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Were you aware that workplace safety is directly related to overall wellness?!  We want our clients to stay healthy and safe.  The more a company utilizes worker's compensation benefits, the greater the risk premium costs will increase for the individual and their employer.

In the workplace, unhealthy behaviors and chronic conditions can increase healthcare and workers' compensation costs.  Businesses pay an average of $2,189 in workers' compensation costs for smokers, versus $176 for non-smokers.  A 2007 study by Duke University found that workers who are morbidly obese filed 45% more workers' compensation claims than non-obese workers, had almost 13 times the number of lost work days, and had medical claims costs that are 7 times higher, and indemnity costs that are 11 times higher than non-obese workers.

By focusing on healthy habits and incorporating proper safety practices within the workplace, we can directly impact healthcare and workers' compensation costs.  In fact, workplace wellness programs that address chronic health conditions and support risk management safety initiatives have many potential benefits, including:
  • boosting employee morale
  • improving employee health
  • reducing medical plan costs
  • increasing productivity
  • reducing the frequency and severity of workers' compensation claims
To help you stay safe while on the job, Gaylin Peebles, HUMACare's Safety Consultant, has provided you with information on eye safety and proper use of fire extinguishers.

Eye Safety:

Did you know?!  One thousand eye injuries occur in American workplaces every day. These injuries are responsible for over $3,000,000.00 annually in medical, lost production, and workers' compensation costs!!

Why are eye injuries occurring?

  • 3 out of 5 of these injuries happen because the worker was not wearing any eye protection at the time of the accident.
  • About 40% of the injured workers were wearing some type of eye protection, but it was the wrong kind and failed to protect adequately. The leading cause in this category is the lack of side shields.
  • Accident studies reveal flying or falling objects and sparks as the cause in 70% of eye injuries. Nearly 60% of the objects causing eye injury are smaller than a pinhead.
  • Nearly 20% of all eye injuries are caused by contact with chemicals. This includes splashing or chemicals being sprayed directly into the eye.
  • 50% of the injured workers were employed in manufacturing. 20% were employed in construction.

What can be done to prevent these injuries?

Make sure the eye protection you have selected has side shields, fits properly, and is clean. One of the leading reasons for workers removing or not wearing eye protection is the lens became dirty and they could not see what they were doing.

Fire Extinguishers:

Extinguishers are classed by the type of fire they can put out.  Some extinguishers are combination types that can be used on several different types of fires. It is important that your facility has the correct fire extinguisher and that it is used properly when needed.

  • Class A:  Combustible material such as paper and wood.
  • Class B:   Fire involving flammable liquids such as gasoline, paint, diesel fuel or solvents.
  • Class C:   Fire started in electrical equipment by arching or overheating.
  • Class D:   Fire involving combustible metal powder, flakes or shavings.

How do you use a fire extinguisher?

Use the P-A-S-S method:

Pull the Pin
Aim at the base of the fire
Squeeze the handle
Sweep from side to side  

Smart safety rules:
  • Know where fire extinguishers are located.   
  • Use an extinguisher only if you have been trained how to use it.
  • Fire Extinguishers are for small fires in the early stages.
  • Stand 6-8 feet away from fire.
  • Never place a fire extinguisher upright unless you are holding it, if it falls over the nozzle can break off.
  • All fire extinguishers should have an inspection tag and a trigger seal and a pin.
  • After use, do not put a fire extinguisher back, it must be refilled before reuse.  
Byers, Janet.  Integrating Risk Management and Wellness Programs. http://www.pmacompanies.com/pdf/MarketingMaterial/ WellnessWhitePaper.pdf

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