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I thought this article had some particularly great tips for people regarding being safe during the July 4th holiday.
1) Be a safe swimmer. Water sports and fireworks are two of the biggest pastimes for Fourth of July celebrations, and these are both linked to numerous deaths and injuries each year. Never swim alone, and make sure that kids’ water play is adequately supervised at all times. Many drownings occur when parents and other adults are nearby, so always have a designated chaperone for water play and don’t assume that others are watching the kids. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes.
2) If fireworks are legal in your community and are a part of your celebration, be sure to store and use them safely. Keep the kids away from the fireworks at all times, and keep spectators at a safe distance. Attending fireworks displays organized by professionals is always safer than trying to put on your own show.
3) Use alcohol responsibly. Alcohol and fireworks can be a hazardous and dangerous combination. Also, have a designated driver to bring partygoers home from the festivities. Remember also that alcohol and swimming can be as dangerous as drinking and driving.
4) Review safe boating practices, and don’t drink and drive your boat. Lakes, waterways, and seas will be crowded with boats. Alcohol consumption while operating boats or other motorized water vessels is illegal, and you can be arrested for a BWI (boating under the influence!). Be sure that you have an adequate number of life preservers on hand for extra guests. Become familiar with the boating laws in your area.
5) Cover food and beverages outdoors to discourage bees and wasps from attending your party. If someone is allergic to insect stings, you should have an emergency anaphylaxis kit on hand. Wearing shoes, long sleeves, and long pants outdoors and avoiding fragranced body products, bright colors, and sugary drinks can also help prevent bee stings.
6) Apply sunscreen both before and during an outdoor party. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause both premature aging and skin cancer in the long term, and a painful burn the next day. Even those with darker skin should use a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology.
7) Check prescription medications you are taking to assure you will not have a sun-sensitizing drug reaction to the medication. Check prescription medications you are taking to assure you will not have a sun-sensitizing drug reaction to the medication.
8) If you’ll be hiking or camping in an area where ticks are abundant, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks or boots to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases. For your skin, you can use a tick repellent with no more than 30% DEET according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Products containing DEET should not be used on children less than 2 months of age and should not be applied to the hands or face of young children. Check yourself (and your pets) for ticks at the end of the day.
9) Spend adequate time indoors or in the shade and drink plenty of fluids to avoid heat illness in extremely hot climates. The risk of heat illness is increased when participating in strenuous activity or sports, and those with chronic medical conditions and the elderly are also at an increased risk of heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. Alcohol consumption can also promote dehydration and increase the risk.
10) Keep children away from campfires and grills. Gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks can be a cause of grill fires and explosions.
11) Don’t leave the picnic spread out all day. Allowing food to sit in outdoor temperatures can invite foodborne illness. The U.S. FDA suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 F and not more than two hours at other times. Foods that need to be kept cold should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezing packs and held at a maximum temperature of 40 F. While mayonnaise and other egg dishes are often associated with food poisoning, any food can potentially become contaminated. Adequate hand washing and food preparation can also help prevent food poisoning.
Lowering Workers’ Comp Claims:
Integrity Assessment Use Lowers Claims of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation claims are significantly lower for employers conducting pre-employment integrity testing, according to a recent research report by the Journal of Business and Psychology. The April 2011 study compared screened vs. unscreened workers in the service, manufacturing, and health care industries and examined the effectiveness of using an integrity test to reduce the frequency and severity of worker compensation claims.
The researchers collected data from four different companies in four industries and found the same results in each company. After each company began using an integrity test in it’s hiring process, they found that over the next year those who had been screened with the integrity test had a significantly lower percent of worker compensation claims than those who had been hired before the integrity test screening began, even though accident statistics consistently show that new hires normally have the highest accident frequency rates.
According to the study, the average cost per employee was dramatically less, plus the average cost per accident was also lower. The average cost per claim for the screened group was only 67% as much as the unscreened group – which is substantial enough for employers to justify screening all their job applicants.
These results strongly support the idea that an integrity test would be expected to make a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of worker compensation accidents.
Flexicrew uses a 100 point integrity test in all of our hiring decisions. We help you make a better choice in your employees.
Am I In Danger?
You are at risk from falling objects when you are beneath cranes, scaffolds, etc., or where overhead work is being performed. There is a danger from flying objects when power tools, or activities like pushing, pulling, or prying, may cause objects to become airborne. Injuries can range from minor abrasions to concussions, blindness, or death.
How Do I Avoid Hazards?
|Power Tools, Machines, etc.
|Cranes and Hoists
Since 2008, most Americans have struggled right along with a lagging economy. But job growth through the staffing industry has helped fight both unemployment and underemployment.
More than 2.91 million people are employed by staffing agencies every business day, according to the American Staffing Association. A total of 11.5 million contract employees are hired by staffing firms every year, 80 percent of them working full time.
Four out of five clients believe staffing firms provide a good service in finding people who can become permanent employees.
Among other benefits of contract work, the staffing industry offers employees a path to permanent employment, according to the Association. Workers benefit, too, as 88 percent of contract employees believe that working in a temporary or contract position made them more employable overall.
Flexibility a growing desire among workers
Some staffing opponents say that the lack of permanency for contract employees adds stress to their situation, but many workers believe differently. Most surveyed employees cite that the added flexibility in projects and daily work is seen as a plus. An amazing 23 percent outright prefer the shifting responsibilities of contract work to traditional employment, according to the Association’s figures. A third of staffing employees said they enjoy the challenges of tackling different jobs .
Flexicrew wants to recognize all those who make an impact to our nation’s workforce and economy as a contract worker. We are proud to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, which account for:
In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls.
Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your employees.
1) Create Good Housekeeping Practices
Good housekeeping is critical. Safety and housekeeping go hand-in-hand. If your facility’s housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be a higher incidence of employee injuries, ever-increasing insurance costs and regulatory citations. If an organization’s facilities are noticeably clean and well organized, it is a good indication that its overall safety program is effective as well.
Proper housekeeping is a routine. It is an ongoing procedure that is simply done as a part of each worker’s daily performance. To create an effective housekeeping program, there are three simple steps to get you started
2) Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Walking surfaces account for a significant portion of injuries reported by state agencies. The most frequently reported types of surfaces where these injuries occur include
Traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably when weather conditions change. Those conditions can then affect indoor surfaces as moisture is tracked in by pedestrian traffic. Traction control procedures should be constantly monitored for their effectiveness.
Indoor control measures can help reduce the incidence of slips and falls.
3) Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
Injuries can also result in from trips caused by obstacles, clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entranceways and stairwells. Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective control measure in avoiding the proliferation of these types of hazards. This means having policies or procedures in place and allowing time for cleaning the area, especially where scrap material or waste is a by-product of the work operation.
4) Create and Maintain Proper Lighting
Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents.
5) Wear Proper Shoes
The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated to avoid slips, trips and falls. Shoelaces need to be tied correctly. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees are expected to wear footwear appropriate for the duties of their work task.
6) Control Individual Behavior
This condition is the toughest to control. It is human nature to let our guard down for two seconds and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstructs the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common elements in many on-the-job injuries.
It’s ultimately up to each individual to plan, stay alert and pay attention.
This week’s focus – Prescription Drug Abuse.
Please take a few moments to inform yourself of the dangers and how it affects all of us.
June is National Safety Month and we want to see our employees working safely on the jobsite and of course show it off on our Facebook page. As our recruiters conduct random site audits and jobsite visits, we’re going to be snapping a quick picture of one employee or a small groups who are working safely.
Photos will be judged by a committee. Contest will last from June 1- June 30 and winners will be announced July 7th.
1st PLACE:$25 Gift Card-Contract Employee(s) in Photo
2nd PLACE: $20 Gift Card-Contract Employee(s) in Photo
3rd PLACE: $10 Gift Card-Contract Employee(s) in Photo
What is an “On-site” and how can your business benefit?
The On-site management program looks different for every company. It might consist of simply checking in employees and getting them assigned to lines at the start of each shift. It could be as extensive as a full time on-site representative, handling all staffing, timekeeping and disciplinary actions. The extent of the program is determined by your company’s individual situation.
Do you need a more thorough, comprehensive hiring program than you are willing and/or able manage?
The Flexicrew on-site program begins with a 3 part investigation in order to understand your company’s needs. With information from your key internal staff members, Flexicrew designs a hiring program that fits with your requirements and workplace culture. Understanding your issues and how your company operates and then building a solid partnership is key.
Following are some benefits clients with on site programs have experienced:
”Working with Flexicrew has been great. The service department is like none other than we have worked with. Response time and customer support are outstanding. These guys will keep you up and running.”
What exactly is an on-site management program?
It is a program that helps you manage your supplemental staffing needs or assists you with overwhelming hiring needs. The program can simply assist you in coordinating supplemental staff at the start of a shift or can be as extensive as a full time coordinator(s) handling an entire hiring program.
Do we have to provide the office space and equipment?
In some cases the client company does need to provide a work space, but for less extensive programs it might only require Flexicrew to manage the staff in the lunch room or by the timeclocks. If the program requires a full time on site representative, Flexicrew will provide computers and other office supplies, but will work with you on the best way to set up the partnership.
Why use an on-site management program rather than just hiring employees myself?
• More time for your supervisors to concentrate on their core business activities
• Reduced turnover due to our screening process
• Increase in production rates
• Flexibility, as we can ramp up or down very quickly
• Save money by not having to keep staff on in downtimes
Do we pay for the on-site recruiter?
You are billed for the employees we place, either at an hourly rate or a direct hire fee depending on our agreement. The onsite recruiter/coordinator is part of the program and as a standard is not directly charged to your company.
When it comes to protective footwear on the job, no single work boot meets the needs of all employees. Every jobsite or work environment is different, and different occupations require distinct, purpose-built features. Whether you purchase PPE directly for employees, offer them vouchers or facilitate on-site mobile truck visits, it is imperative that you coach your workers on the proper foot protection for their specific working conditions.
To help guide you and your team to the right footwear, here are 14 common occupations and some key features to look for in work boots for each:
Bricklayers/Masons. Look for 6-to-8-inch lace-up boots for ankle protection and support and cushioned outsoles/footbeds for comfort on concrete. Select boots with oil-tanned leathers for resistance to lime and calcium.
Carpenters. For these workers, seek boots featuring a welt outsole with shank and defined heel for climbing ladders. Choose boots with waterproof leather for outdoor work.
Plaster/Drywall Contractors. These specialists often wear boots with wedge outsoles for traction. You may extend the life of these boots with toe armor or boot bumpers. Choose oil-tanned leathers for resistance to lime and calcium.
Construction Workers. These craftsmen need tight-grain, oil-tanned leather for resistance to hydraulic fluid and wet/dry cycles outdoors. Select harder soles for rough duty, with proper tread for uneven terrain.
HVAC Professionals. Like construction workers, HVAC technicians perform at multiple sites and in varying conditions throughout the day. Look for boots that are waterproof for outdoor conditions with cushioned outsoles/footbeds for comfort on concrete. Also, choose boots with flat outsoles that don’t track dirt when going into and out of homes.
Farmers/Ranchers. These individuals should seek pull-on or lace-up boots for ankle protection and support. Look for oil-tanned, waterproof leathers for exposure to wetness and fertilizers. Farmers and ranchers working in rough and tumble environments should select boots with a more aggressive tread for traction.
Truck Drivers. Choose boots with lighter weight leather for flexibility and comfort while driving, and harder soles that wear better on metal steps and asphalt. Cushioned outsoles/footbeds reduce shock absorption.
Electricians. Electrical hazard protection is, of course, a must. Beyond that, electricians should look for boots with a welt sole and shank, and a defined heel for climbing ladders. Cushioned outsoles/footbeds add comfort on concrete.
Landscapers. Oil-tanned, waterproof leathers stand up to exposure to fertilizers. Landscapers should choose boots with strong heel counters to reduce walkover in wet, uneven terrain. Look for flat tread, wedge outsoles that won’t tear up new installations.
Mechanics and Machinists. Select boots or shoes with oil/slip-resistant urethane outsoles for traction, and direct-attach or sealed-welt construction for resistance to petroleum products.
Well Drillers. Consider logger-style lace-up boots with strong waterproof leather for wet conditions. Hard outsoles with deep cleats are ideal for grip in loose soil.
Plumbers. These specialists should seek boots with waterproof leathers, supporting shank and defined heels for climbing ladders. Flat soles pick up less dirt and are ideal for going into and out of homes.
Safety precautions for cold weather work: More than just clothes
“There is no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing.” ~Norwegian Proverb
While wearing proper (clean, dry and insulated) clothing is crucial for working outdoors in cold weather, it’s not the only precaution you need to take. There are many less obvious preventative measures you should take to ensure a safe work site in cold weather.
Bulky clothing tends to limit one’s mobility, causing falls and other accidents. Be aware of your surroundings and adjust your work style according to your extra clothing.
Dehydration is often overlooked; the importance of wearing protective clothing is always encouraged, but many forget the importance of drinking water. Wearing multiple layers of clothing causes workers to sweat, even in the cold temperatures. Pumping extra fluids is necessary, but also make sure they’re the right ones. Coffee may look like the best option – warm with a boost – but caffeine is a diuretic. Drink water, and lots of it.
Speaking of caffeine – other beverages, such as soda and energy drinks, shouldn’t be consumed in excess while working in cold weather. While tired employees run a greater risk of getting injured on the job site, these drinks make you jittery and cause you to crash once the caffeine wears off.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers advice to employers and employees on taking necessary precautions to prevent and treat cold-related health problems:
i. “Could you tell me about yourself?” In just one minute, you need to make clear why you’d be a great person for the job.
ii. “What’s your greatest weakness”? Some employers are now using a variation of that: “What do you suck most at?” The informality makes you more likely to respond honestly.
iii. “Could you tell me about a problem you solved?” You need a one-minute story that showcases how your skills, ability or drive would be valuable in your target job.
iv. The question you fear most. Of course, it’s different for each applicant. Examples: “Why did you leave your previous employer?” “Why have you been unemployed so long?” Or it may be a technical question that would reveal that your skills for the job are marginal.
Practice these. Know what you’re going to say beforehand and you’ll be better prepared at some of these interview than your competition!
Each day in some form or fashion you do lifting in this facility and at home. Lifting safely is one the most important things you can do to protect your back throughout your lifetime.
Back Strain and Back Injury Cause Serious Pain and Disability
The back supports the body. One wrong move or repeated stress on weak back muscles can cause pain and injury.
• Back injuries are one of the most common causes of work-related disability.
• Back pain is the second-leading cause of lost work days, after the common cold.
• Once back strain occurs, it often returns.
• Back injury often requires extended bed rest and, in some cases, surgery.
Personal Habits Can Make Back Injury More Likely
You’re more likely to have a back injury if you’re in poor physical condition, overweight, under stress, have poor posture, or overexert yourself.
• Regular exercise can strengthen back and stomach muscles.
• Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.
• Sit and stand straight; poor posture strains the back.
• Be realistic about what you can carry and what you can do; overdoing can cause lasting damage.
Gravity never forgets. As soon as you set foot on the ladder’s first rung and pull your body off the ground, gravity works to bring you back to earth. Therefore, it’s no surprise that ladder safety begins from the ground up.
Start with a good foundation
Proper ladder setup will help prevent slips and falls. Place the base on a firm, solid surface. Avoid slippery, wet or soft surfaces. If you must put the ladder on a soft surface, place a board under the ladder’s feet to provide firm footing. Make sure the top of the ladder has firm support as well.
Never lean a ladder against a window pane or other unstable surface. If you’re using a straight or extension ladder, the angle of the ladder is the next critical safety factor. A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it rests against for every 4 feet of ladder height. For example, if the ladder is 4 feet high, the bottom of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the support surface.
If you use a ladder to access a roof or platform, make sure the ladder extends at least 3 feet over the roof or platform edge. Be sure to securely fasten straight and extension ladders to the upper support. If you have angled the ladder properly and still have doubts about its stability, have someone hold the ladder before climbing up.
If you’re using a step ladder, be sure to open it completely before you climb. If you have to use a step ladder near a doorway, lock or barricade the door and post signs so no one will open it and knock you off the ladder.
Climb with care
Never climb with equipment in your hands. Use your pockets, equipment belt, or a tool pouch and raise heavy objects with a hand line. If you forget something, always climb down the ladder to retrieve it yourself; don’t have someone toss it up to you. And never ask someone to climb up your ladder to give you supplies. It is dangerous to exceed the weight limits that a specific ladder can handle.
When you descend a ladder, practice the same safety rules. Face the ladder, keep your body square and hold on to the rungs. Lastly, step off at the bottom rung of the ladder. Never jump off of a ladder.
Think before you carry
Before you start to haul a ladder around, evaluate the area where you’ll be working. Ladders can be heavy and unwieldy. You can strike another person or object, or hit electrical power lines. Make the ladder as compact as possible before transporting it. Carry it horizontally while tilting it higher in front and lower in back. If the ladder is particularly long and heavy, get a coworker to help you carry it.
Follow the rules
Experts also warn about ladder use in bad weather. Descend immediately if high winds, rain or other inclement weather begins. Wind force can blow you off the ladder. Rain can make the rungs and the ground slippery. Bitter cold can make metal ladders more brittle and can cause other structural damage. If you encounter bad weather while on a ladder, do not speed up to finish the job and risk injury. Wait to finish the job until conditions are once again safe.
Remember, don’t let gravity get you down. Practice ladder safety rules every time you climb to make your work easier, faster and safer.
We are having a lot of eye injuries, debris getting in and causing pain and irritation. Does Flexicrew have any new ideas on how to avoid this?
Great question! We were dealing with this very same issue recently.
The answer might weirdly enough be – SPOGGLES.
So, for those of you not in the environmental health and safety field, Spoggles is an industry term for safety eyewear designed to prevent airborne dust and debris from getting in our eyeballs. Airborne dust and debris is a leading cause of eye injuries in today’s workplaces.
Spoggles = Safety + Goggles, with a random “p” thrown in there since “sgoggles” or “sagoggles” or “safoggles” sound even weirder.
The glasses/goggles are supposed to seal up against your face (via the foam inserts at the interior edges of the lenses), and keep dust out of your eyes. There are potential issues with spoggles, and reasons why people sometimes choose not to wear their personal protective equipment (PPE) when doing work in a dusty environment:
But looking nerdy and having to take care of your PPE and using good personal hygiene while at work are a small price to pay compared to losing your eyesight or getting a nasty infection in your eye from contaminated dust.
So our Flexpert’s advice – Keep a supply of spoggles on hand. With some lanyards. And some no-fog.
And to sum up: spoggles are real. Spoggles are good. Spoggles may save your eyesight. Wear them if you have them.
What is “payrolling?” and how can it help my business?
Flexicrew works with many businesses who have chosen not to bring on an employee as a company hire, rather they “payroll” the employee through us. That means that Flexicrew is the employer of record and manages all payroll expenses such as taxes, unemployment, and worker’s compensation.
Payrolling works well when there are large projects with a specified time frame. You know the employees that you like and trust and you want them on that project because you can trust that they will do the job right. But bringing them on permanent to your payroll isn’t an option. Flexicrew will hire these employees and send them to work for you in a seamless transaction. This situation usually costs a fraction of what a normal recruited staffing arrangement would cost.
Payrolling also allows your company to bring back the skills of experienced former employees or retirees and utilize the services of consultants, interns or specialized independent staff without legal worries.
Flexicrew’s payroll solutions can be your perfect alternative to downsizing. You can continue to utilize the valuable skills of your employees while they remain on our payroll. We will provide your company’s payroll, record keeping, filing of insurance claims and government reporting- for one or one hundred employees for days, weeks, months or longer.
Find out more? Call Flexicrew 866.720.FLEX (3539)