Archive | July, 2013

Protect Yourself During Earthquakes, Wherever You Are!

17 Jul

In three months, October 17, 2013 we all will practice how to be safe during earthquakes at home or work as part of the Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill. The following advice comes from The Earthquake Country Alliance. You can learn more at:

When away from home, either for work or for vacation, you may be in unfamiliar areas and uncertain about local emergency procedures, so it is especially important to learn how to protect yourself.

Protect yourself during earthquakes, wherever you are!
Preparedness experts in most areas of the world agree that the best way to reduce injury and death during earthquakes is to:
• DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
• Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table (or against a wall with your arms covering your head/neck), and
• HOLD ON to your shelter and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.
This is the basic procedure for most people in most situations. Whether at home or when traveling, consider your unique situation or location as you may need to do something different to avoid being injured. Your goal is to get as low as possible, protect your head and neck, and move away from windows that may break or other items that can fall on you. Here are suggestions for certain situations:
In bed: Stay in bed and protect your head with a pillow. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to another location.

In a wheelchair: Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. If possible protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

In a store: Being next to a shopping cart or getting inside display racks can provide some protection. To get away from heavy items on high shelves, drop to the ground first and crawl only the shortest distance necessary.

Outdoors: Move to a clear area if you can safely do so; avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles, and other hazards.

Driving: Pull over to the side of the road, stop, and set the parking brake. Avoid bridges, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.

Preventing Common Musculoskeletal Injuries

12 Jul

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, MSDs accounted for more than 33 percent of all workplace injury and illness cases, and workers with MSDs required a median of 11 days away from work to recover, compared to a median of 8 days for all types of injuries.
Workers in the following occupations are at particularly high risk for MSDs:
• Nursing assistants
• Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
• Janitors and cleaners
• Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
• Registered nurses
Common risk factors for MSDs include:
• Overexertion
• Awkward or non-neutral postures or movements
• Repetitive motion
• Vibration
• Forceful movements
Back injuries are the most common, accounting for 41.8% of MSDs in 2011. To help prevent back injuries, educate your workers about safe lifting practices. Workplace wellness programs that encourage physical fitness and a healthy body weight may also help to reduce back injuries.
Shoulder injuries accounted for just 13% of MSDs in 2011, but tended to be the most severe, requiring a median of 21 days away from work to recover. Light stretching, the use of lifting and gripping aids, and frequent short rest breaks can help to minimize the risk of shoulder injuries.
For more information about dealing with these issues for your company, contact Don Dressler Consulting at