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LABOR DAY TIPS FOR A SAFE WORKPLACE

 HARTFORD, Conn., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Labor Day is a time to honor American workers. A good way to do this is to provide a safe workplace that reduces the severity and frequency of occupational injuries.
 Eighty-five percent of all workplace injuries can be prevented easily, concludes a recent study by ITT Hartford Insurance Group, a leading workers' compensation insurer.
 The study found that strains and sprains are the most severe workplace injury, while objects striking employees are the most common. ITT Hartford's study analyzed 165,220 worker injury claims submitted in 1992.
 "The cost of worker injury claims is a good barometer of their severity because serious injuries require more costly medical treatment and higher lost-wage payments for more missed days of work. Sprains and strains are our most costly injury, representing 36 percent of the cost of all our worker injury claims in 1992," said Michael Tetto, assistant vice president, loss control, ITT Hartford.
 Slips and falls are the second most severe workplace injury, accounting for 26 percent of the cost of ITT Hartford's 1992 occupational injury claims.
 Not quite as serious are injuries caused by objects striking workers, representing 13.7 percent of workplace injury costs, followed by machinery and motor vehicle accidents, and repetitive motion and eye injuries.
 "Most workplace injuries result from human error or inattention," said Tetto. "These accidents can be prevented easily if employers and employees both make a commitment to worker safety and draw upon the expertise of safety consultants at insurance companies and other organizations."
 The following steps help reduce workplace injuries:
 Strains and Sprains
 -- Modify job procedures to eliminate physical lifting.
 -- Use mechanical and other lifting devices wherever possible.
 -- When physical lifting is necessary, divide heavy, bulky loads
 into lighter, smaller loads.
 -- Bend knees -- instead of the back -- when picking up loads.
 (When you bend over to lift even a light object, your back
 muscles lift the weight of your entire upper body to return you
 upright.)
 -- Carry loads close to the body.
 -- Do not turn or twist abruptly when lifting.
 -- Prevent back strain by sliding loads from one surface to another
 with the same elevation. An adjustable-height dolly can help.
 -- Wear back belts, but first make sure to get training on their
 proper use.
 Slips/Falls
 -- Keep floors, stairways and other walking surfaces clear of
 electric cords, loose rugs and other tripping hazards.
 -- Clean spills immediately.
 -- Wear non-slip shoes when working on slippery floors.
 -- Paint stairs, curbs and ramps in bright, contrasting colors.
 -- Keep aisles clear of materials and debris.
 -- Illuminate all walkways, stairways and other walking surfaces.
 Objects Striking Workers
 -- Operate and load fork lifts and other moving equipment carefully,
 making sure the freight doesn't inhibit vision or obstruct
 walkways.
 -- Eliminate blind intersections by hanging safety mirrors in
 aisleways, corners, and other hard-to-see areas.
 -- Wear hard hats in construction areas where there are moving
 objects and equipment.
 Machinery-Related Injuries
 -- Keep safeguard devices in place and operational.
 -- Institute and use lock-out/tag-out procedures when performing
 maintenance and retooling.
 -- Wear protective equipment, including gloves and safety glasses,
 when appropriate.
 Motor Vehicle Accidents
 -- Wear seat belts.
 -- Leave a two-second space cushion between your vehicle and those
 in front.
 -- Prevent nighttime glare by cleaning the inside of the windshield.
 -- Inspect all vehicles for safety defects, and repair defects
 promptly.
 -- Use vehicles equipped with airbags and other safety equipment.
 Eye Injuries
 -- Keep floors clean to minimize the potential of airborne
 contaminants flying into employees' eyes.
 -- Wear protective eye glasses in areas having dust, metal, water
 and other airborne particles.
 Repetitive Motion Injuries
 -- Adjust workstations to "ergonomically fit"; i.e., uncomfortable
 working positions are a sign of future injury.
 -- Take periodic rest breaks.
 -- Rotate job tasks.
 -- Minimize forceful and strenuous activities, such as gripping,
 lifting, pushing and pulling. (Repetitive gripping is much more
 injurious than repetitive pinching.)
 ITT Hartford, a subsidiary of ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT), is one of the nation's oldest and largest international insurance and financial services operations. Member companies offer commercial property and casualty insurance, automobile and homeowners coverages, and a variety of life insurance, employee benefit and asset management plans.
 -0- 9/1/93
 /CONTACT: Connie Gurney, 203-547-6237 (office), 203-521-3192 (home); or Sue Honeyman, 203-547-4976 (office), 203-397-9233 (home), both of ITT Hartford/
 (ITT)


CO: ITT Hartford Insurance Group; ITT Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: INS SU:

DD -- NEFNS1 -- 7753 09/01/93 07:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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