April 19, 2012
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Bi-monthly educational resource for schools served by SFM

Prepare for summer projects

Don't let the out-of-the-ordinary tasks of spring like moving furniture, cleaning, construction projects and extensive grounds work compromise the level of safety you've come to expect. Here are some ways to keep injuries and the costs associated with them under control.

1. Have a plan. Talk to the staff ahead of time about projects that require heavy lifting, for example. Offer alternatives like using carts, two wheelers, or a two-person lift. Review last year's plans and ask staff for practical ideas for improvement.
2. Educate supervisors. Supervisors need to understand the impact of injuries on the district's bottom line. Encourage your supervisors to:
  • Eliminate hazards. If a supervisor becomes aware of faulty equipment, he or she should remove that equipment from operation, for example.
  • Observe employees and offer feedback. Employees may unwittingly put themselves or coworkers at risk. It is the supervisor's responsibility to stop risky behaviors.
  • Report injuries immediately, no matter how minor.
3. Educate employees.
  • Ladder use. Tasks like cleaning, changing light fixtures and painting, may require ladder use. Train on proper use and inspection.
  • Deep cleaning. Employees may use hazardous chemicals while cleaning. Train on personal protective equipment and MSDSs.
  • Material handling. Increased risk for back injuries comes with moving furniture, supplies and other materials. Train on proper lifting techniques.
  • Equipment use and maintenance. Train on proper lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Slip-and-fall prevention. Falls are common during floor stripping and waxing and deep kitchen cleaning. Require appropriate footwear and signage.
  • Summer heat. Train on the signs of heat-related illness.

Early planning and involvement of staff is essential to ensure risks are controlled effectively.

Call your SFM Loss Prevention representative for more information on specific safety training or for assistance at (800) 937-1181 or (952) 838-4200.

Plan for National Safety Month in June

Each June the National Safety Council encourages organizations to observe National Safety Month. Since injuries occur on and off the job, this year's campaign will focus on how safety is a 24/7 endeavor.

Themes each week:

  • June 3-9 Employee Wellness
  • June 10-16 Ergonomics
  • June 17-23 Fall Prevention
  • June 24-30 Driving Safely

You can find more information and materials regarding National Safety Month at nsc.org/nsm.

Get the help you need; call your LP rep

Part of preparing for the changes that come in the summer months may include utilizing outside help from your SFM loss prevention representative.

Your loss prevention representative can help with:

  • Safety training
  • Workplace analysis
  • Project planning

Schedules fill quickly. Contact your loss prevention representative soon to schedule a visit before the summer rush and risks.

Call (952) 838-4200 or email loss prevention.


Hazard Alert
Teachers can be injured while "playing"

Springtime often brings outdoor activities for students and teachers. Remind teachers that interacting with students is essential, but can be dangerous.

In a recent incident, a phy-ed teacher was participating in a friendly game of kickball with her fourth grade students on the playground. While teacher-student interaction is good, being overzealous resulted in a serious knee injury.

Remind teachers of the risk of injury when engaging in physical activities. Suggest they limit their participation to instructing the students. Encourage them to play with purpose and to not compete. The goal for the teacher is to instruct...not to win the game.

See you next fall

The penguin went north for the summer.

Take down your penguin posters and table tents. Replace them with 'Skip'—SFM's 'Stay on your feet' materials.

The penguin has gone north for the summer. Meet his replacement "SKIP"

Advice from SFM's
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Your supervisors
Do they know what to do when an employee is injured? How to handle things right?

How well your supervisors are prepared to handle these situations can bear heavily on your bottom-line expenses, directly and indirectly, and influence whether your work injury experience is better or worse than your competitors'.

This feature includes three pages you can photocopy and give to your supervisors to educate them about their role in managing work injuries. Read more...

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