December 4th, 2014

Greetings from Gemini Energy Services! Here is the latest issue of our Monthly Safety Newsletter, and thank you for taking the time to check it out.

The wind industry is filled with hazards and the purpose of this newsletter is to share useful information, refresher training and safe work practices to our subscribers so that we can raise the bar for safety throughout the industry.  This month's topic focuses on Ergonomics.

 

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And if you have any feedback or input on what you'd like to see in future issues, please be sure to let us know, we'd love to hear from you!

Best regards,
The Gemini Team

The OSHA website defines Ergonomics as "fitting a job to a person to help lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce the number and severity of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)". Ergonomics is typically known for solving physical problems. For example, ensuring that emergency stop buttons are positioned so that people can reach them readily when they need to. Ergonomics also deals with psychological and social aspects of the person and their work. For example, a workload that is too high or too low, unclear tasks, time pressures, inadequate training, and poor support from managers can all have negative effects on employees and the work they do.

 

How can you achieve the goal of zero repetitive use injuries at home or at the work place? Here at Gemini we use our Soft Tissue Injuries Prevention & Ergonomics Program. If you are not part of the Gemini team, please contact your Safety Representative for company specific information. Here are some methods and best practices to keep yourself and your team injury free.

 

Assessment of the job and the fit of the person completing - It is exceptionally important that risk factors be identified during the worksite evaluation annotated on a job hazard evaluation. This will help in mitigating such risks as contact stress, whole body vibration and awkward or static posture. Below are some factors to consider.

  • Equipment being used to complete the task at hand
  • The fitness level, posture, strength, experience level, physical size and training of personnel completing the work
  • Environmental factors such as lighting, humidity, and temperature of the work being performed

If all risks have been identified and mitigated to the maximum extent possible, the next step is to make sure all personnel are physically ready for the task.

Stretch/Bend and Task Warm Up - improving flexibility and preparing for the daily tasks in imperative and can prevent WMSDs on the job. Employees should warm up between 5-15 minutes each day prior to starting daily tasks.

  • Stretches shall be dynamic-based stretches, which are stretches that are rhythmic exercises that gently take you through the limits of your range of motion.
  • Stretches should be tailored to the task at hand and involve body parts that will be utilized during work tasks.
  • Intensity should be to the point of warming up the joints and muscles.
  • Stretching should be repeated throughout the day during appropriate work times. 

Break Periods - Pay attention to signs of discomfort and fatigue on the job; these are warning signs from your body. As muscles tire during a work task, slouching can lead to poor posture, sloppy, uncontrolled movements and injuries. Breaks mean recovery for the body and provide rest, reduce discomfort and improve overall performance.

  • Employees should take micro-breaks lasting 10-15 seconds every 10 minutes during the work day.
  • Employees should take mini-breaks lasting 3-5 minutes every 30-60 minutes during the work day.

Other tips include using power devices whenever possible, using mechanical leverage systems and properly designed tools for the job.  

 

Ergonomics can also reduce the potential for ill health at work, such as aches, pains and damage to the wrists, shoulders and back, noise-induced hearing loss and work-related asthma. Effective implementation of the right practices can reduce the potential for accidents and injury, while improving performance and productivity.  

 

The tips above and other Gemini Ergonomics Program information are in GSP-143 located on Share Point for all Gemini Employees.   If you are not a member of the team please visit  https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/. Remember to stretch for your health and stay safe!

 

 

Enjoy reading our Safety Newsletters? Did you know we also offer quarterly webinars? Our next one will be: 

 

December 18th, 2014 at 11am PST - Ergonomics

 

This webinar discusses wind turbine ergonomics topics such as why wind technicians are prone to injuries, behaviors that lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), what their symptoms are and injury prevention. Sign up today! 

 

If you are unable to attend the webinar on December 18th, you can find the recorded version of this one and others at www.geminienergyservices.com.


Gemini Energy Services is the premier independent service provider to the wind industry.  Safety is not just a philosophy at Gemini; it's our defining characteristic.  Whether Gemini technicians are driving to the project site or working on energized equipment in the hub, we strive for zero injuries.  Our proactive safety initiatives, which incorporate safety indoctrination, tailgate safety meetings, ongoing Personal Qualification Standards (PQS), a safety incentive program and completion of thorough Job Site Assessments, have resulted in an unblemished safety record.  We are confident that our colleagues in the wind industry share our commitment to safety and a zero-injury workplace.  

 

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