Archive for May 18, 2009

Ergonomics and Workplace Safety

What is Ergonomics? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Ergonomics is a discipline that involves arranging the environment to fit the person in it”. When the work environment and Ergonomics correspond correctly, visual and musculoskeletal discomfort is significantly reduced. Ergonomic injuries, according to the CDC, are casued by excessive and repeated physical stress on the musculoskeletal system-the hands, wrists, elbow, shoulders, neck, and back.

There are many types of ergonomically designed equipment that you can choose from to help you reduce the risk of potential injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks. For those whose jobs require streneous physical activity, ergonomic products such as back belts, knee pads and supports, wrists supports, and elbow pads and supports are available.

Back Belts: When using a back belt, it stabilizes the spine, supports the abdomen and lower back to promote proper lifting techniques.

Knee Pads and Supports: Protect your knees when kneeling on rough surfaces. Reduces stress and fatigue to the knees, allowing you to work longer and more effectively.

Wrist Supports: Offer firm support that also encourage natural wrist positions.

Elbow Pads and Supports: Protect your body from pressure points when pressing against hard or sharp surfaces.

In addition, according to the Department of Industrial Relations, practicing regular upkeep to your workspaces, encouraging exercise, modifying work practices, providing recovery time, and providing variety in jobs are other simple things you can do to help reduce the risk of workplace injuries.