Safety and Risk

WELCOME TO SAFETY AND RISK


Risk and Safety management performs a number of different job operations; all with the purpose of minimizing possible risks or losses for the City of Fountain. These losses include property, personnel, or cash flow. They are responsible for identifying and dealing with any issues that may arise related to insurance or safety, which, if overlooked, could result in litigation.

In order to accomplish the goal of lowering risks, thinking about the inner workings of the City, analyzing areas that could pose a risk, and then taking steps to reduce or eliminate those risks. Risk management may be called on to do a variety of things, such as, inspecting work conditions, reading code and legal requirements and searching for any conditions where liability could be a factor. Policies are developed and plans may include a number of different strategies such as development of safety and work regulations, and the updating of different procedures based on the latest laws and legislation.

The 5 Top Causes for on the Job Injuries

Overexertion


Overexertion can happen to anyone, and you might not notice any symptoms until your body has been pushed well beyond its limits. Everyday activities such as playing with your kids, a new exercise routine or a job that requires repetitive movements or manual labor can all overwork your muscles, causing overexertion. As one of the top causes of missed time from work, overexertion injuries are preventable with a few easy lifestyle changes.

Using proper form when performing a physical activity helps protect your muscles, joints and ligaments from overuse. According to the Mayo Clinic website, poor form places an excess workload on certain muscles, leading to injury. Work with a personal trainer or health and safety specialist to learn proper form and technique for your preferred exercise or your job requirements, especially if you are new to the activity. If you have a limited range of motion, seek alternative methods of performing the activity so that your muscles will not be strained.

When lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling an unwieldy or heavy object, ask for assistance if you cannot handle the load by yourself. According to National Safety Council statistics, most overexertion injuries result from attempting to lift, carry or lower an object that is beyond your physical ability. Asking another person for assistance can reduce your risk of overexertion and accidental injury at home or at work. In the absence of another person to assist you, use an ergonomic device such as a back brace, elevated keypad, dolly or a lever to perform the task or maneuver the object.

Proper Lifting Techniques

Plan ahead before lifting.
Knowing what you're doing and where you're going will prevent you from making awkward movements while holding something heavy. Clear a path, and if lifting something with another person, make sure both of you agree on the plan.

  1. Lift close to your body. You will be a stronger, and more stable lifter if the object is held close to your body rather than at the end of your reach. Make sure you have a firm hold on the object you are lifting, and keep it balanced close to your body.
  2. Feet shoulder width apart. A solid base of support is important while lifting. Holding your feet too close together will be unstable, too far apart will hinder movement. Keep the feet about shoulder width apart and take short steps.
  3. Bend your knees and keep your back straight. Practice the lifting motion before you lift the object, and think about your motion before you lift. Focus on keeping your spine straight--raise and lower to the ground by bending your knees.
  4. Tighten your stomach muscles. Tightening your abdominal muscles will hold your back in a good lifting position and will help prevent excessive force on the spine.
  5. Lift with your legs. Your legs are many times stronger than your back muscles--let your strength work in your favor. Again, lower to the ground by bending your knees, not your back. Keeping your eyes focused upwards helps to keep your back straight.

Falls on same level

Same-level falls: These happen on the same level and include slip and falls, trip and falls, step and falls.

Same-level fall prevention:

  • Good housekeeping: A clean workplace is a safer workplace
  • Spills: Rope them off, clean them up, and alert your co-workers and supervisor
  • Cords: Always use cable covers or tape to prevent co-workers from tripping over cords

Behavior: Don’t rush, be aware of your surroundings, cut down on distractions, don’t carry too much at once, and use handrails

Don’t work in dimly lit areas – instead, change light bulbs, use a flashlight or alert a supervisor

Make sure your shoes are in good condition and tightly tied every shift

Falls, from any level, can lead to sprains, strains, broken bones, busted backs and even death

You can prevent falls at work by: Adjusting your behavior, keeping the workplace clean, wearing fall protection and using equipment – like ladders – safely

Bodily Reaction

Injuries from bending, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, slipping or tripping without falling. When an accident is classified as bodily reaction and exertion, it refers to an accident that resulted from a combination of free bodily motion and excessive physical effort or action. It is a type of bodily reaction and exertion accident. Some important ways to reduce bodily reaction injuries include eliminating environmental factors that can cause these injuries. Be aware of hazards that can cause injuries, such as improper placement of tools or clutter around your workstation. Also, maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper physical conditioning and prevent situations that carry prolonged awkward posture.

Fall to Lower Level.

Preventing falls to lower levels, always make sure ladders are in proper working order and scaffolding has been built and repaired correctly. It’s important to make sure that these tools are inspected and maintained regularly. Also, remember to where proper fall protection where applicable.

Struck by Object.

A few of the simpler ways to reduce injuries caused by “struck-by objects” include: wear hardhats to avoid falling objects; stack materials properly to prevent sliding, falling or collapse; and always wear proper PPE. This includes safety glasses, goggles and face shields to name a few. Don’t work under cranes, hoists or heavy machinery while it’s being operated. To avoid struck-by incidents with vehicles, workers should wear seat belts, check vehicles thoroughly and wear highly visible clothing. 

Safety Committee

The City of Fountain established its first Safety Committee in July of 2016. In six short months this team has been able to implement more than a year’s worth of works. The committee was formed with employees throughout the City involving various Departments. Starting from scratch with a team of 9, not only did they accomplished routine training and documentation but the following as well.

  • Monthly Seatbelt Training and inspections.
  • Routine Safety Inspections of City Buildings.
  • Hands on Trenching and Excavation Training
  • Hands on Confined Space Training
  • ​Hands on Defensive Driving
  • Flagger Training
  • Back Safety Training
  • Ergonomics Training
  • ​Certifications in First Aid and CPR for all field workers
  • Safety Policies and Procedures were created
  • CPR for civilian employees
  • Transit Training
  • Safety Poster Program
  • TB testing, flu shots, tetanus shots and Hepatitis B vaccinations at no cost for field workers
  • First Kits in every City Building
  • AED’s installed in City Facilities.
  • ICS Courses for all City Employees 98% FEMA compliant.

We are a small entity and every department is busy, and at times works shorthanded. The City of Fountain employees have gone above and beyond helping the City of Fountain reach this goal and with the dedication of the Safety Committee this hard work does not go unnoticed. This committee has shown perseverance under pressure and worked together to make the City of Fountain shine. Without the cooperation and support of each Fountain employee all of these accomplishments could not have been possible.

Awards

The City of Fountain Safety Committee received the Champion Award for 2017 through Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA) for its outstanding work in Safety and Risk for the City of Fountain.