At Your Employment Solutions, we believe in promoting a safe workplace. We employ a lot of good people with a lot of great Utah employers, and we believe their safety is paramount.
Chevron, one of the great companies Your Employment Solutions does business with, recently awarded YES for its safety efforts. YES employees had zero work accidents with Chevron in 2016, the fourth year in a row.
“It's rewarding to work with an organization who values safety just as much as we do,” says Jarum Stone, safety and operation manager at YES. “To earn this award 4-years running is an amazing accomplishment. It not only reflects the organization’s emphasis on safety but ultimately it reflects on the hundreds of lives that have NOT been injured at work, and that's priceless.”
Congratulations to all involved in this extraordinary accomplishment — and especially to the YES staffing employees who made for a safe workplace!
Safety can be a very serious topic but as with all things serious, you have to learn to have a sense of humor to maintain your sanity. The comedic pictures that follow are not to undermine the serious respect I take towards safety, rather shed some light on comical scenarios we all might sometimes find around us.
‘Jimmy-Rigging' an Air Bag
Whoever thought this “Air Bag” was a good idea must have failed miserably in their Physics 101 class! However, if it’s filled with a dozen PB&J’s, there might be sufficient cushion to save you from a 10 MPH collision. Not to mention, save you from starvation if you crash off the side of the road!
With so many advances in safety, don’t try to make your own “short-cut” safety rigs. You may think it’ll save you time and effort from doing it the right way or save you from having to make another trip to the tool crib to get the right tools for the job, but if you stop to consider the consequences of making a mistake without proper safety protocol, you’ll realize it’s worth the extra time to track down the right tools!
A couple extra minutes out of your day is absolutely worth saving yourself from a life-altering injury. Have you ever smashed or cut a finger to the point that it takes a few days to heal? Remember how even basic daily tasks caused pain in that finger and how you may have even required assistance from others to complete minor tasks? Like buttoning your shirt with stitches in your thumb? Or opening a jar of peanut butter with a black & blue thumb from being hit with a hammer? Painful, right? Well, just imagine trying to do those tasks without a finger or thumb…
While the air-bag above was an obvious joke and not a real attempt to keep the driver safe, the following picture appears to be an all-too-real attempt to provide some safety to the swimmer pictured…
How many of you would trust your life to a string wrapped around a few bottles of soda?! Lets hope not. Give the guy bonus points for ingenuity but talk about a lapse in judgement!
Pay Attention to Signs!
Yes, our world has been inundated with signs grabbing for our attention: Buy Here, Turn Here, Stop, & Go. While many signs we see out on the road are trying to sell us something, most signs we find at work are trying to save us from something: Caution, Warning, & so on. The signs have been designed to remind us of dangers that surround us at work but in true comedic fashion there are also signs that, well, speak for themselves…
The small print on this sign says “Also, the bridge is out ahead.” Ha!
Or how about this sign reminding people that Social Media can wait when danger is eminent!
Sometimes we need to be reminded of the consequences of our own actions. The sign below reminds us that keeping ourselves safe also keeps the animals from having a stomach ache! Makes sense, right?
Be Safe Out There!
While some of these images are exaggerations of safety violations and some are serious attempts at safety, hopefully they make you think before going to work each day to make sure you DON’T take a short-cut towards safety! Your family, your friends and YOUR FUTURE SELF will thank you!
As one of Utah’s best staffing agencies, Your Employment Solutions [YES] places over 7,000 employees to work each year at nearly 200 different client locations. It takes an army just to coordinate the efforts of placing and paying all these employees, throw into the mix the task of managing safety, and you’ve really got your hands full. We take a large risk sending those thousands of employees to work in environments we don’t have direct control over. But here are a few tricks we use to turn those risks into rewards for our employees, our clients and our agency. Some might even call that a “Win-Win-Win!”
Now, you might be saying to yourself, people are smart enough to keep themselves safe so there’s no real need to do anything to keep them safe… Right? Wrong! When left to their own devices, people don’t always make the safest, or smartest, decisions while at work. Just take a look at some of these images:
Crazy, right?! So, what does YES do to develop a win-win-win?
Deliver the “Right” person
One of the best ways we can prevent work-related injuries is by sending the “right” person to the “right” job. At YES we’ve developed several skills/abilities tests that, in addition to typical previous employment experience analysis, helps us determine if the person applying for a specific job has the actual abilities to perform that job without hurting themselves.
Communication is Key
Our slogan at YES is: Say YES to Safety. In order to maintain a low injury rate we must form working partnerships with our clients with a big focus on safety. We establish a “Step-by-Step” procedure so our clients know what to do when one of our employees is injured at their facility. Regardless of how minor or severe the injury, it’s crucial our clients notify us so we can be involved in the proper handling of the injury, ensuring we get the employee the right treatment and back to work as quickly as possible. We have a unique approach for proper injury management but if we don’t hear about the injury until a few days after the incident occurs, we’d be left at a disadvantage.
Working with nearly 200 different clients, we may not see any specific trends with one specific client; however, when we work with several clients in the same industry we are able to analyze trends in that industry. One of out clients may not have any work-related injuries but when a client in their same industry does, we are quick to share the information (Keeping specific client/employee information vague) we are able to help our clients stay ahead of the curve and implement preventative measures before the trend starts in their facility.
Recognition is something we strongly believe motivates our clients to keep up safety track records. Each quarter we review our clients with outstanding safety records, or clients who’ve made the greatest improvement to their safety record, and we present them with a plaque and a little gift basket to thank them for keeping our employees safe and recognize them for their efforts to maintain a safe environment for the employees we send to work for them. Here are a couple pictures of presentations we’ve made recently, as well as a picture from when we were recognized as a top safety partner by one of our clients, Chevron.
Who doesn’t love getting awards and gifts?!
Reduction of Costs
Sure, the end-goal of safety is to keep people safe at work BUT a byproduct of a quality safety program is also a reduction of costs. Business 101 teaches us that by reducing costs, we increase profits! This increase in profits creates the “win-win-win:”
The Agency: We will realize greater profits by reducing the frequency of claims, which result in reduced workers compensation premiums.
The Client: If the agency is saving money on insurance premiums they won’t have to mark-up their services in order to cover for higher insurance premiums.
The Employees: They are the big winners in this equation because preventing them from becoming injured helps them preserve their greatest source of income, their work. If they aren’t injured, they can continue to work full-time to support themselves and their families.
Say YES to Safety!
If your company is looking for an innovative approach to improving your safety and staffing performance, give us a call and we’ll come review your current processes and see how we can partner together and create that win-win-win!
Workers Compensation Basics and FAQ for Temporary Employees
Providing a safe work environment is my top priority at Your Employment Solutions (YES). I hope you never have to refer to this information but in the event of an accident, this information should provide you with good insight into how workers compensation works for temporary employees.
Let’s start with a few stats about staffing.
According to the American Staffing Association, in 2013 staffing firms hired over 11 million employees in the Unites States. YES is a small contributor to that market but in 2014 we hired over 7,000 employees for over 100 different companies in Utah.
That’s a lot of people to keep safe!
We do our best to properly educate our employees and coordinate safety efforts with our clients to prevent injuries, but unfortunately some people still get injured at work. I partner with the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) of Utah to ensure they get the proper treatment they need so they don’t miss work and so they heal as quickly as possible.
Now here are a few stats regarding workplace injuries.
The average injury rate in the US, as reported by the Bureau of Labor statistics, is 3.3 injuries a year for every 100 employees. That’s one injury for every 30 employees. YES employed over 7,000 employees in 2014 and our injury rate was just over 1.5% or 1 injuries for every 66 employees we hire. That’s more than two times better than the national average! Not too shabby!
So, let’s start with those Workers Compensation basic FAQs:
#1) How to report a claim?
It’s very important to your health and important for the proper handling of your injury, to report any injury, no matter how slight, immediately.
Report it to your direct supervisor and then to your staffing agency’s safety manager. That’s me! I’ll file the claim with the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah (WCF) and we will manage the claim until you’re better.
#2) Who pays for Workers Compensation coverage?
Your employer is required to provide workers compensation coverage wherever you work. Employees, temporary or not, should not have to pay for their own workers compensation coverage.
#3) How does lost-time compensation work?
If you are injured on the job, and the doctor believes you are unable to work – or – your employer is not able to accommodate your doctors recommended work restrictions, WCF will pay you two-thirds (66%) of your average weekly wage as “lost time” compensation. If you average $400 per week, your compensation will be about $264 per week. In addition, they will continue to pay your medical expenses associated with that work related industry.
YES strives to provide work for injured employees while they are healing form a work-related injury so you don’t have lost-time compensation and so you don’t have reduced income.
#4) What if you don’t feel like working due to lingering pain?
It’s understandable that after an injury, you may be sore and have lingering pain. However, if the doctor believes you can still work and your employer offers you some modified employment, you have the right to refuse the offer. However, beware that refusing to accept employment that meets your doctor’s recommendations will result in the loss of some or all of your lost-time compensation.
Studies have shown that returning to work, even while still in some pain or discomfort improve your morale and speed up the healing process. For this reason we always encourage you to return to work when possible.
#5) What do I do if I think my supervisor is asking me to do something I think is unsafe?
You have a right to a safe work environment and you have a right to refuse a task or work process you feel is not safe. It’s recommended you discuss the situation with your supervisor or a safety manager rather than just quitting or refusing to work.
Talk with them about your concerns and only proceed once you are comfortable with the safety of the work process. Ultimately, if you are not comfortable with a job or work process, even though it may be safe, you have a right to look for a job more suitable to your comfort level.
In closing, it’s safe to say that preventing an injury is the best way to avoid pain and to avoid having to work with the Workers Compensation Fund.
In addition to keeping yourself safe, we recommend you also keep an eye on your co-workers in order to keep them safe as well. If everyone is looking out for everyone around them, I know we could see our injury rate drop from 1.5% to near zero. And that’s a goal we can all be happy with!
If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, feel free to give leave a comment below, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail. I’d be happy to help!
Top 10 Safety Hazards in Warehouse & Production Jobs
Safety hazards pop up almost everywhere we go. Taking proper care in hazardous circumstances can make all the difference in the world in determining safe passage. Especially on the job.
One thing that makes Your Employment Solutions the best staffing agency in Utah is our involvement with safety. We make “safety” a synonymous word with “staffing.”
During the more than 14 years that I’ve been a Safety Manager at Your Employment Solutions, I’ve been lucky to have a wonderful workplace safety partnership with the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah. With the education, tools and expertise that the WCF provides us, we do our best to pass along that education to our employees about the hazards that exist in their future workplace. We customize workplace safety training and I take time to tour facilities regularly to seek out potential on-site safety hazards and to ensure safe practices are being followed.
I’ve come up with a Top 10 list (no particular order) of the most common safety hazards new employees need to know before they start a new job in a blue-collar setting. Hopefully they will help you understand the importance of keeping yourself, your employees and others around you safe on the job.
Safety Hazard 1 | Not paying attention
Always be thinking about workplace safety. Almost all injuries are preventable but not thinking and not paying close attention are the leading cause of all workplace injuries. Watch out for safety hazards for yourself and for others around you. There is NEVER a good reason NOT to be safe at work.
Safety Hazard 2 | Slips and Trips
Wet floors indoors, or icy floors outdoors, can cause you to slip. Watch for liquids on the walkways and be sure to clean them up or notify the cleaning crew immediately. Ensure you always use a handrail when available. If you see objects on the floor in walkways be sure to pick them up and not just step over them.
Safety Hazard 3 | Falls
Falling from a height of 4ft and above can cause broken bones and even death. Do not climb above 4ft on the job unless you are wearing a proper harness or proper fall protection is in place.
Safety Hazard 4 | Fires
A fire in the workplace can be very dangerous so be sure to find the nearest fire extinguishers and become familiar with the nearest emergency exits to avoid confusion in the event of a fire.
Safety Hazard 5 | Crushing
Do not climb into machines without ensuring proper lock-out/tag-out has occurred. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not walk between forklifts and stationary objects. Do not attempt to lift items that are too heavy. Ask for help lifting or moving heavy and/or unstable loads.
Safety Hazard 6 | Hazardous Chemicals
Be sure to always understand the chemicals that are in or around you work area. Do not mix chemicals without consulting the user guides or Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Ensure proper ventilation and use proper respirators as required.
Safety Tip 7 | Ergonomics
Be sure to always stretch before, during and after work to avoid strains and sprains that come from basic repetitive work movements. Wear proper footwear and be sure to use proper lifting techniques to avoid injuries.
Pay attention to labels and safeguarding on machines. Never reach into a live machine. Watch for pinch-points. Do not wear baggy/loose clothing or loose jewelry that may get caught in machines. Learn where emergency stop buttons are located.
Safety Hazard 9 | Falling Objects
Use proper stacking and unstacking techniques to avoid products falling onto body parts. Seek help when lifting heavy or oversized objects. Wear hardhats in designated areas.
Safety Hazard 10 | Heavy Equipment Accidents
Forklifts are as just as heavy as a car and move almost as quickly in the workplace. Always watch where you are going and do not walk in front or behind a forklift without making eye-contact with the driver so they know you are there.
If you are injured, follow these steps:
Notify your lead or supervisor AND notify Your Employment Solutions! Y.E.S. will authorize medical treatment if necessary.
DON'T FORGET STEP 1!!!
If your company could benefit from using Utah’s safest staffing agency, don’t hesitate to give me a call and see how I can customize a solution to make “safety” and “staffing” synonymous words for your business.
One of our primary objectives at Your Employment Solutions is maintaining a safe work environment for all of our employees. We send a lot of people to work each day with a variety businesses all over Utah, and we want to make sure they're productive and safe so they can go home to their loved ones at the end of the day.
Chevron, one of the great companies Your Employment Solutions does business with, just gave YES an award for safety. YES employees had zero work accidents with Chevron last year.
“We're grateful to Chevron for the recognition of our employee's efforts,” Kerry Westenskow, Vice President of Your Employment Solutions, said of the award. “I love how Chevron is just as concerned with workplace safety as we are, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them and working to keep all our employees safe at work.”
Congratulations to all involved in this great accomplishment — and especially to the YES employees who made for a safe workplace!