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Workplace Injuries Explained

Workplace Injuries Explained  

A very common misconception about workplace injuries is that they are limited to accidents that cause bodily harm to someone. Musculoskeletal disorders may not be noticeable at first but cause damage none the less.MSD Risk Factors include:

  • repetitive motions
  • working in awkward or stationary positions
  • lifting heavy items
  • extreme temperatures
  • being exposed to too many vibrations

Identifying MSDs

It is critical that you acknowledge any warning signs that you may be experiencing Musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal pain presents itself in many different ways.

Common symptoms:

  • Stiff joints
  • Numbness in thighs
  • Numbness in fingers
  • Back pain
  • Difficulty moving your finger(s)

There are also many types of work that are most likely to pose ergonomic hazards. Some of the most affected professions include nurses and nurse’s aides, laborers, assemblers, and janitors. These and other professions require many movements that help cause MSDs, such as:

  • Long hours of working/sitting in awkward positions
  • Heavy lifting
  • Manual handling
  • Production and Manufacturing
  • Twisting movements

What Is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the study of work and fitting the job to fit the worker instead of forcing the worker to adapt to the job. Taking what we know about the ergonomics definition, it is a matter of adapting jobs to help the worker better. Understanding ergonomics is important to keep all employees safe.

Controlling Ergonomic Risk Factors

Eliminating ergonomic hazards is an essential way to prevent workplace injuries. Through an ergonomics program or job hazard analysis, all risk factors must be identified, and suitable ergonomic solutions should be put in place. Examples include:

  • Providing all engineering tools required for a job
  • Teaching proper lifting techniques and maintaining clean work areas
  • Rotating workers between jobs to avoid repetitive motions
  • Proper rest periods
  • Personal Protective Equipment such as vibration gloves and knee pads

If an employee ever feels unsafe in their workplace or are concerned that there are conditions that may attribute to MSDs, it is important to report these conditions to their direct superior. If proper actions are not taken, the Occupational Safety Hazard Association (OSHA) has ergonomics coordinators to help.