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How new tech from software startup can keep workers safe

Worldwide, more than 1,000 people die every day in workplace accidents, which is why it's so important to assess and prevent as many risks in the workplace as possible. Employers and safety managers in Missouri now have new technology they can depend on for this purpose. Based in Des Moines and specializing in SaaS, MākuSafe is a startup that has developed wearable bands capable of recording environmental and motion data.

If employees wear this band during the workday, it can record changes in lighting and temperature, changes in radiation levels if applicable and even near-misses and hazardous situations. All of this data is automatically stored in a cloud platform where safety managers can use it to determine what preventative measures should be taken. They could, for example, set up emergency equipment and supplies in areas with a high safety risk.

Improving worker safety: five tips for employers

Improving worker safety in Missouri starts with one employer at a time. Unfortunately, many employers become distracted by tight deadlines and the fast pace of their work environments, paying little attention to safety guidelines. Not only will this make workers more vulnerable to injuries, but it will also lower their morale as they realize their employers are not concerned. This means low productivity, high turnover rates and weaker employer branding.

Creating a safety-minded culture benefits both employees and employers. The latter group should remember, though, that any effort at organization must begin with them. Strong leadership is the first tip that employers should take to heart. The second suggestion is for site managers or safety coaches to pass out an anonymous survey. This can gauge what employees know about federal and corporate safety guidelines as well as what they feel about their responsibilities or others' expectations of them.

Organization says proactive measures improve construction safety

Construction workers in Missouri and nationwide face hazardous job conditions each day. However, a new report by the Associated Builders and Contractors, or ABC, says that following the organization's safety program can help construction companies become up to 670 percent safer than companies that don't follow the program.

ABC's program is called the Safety Performance Evaluation Process, or STEP. It uses leading indicators and proactive safety measures to make job sites safer for workers. These leading indicators include programs such as new-hire orientations, site-specific safety orientations, substance abuse programs, toolbox talks and near-miss/near-hit analysis. The organization also pushes companies to create on-site safety committees and include C-Suite engagement in their safety programs. ABC says that companies following STEP can cut their reportable safety incidents by up to 85 percent.

Understanding distracted driving

Missouri drivers who engage activities that draw their attention away from their driving are engaging in distracted driving. These activities may include texting or talking on their cellphone, conversing with other people in the vehicle, adjusting the navigation system or stereo, drinking or eating.

The most disturbing type of distraction is texting. In order to read or send off a text, a driver will have to remove their gaze from the road for five seconds. If they are driving a vehicle that is traveling at 55 miles per hour, they will have driven the length of a football field before returning their gaze to the road and their driving.

Why helmet cameras are so important now

At this very moment, you could easily google "motorcycle accident helmet camera" and find a plethora of videos that show a first-person view of a motorcyclist suffering an accident. While this is both horrifying and bizarre that such a library of accidents is possible to search, the point of this introduction isn't to discuss the societal merits of it all. Instead, it is to point out the incredible value helmet cameras have for motorcyclists in today's day and age.

Motorcyclists have very little safety equipment at their disposal. They have a helmet, which is their primary piece of equipment to protect them in case of an accident -- but after that, it's limited. Gloves and a padded leather jacket are about all that's left in terms of safety equipment for a motorcyclist. Or at least, that's the way it has been for many years.

Does workers' comp cover auto accidents?

Car accidents are one of the most common reasons for serious injuries for people in Missouri. In 2015, over 4,500 residents sustained injuries in car accidents across the state. Of those serious injuries, 172 occurred in St. Louis.

A fair number of people end up in accidents while on the job. Many people need to drive while on the clock, and this can lead to certain misunderstandings about what workers' comp can actually cover. There are instances where a person injured can file for workers' comp, but the accident needs to meet certain criteria.

Patient handling is a real danger for nurses

Nursing can be a rewarding but stressful profession. For many of these professionals, the hours are long and the demands great. In fact, many patients do not realize a danger many nurses face every day: physically handling patients. That is, lifting and moving them. The risk is so great that nursing ranks right up there among the most dangerous jobs for musculoskeletal health.

In ideal situations, equipment would be used to help move patients. It helps them retain more dignity, prevents awkwardness and reduces the likelihood of accidents such as being dropped. However, the reality is in that in many cases, nurses are the ones who shoulder the burden of lifting, and their bodies feel the strain. Often, they must seek treatment and miss work.

What causes my workers’ compensation benefits claim to be denied?

As an injured worker in the St. Louis area, one concern that may be on your mind is your whether your workers’ compensation benefits claim will be denied. You have been off work for a few weeks now and are starting to feel the stress and frustrations that many hurt workers feel experience when their income is reduced or comes to a sudden halt because they are unable to work. 

You may already be aware you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation medical and disability benefits from your employer. However, not every claim is approved. Take some time to learn about some factors that can lead to the reduction or denial of your workers’ compensation benefits. 

What is the industry with the most workplace injuries?

If accidents at construction sites are the first thing to come to your mind when you think of workplace injuries, there is good reason. Those who work in the construction industry face the most dangers and risks on the job than do employees in any other industry.

Although other sectors have higher rates of deaths (loggers and fishers) or similar rates of injuries (nurses), construction has the highest in both areas. As a construction worker, you need to know common sources of hazards, how to avoid them and what to do in the event of injury.

Common causes of trucking accidents

Semi-truck accidents can have brutal consequences due to the impact of a massive vehicle colliding with a car, motorcycle or pedestrian. On March 5, a semi-truck crashed into a vehicle and injured two state troopers in Maryland Heights. Tractor-trailer accidents are often caused by various truck driver errors or equipment failures. Here are some common causes of truck accidents:

Distracted driving

Truck drivers are prone to distraction due to the long distances and tedious hours they are often required to travel. Common distractions include:

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