When it comes to the workplace, small injures can cost you big time. It’s because these are common in many workplaces, as well as certain industries, like skilled trades, and can lead to expensive workers’ compensation claims.
Typing or clicking on a mouse, for instance, might seem innocuous. And yet, performing this movement again and again over a period of hours can cause strains in the muscles and tendons of the hand, wrist, fingers and forearm. This can then produce pain and damage due to repeated use.
Employees most at risk for a repetitive strain injury are those with poor posture or poor technique when it comes to using computers or other technology or machinery. In addition, some other factors that can contribute to these kinds of injuries include:
- Poor overall physical health
- Having a specific health issue, like diabetes or arthritis
- Leading a sedentary life
- Not taking regular breaks
- Operating in a high pressure work environment
So when it comes to protecting your people from the possible risk of such an injury, what can you do? Here are three tips to help:
Tip #1: Encourage good posture.
Posture is critical when it comes to preventing repetitive strain injuries. When your employees are seated or standing properly, it will go a long way in protecting their bodies. For instance, when sitting, their feet should be flat on the floor, with knees bent at a right angle over the feet and their lower backs arched inward.
Tip #2: Set up healthy workstations.
Whether your employees are on computers or at machines, their workstations should be conducive to a healthy environment. A keyboard, for example, should be positioned just above the thighs, so employees are able to hold their elbows at 90 degree angles with their arms parallel to the ground. Monitors should be around 20 inches from eyes with a mouse that’s within easy reach next to the keyboard.
Tip #3: Ensure proper technique.
Make sure your employees are demonstrating proper technique when they’re on computers or using equipment. You can also vary or rotate job tasks, as well, so that they can change positions and avoid overuse of any one body part. In addition, have your employees take regular breaks throughout the day to avoid the potential for strain.
There are a few other ways to prevent these kinds of injuries. For instance, you can place posters throughout the workplace that promote ergonomic workplace practices to serve as reminders. You should also focus on hiring those who are safety conscious and have a strong track record in this area.
Need more help hiring safety-oriented people for your team?
Turn to Future Force. As one of the top staffing agencies in Orlando, FL, we know where to look for top talent who can meet your needs, stay safe on the job, and contribute in a positive way to your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more.