It won't surprise you to learn that the most common workamper accidents are related to slips and falls. Experts say the key to preventing slips and trips is good shoes with good tread. If you can find some "BF Goodrich All-terrain with nobbies," buy 'em and wear 'em, for safety's sake!
On busy weekends, you're working as fast as you can. You're moving faster, stretching farther, carrying extra boxes to make fewer trips, doing it by yourselves, etc. to save time and get the job done. Studies show the greatest risk of injury is when we're tired, rushed, and short of help. Please, slow down and get help.
Avoid "ladder malfunction" by following these 3 OSHA rules: 1) for every 4 feet up in height, the ladder needs to be 1 foot away from the wall, with 3 rungs showing over the top of the wall. 2) If working on a project that will have you going up and down, tie the ladder firmly at the top to whatever it's leaning against. 3) Keep 3 points of contact: 2 feet and 1 hand, or 2 hands and 1 foot touching the ladder at all times.
Avoid muscle strain by following this simple tip: Do some stretches for hamstring, lower back, side, and quad muscles for 10 to 15 minutes before starting work. Even if you think you're in great shape, taking time to warm up muscles helps more than most of us realize when it comes to preventing stress and strain injuries.
What if working safer and smarter takes longer? Many of the heavy-lifting tasks can wait until fewer campers are in the campground when you can take more time to do it safely for you and the campers. Plan ahead so you can get help from other workampers. Work in teams or pairs. Have someone hold the ladder or watch your back if you're climbing around in a storage shed looking for supplies. Don't try to lift a table or push a dumpster by yourself even if it's only a few inches. Don't over-stack your loads - leave room to see the path. Better yet, scout the safest, driest route - know where the slippery areas are and avoid them.
Please be aware that we prefer having the heavy work done by temporary workers or outside companies so that our hosts will still be around to host. Find a tree feller for those hazard trees and limbs. Call the waste disposal company to move those dumpsters to better locations. See if there's a local Scout troop that needs a service project and would be willing to assist with clean up or painting. You're not much good if you're twisted and bent out of shape due to an injury!
Think Safety before starting a job, Safety while you're completing the job, and Safety as you clean up after the job.
If you do have an accident of any kind while working, be certain to report it to your Area Manager so it can be reported to the Home Office within 24 hours.
(No workampers were harmed in the photographing of this blog.)