The insurance company Safety National rewards policy holders for reducing hazards with grants for creative risk solutions. This year’s first-place grant of $10,000 went to a nonprofit public agency that provides insurance to schools. The funds will be used to purchase garbage can assistive lifting devices to reduce injuries for custodial staff who empty garbage cans into dumpsters.
The second-place grant went to a school district to install electric can openers to eliminate potential ergonomic injuries related to repetitive can opening. The district has experienced losses of $95,000 in food-service injuries. These workers use manual can openers 65 to 150 times a day and the repetitive force involved impacts the wrist, arm, shoulder, and neck. Now workers can slide a large can under the electric device and open the lid with no lifting, stabbing of cans, or cranking handles at awkward angles.
Safety National’s third-place risk-reduction grant went to a county association whose workers’ compensation division has spent an average of $229,000 a year on motor vehicle accidents involving road department and sheriff’s department employees. The association identified a collision warning system as a way to decrease these losses. The device analyzes the risk of forward collision, lane departure, excessive speed, and other hazards. When a threat is detected the system emits visual and audible alerts. The association estimates that frequency and severity of incidents will decrease by 50 percent with installation of the system.