The leading cause of workplace injury in the United States is overexertion involving outside sources,according to research from the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. This category typically includes injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying and throwing objects.
The research also shows that overexertion injuries cost businesses $15.08 billion in 2013. Overexertion injuries can impact the musculoskeletal system – things like muscles, ligaments and tendons – resulting in a Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD). What’s more, these injuries can occur in any type of work environment, from nursing homes and hospitals to construction sites and production facilities. The interesting fact about overexertion injuries, however, is that many of them are completely avoidable.
Read below to discover four tips for reducing overexertion injuries in the workplace:
The quickest and most cost effective way to avoid overexertion injuries is to seek some help when lifting large and/or heavy items. Employees should ask a coworker for help or take a few seconds to look for assisted lifting equipment. When lift assistance is not available, employees should use proper lift technique as instructed by their workplace’s injury prevention program.
In addition to proper lift technique training, effective material handling training is an essential part of any injury prevention program. Successful material handling training will involve multiple, evidence-backed components that educate employees about the nature of injury, job specific techniques and provide comprehensive hands-on sessions to reinforce key concepts.
Similar to how athletes warm up before competition, employees performing physically demanding work should do the same. Proper warm ups and stretching breaks not only have the ability to impact an employee’s overall performance at work, but can also aid in injury prevention by loosening the joints and preparing the muscles for physical activity.
Many workplaces have implemented high-quality assistive or ergonomically designed equipment in order to reduce the physical stress placed upon the worker. Similar to the waves of back belts being distributed without proper use training in years past, this new equipment can cause injury when employees aren’t properly instructed on how to use it. To reduce injuries associated with equipment, leadership should implement a new equipment training program, while employees should make sure to ask any questions they have regarding proper use.
Businesses lose money from workplace injuries every year. Athletico has a team of experts who design injury prevention programs for companies of all sizes and industries. To create safer work environments, experience less injuries and employ a more engaged and satisfied workforce, please contact us at Work4U@athletico.com or by phone 888-8-Work4U (888-896-7548).
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.