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Thanksgiving Ergonomics: Reducing material handling injuries with engineering controls

Categories: Engineering Control, Ergonomics, Observances, Wholesale and Retail Trade

 

grocery3If you haven’t purchased your 20 pound Thanksgiving turkey or your 10 pound bag of potatoes rest assured employees at your local grocery stores are busy restocking the shelves each day with your favorite Thanksgiving foods. It‘s hard enough lifting those items into your cart but what about the workers who haul those tons of turkeys, pounds of potatoes, and stock the shelves with green beans, cranberries, and stuffing? Nearly 2.5 million cashiers and stocking clerks are at risk for musculoskeletal injuries that stem from overexertion in grocery stores. According to Liberty Mutual Research Institute, overexertion is the leading cause of workplace injuries and account for $14.2 billion in direct costs. In the grocery sector, overexertion injuries that lead to soft tissue injuries, A.K.A. musculoskeletal disorders, account for 41% of the injuries and lost work in grocery stores[1].

A Health and Safety Evaluation at an Airline Catering Facility

Categories: Ergonomics, Exposure, Stress

 

The airline industry predicts that more than 24 million people will fly during the Thanksgiving holiday this year. If you are one of those passengers, chances are that you’ll have a snack or a soda on your way to your destination. Before reaching your seat, those snacks, beverages, and meals are prepared, assembled, and delivered by a catering company. In a recent Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) report, we described our evaluation of a catering facility in Michigan. We conducted the evaluation at the request of a union representing airline catering employees. The union was concerned about risks for musculoskeletal disorders, working in extreme hot and cold temperatures, job stress, and injuries in the facility’s kitchen and loading docks.

Accurate and Efficient Assessments of Working Posture

Categories: Ergonomics

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Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for roughly one-third of workplace illness and injuries in the United States. According to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, overexertion injuries, which include those from work-related lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing, cost U.S. businesses $14.2 billion in direct costs in 2013. To address the burden of preventable musculoskeletal and overexertion injuries, practitioners in the fields of Occupational Safety, Industrial Hygiene and Ergonomics need workplace assessment methods that are both accurate (valid) and time efficient.

National Doughnut Day

Categories: Ergonomics, Respiratory Health, Service Sector, Young Workers

Whether you are celebrating National Doughnut Day today with the traditional glazed or a trendy bacon-infused delicacy, take a moment to think about those who bring you these sugary breakfast treats.  We are not passing judgment nor endorsing your breakfast selection (that question is better addressed by you and your nutritionist) but instead encouraging all of us to consider the potential health risks faced by those workers who make the 10 billion doughnuts produced every year in the U.S.[i]. Lest you think we are killing your doughnut-induced sugar buzz, you should know that the first National Doughnut Day was created for workers.  The Salvation Army created the day in 1938 to “honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.”[ii]

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