AMS’ safety record is no accident: Workforce safety Series #16

January 14, 2021

In our first safety blog of the new year, we will look into ‘Lost Time Injuries’ – what are these injuries and what are we doing at AMS to avoid them.

The definition of Lost Time Injuries is as follows: In the United States, a metric, designated by OSHA, is used: DART. This stands for Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred. As the term implies, this refers to any injury or illness that results in someone being unable to work a full shift, being restricted from their normal work duties, or needing to be transferred. A more general lost time injury definition is: a work-related incident that results in a worker being unable to return to work. Other similar terms include “lost time incident,” “lost time case,” and “lost time accident.”

AMS has an amazing record with regard to these injuries, with very few occurring over the past several years. We have experienced only 5 lost time injuries over the last 3-years. The average for our industry for a population of 300 warehouse employees would be close to 36 lost time injuries over the same time period.

Matthew Warholy, AMS’ Security & Safety Supervisor, had this to say about our safety record:

“Lost Time Injuries not only hurt the employee involved, but AMS as well. Insurance rates increase of course, but other employees have to fill in where that employee is now missing. It’s a negative chain reaction.

“This is precisely why we have our monthly OSHA safety classes. When a participant is done with the class, they become a safety advocate for AMS. They learn emergency procedures, warehouse safety, how injuries happen and how to avoid personal injury by paying attention.

“Since most injuries happen from a lack of attention, the OSHA safety class is actually a positive chain reaction. The OSHA class minimizes the risk for the employee and AMS.”

As further incentive, AMS holds a drawing in each warehouse to reward employees for every month that lost time injuries are avoided. Every injury-free month brings an increase in the rewards, so when December comes around, and there are no injuries, 12- $100 gift cards are in each drawing, for each of AMS’s four West Coast facilities!

According to Samantha Hicks, Sr. Administrator, HR, the most often occurring lost time Injury is muscle strain. How do you work to prevent such strain? In a previous blog we heard about an adaptation in the workstation that served to keep an employee from having to bend over due to his being taller than average. We also know that reducing repetition through job rotation is effective in reducing injuries. So, solutions come with training and also with ‘paying attention’ and adapting.

Samantha explained that, “AMS’ goal is to get the employee back to work as soon as they are medically able, and if necessary provide the opportunity for reasonable accommodation, modified, or alternative work under the ADA. Studies show that the longer you are off work, the harder it is to get back to your original job and wages.”

Readers can view our previous safety blogs HERE.