Standing at Work, History Through the Health Lens

Monday, November 13, 2017 4:41:14 PM America/Chicago

The health effects and ergonomic repercussions on the body can be disastrous to workers who spend a large amount of time on their feet standing, stooping, lifting and bending. We can look to history for all kinds of examples on how those who stood working for large portions of their lives were affected after an entire life span.

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Walking The Line In Auto Manufacturing

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 3:29:43 PM America/Chicago

Growth of the auto manufacturing industry has led to an increase in the number of workers who have experienced job-related injuries. The majority of those industrial athletes are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The stakes are probably not as high in compensation as a professional sport athlete that is injured, but with the twists, moves, pivoting, pulling, etc., that the industrial athlete performs, it could compare to that of the professional athlete. Perhaps even more as their “game time” performance is everyday performing on the job.

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Industrial Workplace Safety Resources You Need To Know About

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 11:28:31 AM America/Chicago

Industrial workplace safety is at the heart of every product that we manufacture. Our passion for workplace safety begins in our own place of business. We’re always on the search for helpful resources to help keep our employees safe while on the job. Here are a few industrial workplace safety resources we’ve found to be most helpful.

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Staggering statistics from the NSC on preventable workplace injuries

Monday, August 14, 2017 2:07:19 PM America/Chicago

In about one month at the NSC Congress and Expo we will join many others who offer (or are looking for) safety solutions in the workplace.  

As you will see in the infographic below, we have a long way to go when it comes to protecting workers from injury in the workplace. Our desire is to help businesses grow their bottom line and help workers improve their quailty of life by providing ergonomic flooring and matting that helps standing workers improve performance and fight fatigue.

We look forward to meeting you at the Expo in September! 

Journey to Safety Excellence
Provided by the National Safety Council

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National Safety Month Reminds Us To Be S.A.F.E.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 2:06:57 PM America/Chicago

The month of June is National Safety Month for the NSC (National Safety Council). National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. Its a great opportunity for industrial workers and employers to ask ourselves, ‘how can we help keep each other SAFE in the workplace?’

I started thinking about the word SAFE. The definition for safe is ‘uninjured; with no harm done. Secure from liability to harm, injury, danger, or risk: a safe place.’

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Why You Should Care About Anti-Fatigue And What To Do About It

Monday, May 15, 2017 1:42:41 PM America/Chicago

When we are exhausted, our alertness declines and we lose both mental and physical capacity. We tend to make mistakes that we would not normally make. As we tire, judgment in crucial situations is compromised, and we are simply not “ourselves”, and certainly not at our best. Read more about our industrial anti-fatigue solution...


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4 Effects of Long Term Standing

Monday, May 15, 2017 11:53:48 AM America/Chicago

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By Wearwell team member Dawn Niven

It’s 5 am somewhere... The alarm goes off, and an industrial athlete wakes to start another day of work. He is a standing worker in a manufacturing plant. He has been working in his job for several years. As he sits up and puts his feet on the floor. The familiar rush of pain ensues, feet, legs, back. The effects of long term standing. He lays back down and picks up the phone ... “I won’t be coming into work today”.

Wikipedia[1] identifies the complications and effects of long term standing as

“the conditions that may arise after prolonged time in a standing or upright position including standing, walking or running. Many of the complications come from prolonged standing (more than 60% of a work day) that is repeated several times a week.”  [2] There are many different jobs that require prolonged standing, retail staff, assembly line workers, hair stylists or laboratory technicians to name a few ...”

1. Varicose Veins

There are legitimate visible effects of long-term standing. Varicose veins for example, are veins that have become enlarged and twisted, and visible especially within the legs, ankles and feet. When standing, gravity pulls the blood downwards, and the body has valves that assist in pumping blood upwards. As blood is circulating through the body, the valves prevent the blood from flowing backwards. Prolonged standing can cause these valves to weaken and eventually fail, allowing the blood to flow backward, causing pools. The veins then expand to accommodate. The valves of the veins work best in concert with accompanying muscles. When the muscle contracts it helps to force the valve open and closed which in turn moves the blood up the leg. Prolonged standing where muscles are constantly strained weakens the muscle and resulting in less force of contractions. Varicose veins have been associated with chronic heart/circulatory disorders and hypertension.

2. Artery Disease

Other effects of long-term standing may not be quite as visible. Underlying to the circulatory Carotid Atherosclerosis (thickening of the major arteries in the body) can develop as it results in a change in the distribution of blood to the extremities. Along with blood pooling up, it also reduces the circulating of blood plasma volume. Atherosclerosis can lead to coronary or carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease, and aneurysms.

3. Joint Compression

Joint compression is a 3rd effect that is related to long-term standing. Significant pressure on the hips, knees, ankles and feet reduces the normal cushioning, resulting in tears of the Synovial joint. Plantar Fasciitis is similar, as the Plantar Fascia is a flat ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. Straining the ligament can cause tiny tears and it gets weak and swollen causing the bottom of your foot to hurt when you stand or walk.

4. Musculoskeletal Disorders

The 4th effect and probably the most common is MSD (Musculoskeletal Disorders). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has stated that muscle fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders account for "33% of all worker injury and illness"[12], and is the reason for this opening scenario of the industrial athlete. MSDs are often painful and disabling. They can require months or even years of treatment and in severe cases, permanent disability. Mostly they cause absenteeism and lost production in the workplace.

Industrial athletes: there are things you can do to prevent some of the devastating effects of long-term standing.

  • Stay conscious of their working position.

  • If feasible change positions frequently.

  • Footwear should ensure adequate arch and heel support.

If you are the employer of industrial athletes, look down. What type of floor is in the workplace? The type of flooring has an equal important influence. Hard, inflexible concrete is the worst surface for the standing worker. You may not be able to replace the concrete but you can install anti-fatigue mats with muscle pump theory or ergonomic tile flooring that provides some reflexability. The use of anti-fatigue mats may not eliminate all of the effects of long term standing, but combine with proper work design and footwear, it should improve the working conditions, especially because these types of products not only reduce fatigue but can improve safety by reducing slips and falls on slippery floors.

We can help you identify the best flooring for your workplace through our FREE SITE SURVEY

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Industrial Workplace Hazards: Part III: Preventing Falls In The Workplace

Monday, May 1, 2017 1:45:48 PM America/Chicago

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By Wearwell team member Dawn Niven

When most think of falls, they think of a fall from a higher elevation to a lower surface. When I think of falls, I recall a time, watching my kids learn to walk. Every fall they took you felt the pain as their hands, knees, or head hit the ground. You wished you had a pillow or other cushioned surface for them to land on. You may be able to think of a time when you fell. Would it have been nice if the surface you fell on had been cushion? The impact may have saved some of the pain, bruising, concussions that resulted from the fall.

According to Workers Compensation statistics from ITT-Hartford Insurance Company, “falls account for 16% of all claims and 26% of all costs. This compares to 33% of costs associated with sprains and strains.” Included in this are falls from heights and same level (the working surface) which are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths.

As you can imagine the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has several regulations to prevent falls. Guard rails, rope descent systems and personal protective equipment. In many cases, a same surface fall can occur and none of those regulations would have helped (unless you or your child wore kneepads, elbow pads, safety helmets all the time). In situations of a same surface fall, it is usually the result of a slip or trip, and the hardness of the surface, concrete, tile, resulted in how severe the injury.

Since most facilities have concrete, tile or other hard surface compounds for their flooring, it’s best to take a facility-wide approach to identify hazards. Formal walkways, entrances and workstation areas should be part of an audit. Solutions may be as simple as installing modular flooring with a pattern designed for traction or an entrance mat that dry or remove debris from a person’s shoe, to more invasive epoxy floor coatings.

Taking the time to do a Site-Survey of your facility is a great first step toward avoiding common injuries. Even though a same-level fall doesn’t seem to receive the same attention as a fall to a lower level, the results can be just a debilitating. A Site-Survey can help create a plan to proactively prevent falls. As a result it can help lower insurance premiums, lost work-time, creating a definite ROI.

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Industrial Workplace Hazards Part II: Preventing Trips

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 1:33:19 PM America/Chicago

One could state that avoiding trip hazards in the industrial workplace is easy. Keep walk areas clear. Simple enough. Although if it were that easy, 20% of all job related injuries would not be accounted to slips, trips or falls. There is the old adage “Watch where you’re going”!

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Industrial Workplace Hazards Part I: Preventing Workplace Slips

Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:06:32 PM America/Chicago

3 Areas To Reduce Industrial Hazards In The Workplace

The National Safety Institute reports that workplace slips and falls do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, but represent the primary cause of lost days from work (or in my case work and school). Additionally, slips are one of the leading causes for workers’ compensation claims, and are on the rise, due to migrating contaminants that are making concrete floors more slippery.

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