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Injury Prevention On The Job

Posted by Andrew Greess on

Prevention: the act of preventing; effectual hindrance. The key to prevention is the word EFFECTUAL. It has an effect, it does something to change the situation. As the boss, it's up to you to be the effectual hindrance in  preventing on the job injuries of your technicians. If what you do has no effect on the way their job is performed then it doesn't do any good. 

We encourage the bosses to get out with their technicians and do the job with them. Learn in real time the obstacles they face and have maybe just grown accustomed to banging their hand when they crank in the hose reel. They shouldn't have to accept that injury is part of the job. A ride-along can show you areas in which your technician's rigs and their layout can be improved. 

Encourage your technicians to report issues and general "mundane" grievances to you. Remember to be open minded and listen if you are asking for their input – blowing off everything they comment on will only get you silence. If they don't like your response to them giving you honest feedback that the rig's layout gets them a nasty calf burn on more than one occasion they will stop telling you things you have the ability to fix. Part of being the boss is hearing and to fix the problems that happen within your company.

There is an old saying about putting the cart before the horse. I am a believer in this when it comes to buying the truck vs. figuring out the layout and dimensions of your equipment, THEN buying the truck. Sure, you can just  buy a rig and then have to find a way to jigsaw puzzle in all the important equipment. Or you can lay it out with each piece of equipment, figure out the best layout for ease of use and lowest risk of injury – then buy the truck that accommodates your needs precisely. 

Don't be afraid to look at other's examples of success and failure and use it to your own advantage!

Stay tuned for the next post on mitigating back strain:


Andrew Greess: These are the things I'm recommending you do for these kinds of acute injuries. The first thing is, if you're the boss, you want to encourage your technicians to report problems.

You're going to hear me say this a couple of times. We see technicians living with problems all the time, whether it be they're banging their hand, or can't reach something, or something is dangerous, or they're spilling on themselves, or whatever it is.

They live with problems either because they think they're going to get in trouble if they report it, or they think, "The boss has said the money is tight. I don't want to ruin his day by telling him we have to spend some money here," but if you're the boss, you want to encourage your technicians to report problems.

If you rip their head off when they report a problem, then you're never going to know about problems.

If you're the boss, you should be riding along occasionally. I mentioned the hose reel that the tech bangs his hand every time. If the boss rides along with the technician, the first time the boss bangs his hand, that's going to get fixed. The boss needs to ride along periodically with the technician to see what it's like to use that equipment.

There's a lot of good reasons to do it, but that's one.

If there's a significant risk, fix it now, and anything else, if it's small, then just keep a list of it and say, "Next time we buy a sprayer...Hey boss, next time we get a new truck, can we move this piece over half an inch this way? It will make my job easier. I would be a lot easier to get in here, I wouldn't bang my hand."

The less important or the less urgent stuff, just keep a list but don't forget about it. Don't make the same mistake over, and over, and over again. For new equipment, continuous improvement, steal ideas, you're at a meeting like this, at the break, see what other people are doing.

I promise you, when I leave, I'm going to that parking lot over there, and I'm looking at every one of your trucks. I'm going to look for ideas on ways to improve, and frankly, some of the pictures you've seen here have been taken in that parking lot over there.

Every time I do this presentation, I put more photos in it. You can improve your equipment by just stealing ideas from other folks.

The last thing is, and we see this a lot, is, plan it before you buy it. We have lots of customers who buy the truck and then say, "Put the equipment in," as opposed to coming to us first and saying, "Hey, this is what I want to do, can you make any recommendations?"

What we can do, for example, we can put equipment in a vehicle, not bolted down, just to see how it's going to look, or how it's going to fit. We can do a better job before things are irreversible, before all the equipment has been purchased. Does that make sense? Anyone still awake out there? Show of hands? OK, good.

If you missed the first 11 videos in the series, please check out those blog posts here:

Spray Equipment Safety Training Seminar Introduction

Rules for Spray Equipment Safety Seminar Discussion

What are the Safety Risk Seminar Topics?

Vehicle Equipment Security: Protecting Your Driver and Others

Vehicle Equipment Security Securing Your Backpack, Gas Can, Hose Reel

Learn Which Vehicle Equipment Areas to Inspect Carefully

A Quick Check Can Keep You Out of Hall of Shame

The Importance of Checking Your Rig and Proper Equipment

Importance of Proper Vehicle Load Stability

How to Avoid Cuts, Burns & Abrasions on the Job 

Preventing Slipping Injuries 

You can also check out the slides from the Spray Equipment Safety Seminar here:

For more information on Andrew Greess, visit https://www.qspray.com/