General: Ergonomic injuries generally fall under the umbrella of musculosketal disorders of MSDs. MSDs include a group of conditions that involve the nerves, tendons, muscles and supporting structures, such as intervertebral discs. They represent a wide range of disorders that can differ in severity, from relatively mild to depilating. Some MSDs you might be familiar which include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome and tendinitis. Even back pain could be considered an MSD.
Below are some risk factors that can contribute to work-related MSDs.
4. Heavy lifting
5. Repetitive motions
6. The use of continuous force
7. The use of vibrating equipment
8. Working in awkward positions
9. Continuous contact with hard or sharp objects
What are some specific things we can do to prevent ergonomic injuries on the job?
1. When standing or sitting, maintain good posture to avoid back pain.
2. When sitting, place our back against the chair and your feet flat on the floor.
3. Use any ergonomic equipment available to you, such as wrist rests when working on a keyboard.
4. When using a computer, adjust the monitor so that it is at eye level and glare is minimized.
5. Keep comfort, efficiency and safety in mind when choosing hand tools.
6. Wear comfortable shoes with cushioned soles or inserts to relieve tension from standing for long periods of time on a hard floor.
7. Periodically stretch and relax your muscles – especially if your job involves repetitive motions.
8. Increase endurance and muscle tone by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Remember to consult with a physician prior to starting a new exercise regiment.
9. Report ergonomic concerns to your manager or supervisor.
Conclusion: Many times, a simple change in how we perform our work can help to prevent an ergonomic injury, or MSD. Take your own job for example. Are there things you could do differently to not only complete your work more efficiently, but also reduce the stress your body experiences as your perform different tasks. If you have any questions about MSD contact your supervisor or a member of the Safety Management Team.