Industry News: Focusing on Soft Tissue Injuries

Although Western already has a strong and proven safety reputation, we continue to strive for improved concepts and ideas. As our Safety Director, Eric Olson, states, “Just like most things in life, safety needs to continually improve or it begins to stagnate and decay. As a company, we are always looking for ways to improve our business to ensure that our employees have a long, safe and hopefully injury free career.”

Most recently, we have decided to focus on “Soft Tissue Injuries” as this is one of the most common injuries that we are seeing in our employees. Soft tissue injuries involve muscles, ligaments and tendons and result in sprains, strains, tears and repetitive type injuries to the muscles and joints. Our Safety Department will be working with each of our branches to identify tactics and work practices that will help to minimize and eliminate these types of injuries. Some simple ideas include the use of material lifting/handling devices like carts and dollies, implementing roof hoists where appropriate, employing lift-gates on trucks for material deliveries, rotating workers while performing repetitive motion type activities and simple stretching exercises throughout the day.

We have also implemented S.T.O.M.P. – Soft Tissue Operations Mitigation Program. This program requires:

  • Updated New Employee Orientation
  • Safety 101
  • All Sales and Project Managers will participate in monthly Branch Safety Meetings
  • Modifications to site-specific Safety Plan Template
  • Job Safety Check Sheet modifications
  • Daily huddle revision
  • Mandatory Safety Meeting and refresher course

In striving for improved safety concepts and ideas, we will continue to remain a safety leader in the construction industry.