In certain fields, there is a great need for ergonomic support, whether it is back, wrist, knee, ankle, etc. In industries like construction, food processing, landscaping, office jobs, etc. there is a lot of reaching and lifting, prolonged standing, and repetitive motions. If you aren’t using these supports, you can seriously injury yourself causing sprains and strains or other musculoskeletal disorders, which could result in time away from work. A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, while a strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. You can reduce these injuries by wearing the necessary support!
Examples of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Epicondylitis (affects the elbow)
- Trigger finger
- Muscle strains and low back injuries
When employees use smart lifting practices, they are less likely to suffer from back sprains, muscle pulls, wrist injuries, elbow injuries, spinal injuries, and other injuries caused by lifting heavy objects. Some ways to help with lifting heavy objects is to use forklifts or hand trucks, use ramps to load objects, wearing gloves, or asking somebody for help. Some things to think about are how far you will have to carry the load, is the path clear of clutter, will there be doors that are closed, or can the load be disassembled? Never lift anything unless you are sure you can do so safely!
Proper lifting techniques include these steps:
- Plan your lift and test the load
- Ask for help
- Get a firm footing
- Bend your knees
- Tighten your stomach muscles
- Lift with your legs
- Keep the load close
- Keep your back upright
How Can Companies Take Action?
Employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment. There are both ergonomic and individual factors to consider to prevent MSDs in the workplace.
- Provide management support
- Involve workers – worksite assessments, solution development and implementation
- Provide training – ergonomics and its benefits
- Identify problems – can there be engineering changes, job rotations, stretch breaks
- Encourage early reporting of MSD symptoms
- Implement solutions to control hazards
- Evaluate progress
We can provide you with the correct ergonomic support. Take action and avoid the pain of sprains and strains and other MSDs. Email us or call 800.331.6707 for any questions.