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Safety tip of the week

Safety tip of the week

Exercises for those in desk jobs

With the constant use of technology, our sedentary desk jobs are pulling us forward – but not in a good way.  We have a tendency to assume a forward head position and to round our shoulders.  You also develop a decreased range of motion in the neck and shoulders.

You can help offset these conditions by trying to move as much as possible during the day.  Some ideas include:

Standing during phone calls.

  • When you have a question for a colleague, get up and go to his or her desk instead of calling or emailing.
  • Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to get up at regular intervals during the day (some companies have installed software on employee computers that monitor your work and tell you when it it’s a time for a break).
  • Use the printer and restroom farthest from your work area when possible.

If leaving your desk at regular intervals isn’t an option, you can work on range of motion in both the neck and shoulders with a few simple movements. All these can be done while seated.

These exercises include:

  • Jaw lifts: With eyes facing forward, tilt your head right leading with your jaw. Keep your eyes forward and don’t twist your neck at the same time. Alternate sides, taking care not to force the movement to pain or move too quickly.
  • Shoulder rolls: Sit tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Shrug your shoulders and roll them back, feeling your shoulder blades drawn down as you do. You should feel your chest stretch as your shoulders pull back.
  • Side reaches: From your seated position, raise your right hand straight in the air. Turn your palm in toward the midline of your body and reach left, over your head. Hold for three to five seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat with the left hand.

For videos about this, go to RASI SAFETYTV and members have access to more in the Safety Library.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

(Portions of this article came from U.S. News & World Report)

Safety tip of the week

Safety tip of the week

Companies should adopt cell phone use policies

 Estimates are that one in 10 drivers is somehow distracted while on the road whether it be from eating, reading, using navigation devices, passenger distraction or cell phone use.  For this reason, hand-held cell phone use or texting while driving is illegal in the State of Washington.

Accidents from these distractions can cause time loss for employees, increased insurance rates and leave company vehicles out of commission for extended periods.

If you have company delivery drivers, you need to explain the dangers of cell phone use while driving and that you are taking action by implementing policies that would prohibit handheld devices while operating a company vehicle.  Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, urges companies without cell phone use policies to put them together soon. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends that those policies apply to all company employees.

Employees should be instructed to make calls before leaving the parking lot or at rest stops, but not while they’re on the road.

Two bills under consideration this legislative session would amend the state’s driving-with-electronics laws to further limit their use. The pending bills would ban drivers from using any electronic device with more than one finger and prohibit holding a cell phone to your ear while driving. This would include a ban on holding a phone to scroll for social media feeds, taking a photo or sending an e-mail.

The NSC has created a series of short videos that answer common questions about cell phone use and driving.  On RASI SAFETY TV, there is a playlist of these videos.  This would be a great topic at your next safety meeting. Rick suggests showing a few with discussions between each video.

WRA employs Rick to be available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week

Safety tip of the week

Required employee workplace posters

 There are several agencies that require you to display posters at work. The agencies make them available for free.

These posters are for employees and cover subjects including safety, employment rights and benefits.

Look in the lower right-hand corner of workplace posters to find a date stamp that shows whether they are current. Retail Association Services has gathered the complete list of posters that should be on display, with links to further information and the dates the poster were issued.

Click here to learn more including how to obtain the posters.

It’s best not to delay if you’re not current. When Labor & Industries compliance officers come calling, they’ll check to see whether required posters are on display. Violations can be accompanied with fines. Click here for more on this requirement.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-200-6454, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

Safety tip of the week:

Safety tip of the week:

Computer screen adjustments for older workers

Mature workers wishing to remain on the job rather than retire are gravitating to retail for employment opportunities. As workers age, they can maintain productivity by considering minor adjustments to office equipment.

Adjustments to computer screens, for example, might make good sense.

Over time, vision may weaken. Here are a few ideas that might be appropriate.

  • Change the computer screen to a larger flat screen.  This will eliminate the flicker (screen refresh rate) of the tube style monitors.  This gives the user a larger ‘surface’ to view.
  • There are ‘ease of access features’ built right into the existing software you already have.  For Windows, it can be found in the Control Panel and will give you the ability to change contrast, brightness, text size, color temperature and more.  A browser’s font size is easy to adjust as well.
  • Reduce screen glare by adjusting screen or area lighting.  Consider installing an anti-glare filter on your monitor.
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule.  After 20 minutes of computer use, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Each person is different so you will need to evaluate both the person and the work they perform.  Actually, this kind of evaluation could help all of your employees regardless of their age.

These are just a few tips. The RASI Safety Library for WRA members has additional information on this topic.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist. He’s available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

Safety tip of the week:

Safety tip of the week:

Learn how to lift safely

 Protecting yourself from back injuries while at work can depend upon many factors. Poor physical fitness, lack of flexibility, stress, poor posture, lack of rest, and participating in certain recreational activities can all cause back pain.

Getting or staying physically fit and following safe lifting techniques can help avoid back injuries.

When you lift something, size up the job first by determining where the item needs to go. Then:

  • Ask whether there’s a tool available that could make the lift easier.
  • Consider asking for help with the lift or move the load in lighter pieces.
  • Stand close to the object with your feet spread at shoulder width.  Bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Do not bend at the waist.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift with the muscles in your arms and legs, not your back.
  • If you must turn with the load, do so by moving your feet, not your waist. Do not reach and twist when holding an object.  When setting an object down, apply all of the same techniques.

Our Retro members can get additional information in the RASI Safety Library.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week

Thorough accident reviews can improve safety

How you respond to a workplace accident can improve safety.

Always take a closer look to learn what caused an accident and how it can be avoided next time. The key is to peel back the layers of every step an employee took to determine what led to the accident.

After an accident, ask:

  • If the action made sense to the employee.
  • If a lack of training led to a mistake.
  • If a lack of communication played a role in the accident.
  • If a lack of planning contributed.
  • If there were procedures in place to ensure safety.
  • If an employee took ownership of the incident.
  • If management took ownership of the incident.

Once you understand how the accident happened, put corrective actions in place to keep it from happening again.  Let all employees know about any corrective steps taken and the reasons for them.

Encourage employees to report all incidents, including first-aid-only injuries, recordable injuries and “almost” injuries. When a workforce embraces the importance of reporting, it can correct small problems before they become larger issues.

An Incident Report template can be found here.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to help members with safety plans and suggestions for safety meeting topics. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

RASI

Safety tip of the week

Exercises for those in desk jobs

With the constant use of technology, our sedentary desk jobs are pulling us forward – but not in a good way.  We have a tendency to assume a forward head position and to round our shoulders.  You also develop a decreased range of motion in the neck and shoulders.

You can help offset these conditions by trying to move as much as possible during the day.  Some ideas include:

Standing during phone calls.

  • When you have a question for a colleague, get up and go to his or her desk instead of calling or emailing.
  • Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to get up at regular intervals during the day (some companies have installed software on employee computers that monitor your work and tell you when it it’s a time for a break).
  • Use the printer and restroom farthest from your work area when possible.

If leaving your desk at regular intervals isn’t an option, you can work on range of motion in both the neck and shoulders with a few simple movements. All these can be done while seated.

These exercises include:

  • Jaw lifts: With eyes facing forward, tilt your head right leading with your jaw. Keep your eyes forward and don’t twist your neck at the same time. Alternate sides, taking care not to force the movement to pain or move too quickly.
  • Shoulder rolls: Sit tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Shrug your shoulders and roll them back, feeling your shoulder blades drawn down as you do. You should feel your chest stretch as your shoulders pull back.
  • Side reaches: From your seated position, raise your right hand straight in the air. Turn your palm in toward the midline of your body and reach left, over your head. Hold for three to five seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat with the left hand.

For videos about this, go to RASI SAFETYTV and members have access to more in the Safety Library.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

(Portions of this article came from U.S. News & World Report)

Safety tip of the week

Companies should adopt cell phone use policies

 Estimates are that one in 10 drivers is somehow distracted while on the road whether it be from eating, reading, using navigation devices, passenger distraction or cell phone use.  For this reason, hand-held cell phone use or texting while driving is illegal in the State of Washington.

Accidents from these distractions can cause time loss for employees, increased insurance rates and leave company vehicles out of commission for extended periods.

If you have company delivery drivers, you need to explain the dangers of cell phone use while driving and that you are taking action by implementing policies that would prohibit handheld devices while operating a company vehicle.  Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, urges companies without cell phone use policies to put them together soon. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends that those policies apply to all company employees.

Employees should be instructed to make calls before leaving the parking lot or at rest stops, but not while they’re on the road.

Two bills under consideration this legislative session would amend the state’s driving-with-electronics laws to further limit their use. The pending bills would ban drivers from using any electronic device with more than one finger and prohibit holding a cell phone to your ear while driving. This would include a ban on holding a phone to scroll for social media feeds, taking a photo or sending an e-mail.

The NSC has created a series of short videos that answer common questions about cell phone use and driving.  On RASI SAFETY TV, there is a playlist of these videos.  This would be a great topic at your next safety meeting. Rick suggests showing a few with discussions between each video.

WRA employs Rick to be available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week

Required employee workplace posters

 There are several agencies that require you to display posters at work. The agencies make them available for free.

These posters are for employees and cover subjects including safety, employment rights and benefits.

Look in the lower right-hand corner of workplace posters to find a date stamp that shows whether they are current. Retail Association Services has gathered the complete list of posters that should be on display, with links to further information and the dates the poster were issued.

Click here to learn more including how to obtain the posters.

It’s best not to delay if you’re not current. When Labor & Industries compliance officers come calling, they’ll check to see whether required posters are on display. Violations can be accompanied with fines. Click here for more on this requirement.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-200-6454, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

Safety tip of the week:

Computer screen adjustments for older workers

Mature workers wishing to remain on the job rather than retire are gravitating to retail for employment opportunities. As workers age, they can maintain productivity by considering minor adjustments to office equipment.

Adjustments to computer screens, for example, might make good sense.

Over time, vision may weaken. Here are a few ideas that might be appropriate.

  • Change the computer screen to a larger flat screen.  This will eliminate the flicker (screen refresh rate) of the tube style monitors.  This gives the user a larger ‘surface’ to view.
  • There are ‘ease of access features’ built right into the existing software you already have.  For Windows, it can be found in the Control Panel and will give you the ability to change contrast, brightness, text size, color temperature and more.  A browser’s font size is easy to adjust as well.
  • Reduce screen glare by adjusting screen or area lighting.  Consider installing an anti-glare filter on your monitor.
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule.  After 20 minutes of computer use, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Each person is different so you will need to evaluate both the person and the work they perform.  Actually, this kind of evaluation could help all of your employees regardless of their age.

These are just a few tips. The RASI Safety Library for WRA members has additional information on this topic.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist. He’s available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

Safety tip of the week:

Learn how to lift safely

 Protecting yourself from back injuries while at work can depend upon many factors. Poor physical fitness, lack of flexibility, stress, poor posture, lack of rest, and participating in certain recreational activities can all cause back pain.

Getting or staying physically fit and following safe lifting techniques can help avoid back injuries.

When you lift something, size up the job first by determining where the item needs to go. Then:

  • Ask whether there’s a tool available that could make the lift easier.
  • Consider asking for help with the lift or move the load in lighter pieces.
  • Stand close to the object with your feet spread at shoulder width.  Bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Do not bend at the waist.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift with the muscles in your arms and legs, not your back.
  • If you must turn with the load, do so by moving your feet, not your waist. Do not reach and twist when holding an object.  When setting an object down, apply all of the same techniques.

Our Retro members can get additional information in the RASI Safety Library.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week

Thorough accident reviews can improve safety

How you respond to a workplace accident can improve safety.

Always take a closer look to learn what caused an accident and how it can be avoided next time. The key is to peel back the layers of every step an employee took to determine what led to the accident.

After an accident, ask:

  • If the action made sense to the employee.
  • If a lack of training led to a mistake.
  • If a lack of communication played a role in the accident.
  • If a lack of planning contributed.
  • If there were procedures in place to ensure safety.
  • If an employee took ownership of the incident.
  • If management took ownership of the incident.

Once you understand how the accident happened, put corrective actions in place to keep it from happening again.  Let all employees know about any corrective steps taken and the reasons for them.

Encourage employees to report all incidents, including first-aid-only injuries, recordable injuries and “almost” injuries. When a workforce embraces the importance of reporting, it can correct small problems before they become larger issues.

An Incident Report template can be found here.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to help members with safety plans and suggestions for safety meeting topics. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week

Regular meetings raise safety awareness

Employees may occasionally grumble about regular safety meetings, but they are valuable for several reasons.

Consider:

  • They show that management is serious about safety, not just giving it lip service.
  • They get employees involved in the safety process by increasing the number of eyes and brains engaged in safety.
  • Employees develop a sense of “ownership” in the safety efforts.  It also gives ‘early warning’ of unsafe conditions. Those employees made more aware of potential hazards may be more likely to work more carefully.
  • Some insurance companies may offer discounts if you conduct regular safety meetings and can prove it with documentation. Check with your insurance company about such possible discounts.

Take ten minutes and discuss the proper use of a tool or a proper way to use a ladder or any piece of equipment that your operation uses. Remember to log your topic and attendees in your safety binder, so if you are ever audited by Labor & Industries, you can show that you are actively promoting safety in the workplace.

Our Retro members receive safety packets each month, which are available here.  Another tool is RASI SafetyTV, which contains a variety of video topics to assist with your safety meeting.

Remember that taking shortcuts on the job can lead to accidents and injuries. Please add safety in some way to your regular store meetings.

WRA employs Safety Specialist Rick Means who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198 x18, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week

Don’t walk on by

As you head home at the end of the work day, you see a spill on the floor.  Do you just walk on by? You could be heading to the stock room and notice that someone left an extension cord lying on the floor. Would you just walk on by?

Sometimes, poor housekeeping can cause a workplace injury.

If you see a potential hazard in your workplace, point it out or take care of it before it becomes an accident.  Work-related illness and injury are responsible for an astonishing 27 million lost working days each year, not to mention the accompanying pain and suffering these incidents cause. For every major injury there are approximately 300 close calls. Many accidents can be prevented with good housekeeping.

There are some good videos about this on RASI SAFETYTV.

It takes an effort to keep your shop safe so please encourage everyone not to just walk on by.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18, or mailto:rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

WRA

Safety tip of the week

Exercises for those in desk jobs

With the constant use of technology, our sedentary desk jobs are pulling us forward – but not in a good way.  We have a tendency to assume a forward head position and to round our shoulders.  You also develop a decreased range of motion in the neck and shoulders.

You can help offset these conditions by trying to move as much as possible during the day.  Some ideas include:

Standing during phone calls.

  • When you have a question for a colleague, get up and go to his or her desk instead of calling or emailing.
  • Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to get up at regular intervals during the day (some companies have installed software on employee computers that monitor your work and tell you when it it’s a time for a break).
  • Use the printer and restroom farthest from your work area when possible.

If leaving your desk at regular intervals isn’t an option, you can work on range of motion in both the neck and shoulders with a few simple movements. All these can be done while seated.

These exercises include:

  • Jaw lifts: With eyes facing forward, tilt your head right leading with your jaw. Keep your eyes forward and don’t twist your neck at the same time. Alternate sides, taking care not to force the movement to pain or move too quickly.
  • Shoulder rolls: Sit tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Shrug your shoulders and roll them back, feeling your shoulder blades drawn down as you do. You should feel your chest stretch as your shoulders pull back.
  • Side reaches: From your seated position, raise your right hand straight in the air. Turn your palm in toward the midline of your body and reach left, over your head. Hold for three to five seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat with the left hand.

For videos about this, go to RASI SAFETYTV and members have access to more in the Safety Library.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

(Portions of this article came from U.S. News & World Report)

Safety tip of the week

Companies should adopt cell phone use policies

 Estimates are that one in 10 drivers is somehow distracted while on the road whether it be from eating, reading, using navigation devices, passenger distraction or cell phone use.  For this reason, hand-held cell phone use or texting while driving is illegal in the State of Washington.

Accidents from these distractions can cause time loss for employees, increased insurance rates and leave company vehicles out of commission for extended periods.

If you have company delivery drivers, you need to explain the dangers of cell phone use while driving and that you are taking action by implementing policies that would prohibit handheld devices while operating a company vehicle.  Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, urges companies without cell phone use policies to put them together soon. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends that those policies apply to all company employees.

Employees should be instructed to make calls before leaving the parking lot or at rest stops, but not while they’re on the road.

Two bills under consideration this legislative session would amend the state’s driving-with-electronics laws to further limit their use. The pending bills would ban drivers from using any electronic device with more than one finger and prohibit holding a cell phone to your ear while driving. This would include a ban on holding a phone to scroll for social media feeds, taking a photo or sending an e-mail.

The NSC has created a series of short videos that answer common questions about cell phone use and driving.  On RASI SAFETY TV, there is a playlist of these videos.  This would be a great topic at your next safety meeting. Rick suggests showing a few with discussions between each video.

WRA employs Rick to be available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week

Required employee workplace posters

 There are several agencies that require you to display posters at work. The agencies make them available for free.

These posters are for employees and cover subjects including safety, employment rights and benefits.

Look in the lower right-hand corner of workplace posters to find a date stamp that shows whether they are current. Retail Association Services has gathered the complete list of posters that should be on display, with links to further information and the dates the poster were issued.

Click here to learn more including how to obtain the posters.

It’s best not to delay if you’re not current. When Labor & Industries compliance officers come calling, they’ll check to see whether required posters are on display. Violations can be accompanied with fines. Click here for more on this requirement.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-200-6454, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

Safety tip of the week:

Learn how to lift safely

 Protecting yourself from back injuries while at work can depend upon many factors. Poor physical fitness, lack of flexibility, stress, poor posture, lack of rest, and participating in certain recreational activities can all cause back pain.

Getting or staying physically fit and following safe lifting techniques can help avoid back injuries.

When you lift something, size up the job first by determining where the item needs to go. Then:

  • Ask whether there’s a tool available that could make the lift easier.
  • Consider asking for help with the lift or move the load in lighter pieces.
  • Stand close to the object with your feet spread at shoulder width.  Bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Do not bend at the waist.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift with the muscles in your arms and legs, not your back.
  • If you must turn with the load, do so by moving your feet, not your waist. Do not reach and twist when holding an object.  When setting an object down, apply all of the same techniques.

Our Retro members can get additional information in the RASI Safety Library.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Following his on-the-job injury my employee needs an ergo chair and computer keyboard before he can return to his job. Will L&I help with the costs?

Yes. The statute allows for payment for job modifications. When criteria have been met and the job modification is authorized by L&I, the state will pay up to $5,000 toward the cost of the modification.  If you feel a job modification will allow your employee to return to work, contact your RASI Claims Manager who will assist in getting the necessary authorization.

 

Nancy

Nancy

–Nancy Barnes

How are you improving lighting for an aging workforce?

One of the missing ingredients in the workplace to assist the aging worker is paying attention to whether there is enough light for a job. Depending on the work being performed, lighting is an effective tool to help older employees perform tasks more safely.  With computers, for example, indirect lighting creates less  glare.

These are often simple modifications with a minimal cost where you can adjust or add lighting. You will find that these changes will also benefit all generations of workers at your company.

 

Go to the RASI Safety website and you will find many more ideas to assist your aging workforce.

 

Rick Means–Rick Means, Safety Specialist

Am I charged for a Worker’s Comp claim if the injury was caused by worker’s negligence?

For example, a worker leans too far over railings of a step ladder, topples the ladder and suffers a fall due to no fault of the employer.

The State of Washington’s Industrial Insurance Act established in 1911 provides coverage for injured workers regardless of fault.  The enactment of this statute put an end to civil actions regarding injuries occurring at work.  We stress regular safety training and enforcement to prevent such injuries.

 

nancy –Nancy Barnes, Manager Claims

The minimum wage is a poor anti-poverty tool, Washington Research Council warns

As the Legislature debates whether to raise the state minimum wage, any action in favor would likely be a poor anti-poverty tool, the Washington Research Council has concluded.

A new council special report concludes:

*Raising the minimum wage will make Washington less competitive for business with other states. The current state minimum of $9.47 is the nation’s highest state rate.

*For each 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, an estimated one-sixth fewer jobs are created. HB 1355would increase the state’s minimum wage to $12 in 2019. WRA opposes the bill for many of the outcomes warned about in the council’s report.

*Because increasing minimum wages often results in layoffs, it tends to reduce rather than increase earnings of the lowest-skilled individuals, the report concluded.

*As minimum wages rise, alternatives such as job-eliminating automation become more attractive to companies. A 2013 University of Oxford study concluded that as many as 70 percent of  low-skilled jobs could be replaced by automation within 20 years.

The report observes: “Ultimately, increasing the minimum wage involves a tradeoff – some get higher wages, but some lose their jobs or face long-term negative impacts on earnings and mobility.”

Often, prices rise in reaction to a higher minimum wage, a trend that does nothing to help lower wage workers keep up with the cost of living, the report noted.

Source: Research Council

SAFETY

Safety tip of the week

Exercises for those in desk jobs

With the constant use of technology, our sedentary desk jobs are pulling us forward – but not in a good way.  We have a tendency to assume a forward head position and to round our shoulders.  You also develop a decreased range of motion in the neck and shoulders.

You can help offset these conditions by trying to move as much as possible during the day.  Some ideas include:

Standing during phone calls.

  • When you have a question for a colleague, get up and go to his or her desk instead of calling or emailing.
  • Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to get up at regular intervals during the day (some companies have installed software on employee computers that monitor your work and tell you when it it’s a time for a break).
  • Use the printer and restroom farthest from your work area when possible.

If leaving your desk at regular intervals isn’t an option, you can work on range of motion in both the neck and shoulders with a few simple movements. All these can be done while seated.

These exercises include:

  • Jaw lifts: With eyes facing forward, tilt your head right leading with your jaw. Keep your eyes forward and don’t twist your neck at the same time. Alternate sides, taking care not to force the movement to pain or move too quickly.
  • Shoulder rolls: Sit tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Shrug your shoulders and roll them back, feeling your shoulder blades drawn down as you do. You should feel your chest stretch as your shoulders pull back.
  • Side reaches: From your seated position, raise your right hand straight in the air. Turn your palm in toward the midline of your body and reach left, over your head. Hold for three to five seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat with the left hand.

For videos about this, go to RASI SAFETYTV and members have access to more in the Safety Library.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com

(Portions of this article came from U.S. News & World Report)

Safety tip of the week

Companies should adopt cell phone use policies

 Estimates are that one in 10 drivers is somehow distracted while on the road whether it be from eating, reading, using navigation devices, passenger distraction or cell phone use.  For this reason, hand-held cell phone use or texting while driving is illegal in the State of Washington.

Accidents from these distractions can cause time loss for employees, increased insurance rates and leave company vehicles out of commission for extended periods.

If you have company delivery drivers, you need to explain the dangers of cell phone use while driving and that you are taking action by implementing policies that would prohibit handheld devices while operating a company vehicle.  Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, urges companies without cell phone use policies to put them together soon. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends that those policies apply to all company employees.

Employees should be instructed to make calls before leaving the parking lot or at rest stops, but not while they’re on the road.

Two bills under consideration this legislative session would amend the state’s driving-with-electronics laws to further limit their use. The pending bills would ban drivers from using any electronic device with more than one finger and prohibit holding a cell phone to your ear while driving. This would include a ban on holding a phone to scroll for social media feeds, taking a photo or sending an e-mail.

The NSC has created a series of short videos that answer common questions about cell phone use and driving.  On RASI SAFETY TV, there is a playlist of these videos.  This would be a great topic at your next safety meeting. Rick suggests showing a few with discussions between each video.

WRA employs Rick to be available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week

Required employee workplace posters

 There are several agencies that require you to display posters at work. The agencies make them available for free.

These posters are for employees and cover subjects including safety, employment rights and benefits.

Look in the lower right-hand corner of workplace posters to find a date stamp that shows whether they are current. Retail Association Services has gathered the complete list of posters that should be on display, with links to further information and the dates the poster were issued.

Click here to learn more including how to obtain the posters.

It’s best not to delay if you’re not current. When Labor & Industries compliance officers come calling, they’ll check to see whether required posters are on display. Violations can be accompanied with fines. Click here for more on this requirement.

WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-200-6454, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com