Of the more than 6,000 Ontarians who work full-time in the production of corrugated boxes, the majority of lost-time injuries – injuries severe enough to cause a worker to lose time from work – are from contacts with objects or equipment, according to 2014 injury statistics from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
“Overall, this group continues to show progress in the the elimination of workplace injuries, most recently, with a 24 per cent reduction in lost-time injuries compared to last year,” says Tom Welton, Industrial Director at Workplace Safety North (WSN). “Now that we’re down to a critically few injuries, we can focus on specific trends.”
This group routinely performs work that includes a variety of complex machinery and volume of projects.The most common injury for these workers is being struck by an object or being caught in equipment.
About 47 per cent of injuries occur when the worker is struck by a an object – whether falling, flying, swinging, or rolling. The worker may have a hand, finger, or arm slammed in a swinging door or gate, or pinched by an exposed moving part of the machinery. Safe use of machinery, as well as a ‘lock-out/tag-out’ program for conducting maintenance or removing a jam, are critical.
The second most common injury for these workers includes sprains and strains that come from repetitive motion, bending, climbing, reaching, twisting, lifting, pulling, pushing, and carrying or turning objects. An emphasis on prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and mobile lifting equipment can help prevent 37 per cent of all workplace injuries for this group of workers.
Slips, trips, and falls in the workplace are the third most common injury for these industrial workers, with the majority of falls occuring at the same level, either on a floor, walkway, or parking lot.
Workplace Safety North field staff are available to conduct dosimeter surveys of work areas to identify issues with noise levels compared to legislative standards and provide recommendations. They also conduct on-site audits to identify machine guarding, lockout and other machine hazards, and share recommendations with regards to specific slip and fall hazards identified in the workplace. WSN ergonomists can provide site-specific recommendations relating to the prevention of MSDs.
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