Material Handling Injuries Sprains and Strains 29 C.F.R., 1926 SUB PART H and related 1910 issues
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Nature of Material Handling (M.H.) type Injuries The nature of 80% of material handling type injuries result in soft tissue injuries such as strains and sprains. The remaining 20% result in scrapes, bruises, and lacerations. Strains and sprains are generally very costly injuries, especially strains or sprains to the extremities or the low back area.
Sprains & Strains • A Sprain is an injury that causes damage to the ligaments, the tissue that connects bone to bone. • A Strain is an injury that causes damage to muscles or muscle tendons,the tissue that connects muscle to bone.
Examples Sprains and Strains are usually a result of direct trauma . . . • Lifting an object while twisting from the waist • Cumulative or repetitive trauma resulting in weakening of the muscles and ligaments • Making quick body movements, such as standing or squatting very quickly
Common causes of strains & Sprains When done incorrectly: • Lifting • Stretching • Pulling/Pushing Other causes: • Poor physical conditioning • Poor posture
TIPS FOR PREVENTION Supervisors must: • Know the risks. • Avoid the risks.
Know the risks . . . • Most strains & sprains affect the arms, shoulders and back. • A worker may try to pull or lift an object that is too heavy or awkward without help, or • A worker may try to pull or lift a heavy object while twisting from the waist. • We know that new employees are more likely to get injured.
Avoid the risks . . . Train all Employees to: • Bend the knees, not the back. • Carry loads close to the body. • Do not twist. Move the feet and legs as necessary. • If the object is too heavy, ask for help. • Use the brain before the brawn. • Maintain good posture.
Avoid the risks . .. Train all Employees to: • Watch where they are walking. • Exercise, whenever possible. • Recommend that they do not smoke. • Eat well. • Report all injuries immediately!
Workable solutions All supervisors must: • Use existing resources to reduce material handling injuries. • Create new ways of reducing material handling injuries.
Workable Solutions Ideas • Increase proper lifting technique training. • Assign new employees to the patronage of seasoned employees in the same crew. • Involve the Lead Personnel in watching and training new employees. • Use mechanical equipment whenever possible to pick-up, move or deposit materials.
Material Handling? • Why the need to reduce material handling related injuries?
Increased productivity Lower worker compensation and general insurance costs Lower experience modifier rate Reduction in direct & indirect costs of injuries Increased competitiveness Increased morale among employees Benefits of M.H. injury reduction
General Rule of Thumb The average comparison between direct and indirect costs for accidents in the construction industry run at a ratio of approximately 1 to 4, according to the National Safety Council.
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