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Archive for the ‘Gribbins News’ Category

Annual Field Meetings Featured Local Flavor

This year, our Annual Field Meetings for Gribbins Insulation had a local focus, taking place at each field site during the months of August through October. The gatherings provided opportunities for management and field employees to share a meal as well as conversation. Topics discussed included company updates, upcoming projects, in addition to the status of both the union medical fund and the pension fund. Jim Gribbins, Founder and President, along with Area Managers, Safety Department personnel, and Vice Presidents were present at each event. Jim expressed his appreciation for all team members who attended.

Venues and Turnouts:

August 30: Lunch with the Lilly Team at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis (30 attendees)

August 30: Dinner with the Local 51 Team at the Louisville Bats game (20 attendees)

September 19: Evansville Team met for dinner in the Dakota Room at Gribbins Headquarters (60 attendees)

October 2: Marathon Team lunch in Robinson, Illinois (25 attendees)

October 2: Terre Haute Team dinner at the legendary Rick’s Smokehouse (25 attendees)

October 3: Calvert City Team dinner (20 attendees)

Indiana Governor’s Workplace Safety Award

On March 23, 2016, Gribbins Insulation was honored with the Indiana Governor’s Workplace Safety Award for Innovations in Construction. It is the fifth time since 2010 that Gribbins has received the award.Governors Safety Award 2016

From the Indiana Department of Labor:
Employee involvement is the backbone of the company’s workplace safety and health efforts.  Gribbins has demonstrated effective employee involvement in many areas that include its Surveying At-risk For Elimination Program or “SAFE” for short. Employees are introduced to SAFE during new hire orientation. Employees are trained to conduct observations while working in the field. The company also uses employee safety surveys to gain feedback on the company’s safety and health programs and efforts and to “test” employee knowledge of policies and procedures.
The company’s three-year total recordable case rate is nearly 84% below its national industry average.

The Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards were announced at the annual Safety and Health Conference and Exposition held at the Indiana Conference Center in Indianapolis. The awards were presented to 8 Hoosier companies by Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick J. Ruble.
Commissioner Ruble emphasized, “There is no greater achievement as a business or organization than ensuring all employees go home safely at the end of the workday.”
Accepting the award from Commissioner Ruble were  JD Smothers, Gribbins Vice President, and Trevor Atherton, Gribbins Safety Manager. A list of all winners can be found here.

Safety Manager to present at Indiana’s Largest Safety Conference

Trevor.Gribbins5x7.LoResWebOn Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Trevor Atherton, CSP, CHST, CRIS, will present at the 2016 Indiana Safety and Health Conference and Expo at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.  Backed by the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers and in partnership with INSafe/Indiana Department of Labor, the event is one of the largest safety conferences in the Midwest.  To register, visit the official conference website: http://www.insafetyconf.com/

As the Safety Manager at Gribbins Insulation, the subject of Trevor’s Wednesday morning presentation will be “Behavior-Based Safety in Construction” including:

  • Focus on a peer-to-peer behavior-based safety process
  • Review the development phase of Gribbins Insulation’s behavior-based safety process to today
  • How employees conduct observations and how the data gathered are relayed back to employees

See page 8 of the conference agenda.

Gribbins Insulation’s behavior-based safety process is known internally as “SAFE” – Surveying At-Risk for Elimination.  Accredited by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, this peer-to-peer behavior based safety observation program provides our safety department and management with insight into what employees are really seeing on the jobsites.  Employees are trained how to complete the observations and earn safety incentive points for participation.  The safety department documents and tracks all surveys, providing feedback to our field employees and management through monthly safety bulletins and the BBS Committee meeting, comprised of safety representatives and field personnel.

The SAFE program is just one part of Gribbins Insulation’s overall commitment to safety as a company value.  With our dedicated safety manager and three safety coordinators, our safety program is one of the best in our industry.  In addition to our many safety awards, our performance speaks volumes:

  • EMR of 0.60 as of May 1, 2016
  • EMR below .77 for over 15 years
  • Zero Recordables in 2013
  • Recordable Case Frequency Rate below 3.0 since 2002

Gribbins Leaders Featured on the Cover of EHS Today

Jim Gribbins, president and founder of Gribbins Insulation, Gribbins vice president Brian Willett, and Gribbins safety manager Trevor Atherton are featured on the cover of the June issue of EHS Today magazine. The trio was named to EHS Today’s annual top 50 Leaders list of the “individuals whom the editors of EHS Today feel had the most impact on occupational safety, health, the environment, and risk management in 2012-13.” The full article may be viewed online here.

Trevor Atherton, Jim Gribbins, and Brian Willett on the June 2013 issue of EHS Today

Trevor Atherton, Jim Gribbins, and Brian Willett on the June 2013 issue of EHS Today

EHS Today is the premier worker and workplace protection publication and digital resource for American safety managers, covering vital environmental, health and safety best practices and compliance information. It has been the leader in coverage of the safety and health industry since its inception more than 70 years ago. EHS Today’s annual 50 Leaders list, Future Leaders list, and America’s Safest Companies awards are respected highlights of the health and safety industry.

About Jim Gribbins, President and Founder
Since founding Gribbins Insulation in 1985, Jim Gribbins has led his company to success by focusing on the core values of integrity, safety, quality, productivity, and innovation. A graduate of the University of Evansville and a leader in the industry, Gribbins is actively involved in numerous associations including board member for the National Insulation Association; Trustee and Executive Committee member for the National Asbestos Workers Pension and Medical Funds; and Charter Member and Board Member for the National Union Insulation Contractors Alliance. The Gribbins Insulation safety program has been honored with more than 25 safety awards since 2010. Jim Gribbins was selected as one of the National Safety Council’s 2012 CEOs Who Get It, along with the CEOs of Dow Chemical and Georgia Pacific.

About Brian Willett, Vice President
Brian Willett has more than ten years of success managing all types of commercial and industrial insulation projects during his tenure at Gribbins Insulation. After gaining experience as safety manager, purchasing manager and estimating manager, Willett was promoted to Vice President in 2008. With a Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health from Indiana State University, Willett developed the original, extensive Gribbins safety program and works directly with the current Safety Manager to continue its evolution as one of the best in the industry. 2013 awards include the MICCS “Crystal Eagle”; the Indiana Governor’s Workplace Safety Award; and the National Insulation Association Platinum Award.

Trevor Atherton, Safety Manager
As Gribbins Safety Manager since 2007, Trevor Atherton, Associate Safety Professional, has helped build the Gribbins safety program into one of the best in the industry. With a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management from Indiana University and multiple safety certifications and licenses, Atherton manages a team of five full-time safety coordinators, conducts new hire orientations, audits safety data and statistics, and routinely updates the Gribbins safety manual and policies. His efforts have brought much honor to Gribbins Insulation including local, state, and national safety awards as well as OSHA VPP Star Status at Gribbins’s Marathon jobsite in Illinois. Under Atherton’s leadership, Gribbins employees have worked without a single lost-time accident since October 2007.

Gribbins Wins the Crystal Eagle!

Crystal Eagle Photo 2013

Trevor Atherton, Safety Manager (center), and JD Smothers, Terre Haute Area Manager (right), accepted the prestigious Indiana construction award on May 2.

Gribbins Insulation was honored by the Metro Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety Inc. (MICCS) with the 2013 Excellence in Safety Award, better known in industry circles as the coveted “Crystal Eagle.” Gribbins Safety Manager Trevor Atherton accepted the award at the 20th annual MICCS Awards Banquet on May 2, 2013, at the Indiana Convention Center Sagamore Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.

Indiana construction companies of all sizes submit applications for the prestigious MICCS awards program, which then compete in categories with their peers. Each category winner is recognized as a Safety Leader and is then in contention for the “Crystal Eagle.” Gribbins Insulation, a MICCS-IDOL Certified Partner and the Safety Leader winner in the “Trade Partner Over 300,000 Hours” category, was chosen from the five Safety Leader winners for MICCS’s highest honor. As one judge stated, Gribbins Insulation won the Crystal Eagle because “they are taking behavioral safety to another level.”

Gribbins Insulation president and founder Jim Gribbins stated, “As an Indiana contractor for almost 30 years, we appreciate MICCS recognition of our program as a state leader. Our employees place safety in front of all actions, and this award honors each individual’s commitment.”

Gribbins Insulation consistently receives national recognition for its safety program. Other 2013 safety awards include the Indiana Governor’s Workplace Safety Award for Safety Innovation and the Platinum Safety Award from the National Insulation Association, the highest honor from the national trade association for mechanical insulation. In 2011, Gribbins Insulation was honored as one of America’s Safest Companies by EHS Today, and in 2012, the National Safety Council selected Jim Gribbins, president and founder, as one of eight CEO’s Who Get It.

The Metro Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety, Inc. (MICCS) is dedicated to the elimination of construction and facilities maintenance jobsite injuries and illnesses with the ultimate objective of returning construction and maintenance workers home to their families, friends, and communities free from harm. Learn more at www.miccs.org.

Click here to review a full list of Gribbins Insulation’s safety awards.

Contact Megan Knoll, Director of Marketing, with any questions.

Approved Contractor in ISNetworld, PICS Auditing, and Browz

Gribbins Insulation cherishes the opportunity to share information about our award-winning safety program. With an industry-leading TRIR of only .36 in 2012, our program is proven to help our employees work safer. (The TRIR average for our industry is 3.8.) When clients require contractors to complete a prequalification process, we understand that they value safety as much as we do. We are proud of our membership in several third-party prequalification systems. We continue to update our information in these systems to maintain our status as an approved contractor for all of the clients listed below.

Please note – This is only a list of our approved status in third-party systems.  We are approved for most of our clients through their own internal systems.

If you have any questions about this list or our information in these systems, please contact our Director of Marketing (and prequalification manager) Megan Knoll at mknoll@gribbins.com.

ISNlogo
ISNetworld
Featured contractor on ISNetworld
AK Steel
Chevron
International Paper
JBS USA – Pilgrims
Kellogg Company
POET
Rain CII Carbon

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PICS Auditing
Cummins

browz logo
Browz
Rio Tinto Alcan

Safety Management, Inc
Cargill

Gribbins Wins Toyota Safety Award

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., honored Gribbins Insulation with the Supplier Safety Award at the Annual Purchasing Policy Business Meeting for Indirect Suppliers on June 28, 2012, in Covington, Kentucky.

Gribbins Insulation was chosen for the prestigious Toyota Supplier Safety Award from among key indirect suppliers to its North American facilities.  Toyota selected Gribbins for this recognition because of their proven ability over the course of the previous year to meet, and in many cases exceed, the challenging safety expectations they face as a supplier to Toyota North America.

In addition to winning the overall Safety Award, Gribbins Insulation received nominations for the Quality Award as well as the Superior Performance Award, which reflects outstanding

Jim Gribbins is pictured with Kevin Butt, Toyota Chief Environmental Officer of Environmental and Safety Engineering

performance across all evaluation categories.  The award and nominations reinforce Gribbins Insulation’s commitment to its core values of integrity, safety, quality, productivity, and innovation.

In nominating Gribbins for these awards, Toyota provided the following comment received from one of its team members,  “When Gribbins is on the job, we know that we are going to get a top quality job and that all safety guidelines will be followed without us having to follow behind them or make frequent checks of their job site.”

Gribbins Insulation’s safety program consistently receives national recognition. At the end of May 2012, Gribbins employees achieved the remarkable milestone of working two million consecutive hours without a lost time accident – this encompasses almost five years of accident-free work. In April 2012, the National Insulation Association honored Gribbins with the Platinum Safety Award, its highest recognition, and in October 2011, Gribbins was included in the list of America’s Safest Companies in EHS Today.  As emphasized by president and founder Jim Gribbins, “There is absolutely no task that is so important that we might consider sacrificing safety, to even the slightest degree, in an effort to perform the task.”

Review a chronological list of all of Gribbins Insulation’s safety accolades.

Summer Safety Tip: Driving Safety

from the National Safety Council

Driving Defensively

Whether your employees drive a motorcycle, a slow moving farm tractor, an 18-wheel tractor trailer, or a high-performance sedan, they all can learn something from the drivers around them. Those who do drive a number of vehicle types may be the safest drivers on the road. Think about it. Though you may have driven alongside all or any of these vehicles, you can’t fully appreciate what it’s like to drive one unless you’ve been behind the wheel. Every driver’s view of the road, as well as the ability to stop suddenly or avoid a pothole, is different. A little information and patience can go a long way when you share the road with different sized vehicles. Drivers need to keep in mind the limitations and capabilities of all the vehicles around them. Motorcycles are small, fast and easy to maneuver on clean pavement. A motorcyclist can sometimes avoid potential collisions because motorcycles are easier to maneuver than other vehicles. However, motorcyclists also share the greatest risk of personal injury if they are involved in a collision. Slippery, wet or gravel conditions can be hazardous, so drivers of other vehicles should give motorcyclists their legal space on the road. While slow-moving vehicles such as combines or tractors cannot react quickly, the vehicle’s slow pace gives the driver the chance to plan how to react but they have little lane space to use.

Seeing is believing

Car and motorcycle drivers have better side vision than a truck driver. Truck and bus drivers can see more than cars and motorcycles when they look forward because they sit higher up. But the larger and longer the truck, the less the driver can see from behind. Car drivers often have no idea how large the blind spots are on trucks and buses. Just as a trucker can blind a fellow motorist with his high beams in oncoming traffic or from behind, the driver of a car can blind a truck driver. Be aware of the effect bright lights may have on other drivers. Cars have shorter stopping distances and, like motorcycles, greater maneuverability than trucks. With trucks, the heavier the truck, the more stopping distance it requires. If truck drivers try to stop suddenly the weight of a heavy load can force the truck forward. This makes it impossible for even the best of truck drivers to stop short. An unplanned emergency stop may also cause a jackknife. In this case, the cargo in the trailer causes it to skid alongside the tractor taking out the entire next lane and every vehicle in it. And because some truck have a higher center of gravity, it’s easier to roll a truck than a car if the truck takes a turn too quickly. To eliminate these situations, all drivers should avoid tailgating.

Defensive driving puts you in control

Since riding a motorcycle is far more dangerous than driving a car or truck, the National Safety Council suggests drivers put extra following distance between their vehicles and motorcycles. This means using a four or five second following distance. It is important to be careful around individuals who ride a motorcycle without a helmet or other protective equipment. To drive defensively, use a space cushion, make your vehicle visible to other drivers, and allow yourself time to make decisions.

When you drive near a slow-moving vehicle, the National Safety Council defensive driving courses suggest three tactics:

  • Stay back far enough to see around it
  • Don’t become impatient
  • When it’s safe to pass, give the vehicle plenty of room

Many trucks crash when backing. To avoid this, drivers should get out and check all sides to ensure there is ample clearance. On the road, drivers of smaller vehicles should recognize that a truck turning one way will sometimes first swing the other way in order to make the turn. Truck drivers must also be aware of hurried drivers.

To drive defensively around large vehicles:

  • Don’t drive in their blind spots
  • Don’t tailgate or cut in too soon after you pass
  • Don’t crowd the vehicle
  • Be prepared for wind gusts when you pass

Professional drivers of heavy trucks and tractor trailers know that their vehicles push a block of air ahead of them and around the sides, which causes a slight vacuum of air behind. Truckers call this turbulence. Inexperienced drivers, especially drivers of rental vehicles, may not know how to deal with the turbulence and could veer off the road or into on-coming traffic.

Navigating around nonprofessionals

Nonprofessional drivers require special consideration by other drivers. This is especially true of drivers of rented vehicles, such as people who rent trucks when moving. Renters may not be familiar with the size and feel of the rented vehicle, and can become fatigued from driving long periods of time. For instance, drivers of rented trucks may tend to operate the truck the same way the driver does a car. However, different rules can apply to trucks, as opposed to cars, when it comes to applying the brakes, necessary turning radius and overhead clearance. It is also a good rule of thumb that trucks should drive under the posted speed limit due to the increased braking distance needed if the truck is loaded. If you drive defensively, know and respect your vehicle and give courtesy to other drivers on the road, you’ll be able to share the road with vehicles of any size and drivers of all abilities.

The photo above was taken from the Safety Training Videos By Digital-2000‘s website.

Summer Safety Tip: Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls

From the National Safety Council

Hazards Hiding in the Dark: What to do When the Power Goes Out

When the power goes out unexpectedly in a home, the resulting darkness can bring about a number of hazards. Families can eliminate the odds of injury by knowing what to watch for and actions to take before power is lost. 

Electrical and fire hazards

One of the first actions a person should take when the power goes out is immediately shut off all unnecessary electrical appliances and equipment. Keep one light plugged in and turned to “On” to signal when power is restored. The National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, MA, recommends homeowners use flashlights instead of candles or glow sticks during power outages because candles, when left unattended, can easily ignite objects and lead to a home fire. (On average, a candle fire in the home is reported every 34 minutes.) According to the NFPA, nearly 3,000 people a year die in fires, and more than 80 percent of fatalities are a result of home fires.

The NFPA advises people to:

  • Keep batteries on hand to replenish flashlights.
  • Make sure the battery in your smoke detector is fresh, and test the detector to ensure it is working.
  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • If you do burn candles, make sure they are at least 12 inches away from any-thing flammable.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy and will not tip over.
  • Never use a candle in a home where medical oxygen is used.
  • Do not burn a candle all the way down to the holder or container.
  • Always blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Avoid use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

Extreme temperatures and carbon monoxide

Power outages caused by a thunderstorm or other weather-related event may last only a few hours. However, they sometimes can last longer. According to Dr. Alison Tothy, medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Department and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago, power outage injuries treated in emergency rooms often are the result of loss of electricity or gas due to an inability to pay utility bills. Still, accidental injuries during even a short-term power outage are a concern, she said. “Our biggest concern is extreme heat,” Tothy said. During the summer months, people often open windows and position furniture nearby to cool down. Unfortunately, what happens is children manage to climb on either a bed or chair and fall out the window, she said. “A lot of families think that screens are adequate protectors against falling out of windows but they’re not,” Tothy said. “People need to limit the opening of a window to no more than 4 inches.” Window clips or guards can be used to limit openings and still be easily removed in case of a fire.

Another hazard is the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning – often from using portable generators. Approximately 450 Americans died from unintentional CO poisoning from 1999 to 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 20,000 people visit emergency rooms and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO annually. Approximately 73 percent of these exposures occur in the home, and 41 percent occur during winter months (December to February). According to the Washington-based non-profit Safe Kids Worldwide, young children are more susceptible to CO and may experience symptoms sooner than a healthy adult. Due to their smaller bodies, children process CO differently than adults and may be more severely affected by CO in their blood. CO poisoning occurs when the exhaust from a generator is inhaled, and can lead to incapacitation or death in a matter of minutes. Common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, flushed or red complexions, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises families to exercise extreme caution when using generators during a power outage and offers the following safety tips:

  • Shut off all unnecessary electrical appliances and equipment.
  • Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up. Test them frequently and replace dead batteries.
  • Only run a portable generator out-doors with adequate ventilation. Never use a generator indoors or in attached garages. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not pre-vent CO buildup.

During the winter months, some families may use generators or open their ovens to heat their house, but doing so puts them at risk of CO poisoning as well as stove burns. If families find they cannot keep warm, they should leave the home and go to a rescue center, Tothy said.

Know what is safe to eat

While the urge to clean out the refrigerator and freezer to get rid of potentially rotten food might be strong during a power outage, the CDC advises using discretion before disposing all contents. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible, the CDC said. Thawed food that contains ice crystals or is 40°F or colder can be refrozen or cooked; however, items that should be thrown away include:

  • Food that has an unusual odor, color or texture
  • Food that may have come in contact with flood or storm water
  • Perishable foods that have been exposed to a temperature of 40°F or warmer for two or more hours
  • Canned foods that are bulging, open or damaged

Food spoilage is of particular concern for infants and young children who use milk formula-based products, Tothy said. She recommended parents limit the amount of formula they mix so as to only use the amount needed at the time, and keep the powder and water separate.

Use safe water

Safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene may not be available if water purification systems are not functioning when the power goes out. The CDC offers the following general rules concerning safe water:

  • Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or prepare baby formula.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash your hands.
  • Boil water for at least one minute to kill harmful bacteria and parasites.

Tothy warns that emergency water supplies also can present a drowning hazard. Some families who want to con-serve clean water will fill bathtubs, sinks or buckets with water and leave them. But doing so exposes children, especially toddlers, to the risk of drowning, she said.

Injury preparation

The National Safety Council advises families to maintain a first aid or emergency supply kit. First aid kits should include a triangle bandage, adhesive tape, adhesive bandages, burn treatment ointment, medical exam gloves, antiseptic towelettes and sterile dressing. Additional items can include antibiotic treatment, bandage compresses, absorbent compresses, roller bandages, eye coverings, eyewash, a cold pack, an emergency blanket, scissors, tweezers, disposable bags, waterless hand sanitizer and a barrier device.

The photo above was taken from Southern California Edison‘s website.

Summer Safety Tip: Ergonomics

From the National Safety Council

Ergonomics

Ergonomics involves designing and arranging workspaces so people work efficiently and safely. Ergonomics is used to evaluate how you do your work to identify any risk factors that might lead to injury, and then to find the best solution to eliminate or manage the hazard. Your capabilities and limitations are taken into account to ensure tasks, equipment, information and your environment suit you.

 

What are ergonomic conditions?

Ergonomic conditions are disorders of the soft tissues, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels, and spinal discs. If you experience pain or injury in your soft tissues, it might be caused by factors such as repetition, force, awkward postures, contact stress, or vibration and may develop over time. These types of injuries and pains are not caused by slips, trips, falls or motor vehicle collisions.

 

Ergonomics injuries 

Perhaps the most prevalent injuries in an office setting are related to ergonomics. Because office workers spend the bulk of their day seated at a desk and working on a computer, they are prone to strains and other injuries related to posture and repetitive movement. Ergonomics hazards can be difficult to detect. “Most office conditions that can be described as hazardous from an ergonomics perspective would appear quite innocuous to the everyday observer,” said Marc Turina, principal consultant for ErgoSmart Consultants in McKees Rocks, PA.

The following are steps that should be taken in order to be ergonomically safe in the office.

Provide Adjustable Equipment

One size does not fit all in an office workstation. “Adjustability is the key,” Turina said. “Chairs, work surfaces, monitor stands, etc., should all be adjustable in order to accommodate the widest range of employees.” He recommended presenting a variety of options to employees. Although employers may be reluctant to pay for expensive ergonomic equipment, experts insist the equipment is a wise investment. “A good keyboard tray may retail around $300; a good chair may retail around $500 to $700,” said Sonia Paquette, professional ergonomist and doctor of occupational therapy. She points out that the cost of the health claims that stem from not having these devices is much higher. “Some of these hard claims cost many tens of thousands of dollars just of medical treatment, let alone cost of replacement, absenteeism, loss of work production, etc.”

Train Workers on How to Use Equipment

Providing adjustable furniture and equipment is only the first step in creating an ergonomically sound workstation. “A big issue that I have encountered a lot lately is employee inability to properly adjust their own office chairs,” Turina said. “Many times, employers can invest $500 in an excellent adjustable chair, but employees still experience a bad workstation fit.” The problem often is twofold: Workers do not know how to adjust their equipment, and they do not know the most ergonomically beneficial way to set up their workstation. Train workers on both the ideal setup and how to operate adjustable equipment accordingly.

Keep Your Feet on the Floor

One of the first questions Paquette asks workers is whether their feet touch the floor when seated at their desk. “It sounds like an incredibly simple question,” she said, “but very often workers have their keyboard tray on the desktop, so in order to reach it, they need to jack up their chair so high that their feet can barely touch the floor.” She added that unless an employee’s feet are on the floor, a chair will not be able to reduce pain and discomfort. She recommended options such as adjustable keyboard trays or rolling tables adjusted to the proper height to eliminate this problem. Although footrests are a “second-best option,” their small surface may impede some of the worker’s movement.

Provide Document Holders

Frequently typing from hard copy can lead to neck strain if a worker is forced to repeatedly look down to the desk and back to the computer screen. Turina recommends providing document holders to reduce this strain. “These document holders are reasonably priced, and eliminate excessive cervical motion and help to prevent muscle imbalances,” he said. Document holders also are good for the eyes, according to the St. Louis-based American Optometric Association. Keeping reference materials close to the monitor reduces the need for your eyes to change focus as you look from the document to the monitor.

Correct Mouse Placement

Paquette often sees workstations where the computer keyboard is on a tray, but the mouse remains on the desk. “That spells disaster for the neck and shoulder on the side of that mouse,” she said. She recommends that the mouse always be placed beside the keyboard.

The picture above was taken from ergonomics-info.com.

President’s Message

2019 Safety Star Winners

Posted: 07/02/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Safety STAR winners from the first half of 2019!

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2018 Q1 Safety Stars!

Posted: 04/19/18 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Working at heights, training, possible asbestos, and even icicles!

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Toolbox Talk

2019 Safety Star Winners

Posted: 07/02/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Safety STAR winners from the first half of 2019!

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Heat Stress and Related Illnesses

Posted: 05/27/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Higher temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses. Learn to recognize the symptoms and catch them early.

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