Management and Supervisors
Many companies provide training to the senior management team and supervisory staff prior to implementing any engineering or administrative controls. As a business owner or department manager, it is very important to have a higher level of understanding about ergonomic principles and how they relate to injury prevention and worker productivity. A Beacon Mutual ergonomic specialist can work with your management team to develop a customized PowerPoint training program that will educate your management staff on industry and site specific loss information, key ergonomic principles, risk factor identification, implementing controls, and more specialized training based on individual company needs.
Stretch for Safety Program
According to the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), “an aging and out of shape workforce has become a key driver of high worker’s compensation and healthcare costs. Integrating physical conditioning and health activity into the safety routine can help to reverse this trend”. In response to the growing trend of older, overweight and out of shape workers, the Beacon Mutual developed the Stretch for Safety Program. The program includes pre and post flexibility testing, training for team leaders and employees and all the required materials such as stretch cards and posters. If you would like to learn more about our Stretch for Safety Program please use the following link stretch for safety.
Computers or “input devices” in some form or another (desk tops, laptops, tablets, etc.) are now used by virtually every business in the United States. While most companies teach their workers how to use a computer, i.e. turn it on and off, most don’t teach their employees basic ergonomic principles of how to safely and efficiently set up and use their mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc. This lack of knowledge places workers at a greater risk for MSD injury and loss productivity. While there may be no single “correct” posture or arrangement of components that will fit everyone, there are some basic design elements that can put a worker on the right track to a more comfortable and productive work environment.
The Beacon Mutual’s “Office/VDT Training” Program typically involves 1 hour to 1.5 hours of lecture and hands-on demonstration using the workstations or equipment currently being used at your company. During the presentation, your ergonomic instructor will present the concepts of workplace stretches, i.e. “Stretch for Safety”, the basics of anatomy and posture and everything from A to Z as it relates to the proper placement and use of computer equipment and accessories such as footrests, palm rests and document holders. At the end of the presentation, there is always time for questions and answers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control “Healthcare workers often experience musculoskeletal disorders at a rate exceeding that of workers in construction, mining, and manufacturing. These injuries are due in large part to repeated manual patient handling activities, often involving heavy manual lifting associated with transferring, and repositioning patients and working in extremely awkward postures. The problem of lifting patients is compounded by the increasing weight of patients to be lifted due to the obesity epidemic in the United States and the rapidly increasing number of older people who require assistance with the activities of daily living.”
In response to this higher than average rate of injury, The State of Rhode Island passed a bill in 2006 titled: The Safe Patient Handling Act of 2006. This bill requires all hospitals and nursing homes to develop and maintain safe patient handling programs in their facilities.
The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, in an effort to provide its policyholders with guidance on safe patient handling, developed a healthcare specific Caregiver Training Program with the goal of increasing awareness among direct patient care employees (RN, LPN, CNA, MED TECH) on awareness of potential ergonomic hazards and controls to minimize their musculoskeletal injury exposure.
The Caregiver Training Program consists of two 45-minute modules or in-services which takes place at your facility. The modules can be delivered in one 90-minute in-service or two separate 45-minute in-services. Both modules can be further customized to meet the individual needs of your acute to long-term care facility.
Manual Material Handling
Back pain is one of the most commonly reported complaints in adults over 40 years of age. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “lower back injuries are the leading occupational injury in the United States” and it is estimated that over 140 million work days are lost to work because of back pain. According to the American Chronic Pain Association, the annual cost associated with back pain is estimated at over $100 billion a year.
Beacon Mutual’s “Healthy Back Training”, as it is referred to by many workers, is by far the number one requested ergonomics training program and as you see from the statistics above, it is for good reason. Beacon Mutual’s on-site training program typically involves 45 minutes to 1 hour of lecture and hands-on demonstration. During the presentation, your ergonomic instructor will present the concept of workplace stretches “Stretch for Safety”, the basics of anatomy and good posture, and of course proper techniques for everything from sitting to lifting. If your company has a special process or unique items that are handled by your workers, the instructor can customize the presentation to include demonstrations with those items as well as the basics. At the end of the presentation, there is always time for questions and answers.
Body Mechanics & Self Protection Modules
The Body Mechanics Module (45 minutes) instructs caregivers on how to address potential ergonomic hazards in the workplace while performing both manual material handling tasks such as making beds and handling food trays and safe patient handling skills such as repositioning in bed and sit to stand transfers. In addition to the body mechanics skills, all employees are provided with an overview of how to effectively incorporate our Stretch for Safety Program into their work day.
The Self Protection Module (45 minutes) instructs caregivers on several basic verbal and body positioning techniques to lower the risk of a workplace violence incident while interacting with potentially aggressive or combative patients.