Choose Your Own Safety Adventure

Now that the kids are back to school – even if you don’t have kids, and even if you do have kids and they have already been back for a week like in Minneapolis – you are officially on notice! Summer is “over!” It’s time to get back to work.

I have a checklist for you, of course. It’s more of a choose your own adventure, so find what statement describes you best and start there. Since it’s a short work week, it’s OK if you use this week to strategize and plan. But next week, it’s on, no excuses.


I have workers engaged in construction activities in confined spaces. Or, I have construction crews that work at my facility’s confined spaces.

  1. Make sure you have read the new OSHA Construction Confined Space Standard. 
  2. Identify if you have already done any of these good faith effort activities.
  3. Mark  Friday October 2, 2015 on your calendar. This is the day that OSHA’s Temporary Enforcement Period ends for this standard. AKA – you MUST be in compliance by this date.
  4. If your program needs help, visit for training programs, written program templates, and tailgate meetings.

I have workers engaged in work over six feet in height or working over other personnel or sensitive operations.

  1. Consider starting this week or next with a Fall Safety Stand Down. I provided a thorough post on this last week, including current events related to fall fatalities. It’s startling.
  2. Have you thought of the OTHER fall protection? Think about how you can protect workers and the public from dropped objects. Ergodyne, a company located right here in Minnesota, has some amazing resources and training materials for this topic.

My company’s claims history shows soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains as the leading cause of injuries. 

  1. If your workers compensation insurance policy is up for renewal this fall (10/1 is a common date) or winter (1/1 is the other common date), talk with your carrier’s risk control consultant about resources available to you for strain/sprain prevention. Most carriers have stretching programs ready to go, or other signature resources.
  2. Talk to your designated medical providers about resources they have related to strain/sprain prevention. If you haven’t talked to your occupational medical doctors and other staff about your company’s personnels’ job descriptions and return to work policy, now is a good time.
  3. Consider enlisting the help of an athletic trainer or physical therapist to assist you with observing employee tasks and developing a warm-up, stretch, and flex program. If you’re in a college town, talk to the exercise physiology department about a class project on this topic. Onsite Solutions and ATI Physical Therapy are two good resources that provide onsite physical therapists in varying capacities to assist company’s with strain/sprain prevention.

I know, I tricked you. 

You may have found that ALL three of the statements applied to you. Prioritize the “adventures” and have a safe and productive fall season. Contact me if you need anything or if you have any success stories to share! Tag me on LinkedIn or Twitter (@theferrigroup) and I’ll repost your photos and stories.

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