Warmer Weather Means Motorcycles Back on the Road

As spring breaks across the country (slower in some areas that in others) and the weather warms, motorcyclists who haven’t been as numerous during the winter start getting back on the roads.

As a car or truck driver, whether you realize it or not, you’ve slowly gotten used to not seeing as many motorcycles during the winter and so, you’ve stopped paying attention like you should.

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Both motorcyclists and vehicle drivers need to take responsibility.

As a car or truck driver you need to stop and look both ways twice; it’s just too easy to miss a motorcycle with a quick glance each way. As a motorcyclist who’s feeling the euphoria of getting out on the open road again after being cooped up all winter it’s just too easy to drive just a little more dangerously than you would later on once that euphoria has had a chance to better tampered a bit.

As a motorcyclist, you need to realize that cars and trucks, having over the winter, gotten used to seeing fewer motorcycles, have stopped looking out for them.

It’s  kind of the difference between being a parent and a grand-parent. When my wife and I had young ones around the house constantly, we child-proofed the home, always watching to protect the kids from accidental harm. Now, as a grand-parent we don’t think about that stuff until 2 minutes before the grand-kids come over. It isn’t that we don’t care about the grand-kids, it’s just that in the normal course of the day we don’t have to think about kids putting their fingers in light sockets or pulling lamps down on their heads. As soon as they are around for any length of time, we quickly adjust to the change.

we’ll all get more and more used to having motorcycles sharing the roads again but for now we all have to make a little more of a conscious effort to think about it until it becomes more second-nature.

Cars, trucks… look twice and look hard. Realize that motorcycles can be hard to see.

Motorcycles… assume they don’t see you and function accordingly.

Stay safe on the roads this spring.


LNI Caution Zone Jobs

During last week’s governor’s safety show in Tacoma, I was able to gather some documents the contents of which I’m going to be passing along to you over the next few days. One of the most informative booths was the LNI booth with a lot of really great information. Among them was the Pocket Guide to Caution Zone Jobs.
A caution zone job is a “work activity performed regularly by workers that involves any of 14 risk factors. These 14 risk factors fall into 6 distinct categories as follows:

I. Awkward postures of the shoulders, arms, neck, back or knees
1. Awkward postures of the shoulders and arms – Working with the hand(s) above the head, or elbow(s) above the shoulder, for more than 2 hours total each day
2. Awkward postures of the neck or back – Working with the neck or back bent more than 30 degrees (without support and without the ability to vary posture), more than 2 hours total per day.
3. Squatting – Squatting more than 2 hours per day.
4. Kneeling – Kneeling more than 2 hours total per day.

II. High hand force

5. Pinching – Pinching an unsupported object or objects weighing 2 or more pounds per hand, or pinching with a force of 4 or more pounds per hand, more than 2 hours total per day.
6. Gripping – Gripping an unsupported object or objects weighting 10 or more pounds per hand, or gripping with a force of 10 or more pounds per hand, more than 2 hours total per day.

III. Highly repetitive motion of the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists or hands

7. Highly repetitive motion – repeating the same motion with the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists or hands (excluding keying activities) with little or no variation every few seconds, for more than 2 hours per day.
8. Keying – Performing intensive keying more than 4 hours total per day.

IV. Repeated impacts with the hands or knees
9. Repeated impact – Using the hand (heel/base of palm) or knew as a hammer more than 10 times per hour, more than 2 hours total per day.

V. Lifting objects

10. Heavy lifting – Lifting objects weighing more than 75 pounds once per day or more than 55 pounds more than 10 times per day.
11. Frequent lifting – Lifting objects weighing more than 10 pounds, if done more than twice per minute, more than 2 hours per day.
12. Awkward lifting – Lifting objects weighing more than 25 pounds above the shoulders, below the knees or at arms length, more than 25 times per day.

VI. Using tools that have high or moderate vibration

13. High Hand-Arm Vibration – Using impact wrenches, carpet strippers, chain saws, percussive tools (jack hammers, scalers, riveting or chipping hammers) or other hand tools that typically have high vibration levels more than 30 minutes total per day
14. Moderate Hand-Arm Vibration – Using grinders, sanders, jigsaws or other hand tools that typically have moderate vibration levels more than 2 hours per day.

Check out the Department of Labor and Industries website at www.LNI.wa.gov/wisha/ergo for more information, tools, downloads, etc….
Even better, how about a no-fee consultation? Send an email to ergonomics@LNI.wa.gov if you live in the state of Washington. If you live outside of the state of WA check your state LNI office.