glasses of water a day to stay well hydrated.

Maintain Good Posture
Good posture reduces the amount of strain on individual muscles groups and helps keep muscles toned. Any posture that requires the body to move out of the neutral posture range is considered to be awkward posture and can be harmful to your musculoskeletal system. Keep your work within 14 to 18 inches of your body, depending on your height. Also, avoid reaching overhead or behind your back, if you can. If you can’t, return to neutral as soon as possible. Your current posture could be overworking your body. With a little adjustment, however, you can correct most posture problems.

Get Sleep
Adequate sleep protects the immune system, repairs cells, and makes us feel better. Sleep is beneficial to our bodies, but did you know it can improve skeletal health? During sleep our bodies have the chance to repair and build new tissue which can strengthen our musculoskeletal systems.

Be aware of the MSD risks in your workplace and do your part to make a difference in the statistics. How are you working to change the MSD statistics? Share with us in the comment section below.