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Is a home office a workplace hazard? - 03/13/17

Summary: SAIF provides tips for telecommuting safely in honor of Organize Your Home Office Day
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For many Oregon businesses, telecommuting employees are becoming more and more common. But what if a worker has an accident while working at home? Are they covered by workers' comp? Often, the answer is yes (http://www.saif.com/employer/coverage-details/telecommuters.html).

With Organize Your Home Office Day coming up on March 14, consider reminding your telecommuting employees about the importance of an organized home workspace. While we can't reduce your risk of getting interrupted by your kids while you work from home (http://bit.ly/2mSzN9C), we can help reduce your risk of an injury with these tips:

*Choose a fully adjustable chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your upper legs horizontal to the floor. Make sure your chair supports the curve of your lower back, and use a lumbar support or pillow if needed.
*Adjust your monitor. The screen should be at about arm's length away, with the top third at eye level. Try using books or reams of paper to bring your monitor to the best viewing height. (Watch this video for more inexpensive ideas for setting up your home office: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYRS_L4a0tw.)
*If you use a laptop as your primary work computer, consider adding a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
*Provide adequate lighting. Warm ambient lighting is good for computer work; cool task lighting is ideal for reading and writing on paper.
*Get up and move. You may lose track of time and sit for too long, so schedule breaks to walk, stretch, and spend time away from your computer screen.
*Clear the clutter. Make sure your workspace is free of tripping hazards. Secure cords and remove any obstacles from walkways.

To learn more about how to work comfortably and safely--at the office or at home, check out saif.com/ergo.

About SAIF
SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. For more than 100 years, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work.

State organizations align on health and safety - 03/10/17

Summary: SAIF, Oregon OSHA, and the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU sign first-ever alliance on Total Worker Health(R)
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Representatives from three Oregon worker safety organizations last week signed an agreement to form an alliance that will improve the health, safety and well-being of Oregon workers. The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, Oregon OSHA and SAIF committed to partnering on Total Worker Health, advocating for a broader approach to worker well-being beyond the workplace.

The alliance, the first of its kind nationwide, will work together to provide training, conduct research and educate Oregon workers on their rights, in an effort to improve overall worker safety and health, and prevent workplace injuries. The organizations will expand the knowledge and application of Total Worker Health principles and practices that have been established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). More information on Total Worker Health can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/.

Total Worker Health acknowledges that people's jobs can impact their overall health, and that their lives outside of their jobs can impact their safety at work. For instance, issues like poor sleep at home can significantly increase a worker's risk of getting injured.

The Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, part of the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, is a NIOSH Center of Excellence in Total Worker Health. SAIF is a Total Worker Health Affiliate.

For more information, visit SAIF.com/TWH, Oregon OSHA (osha.oregon.gov), and OHSU's Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/oregon-institute-occupational-health-sciences/oregon-healthy-workforce-center/).


About Oregon OSHA
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers.

About SAIF
SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. For more than 100 years, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work.

About the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU
The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU is dedicated to health and safety in the workforce. Our mission is to promote health, and prevent disease and disability among working Oregonians and their families during their employment years and through retirement through basic and applied research, outreach and education.

Prevent injuries, stay alert: Check your tread before you spring forward - 03/09/17

Summary: Let daylight saving time serve as a reminder to check your tire and shoe tread for safety!
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As Oregonians set their clocks ahead an hour this weekend, it's a great time to test their tread---on both their shoes and their tires. SAIF, ODOT and OSP encourage everyone to spring forward safely and check tread correctly.

Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of injury for Oregon workers. One way Oregonians can help prevent injuries is by wearing shoes that are in good condition, with good tread.

Workers should check their shoe soles often---one way to remember is to check them when you fall back or spring forward. Replace your shoes when the worn-out, smooth part on the sole of your shoe is bigger than two pennies. Download a poster to share with your company (http://www.saif.com/Documents/SafetyandHealth/SlipsTripsandFalls/S933_poster_worn_out_shoes.pdf).

Tires with worn tread or improper inflation can cause deadly crashes. In fact, tires are the single most important mechanical component of vehicle control and safe driving. Learn what to look for on the Oregon State Police tire tread website (https://www.oregon.gov/osp/PATROL/Pages/Safety-Tip---Tire-Safety.aspx). If you see a wear bar, the tread has fallen to 2/32 of an inch; this is designed to tell you it's time to replace your tires.

In a pinch? Use a penny! Insert one into the tire's tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, it's time to replace your tires. Either way, this weekend, spring forward and check your tread.

About SAIF
SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. For more than 100 years, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work.

About ODOT and OSP
The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Police are partners in working toward zero serious injuries and fatalities on the transportation system, because it takes all of us working together. Please, be alert, be smart and watch out for each other.

Attached Media Files: SAIF shoe tread poster
Final SAIF farm safety seminars of the season will be in Klamath Falls March 14 and 15 - 03/01/17

Summary: The seminars, which are free to anyone interested in agricultural safety, will be on Tuesday, March 14 (in English) and Wednesday, March 15 (in Spanish) at Oregon Tech. The seminars will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and lunch is included. Photos from recent presentations are available by request.
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As one of Oregon's largest industries, agriculture also tends to suffer its share of injuries and illnesses.

To reduce the number and severity of injuries in the industry, SAIF has presented free, half-day agricultural safety seminars across the state for more than 20 years. Each year the not-for-profit company reaches more supervisors, managers, and other workers and, hopefully, prevents more injuries.

Designed primarily for people working in agriculture, anyone with an interest in ag safety and health is welcome to attend. (They don't have to be insured by SAIF.) The seminars run from November to March.

For the past 12 years, several of the sessions also have been presented in Spanish.

Employers with small ag businesses who attend the seminar will meet OSHA's instructional requirement, one of four requirements that exempt small agricultural operations from random OSHA inspections.

This year, seminars will be held in 16 Oregon cities: Bandon, Central Point, Clackamas, Corvallis, Eugene, Hermiston, Hillsboro, Hood River, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Ontario, Salem, The Dalles, Wilsonville, and Woodburn.

Spanish-language seminars will be held in Central Point, Hermiston, Hillsboro, Hood River, Klamath Falls, Salem, The Dalles, Woodburn, and Wilsonville.

The seminars -- which begin November 1 in Ontario -- are held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and include lunch.

Topics for the 2016-17 series:
Learning to S.I.T. | A simple, three-step approach to help make training more effective. The session focuses on effective teaching strategies while demonstrating applicable safety tips share within your operation.

Clearing the air on pesticide safety | We'll cover Worker Protection Standard rule changes for 2017 and 2018, proper storage and handling of the typical crop protection materials, and some real-world hazards to avoid when spraying.

Farm shop safety: improving your odds | Tips to avoid injury, stay in compliance, and use the farm shop to set higher standards for other work areas--featuring SAIF's new farm shop safety video.

Welding safety and other hot topics | Safety tips to reduce burns, eye injuries, and help manage toxic fumes while describing several unique fire hazards; plus skin cancer health facts, prevention, and detection guidelines.

This seminar series will not offer private applicator pesticide "core" credits.

The Oregon State Landscaping Contractors Board has approved the seminar for four hours of continuing education credits.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services has approved the seminar for four hours of producer continuing education credits.

Seating is limited, so early registration is recommended. You may register online at saif.com/agseminar or call 800.285.8525. We'll confirm by email as soon as we receive your registration. About one week before the seminar, we'll send you an email reminder with the location address. If you have any questions, please call 800.285.8525.

Get more information, or view the schedule of seminars, at http://www.saif.com/agseminar.

About SAIF
SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit, state-chartered workers' compensation insurance company. Since 1914 it has been caring for injured workers and helping to make workplaces safer. For more, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com