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A System Without Safety

This is based on a real story. However, the identity of the injured worker will be kept anonymous.

Vast stacks of crates sat daunting this worker. He was tasked with loading the truck with all of them. He whipped his hand truck under a stack, rolled it to the truck, and threw crates on board. He lifted crate after crate until all were on board. After work, he went home, went to sleep, and woke up in severe pain, unable to move. What happened to this man was terribly irresponsible of management. The worker’s injury could have been prevented. Proper technique should have been taught. Productivity was lost.
The worker was loading a semitruck. His crates were stacked on a hand truck pulled close to his truck so he could reach to his right and lift a crate. He twisted over to his left and put a crate straight onto the floor of the trailer. The floor of the truck trailer was around his chest, and he extended the heavy object out to put it on the floor and slid the crate across the floor. He did this without knowing he was in danger. He was improperly trained, and this caused his injury. The worker’s injury could have been prevented with safety training.
The proper technique for his situation would have been lifting using his legs. To use the legs when lifting means to push up with the leg muscles, a braced core, and a straight back. He would also want to lift the crate when standing right next to it as to not extend the arms and lift using the back. He would next need to rotate his feet to face the truck floor with the crate and make sure to be close enough, so he did not need to extend his arms using his shoulders and back to carry majority of the weight. Technique should have been taught and training should be executed for the safety of workers.
The worker was injured and needed treatment. He went to physical therapy and was treated for his back pain while the system he was a part of had to figure out a way to survive without him. Once he was nearly well, he had to be retrained at the physical therapy clinic. The physical therapist had to sign off when he was fully recovered and was ready to return to work. The process was long for his body to recover, for him to relearn how to do his job, and successfully complete the work readiness assessments. Productivity dropped with a missing worker, his work piled up, and the system he was a part of looked like a train wreck. It was a mess that needed all parts moving again.
The worker kept the train moving. He went to work and did his job, but he was not kept healthy and safe, and this led to the train wreck. His body was wrecked, and the entire system was too. Proper technique is important for the worker’s safety and longevity. Proper training allows the system to continue producing.

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