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Reducing workplace injuries caused by moving objects

Louisiana employees who work in retail establishments are often be at risk for workplace injuries while carrying and moving objects, such as from a delivery bay to the sales floor. There are ways that these employees can protect themselves from these injuries by modifying their work practices and using tools designed to reduce strains and other injuries. These transport and lift-assist devices exist to not only ease the load on workers but also to increase productivity by requiring fewer people to transport objects.

Approximately one-third of incidents involving injuries or illness in the workplace were from musculoskeletal injuries in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health stated that people who work retail and wholesale are more likely to experience musculoskeletal injuries. NIOSH has created a resource for these types of workers in this regard. Part of the outlined strategies include steps for creating an action plan to decrease work-related injuries linked to people manually moving objects and materials.

These types of resources are one way to identify areas that need improving. Workers should bring attention to places where they think risk exists. The next step is to prioritize what to improve first. This might mean targeting areas where injuries are most frequent. Making improvements is the third step. Finally, follow-ups to determine whether solutions have decreased strain, fatigue and injuries is necessary for all implemented improvements.

People who are injured on the job regardless of steps taken by employers to reduce risk might need workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. An attorney who has experience in this area can help an injured client with the preparation of the required claim.

Source: EHS Today, "Working in the ‘Power Zone’ (and Other Safe Material Handling Tips for Retailers)", Josh Cable, December 01, 2014

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