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Safety tip of the week

Safety tip of the week

Assign new employees an orientation buddy

Finding enough time to properly orientate your new employees can be a problem. In the first orientation there can be a lot to cover, including policies and paperwork, in a short period of time.

But there is a way to continue the process with orientation buddies.  Every new hire should have an orientation buddy to help him or her get off to a good, safe start. They can show your new workers the safety elements the company has built in including the location of the fire exits and extinguishers; first-aid kits; eyewash stations; chemical safety data sheets and equipment usage.  By imparting safety knowledge along the way, they are having a secondary effect by making the newcomer feel valued, which can lead to a more engaged and productive employee.

In order to carry out these important duties successfully, orientation buddies should:

  • Have been with your organization for at least a year.
  • Have a good performance history and a safe work record.
  • Be skilled in the new employee’s job.
  • Possess broad knowledge about your organization, your operations, and your safety programs.
  • Have the time to spend with the new employee and be willing to take on the assignment.
  • Be patient and communicate well.
  • Serve as a positive safety role model.

Building relationships through this type of mentoring is another way to ensure that new employees have the resources they need to succeed.  Seasoned employees can help new employees on the job and provide support.  New employees tend to be hesitant about asking questions for fear of appearing incompetent.

A company’s orientation program should include easy access to resources to reduce new employee frustration and to provide essential, effective safety training.

Washington Retail has an app that can help your young worker out with some safety basics that can be found here

Safety tip of the week

Safety tip of the week

Orderliness can prevent accidents at work

As far as injuries go, the most critical part of workplace housekeeping is keeping items in order. Are tools strewn about, for example, or in their proper place?

Managers and employees should check regularly to ensure that aisleways are clear for employees and customers.

Some of the benefits of good housekeeping include:

  • Eliminating causes of accidents
  • Preventing wasted energy looking for lost items later on
  • Maintaining good use of available space
  • Reducing damage to goods
  • Encouraging better work habits
  • Reflecting an organized workplace and image

Companies should develop a strategy for good housekeeping. During the day, does your staff periodically stop and survey the floors and shelves to see if there are any hazards for staff or customers?  Make a habit of regularly looking over the store and housekeeping will be easier and prevent potential injuries.

Consider watching RASI SAFETY TV’s The Accident Cascade video that be shown to start a discussion during a safety meeting.

Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, 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

Have you seen SAFEME?

The Washington Retail Association is offering a free web-based and smartphone app to help employers get first-time and young employees off to a safer start in the working world. Many first-time employees get their careers going in retail.

SAFEME users can earn basic safety training certificates to augment required safety training from employers. The certificates demonstrate that an entry-level or young worker has a sound understanding of the potential hazards in many different workplaces and how to avoid them. While geared towards retail, the topics can apply to many industries. The lessons include videos and quizzes that demonstrate use of ladders, proper lifting, slips-trips-falls, box knife use and more.

The SAFEME app – on the web at www.wrasafeme.org, is available for Apple and Android phones through the app stores.  A two-minute video of how the app works can be seen here.

The app is courtesy of a grant from Labor & Industries’ Safety and Health Investment Projects. It is aimed particularly at workers aged 16 to 20 who often sustain workplace injuries due to lack of work experience and preparation.  Additional information and resources about this project can be found here.

SAFEME has been viewed/downloaded by hundreds of users in 41states and embraced by educators and businesses alike.

Safer employees reduce injuries and workers’ compensation claims. In Washington State, employers and employees contribute toward paying premiums for injury insurance.  As injuries drop, so do insurance costs.

WRA’s Rick Means is available to members to assist with L&I safety compliance, 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

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.

RASI

Safety tip of the week

Assign new employees an orientation buddy

Finding enough time to properly orientate your new employees can be a problem. In the first orientation there can be a lot to cover, including policies and paperwork, in a short period of time.

But there is a way to continue the process with orientation buddies.  Every new hire should have an orientation buddy to help him or her get off to a good, safe start. They can show your new workers the safety elements the company has built in including the location of the fire exits and extinguishers; first-aid kits; eyewash stations; chemical safety data sheets and equipment usage.  By imparting safety knowledge along the way, they are having a secondary effect by making the newcomer feel valued, which can lead to a more engaged and productive employee.

In order to carry out these important duties successfully, orientation buddies should:

  • Have been with your organization for at least a year.
  • Have a good performance history and a safe work record.
  • Be skilled in the new employee’s job.
  • Possess broad knowledge about your organization, your operations, and your safety programs.
  • Have the time to spend with the new employee and be willing to take on the assignment.
  • Be patient and communicate well.
  • Serve as a positive safety role model.

Building relationships through this type of mentoring is another way to ensure that new employees have the resources they need to succeed.  Seasoned employees can help new employees on the job and provide support.  New employees tend to be hesitant about asking questions for fear of appearing incompetent.

A company’s orientation program should include easy access to resources to reduce new employee frustration and to provide essential, effective safety training.

Washington Retail has an app that can help your young worker out with some safety basics that can be found here

Safety tip of the week

Orderliness can prevent accidents at work

As far as injuries go, the most critical part of workplace housekeeping is keeping items in order. Are tools strewn about, for example, or in their proper place?

Managers and employees should check regularly to ensure that aisleways are clear for employees and customers.

Some of the benefits of good housekeeping include:

  • Eliminating causes of accidents
  • Preventing wasted energy looking for lost items later on
  • Maintaining good use of available space
  • Reducing damage to goods
  • Encouraging better work habits
  • Reflecting an organized workplace and image

Companies should develop a strategy for good housekeeping. During the day, does your staff periodically stop and survey the floors and shelves to see if there are any hazards for staff or customers?  Make a habit of regularly looking over the store and housekeeping will be easier and prevent potential injuries.

Consider watching RASI SAFETY TV’s The Accident Cascade video that be shown to start a discussion during a safety meeting.

Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, 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

Have you seen SAFEME?

The Washington Retail Association is offering a free web-based and smartphone app to help employers get first-time and young employees off to a safer start in the working world. Many first-time employees get their careers going in retail.

SAFEME users can earn basic safety training certificates to augment required safety training from employers. The certificates demonstrate that an entry-level or young worker has a sound understanding of the potential hazards in many different workplaces and how to avoid them. While geared towards retail, the topics can apply to many industries. The lessons include videos and quizzes that demonstrate use of ladders, proper lifting, slips-trips-falls, box knife use and more.

The SAFEME app – on the web at www.wrasafeme.org, is available for Apple and Android phones through the app stores.  A two-minute video of how the app works can be seen here.

The app is courtesy of a grant from Labor & Industries’ Safety and Health Investment Projects. It is aimed particularly at workers aged 16 to 20 who often sustain workplace injuries due to lack of work experience and preparation.  Additional information and resources about this project can be found here.

SAFEME has been viewed/downloaded by hundreds of users in 41states and embraced by educators and businesses alike.

Safer employees reduce injuries and workers’ compensation claims. In Washington State, employers and employees contribute toward paying premiums for injury insurance.  As injuries drop, so do insurance costs.

WRA’s Rick Means is available to members to assist with L&I safety compliance, 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

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)

WRA

Safety tip of the week

Assign new employees an orientation buddy

Finding enough time to properly orientate your new employees can be a problem. In the first orientation there can be a lot to cover, including policies and paperwork, in a short period of time.

But there is a way to continue the process with orientation buddies.  Every new hire should have an orientation buddy to help him or her get off to a good, safe start. They can show your new workers the safety elements the company has built in including the location of the fire exits and extinguishers; first-aid kits; eyewash stations; chemical safety data sheets and equipment usage.  By imparting safety knowledge along the way, they are having a secondary effect by making the newcomer feel valued, which can lead to a more engaged and productive employee.

In order to carry out these important duties successfully, orientation buddies should:

  • Have been with your organization for at least a year.
  • Have a good performance history and a safe work record.
  • Be skilled in the new employee’s job.
  • Possess broad knowledge about your organization, your operations, and your safety programs.
  • Have the time to spend with the new employee and be willing to take on the assignment.
  • Be patient and communicate well.
  • Serve as a positive safety role model.

Building relationships through this type of mentoring is another way to ensure that new employees have the resources they need to succeed.  Seasoned employees can help new employees on the job and provide support.  New employees tend to be hesitant about asking questions for fear of appearing incompetent.

A company’s orientation program should include easy access to resources to reduce new employee frustration and to provide essential, effective safety training.

Washington Retail has an app that can help your young worker out with some safety basics that can be found here

Safety tip of the week

Have you seen SAFEME?

The Washington Retail Association is offering a free web-based and smartphone app to help employers get first-time and young employees off to a safer start in the working world. Many first-time employees get their careers going in retail.

SAFEME users can earn basic safety training certificates to augment required safety training from employers. The certificates demonstrate that an entry-level or young worker has a sound understanding of the potential hazards in many different workplaces and how to avoid them. While geared towards retail, the topics can apply to many industries. The lessons include videos and quizzes that demonstrate use of ladders, proper lifting, slips-trips-falls, box knife use and more.

The SAFEME app – on the web at www.wrasafeme.org, is available for Apple and Android phones through the app stores.  A two-minute video of how the app works can be seen here.

The app is courtesy of a grant from Labor & Industries’ Safety and Health Investment Projects. It is aimed particularly at workers aged 16 to 20 who often sustain workplace injuries due to lack of work experience and preparation.  Additional information and resources about this project can be found here.

SAFEME has been viewed/downloaded by hundreds of users in 41states and embraced by educators and businesses alike.

Safer employees reduce injuries and workers’ compensation claims. In Washington State, employers and employees contribute toward paying premiums for injury insurance.  As injuries drop, so do insurance costs.

WRA’s Rick Means is available to members to assist with L&I safety compliance, 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

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

Safety tip of the week

Assign new employees an orientation buddy

Finding enough time to properly orientate your new employees can be a problem. In the first orientation there can be a lot to cover, including policies and paperwork, in a short period of time.

But there is a way to continue the process with orientation buddies.  Every new hire should have an orientation buddy to help him or her get off to a good, safe start. They can show your new workers the safety elements the company has built in including the location of the fire exits and extinguishers; first-aid kits; eyewash stations; chemical safety data sheets and equipment usage.  By imparting safety knowledge along the way, they are having a secondary effect by making the newcomer feel valued, which can lead to a more engaged and productive employee.

In order to carry out these important duties successfully, orientation buddies should:

  • Have been with your organization for at least a year.
  • Have a good performance history and a safe work record.
  • Be skilled in the new employee’s job.
  • Possess broad knowledge about your organization, your operations, and your safety programs.
  • Have the time to spend with the new employee and be willing to take on the assignment.
  • Be patient and communicate well.
  • Serve as a positive safety role model.

Building relationships through this type of mentoring is another way to ensure that new employees have the resources they need to succeed.  Seasoned employees can help new employees on the job and provide support.  New employees tend to be hesitant about asking questions for fear of appearing incompetent.

A company’s orientation program should include easy access to resources to reduce new employee frustration and to provide essential, effective safety training.

Washington Retail has an app that can help your young worker out with some safety basics that can be found here

Safety tip of the week

Orderliness can prevent accidents at work

As far as injuries go, the most critical part of workplace housekeeping is keeping items in order. Are tools strewn about, for example, or in their proper place?

Managers and employees should check regularly to ensure that aisleways are clear for employees and customers.

Some of the benefits of good housekeeping include:

  • Eliminating causes of accidents
  • Preventing wasted energy looking for lost items later on
  • Maintaining good use of available space
  • Reducing damage to goods
  • Encouraging better work habits
  • Reflecting an organized workplace and image

Companies should develop a strategy for good housekeeping. During the day, does your staff periodically stop and survey the floors and shelves to see if there are any hazards for staff or customers?  Make a habit of regularly looking over the store and housekeeping will be easier and prevent potential injuries.

Consider watching RASI SAFETY TV’s The Accident Cascade video that be shown to start a discussion during a safety meeting.

Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, 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

Have you seen SAFEME?

The Washington Retail Association is offering a free web-based and smartphone app to help employers get first-time and young employees off to a safer start in the working world. Many first-time employees get their careers going in retail.

SAFEME users can earn basic safety training certificates to augment required safety training from employers. The certificates demonstrate that an entry-level or young worker has a sound understanding of the potential hazards in many different workplaces and how to avoid them. While geared towards retail, the topics can apply to many industries. The lessons include videos and quizzes that demonstrate use of ladders, proper lifting, slips-trips-falls, box knife use and more.

The SAFEME app – on the web at www.wrasafeme.org, is available for Apple and Android phones through the app stores.  A two-minute video of how the app works can be seen here.

The app is courtesy of a grant from Labor & Industries’ Safety and Health Investment Projects. It is aimed particularly at workers aged 16 to 20 who often sustain workplace injuries due to lack of work experience and preparation.  Additional information and resources about this project can be found here.

SAFEME has been viewed/downloaded by hundreds of users in 41states and embraced by educators and businesses alike.

Safer employees reduce injuries and workers’ compensation claims. In Washington State, employers and employees contribute toward paying premiums for injury insurance.  As injuries drop, so do insurance costs.

WRA’s Rick Means is available to members to assist with L&I safety compliance, to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198 x18, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.