2017 Safety First Grant Winners
Garbage Can Assistive Lift Device
Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs (ASCIP)
Garbage Can Assistive Lift Device
ASCIP is a non-profit public agency Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that provides liability, property, workers’ compensation, health benefits and school construction insurance to public school districts, charter schools, community colleges, and subsidiary JPAs throughout the state of California. ASCIP currently has 46 members that participate in the workers’ compensation program. They noticed that approximately 22% of workers’ compensation claims and 31% of claim costs resulted from lifting injuries. More specifically, they determined that a large percentage of the claim costs were from the maintenance and custodial staff lifting trash cans.
ASCIP identified a product known as the Ergonomic, Assist, Garbage, Lift and Empty (E.A.G.L.E Lift), which makes emptying trash safer and more efficient. This garbage can assisted lifting device was created to remove the need for heavy lifting while emptying garbage cans into dumpsters.
Capital Region Educational Service District 113 Workers’ Compensation Trust (ESD 113)
Commercial Kitchen Electric Can Opener
School food service workers use manual can openers anywhere from 65 to 150 times a day depending on the school’s size. The 20-PSI repetitive force incurred in turning a manual can opener impacts the wrist, arm, shoulder and neck, which, over time, results in new injuries or exacerbation of existing injuries. In order to exert the force required to operate the manual can opener, the worker is forced to stand at an ergonomically awkward angle placing the worker in peril of injury.
Over the past five years, ESD 113 has incurred losses of $95,000 in food service injuries. Without effective interventions, losses will continue because the injury mechanism is not a matter of workplace safety or employee error, but is fully attributable to poor mechanical design that continues to this day.
After careful review and testing, ESD 113’s safety team selected the Edlund Model 270 Electric Can Opener for the elimination of occupational injuries from repetitive can opening. The results of their investigative work can be seen here on the ESD 113 WCT YouTube Safety Channel.
Food service workers can now slide an extra-large 6 lb. can under the electric can opener and open the lid with no lifting, stabbing of cans or cranking handles at awkward angles. The worker simply slides the can under the opener’s magnet, which lifts the can into place. The opener rotates the can lid along the blade to open a can in seconds. With the use of this device, all injury claims from this exposure are eliminated.
Montana Association of Counties Workers’ Compensation Trust (MACo WCT)
Vehicle Collision Avoidance System
Over the last 10 years, MACo WCT has spent an average of $229,000/year on motor vehicle accidents that cause workers’ comp claims from road department and sheriff’s department employees. Injuries range from sprains and strains to contusions and occasional fractures. Time loss and wage loss payments range from 3-6 months. In addition, auto liability claims involving road department or sheriff department employees have become a huge loss source. 50% of liability claims involve sheriffs rear-ending other vehicles, which cost the MACo WCT almost $3 million in defense costs and indemnity payments. 40% of claims involving road department vehicles were rear-ender accidents as well, resulting in almost $2 million in indemnity and expense payments.
MACo WCT identified the Mobileye 630 collision warning system as a method to decrease these loss sources. The Mobileye system analyzes the risk of forward collision, lane departure, headway/following time, excessive speed and pedestrian hazards. When a threat is detected, the system emits visual and audible alerts, giving the employee time to possibly avoid a collision or, at the very least, mitigate its severity. These few seconds can be critical to employee safety while in their vehicles. MACo WCT estimates that both frequency and severity of motor vehicle accidents will decrease by 50% with the installation of this system.