Grays Harbor Paper Unveils Ergonomics Program

For Immediate Release

Grays Harbor Paper LogoHoquiam, WA, January 13, 2010 — In collaboration with InjuryFree, Grays Harbor Paper of Hoquiam, WA will be implementing an ergonomic program to ensure a safe, comfortable, injury free workplace for employees. One of the key areas of InjuryFree’s BEEA+ injury prevention paradigm, ergonomics will afford Grays Harbor Paper a greater opportunity to reduce the risk of injury at their facility. This opportunity will encourage employees to become involved in the program by creating opportunities to join ergonomic teams and to discuss environmental issues.

“Just as understanding the employees’ bio-physics is critical to reducing employees’ risk of injury, ergonomics is fundamental to maintaining the safety, health and productivity in the workplace,” said Trent Shuford, InjuryFree CEO. “In bio-physics we look at the individual employee and the physical challenges he or she undergoes in performing the job. We take the next step in ergonomics however, to examine how the individual’s body reacts to the job tasks and the work environment. To have that understanding provides Grays Harbor Paper with a holistic view to enhance their safety culture and become leaders in workplace safety.”

In addition to providing the education and training in ergonomics at Grays Harbor Paper, InjuryFree’s online software tool, ErgoStat, will be used to manage the administration and communication amongst employees. ErgoStat provides simple tracking, reporting and assessment methods in a HIPAA-compliant program. By simplifying the First Report process ErgoStat allows assessments to be filed and addressed immediately, thereby saving time and reducing the hassles of paperwork.

Executing an ergonomics program reflects InjuryFree’s dedication to enhance the safety of Grays Harbor Paper employees. In August, Grays Harbor Paper implemented an Employee Maintenance Center (EMC) within their facility to impact their employees’ bio-physics; strength and flexibility. The goal was to proactively reduce the onset of musculoskeletal injury.

Bob Brennand, Grays Harbor Paper Mill Manager reports, “Since opening our EMC in August 2009, InjuryFree has seen over 48% of our employees. Several employees have seen significant pain reduction, and others are steadily increasing their strength in their lower backs, our highest risk body part at the mill based on past accidents. I look forward in 2010 to seeing even greater employee utilization of InjuryFree’s EMC. With a great start in 2009 I believe the EMC will help prevent more bio-physical injuries this year, and our implementing an ergonomics program will help reduce the risks involved with several problematic job tasks at our facility. I’m excited about evaluating those tasks and about coming up with ergonomic solutions to reduce injury risks.”

Beginning January 13th,InjuryFree will be training the Grays Harbor Paper safety team, providing instruction in assessing ergonomics and methods of understanding the role of ergonomics in the workplace.