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Safety tip of the week

Safety tip of the week

How to avoid retail-related work injuries

Overdoing it on the job is a typical reason for injuries in the retail industry. Muscle strains and sprains result from a variety of movements including lifting, bending and twisting at the waist, pushing and pulling boxes, carrying items and using poor posture.

Labor & Industries has specific data on retail injuries, which looks like this:

  • One out of every four injuries in retail is from overexertion.
  • The average cost per overexertion claim is a little over $11,500.
  • Overexertion claims represent about 37 percent of workers’ comp costs in retail.
  • Lifting causes about half the overexertion injuries. Carrying ranks second, followed closely by pushing and pulling.
  • Boxes were the most frequent source of injury. Automotive parts also were high on the list of sources of injury.
  • The back was clearly the most frequently injured part of the body. Shoulder injuries were a distant second.

To prevent overexertion:

  • Stretch and/or warm up before heavy lifting or strenuous activity
  • Use hand trucks and carts as much as possible
  • Lift with your legs bent and objects held close to your body
  • Avoid bending, overreaching and twisting when lifting
  • For unusual sized items, get help when lifting

Proper posture, body mechanics and ergonomics can lessen overexertion injuries.  Because it is important that the demands of the job match the capabilities of the worker, extra training may be required to perform a job safely.

Members can find additional information in the Safety Library in the Overexertion section.  RASI SafetyTV  also has some videos on this topic.

 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

Safety tip of the week

Balance work and family needs before a natural disaster

Business owners need to brace for natural disasters to be able to recover quickly and remain in business.

But preparing for an earthquake or flood also requires preparations at home. Your business may not run well if a disaster has torn up your family life, or vice versa.

Personal preparedness goes hand in hand with business continuity plans for business owners.

RASI SAFETY TV has some great videos on how to prepare.  Our Retro members can access even more information in the Safety Library in the Emergency Preparedness section.  Please take some time to review your current personal plan and update it as needed.

A personal preparedness plan resembles a business recovery plan:

  • Mitigate: What can you do to make your personal environment safer?
  • Communicate: How will you communicate with loved ones? Do you have an outside-the-area contact set up?
  • Prepare: What are the supplies you need and where will you store them?
  • Don’t forget to arrange for those with special needs in your family; seniors, infants/children and pets.

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 x18, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week:

Safety tip of the week:

Aging workers may need lighting adjustments

The single largest missing ingredient in workplaces to assist aging workers is proper light and whether it is right for the task at hand. A lighting plan that uses more indirect rays, especially with computer use, creates a better working environment.

Using task-specific lighting is important.  This can be accomplished by using table and desk lamps with soft white lights (or filtered clear bulbs) to reduce glare.  Reducing glare contributes to workstation comfort and in the work area will help to minimize falls.

Pools of light can distort perception of height and depth that could lead to stumbling or tripping.  Uneven brightness patterns can produce shadows or create the illusion of steps or edges where the light and shadow meet.  In those areas, you should introduce gradual changes in light levels.

Each employee and job type needs to be assessed to best accommodate the situation.  The objective is to reduce the possibility of an accident.  Additional information can be found at RASI Safety TV.

Our Retro members also can find resources in the RASI Safety Library, in the Aging in the Workplace section.

Lighting modifications to adjust or install additional lighting often are simple and affordable. Such changes can help seasoned employees and those who are younger, as well.

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:

Safety tip of the week:

Get familiar with fire extinguishers

Don’t forget to make sure your fire extinguishers are working and accessible in case of a fire. It’s also a good idea to post a map of extinguisher locations and exit routes from your workplace.

The most common A-B-C extinguisher can be used on all types of fires. It will work on combustible materials, electrical and flammable liquids.  You should check on what your local code requirements are regarding how many extinguishers you need and the recommended height to mount them on walls.

When using an extinguisher to fight a small fire, try to remember the PASS system. It’s an acronym for how to use an extinguisher:

  • P means pull the pin
  • A is for aim at the base of the fire.
  • S is for squeeze the handle.
  • S is for sweeping the contents in a side to side motion.

Check with your local fire department about visiting your office or plant to provide a live demonstration on use of an extinguisher. Such a demonstration should be part of a new hire orientation.

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 x18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

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.

RASI

Safety tip of the week

How to avoid retail-related work injuries

Overdoing it on the job is a typical reason for injuries in the retail industry. Muscle strains and sprains result from a variety of movements including lifting, bending and twisting at the waist, pushing and pulling boxes, carrying items and using poor posture.

Labor & Industries has specific data on retail injuries, which looks like this:

  • One out of every four injuries in retail is from overexertion.
  • The average cost per overexertion claim is a little over $11,500.
  • Overexertion claims represent about 37 percent of workers’ comp costs in retail.
  • Lifting causes about half the overexertion injuries. Carrying ranks second, followed closely by pushing and pulling.
  • Boxes were the most frequent source of injury. Automotive parts also were high on the list of sources of injury.
  • The back was clearly the most frequently injured part of the body. Shoulder injuries were a distant second.

To prevent overexertion:

  • Stretch and/or warm up before heavy lifting or strenuous activity
  • Use hand trucks and carts as much as possible
  • Lift with your legs bent and objects held close to your body
  • Avoid bending, overreaching and twisting when lifting
  • For unusual sized items, get help when lifting

Proper posture, body mechanics and ergonomics can lessen overexertion injuries.  Because it is important that the demands of the job match the capabilities of the worker, extra training may be required to perform a job safely.

Members can find additional information in the Safety Library in the Overexertion section.  RASI SafetyTV  also has some videos on this topic.

 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

Balance work and family needs before a natural disaster

Business owners need to brace for natural disasters to be able to recover quickly and remain in business.

But preparing for an earthquake or flood also requires preparations at home. Your business may not run well if a disaster has torn up your family life, or vice versa.

Personal preparedness goes hand in hand with business continuity plans for business owners.

RASI SAFETY TV has some great videos on how to prepare.  Our Retro members can access even more information in the Safety Library in the Emergency Preparedness section.  Please take some time to review your current personal plan and update it as needed.

A personal preparedness plan resembles a business recovery plan:

  • Mitigate: What can you do to make your personal environment safer?
  • Communicate: How will you communicate with loved ones? Do you have an outside-the-area contact set up?
  • Prepare: What are the supplies you need and where will you store them?
  • Don’t forget to arrange for those with special needs in your family; seniors, infants/children and pets.

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 x18, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week:

Aging workers may need lighting adjustments

The single largest missing ingredient in workplaces to assist aging workers is proper light and whether it is right for the task at hand. A lighting plan that uses more indirect rays, especially with computer use, creates a better working environment.

Using task-specific lighting is important.  This can be accomplished by using table and desk lamps with soft white lights (or filtered clear bulbs) to reduce glare.  Reducing glare contributes to workstation comfort and in the work area will help to minimize falls.

Pools of light can distort perception of height and depth that could lead to stumbling or tripping.  Uneven brightness patterns can produce shadows or create the illusion of steps or edges where the light and shadow meet.  In those areas, you should introduce gradual changes in light levels.

Each employee and job type needs to be assessed to best accommodate the situation.  The objective is to reduce the possibility of an accident.  Additional information can be found at RASI Safety TV.

Our Retro members also can find resources in the RASI Safety Library, in the Aging in the Workplace section.

Lighting modifications to adjust or install additional lighting often are simple and affordable. Such changes can help seasoned employees and those who are younger, as well.

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:

Get familiar with fire extinguishers

Don’t forget to make sure your fire extinguishers are working and accessible in case of a fire. It’s also a good idea to post a map of extinguisher locations and exit routes from your workplace.

The most common A-B-C extinguisher can be used on all types of fires. It will work on combustible materials, electrical and flammable liquids.  You should check on what your local code requirements are regarding how many extinguishers you need and the recommended height to mount them on walls.

When using an extinguisher to fight a small fire, try to remember the PASS system. It’s an acronym for how to use an extinguisher:

  • P means pull the pin
  • A is for aim at the base of the fire.
  • S is for squeeze the handle.
  • S is for sweeping the contents in a side to side motion.

Check with your local fire department about visiting your office or plant to provide a live demonstration on use of an extinguisher. Such a demonstration should be part of a new hire orientation.

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 x18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

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

WRA

Safety tip of the week

Balance work and family needs before a natural disaster

Business owners need to brace for natural disasters to be able to recover quickly and remain in business.

But preparing for an earthquake or flood also requires preparations at home. Your business may not run well if a disaster has torn up your family life, or vice versa.

Personal preparedness goes hand in hand with business continuity plans for business owners.

RASI SAFETY TV has some great videos on how to prepare.  Our Retro members can access even more information in the Safety Library in the Emergency Preparedness section.  Please take some time to review your current personal plan and update it as needed.

A personal preparedness plan resembles a business recovery plan:

  • Mitigate: What can you do to make your personal environment safer?
  • Communicate: How will you communicate with loved ones? Do you have an outside-the-area contact set up?
  • Prepare: What are the supplies you need and where will you store them?
  • Don’t forget to arrange for those with special needs in your family; seniors, infants/children and pets.

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 x18, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week:

Aging workers may need lighting adjustments

The single largest missing ingredient in workplaces to assist aging workers is proper light and whether it is right for the task at hand. A lighting plan that uses more indirect rays, especially with computer use, creates a better working environment.

Using task-specific lighting is important.  This can be accomplished by using table and desk lamps with soft white lights (or filtered clear bulbs) to reduce glare.  Reducing glare contributes to workstation comfort and in the work area will help to minimize falls.

Pools of light can distort perception of height and depth that could lead to stumbling or tripping.  Uneven brightness patterns can produce shadows or create the illusion of steps or edges where the light and shadow meet.  In those areas, you should introduce gradual changes in light levels.

Each employee and job type needs to be assessed to best accommodate the situation.  The objective is to reduce the possibility of an accident.  Additional information can be found at RASI Safety TV.

Our Retro members also can find resources in the RASI Safety Library, in the Aging in the Workplace section.

Lighting modifications to adjust or install additional lighting often are simple and affordable. Such changes can help seasoned employees and those who are younger, as well.

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:

Get familiar with fire extinguishers

Don’t forget to make sure your fire extinguishers are working and accessible in case of a fire. It’s also a good idea to post a map of extinguisher locations and exit routes from your workplace.

The most common A-B-C extinguisher can be used on all types of fires. It will work on combustible materials, electrical and flammable liquids.  You should check on what your local code requirements are regarding how many extinguishers you need and the recommended height to mount them on walls.

When using an extinguisher to fight a small fire, try to remember the PASS system. It’s an acronym for how to use an extinguisher:

  • P means pull the pin
  • A is for aim at the base of the fire.
  • S is for squeeze the handle.
  • S is for sweeping the contents in a side to side motion.

Check with your local fire department about visiting your office or plant to provide a live demonstration on use of an extinguisher. Such a demonstration should be part of a new hire orientation.

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 x18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

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

SAFETY

Safety tip of the week

How to avoid retail-related work injuries

Overdoing it on the job is a typical reason for injuries in the retail industry. Muscle strains and sprains result from a variety of movements including lifting, bending and twisting at the waist, pushing and pulling boxes, carrying items and using poor posture.

Labor & Industries has specific data on retail injuries, which looks like this:

  • One out of every four injuries in retail is from overexertion.
  • The average cost per overexertion claim is a little over $11,500.
  • Overexertion claims represent about 37 percent of workers’ comp costs in retail.
  • Lifting causes about half the overexertion injuries. Carrying ranks second, followed closely by pushing and pulling.
  • Boxes were the most frequent source of injury. Automotive parts also were high on the list of sources of injury.
  • The back was clearly the most frequently injured part of the body. Shoulder injuries were a distant second.

To prevent overexertion:

  • Stretch and/or warm up before heavy lifting or strenuous activity
  • Use hand trucks and carts as much as possible
  • Lift with your legs bent and objects held close to your body
  • Avoid bending, overreaching and twisting when lifting
  • For unusual sized items, get help when lifting

Proper posture, body mechanics and ergonomics can lessen overexertion injuries.  Because it is important that the demands of the job match the capabilities of the worker, extra training may be required to perform a job safely.

Members can find additional information in the Safety Library in the Overexertion section.  RASI SafetyTV  also has some videos on this topic.

 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

Balance work and family needs before a natural disaster

Business owners need to brace for natural disasters to be able to recover quickly and remain in business.

But preparing for an earthquake or flood also requires preparations at home. Your business may not run well if a disaster has torn up your family life, or vice versa.

Personal preparedness goes hand in hand with business continuity plans for business owners.

RASI SAFETY TV has some great videos on how to prepare.  Our Retro members can access even more information in the Safety Library in the Emergency Preparedness section.  Please take some time to review your current personal plan and update it as needed.

A personal preparedness plan resembles a business recovery plan:

  • Mitigate: What can you do to make your personal environment safer?
  • Communicate: How will you communicate with loved ones? Do you have an outside-the-area contact set up?
  • Prepare: What are the supplies you need and where will you store them?
  • Don’t forget to arrange for those with special needs in your family; seniors, infants/children and pets.

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 x18, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.

Safety tip of the week:

Aging workers may need lighting adjustments

The single largest missing ingredient in workplaces to assist aging workers is proper light and whether it is right for the task at hand. A lighting plan that uses more indirect rays, especially with computer use, creates a better working environment.

Using task-specific lighting is important.  This can be accomplished by using table and desk lamps with soft white lights (or filtered clear bulbs) to reduce glare.  Reducing glare contributes to workstation comfort and in the work area will help to minimize falls.

Pools of light can distort perception of height and depth that could lead to stumbling or tripping.  Uneven brightness patterns can produce shadows or create the illusion of steps or edges where the light and shadow meet.  In those areas, you should introduce gradual changes in light levels.

Each employee and job type needs to be assessed to best accommodate the situation.  The objective is to reduce the possibility of an accident.  Additional information can be found at RASI Safety TV.

Our Retro members also can find resources in the RASI Safety Library, in the Aging in the Workplace section.

Lighting modifications to adjust or install additional lighting often are simple and affordable. Such changes can help seasoned employees and those who are younger, as well.

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.