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Ergonomic workplace solutions

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, publishes documents related to safety in the workplace. Workplace safety is essential for Texas workers in every industry, but stock movers, freight movers and laborers are among the most at risk for an on the job accident, particularly in the realm of musculoskeletal injury.

One NIOSH publication entitled "Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers" helps workers find easier ways to move containers which can greatly increase safety, whether by using equipment or modifying practices. The document is divided into three key sections. The first deals with better means of filling, emptying, lifting and lowering containers, while the second discusses ergonomic ways to move containers from one place to another. The third section focuses on alternatives to simply handling containers manually.

"Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers" details a step by step plan for implementing safer workplace practices. First the employer ought to assess the situation by reading through the OSHA 300 logs, discussing with employees and using NIOSH's Manual Material Handling Checklist. Next the tasks should be ranked according to priority, based on how often they lead to accidents, and improvements be implemented in the order thus determined. After the fact, employers need to review the situation and determine whether the changes made have minimized worker fatigue and injury.

When standards of workplace safety are not upheld, employees can get hurt. An injured worker should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer, particularly one who frequently deals with work injury cases. A lawyer can provide valuable advice, and represent the employee in a personal injury suit. The damages a worker can obtain in a lawsuit may often cover medical expenses and lost wages, plus compensation for pain and suffering.

Source: EHS Today, "Working in the ‘Power Zone’ (and Other Safe Material Handling Tips for Retailers)", Josh Cable, December 14, 2014

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