September-October 2016

Corporate Culture and how it affects an Injury Prevention Program


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Corporate culture has a significant impact on the effectiveness of an injury prevention programs. Corporate culture represents the worldview of upper management and is manifested through management’s views and values.

The views and values of an organization can be seen in the interactions between management and their employees. It is through management’s actions and behavior that employees become aware of the organization’s meanings and learn what is expected of them and how to behave. Management must play a major role to ensure the success of injury prevention programs. Key elements include management commitment, managing injuries like other organizational concerns, integrating injury prevention into the entire organization, becoming personally involved and assuming accountability for injury prevention.

If management places a higher priority on production than on their employee’s well-being, employees will be less likely to openly report symptoms, which will result in the worsening of these symptoms and more recordable injuries. The more comfortable an employee feels approaching management when they are experiencing signs or symptoms of an injury, the more successful an injury prevention program will be. At CIS onsite, our main focus within the Early Intervention Program, is to help create a culture of early symptom reporting, and an open dialogue between the employee, management, and the EIP Specialist.

What is important for safety professionals, and EIP Specialists’ to realize is that, despite all of their knowledge and skills and the best attitude for building a strong injury prevention program, they cannot, by themselves, effectively provide a safe and healthy working environment. They need management support. That is the bottom line.

CIS onsite has experience with many different levels of management, as well as many different types of personalities. We have had excellent results working with these professionals and assisting them in developing a healthy corporate culture. We use our time on-site to interact with all levels of an organization from upper management to hourly employees. We communicate thoroughly, and help to encourage an open dialogue between management and employees as well.

For more information on how we can help you create the type of culture that can cultivate a successful injury prevention program, contact CIS onsite at 866-298-1312, or visit our website at


A Guide to Ergonomic Lighting


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When you say the term “office ergonomics,” often the first things that comes to mind are desks, chairs and keyboards. While office ergonomics as it pertains to these items is crucial, ergonomic lighting is also key, as it can help prevent the development of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a condition that accounts for blurred vision, headaches, neck pain, itchy eyes, and trouble sleeping among its symptoms. In addition, poor lighting can also contribute to general malaise, low productivity and high error rates, plummeting morale and a marked reduction in mental alertness. Strangely, ergonomic lighting is often overlooked in the office, and it’s not uncommon to see someone typing away on an ergonomic keyboard at a standing desk beneath harsh, fluorescent lighting or in a room that’s far too dim. Here are a few quick ergonomic lighting interventions to keep those eyes health and those heads free of pain.

1. Don’t Go Too Dim or Too Bright

Office lighting that’s too dim will cause your employees to squint and strain to see the screen. Not only is this inefficient, but it could also lead to a deterioration in vision over time. Bright lights cause similar problems, especially as they wash out images on computer screens. Ideally, you want employees to be able to read what’s on their screens without any straining at all. For dim rooms, add supplemental table lighting to increase the brightness. For bright rooms, especially those that use fluorescent lighting, consider taking out a row or two of bulbs to take the brightness down a notch.

2. Go for a Soft Yellow Light

Lights with more yellow tones are easier on the eyes, and they also tend to mess a little less with Circadian rhythms. They’re also just more psychologically pleasing, especially as they lack the awful buzz of a fluorescent light on the fritz. Of course, there’s a reason many workplaces go fluorescent: energy savings. To address this issue, go for the newest generation incandescent. While they won’t be quite as efficient as fluorescents, they’ll certainly get you close.

3. Watch the Placement of Your Lighting

No matter what kind of light you choose, glare is always a big area of concern, especially when it comes to computer screens. That’s why it’s best to go for indirect lighting; never, ever position lights so that their light bounces off of the screen. You might also consider a glare filter for all computer screens, and glare shields for any immovable lights that are too bright.

4. Don’t Position Monitors Near Windows

Of course, screens that are near windows are also at high risk for glare. What’s more, if there is a window placed directly behind a screen, it can create a situation in which there is too high of a contrast between the brightness of the screen and that of the window, making it extremely difficult for employees to see what’s on the screen. If you can’t place screens in any other position, blinds and drapes are an essential mitigation strategy, as can be window tinting.

5. Adjust Lighting with the Time of Day

Staring at a bright screen all day can wreak serious havoc on circadian rhythms and interrupt sleep. To prevent this, install an app on all computers to automatically brighten and dim screens throughout the day.

While all of these measures will help enormously in increasing the light ergonomics of your workplace, it’s also important to have employees adhere to the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes spent staring at the screen, stop and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to help the eye refocus and prevent eye strain.


Get the Edge in Class: Ergonomic Tips for Back to School


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Preparing for the back to school season can be a stressful time. Homework has to get done, new schedules have to be made, and school supplies have to be bought. To meet students’ essential needs, ergonomic principles should be taken into account.

Incorporating ergonomic friendly school supplies and ergonomic guidelines into any student’s life will help make educational tasks that much easier. So, here are 5 beneficial ergonomic tools for any student going back to school:

Key to Success: In this day and age, computers and keyboards are a staple in most schools. However, the risks associated with keyboarding may not be as well known. Poor typing posture can cause hand and wrist problems, especially for children because of their smaller hands. In order to help combat this issue, keys should be pressed on lightly, hands and wrists should hover over the keys, and wrists should be kept at a neutral position. The keyboard should sit on a flat surface and properly positioned (not tilted or propped).


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 Student and Mouse: When using a computer mouse, it can be easy for your hand and wrist to become aggravated. In order to avoid a mouse-related musculoskeletal injury, hold the mouse with a gentler grip and move the mouse with your forearm rather than your wrist. Position the mouse so that your wrist is in a neutral position. Additionally, it is important to choose a mouse shape and design that is comfortable for you, the student. For example, if you have smaller hands, a standard mouse may be too big and a smaller mouse may be more beneficial for your clicking needs.

How Heavy is Too Heavy: A backpack is a quintessential school item. Unfortunately, with textbooks getting bigger and lockers disappearing, students are carrying more than they can handle. To help aid with this problem, experts advise that students carry no more than 15-20% of their body weight on their backs.  Backpacks with wide padded straps, are better at distributing weight.  The backpack should be positioned so that it hangs just below the shoulders and rests on the hips/pelvis area.

Cramping Your Style:  Writing tools can be tricky to handle because of different weights and shapes that accompany them. In order to help make the writing process easier and more comfortable, try widening the barrel of your writing utensil, the less grip strength and pressure needed to write.

Less Paper Work: Students spend most of their time staring at white sheets of paper while in school. Unfortunately, the high contrast can lead to eye strain. If possible, it is better to use different colored paper such as yellow to reduce contrast as well as brightness.

More students are required to use tablets throughout the school day. As a result, visual fatigue occurs which causes eye discomfort, headaches, and blurred vision. The key to eliminating this problem is to minimize the brightness on the screen and take a break every 20 minutes.

So don’t stress and remember an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.



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