In case you’re thinking of joining the business-related social networking site LinkedIn – but haven’t checked it out yet – here’s an example of what it offers the safety community.
Once you sign up for LinkedIn (a basic account is free) you can join groups that focus on particular topics such as workplace safety. One such group, Occupational Health and Safety>, has more than 2,800 members from around the world, including safety consultants and people from government departments, safety association, and safety product companies.
An occupational health advisor at a UK factory posted this question to the group: “Can anyone recommend a back care/manual handling leaflet that would be appropriate to give employees following manual handling training? Any suggestions gratefully received.”
I suggested she check out Back Talk: An Owner’s Manual For Backs – available free online from WorkSafeBC. Okay, it’s not exactly a leaflet, but it’s still got a lot of great info and would work for people with computer access.
Another answer came from a senior safety specialist in South Carolina who suggested she try Back to Backs from Krames StayWell, a company that sells pamphlets in bulk for consumer health outreach. She suggested searching “back care” on the Krames site, where there are many more publications available on the topic.
I noticed this same physician posted a suggestion on another question to this group, from a safety manager in Dallas who said, “Looking to initiate a pre-shift stretching program, anything you can share would be welcome.”
The Florida member posted a link to a program called Stretch It Out. Many others shared their personal experiences, and I decided to add my two cents by posting about a workplace warm-up and stretch routine from FIOSA-MIOSA, which I wrote about at the beginning of this year.
Potential for answers
LinkedIn groups have a lot to offer, but it’s “buyer beware” when it comes to free advice. Many people use it as a forum for selling their safety products and consulting services, which may or may not be a good value, so you’ll have to rely on your best judgment, as you would in face-to-face interactions.
You’ll find a list of LinkedIn safety groups in this post – and I’d also like to know if you have any good sources for getting workplace safety information online. Add your two cents by commenting below. If you feel shy about it, you can always use a nickname and remain anonymous.