The New Year is the perfect time for resolutions. Your partners at Texas Mutual Insurance Company know you’ve got your hands full with plans to eat better, exercise more and take that dream vacation. We hope you’re also carving out time to improve your workplace safety program in 2016.

To make things a little easier, we put together this list of tips. If you promote them among your employees daily, we’re con dent you will nd that workplace safety is a commitment you and your team can live with this year and beyond.

Keep your feet on solid ground

Your employees put their lives on the line to protect
your customers and their property. Of all the potential accidents they are exposed to, however, the most common is something that happens to most of us every day.

Walking on slick surfaces, climbing stairs, navigating cluttered walkways, using ladders improperly and climbing in and out of vehicles makes the security guard business a slippery proposition.

In fact, slips, trips and falls account for 33 percent of injuries among ASSIST/Texas Mutual workers’ compensation safety group members.

ere are two general categories of slips, trips and falls: falls from the same level and falls from heights. You can help your employees keep their feet on solid ground by teaching these safe work practices:

  • Use handrails on stairs.
  • Keep three-point contact when using ladders and climbing in and out of golf carts and other vehicles.
  • Watch your step in parking lots to ensure you don’t trip over curbs or parking stops.
  • Be careful on premises that have cluttered walkways, wet oors and other symptoms of poor housekeeping.
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes rated for the conditions.
  • Follow designated walkways whenever possible.

Don’t get struck by potentially fatal accidents

Slips, trips and falls are the most common injuries among ASSIST safety group members. But struck-by injuries maintain the dubious distinction as the group’s most costly.

Struck-by injuries among security guards include physical assaults and gunshot wounds during robberies, employees getting hit by passing vehicles and animal attacks when installing alarms at private residences.

Here are some tips for helping your guards avoid struck- by accidents and their potentially fatal consequences:

  • Wear reflective vests when working outside the premises.
  • Avoid reckless driving and horseplay in golf carts. Keep your limbs and body inside the cart, slow down when turning and going around speed bumps, and don’t drive o until all passengers are seated.
  • Understand how your employer expects you to respond to active shooter situations, robberies and other emergencies. Similarly, the customer you are working for likely has its own emergency response procedures. Make sure you understand those procedures and your role in carrying them out.

Drive the safe road

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of on- the-job fatalities across industries. Your employees can protect themselves, their passengers and other drivers by following a handful of basic safety principles:

  • Buckle up every time, and make sure your passengers do the same. Do not put the vehicle in motion
    until everyone is wearing their seatbelt.
  • Control your speed, especially when roads are slick, tra c is heavy and visibility is poor.
  • Avoid talking on the cell phone, sending text messages, eating and engaging in other distractions while driving.
  • Get seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night.
  • Inspect your vehicle regularly to ensure your horn, brake lights, turn signals and other safety features work.

Take the strain out of your job

Strains are part of a broad category of injuries safety professionals call musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). e rest of us call them those nagging, minor injuries that just won’t go away.

Left untreated, MSDs can degenerate into serious, debilitating injuries. e risk is especially high for aging workers whose bodies don’t bounce back the way they used to.

Common causes of MSDs among security guards include jumping from elevated surfaces, moving heavy objects and sitting or standing for long periods. Teach your employees to take the strain out of their jobs by following these tips:

  • Take stretch breaks.
  • Follow safe-lifting principles, including lifting with your legs instead of your back, turning with your feet instead of twisting and keeping the load in your power zone. at’s the area between the middle of your thighs and the middle of your chest.
  • Alternate between sitting and standing whenever possible. • Avoid jumping from loading docks, truck beds and other elevated surfaces.

Get free safety resources

ASSIST/Texas Mutual safety group members bene t from free workplace safety resources designed for the hazards of our industry.

Simply go to texasmutual.com, click on the safety tab, click on safety resource center in the left-hand menu, and enter your login credentials or create a free account.

e system will direct you to a custom home page with resources hand-selected for the security industry. You can also click on resource catalog to access streaming videos, Toolbox Talks, downloadable safety programs and other resources.

Free safety resources are just one of many bene ts of joining the ASSIST/Texas Mutual safety group. Members also get a discount on their workers’ comp premium. In addition, many members have quali ed for monetary rewards from Texas Mutual based largely on their workplace safety records.

For more information, ask your insurance agent about the ASSIST/Texas Mutual workers’ compensation safety group.