A wide range of disorders resulting in pain and impaired function when an individual is exposed to work activities and work conditions that contribute to their development or exacerbation. These affect the soft tissue of the body, such as the muscles, the tendons that connect muscles to bones, ligaments that connect bone to bone, nerves and blood vessels. These disorders are also known as cumulative trauma disorders, repetitive strain injuries and overuse injuries.
Risk factors for developing work related injuries:
- Repetitive work
- Involving frequent lifting and turning
- Constant maintenance of same posture for long
- Improper desk space and arrangement
- Responding to unexpected movements
- Failure to take rest breaks
- Inadequate staffing
- Inadequate training on injury prevention
- High perceived work load
- Time pressure
- High psychological stresses
These injuries can be prevented by proper ergonomics techniques. These techniques work by modifying the work to fit the worker, not the other way around. The goal of ergonomics is to eliminate discomfort and risk of injury due to work. Following are joint specific techniques for prevention of injuries-
- Back ergonomics
- Maintaining neutral spine at all times
- Using proper chair with correct lumbar support: chair should support your spinal curves. The height of your chair should be such that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor. Adjust armrests so that arms stay on them with shoulders relaxed.
- Using proper lifting techniques: Which is Squat lift instead of bending from your back
- Using Proper carrying techniques: Load should be carried as close to the body and at elbow level
- Incorporate exercises to strengthen core muscles
2. Shoulder ergonomics
- Use bag pack instead of shoulder or hand bag.
- Improve posture to prevent rounding of shoulders consciously.
- Place items and parts between shoulders and waist height
- Avoid reaches above shoulder and reduce any excessive reaching
- While sitting or standing keep arm vertical and close to body.
- Incorporate exercises to strengthen rotor cuff and scapular muscles to stabilise shoulder.
3. Wrist and hand ergonomics
- Maintain wrist in neutral while working: Use mouse pad or support under the wrist to prevent it from going into extension
- Chair and desk height should be such that elbow is parallel to the floor at 90 degrees.
- Using appropriate hand tools to maintain wrist in neutral and have wider grip
- Incorporate exercises to strengthen forearm and hand muscles
GENERAL ERGONOMICS GUIDELINES:
- Use correct postures
- Take breaks between activities
- Graduated systematic progression of work load to be done
- Any pain or injury should be identified immediately and managed appropriately.
- Use larger muscle groups to do work whenever possible instead of using small muscle groups
- Use assistive devices to aid in work
- Warming up prior to working
- Improve flexibility and strength
For more details about ERGONOMICS call us 7061800800 or Visit Us The HEAL Institute.
March 13, 2020