Health and Safety

Health and Safety – Be Proactive!

As we all know Health and Safety plays a major role in today’s workplace and employers have a duty of care to their employees to reduce or eliminate risks and dangers when new technology becomes available that creates a safer working environment .

At Prime Transport Solutions we are delivering you an innovative development by taking away the manual work involved in operating a current trailer hand wound landing leg.  The Pneumatic PTS50 operates at the push of two buttons, allowing you to safeguard your employees from upper limb disorders and protect your company from employee sick days and expensive claims due to work related accidents and injuries.

Upper Limb Disorders/Repetitive Strain Injuries – as described by the HSE

What’s the difference between ULD and RSI? – They basically refer to the same conditions, although the term repetitive strain injury (RSI) is used by some to refer to pain/strain in the arm. The term ULDs covers a range of over 20 medical conditions. HSE prefers to use the general term ULD because problems might not be due to strain and there may not be any sign of injury.

What type of work can lead to ULDs? – ULDs are widespread across a range of industries and jobs.  Any type of work that involves a worker using their arms to carry out a task can lead to ULDs

What causes a ULD? – It can be caused by a variety of work tasks involving, for example, forceful or repetitive activity, or by poor posture.  The way that the work is organised and managed can cause ULDs as well as make them worse.

Managing ULDs – As an employer, you have a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to prevent work related ULDs or to stop any cases getting worse.  If you do not manage the risk of ULDs to workers you run the risk of legal action and possible compensation costs.

ULDs can be successfully managed in the workplace by:  Assessing the risks – this means looking around your workplace to see which jobs may cause harm.  Reducing the risk of ULDs – this could mean changing the way work is organised/carried out.

The main areas that are likely to increase the risk of ULDs are listed in the table below.  They can interact with each other to increase the risk.  To the right of the table are ways the PTS50 can decrease the risk of ULDs.

Taken from the HSE website on Musculoskeletal   Disorders PTS Solution*
Cause Why Action Needed How to eliminate/reduce risk
Repeating an action This uses the same muscles over and over again.  The more a task is repeated, the greater the risk.  The speed at which the job becomes ‘risky’ depends on the task itself.  Movement   of the whole arm at low speed may be just as risky as small but quick   movements. Reducing repetition Mechanise high risk tasks.  The PTS50 is automated   therefore no physical repetition is required.
Uncomfortable working positions These   include moving the arm to an extreme position, e.g. working above head   height, working with a very bent elbow, or holding something in the same   place for a period of time. Finding the right working position Design workplaces and equipment for workers of different sizes, build,  strength.  Arrange the position, height and layout of the workstation so that it is appropriate for the work.  The PTS50 is a standardised system and is   designed for safe and effortless use.
Using a lot of force This   includes handling heavy objects, carrying out fast movements or having to overcome friction, such as undoing a bolt.    Each landing leg requires different amounts of force due to age,   maintenance and wear and tear. Reducing the amount of force The PTS50 is operated by a pneumatic system therefore no physical exertion is   required.
Carrying out a task for a long period of time The   risk of injury generally increases with the length of time that a task is   carried out.  Carrying out a task for a   short period of time is unlikely to cause an injury, except where the task   requires a lot of effort.  Each landing   leg, dependant on its condition can take a variable amount of time to raise   or lower (gauged in minutes). Reducing the length of time that a task is carried out The PTS50 system can be raised or lowered into its fixed locking position in 5 seconds.
Workers individual differences Individuals   are different in terms of their body size and reach, age, ability, health,   and disabilities Improve the working environment The PTS50 is easily operated by two push buttons which alleviate all physical differences.
*The HSE do not endorse products, any comments are purely for presentation purposes.

 Statistics

Taken from the United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics Published 8th November 2012.

Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses requiring Days Away From Work, 2011.

Key findings – Occupational injuries and illnesses to workers in five occupations including heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers accounted for nearly 20% of the days away from work cases (1,181,290 cases) in 2011.  Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) cases (387,820) accounted for 33% of all injury and illness cases in 2011.  Six occupations (including heavy and tractor-trailer drivers) accounted for 26% of MSD cases in 2011.  Heavy and tractor-trailer drivers required a median of 21 days away from work to recuperate, compared to 11 days for all workers who sustained and MSD.

Table1.  Leading event or exposure for selected occupations, all ownerships, 2011.
Selected Occupations Days away from work cases Median days   away from work (percentage of total) Leading event or exposure
Laborers and   freight, stock and material movers 56,950 9 Overexertion and   bodily reaction (41%)
Heavy and   tractor-trailer truck drivers 44,120 20 Overexertion and bodily reaction (33%)

 

Table2.  Median number of days away from work and percent of total Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) by selected occupations and selected parts of the body, all ownwerships, 2011.
Selected   Occupations Selected parts of the body   – Median days away from work
Total Shoulder Back Abdomen Arm Wrist Leg Multiple Body Parts
All   occupations 11 21 7 20 18 17 15 12
Laborers and   freight, stock and material movers 12 30 7 25 10 15 20 6
Heavy   tractor-trailer truck drivers 21 35 13 25 29 15 27 70
Percentage of total MSDs by injured body part
Total Shoulder Back Abdomen Arm Wrist Leg Multiple Body Parts
Heavy   tractor-trailer truck drivers 100.0% 16.4% 35.5% 6.7% 7.1% 2.4% 14.1% 4.7%
The above table shows that for Heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers 61.4% of MSD’s relate to Upper Limb Disorders