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Your six safety stories… Olympic-style!

By Jay Zacharopoulos

Imagine what would happen if the Olympics and workplace accidents swapped roles…a world where work-related mishaps only happened once every four years. Meanwhile, the Olympic celebrations and competitions happened every day. Sounds good to us! In honour of the upcoming summer Olympics, we’re going to take a look at how our athletic heroes stay safe in the field and why it relates to staying safe in the workplace.

You don’t have to be an avid fan to notice that professional athletes work hard and commit hours upon hours of practice to their sport. This includes the proper pre and post activity actions such as warm-up/cool-down drills, stretching and game review. When at work, you should treat obstacles and dangers the same way a competitor treats his/her opponent. Ensure you reach your goal by analyzing the situation, understanding the task at hand, choosing the safest method and effectively executing the plan. Make sure you stretch to avoid muscle strains when lifting and always wear the proper PPE. After all, would a sprinter show up to the big race in flip-flops?

This week’s safety stories feature success and injury: the highs and lows of workplace safety.

  • 12 Million reasons to celebrate… Bechtel Corporation, an engineering/construction company, announced that workers at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant have worked more than 12 million hours without an injury.
  • A greater target… The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have announced its agencies will sign an agreement designed to jointly rebuild and strengthen the safety and health regulatory environment in Hawaii.
  • Preventable fall injures yacht builder… An employee of a boat-building company was seriously injured after falling four meters while installing a handrail at the top of a yacht. The company was fined $39,000 for failing to take the proper safety precautions.
  • A multilingual barrier… Proper communication plays a vital role in avoiding accidents and injuries. Take a look at how to overcome one of the biggest safety challenges in the workplace: the language barrier.
  • The reporting dangers safely…  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration have signed a memorandum to protect railroad employees from retaliation when they report safety violations, or work-related personal injuries or illnesses.
  • Changing the stats… Falls accounted for 264 fatalities and are the leading cause of death for construction workers. The sad part is most could have been prevented. Check out how to avoid common mistakes that lead to dire consequences.

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