CoatingsPro Magazine

NOV 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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COATINGSPRO NOVEMBER 2018 31 WORK IT SAFE Shipyard work is traditionally hazardous, with an injury-accident rate more than twice that of construction and general industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has targeted the industry in its strategic plan to reduce injuries and illnesses and prevent fatalities. Workers have the right to: Work in conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm; Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace; Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses; File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules; OSHA will keep all identities confidential; Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days. For more information, contact: OSHA, www.osha.gov It's very clear that prevention is the answer. Proactive prevention is always better than reactive treatment. Everybody wins in the prevention scenario, and nobody wins with painful surgery, medication, lost work days, a ruined safety culture, and a fortune spent on preventable injuries. Companies often react to a rise in musculoskeletal injuries by searching for a magic "silver bullet" that will prevent them. •ey might conduct an•ergonomic assessment, have a training session, or institute pre-shift stretching. •ese are all good actions to take, but a common mistake is to expect one of these tactics alone to produce long-term health and safety gains. Given that human beings are multi-dimensional and that the inter- action between people, equipment, and work processes is complex, there is no silver bullet to•prevent soft tissue injuries. Risk factors that cause these injuries are numerous, and many di‚erent problems can arise over the course of time to contribute to them, so it's often diƒcult to determine the exact cause when an injury does occur. Without identifying the underlying causes of the injury, it's impossible to put the correct control measures in place. But you don't need a silver bullet. You don't need to reactively implement one or two tactics and hope for the best. Rather, you need a complete and well-thought-out•prevention strat- egy•designed for long-term health and safety gains. •e smart way to prevent MSDs is to proactively implement a comprehensive process that reduces all causative risk factors. Safety leaders that do this will prevent musculo- skeletal injuries in a consistent and predictable way. Here is an outline of the elements of a complete MSD prevention process: • Workplace Ergonomics: Ergonomics•is the science of design- ing the workplace to fit within the capabilities and limitations of team members. The goal is to make sure the work fits the worker, thereby reducing injury risk and promoting safety, productivity, and quality of work. The ergonomics process identifies and controls risk factors related to the workplace. Stretching and warm-up exercises do not replace an ergonomics improvement process — they enhance it. • Education and Training: Education and training programs develop the knowledge and skills of your team members. Ergonomics, proper body mechanics, proper work technique, and good health/hygiene habits all need to be taught in your education and training programs. Educated decisions and actions by team members require education and training to develop team members' knowledge and skills. Stretching and warm-up exercises do not replace team member education and training — they enhance it. • Early Intervention: Early interven- tion•is a proactive way to discover early warning signs of MSDs and to put control measures in place to prevent an injury from occurring. Team members are encouraged to report early warning signs (e.g., excessive fatigue and discomfort) of MSDs. When the early report is received, a qualified professional should conduct an early intervention consultation to identify root causes and consult the team member on injury prevention best practices (aka work readiness and work recovery methods). Early intervention is a vital tactic that should be included in your MSD prevention strategy. Stretching and warm-up exercises do not replace an early intervention process — they enhance it. Engaging Your People •ere are numerous MSD risk factors that are related to the individ- ual workers themselves. •ese are well documented in research, and, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health overview, include: • Chronic health conditions, such as Safety Watch

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