10 Ergonomic Tips To Avoid Injuries At Work
Injured on the Job - February 19, 2020
Most of us have to work, and we should not have to worry about getting injured on-the-job. However, workplace injuries are a major problem in this country. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 2.8 million total non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses during the latest reporting year across the US. While not every injury can be prevented, there are certain steps that employees can take to reduce their chances of being harmed.
You have probably heard the word “ergonomics.” This is the study of people’s efficiency in there working environment, and it is particularly helpful when designing workstations to fit a worker’s capabilities and limitations. There are several steps workers can take to help avoid fatigue and improve safety in their work environment.
- Ensure your head is positioned properly. Workers should try to keep the weight of their head directly above the base of their neck and avoid “craning” their head and neck forward.
- Workers should keep the weight of their arms supported at all times. Without proper arm support, the shoulder and neck muscles will become unnecessarily strained.
- Do not slouch at work. Slouching forward puts serious pressure on the discs in vertebrae in a person’s back. Workers should use the lumbar support in their chair and avoid sitting in ways that place more body weight on one part of their spine than other parts. Chairs should be as close as possible to what you are working on to avoid any reaching or leaning.
- Any computer monitor should be placed directly in front of you. Workers should not have to look up or down at the computer monitor, as this can place strain on the neck and back muscles. The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so a person does not have to turn their head or neck frequently.
- The keyboard and the mouse should be close to one another. This will prevent you from reaching excessively which can strain shoulder and arm muscles over time.
- Place the monitor an appropriate distance from your face to avoid straining your eyes. The monitor should be at least arm’s length away.
- Talking on the phone with the receiver between your neck and ear can place strain on neck and shoulder muscles. If you must frequently use the phone as part of your job, ensure that you have a headset.
- Try to control the glare of your computer screen. Make sure the monitor is not in front of a window and that there is not a bright background on the computer.
- Do not let your feet dangle when you are sitting down. If your feet are not comfortably resting on the floor, there will be increased pressure on the back of your legs, as well as your back muscles.
- You need to rest your eyes frequently. Take breaks and allow your eyes to look at objects in the distance for several seconds before returning looking at the screen.
Following these steps will go a long way in helping you reduce repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) at work. RSIs develop over time, usually because of poor ergonomics in the workplace. These injuries can lead to long-lasting pain and suffering and can have an impact on your career and earning potential.