The Dangers of Ergonomic Injuries

Making sure that your workplace is ergonomically functional is an important part of preventing ergonomic injuries, such as back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Any type of job that puts stress on the body – whether it be in a factory or in a office – can put your workers at a higher risk for these types of injuries.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to mitigate the risks of ergonomic injuries in your company. The following are a few tips on how to do this.

Notice risk factors

The best way to prevent injuries from happening is to recognize when your workers are most at risk. There are a few obvious risk factors that may make people more vulnerable to ergonomic injuries.

These risk factors can include:

  • Repetitive motions (like those found in manufacturing)
  • Awkward and/or static postures (having to hold certain postures for a prolonged period of time)
  • Cold temperatures in the working environment
  • Vibration or compression stress
  • Forceful movements

Knowing if these factors are present in your working environment can help you to take measures to counteract ergonomic injuries before they happen.

Commit to ergonomic safety

Once you recognize the risk factors that are present in your organization, you need to invest in solutions that will help prevent injures. This could be purchasing better tools or office furniture for your employees, or having an ergonomic specialist come into make recommendations.

Update the Job Safety Analysis

Many times, it’s not just one single risk factor in a working environment that can cause an ergonomic injury. The Job Safety Analysis (JSA) breaks down steps to mitigate potential hazards for high-risk jobs. Ensure that ergonomic risks are incorporated into each of your company’s JSAs.

The JSA should consider risk factors like equipment, workstation, and job design to make sure they are optimized to reduce the risk of ergonomic injury.

Tools, for example, should be evaluated to make sure they aren’t putting unnecessary stress on the hands, wrists or back. And workstations can be evaluated to ensure that frequently used items are within easy reach without employees having to over-extend themselves.

Provide ergonomics training

When new employees start with your company, ergonomic training should be included as part of the orientation program. Doing this can help to empower employees to speak up about potential ergonomic issues and risk factors, thus avoiding more injuries long-term.

Ongoing risk management

In order to be really effective when it comes to preventing ergonomic injuries, it requires ongoing management and frequent reviews. It can’t just be about a one-time implementation or purchasing one piece of equipment.

It may be beneficial to appoint one person or a small team to follow up and review the identified risks and identify any new ones. This will help to ensure that your employees have what they need to mitigate the risk of ergonomic injuries in the workplace.

Contact TeksMed today

While preventing ergonomic injuries from occurring in the first place is always the best course of action, there may be times when your company will require disability management or return to work programs; this is where TeksMed can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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