Archive for the ‘Workplace Safety’ Category
Are you sitting comfortably? Judging by the statistics it’s more than likely you aren’t. Around 9.3 million sick days were called in thanks to back pain and related afflictions in 2008/09 alone. But fear not, if you believe your work really is making you ill follow these simple tips on maintaining good health and safety in the workplace.
Combat RSI. Repetitive strain injury can occur in just about any workplace, from manual work to something as innocent as the everyday handling of a phone hand set. Any job that involves repetitive actions can lead to the pain, tenderness, stiffness and overall feeling of weakness that comes hand in hand with RSI. The most common muscles affected by RSI tend to be in the arms, back and neck, but simple steps like swapping the average mousepad for a wrist support or replacing a handset with a neck-friendly headset can all ease the tension.
Keep Posture Perfect. For those working behind a VDU sitting long hours in the same position comes with the territory, but often the way we are sat at work can start take its toll on our health. It’s so easy to start off upright and gradually slip into a slouched position as tiredness creeps in, and this can put a strain on not only the muscles, but the spinal structure itself.
When sitting at desk make sure the greater part of your back is resting against the chair and your back and shoulders as straight as possible. If you get regular neck or headaches, or can’t rest your feet firmly on the floor, it’s worth asking your employer for a risk assessment of your work station.
Take Breaks. If most of your work involves standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time it’s important to take regular breaks to move around. Wherever possible take time out to stretch out your muscles. Taking the odd minute here and there may not seem like much, but it can help to ease the strain on the neck, back and leg muscles. Moving around is also a great way to boost the circulation, preventing the risk of deep vein thrombosis and tension headaches.
Deal with Heavy Lifting. Lifting incorrectly is a fast-track route to back and neck injuries at work. Often the only advice given is to lift from the legs, but by keeping your body straight, holding the bulk close to your body, making sure you head stays raised and, most importantly, know when you need an extra hand.
It’s ultimately the responsibility of your employer to make sure the workplace meets the safety regulations of the government body Health and Safety Executive, so if there’s any part of your workstation you feel isn’t up to the standards for any reason, it pays to suggest it to your employer.
This post was provided by Jim Farlow – a boardroom and reception office furniture designer from the UK.
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the US. Construction workers experience physical ailments such as pain in the neck, arms, shoulders, and hands, as well as backaches on a daily basis. The average cost per workers’ compensation claim in the construction industry is $9,240.
The wear and tear of the construction industry is taking its toll on construction workers everywhere. What’s the solution? Stop problems before they start.
By making small changes in the way construction workers perform on the construction site, injury numbers can go down. As a construction worker, you can use the following tips to work ergonomically and prevent strain and injury on the job:
Use the correct tools
Using the same tool over and over again for a number of tasks can place unnecessary strain on your hands, arms, shoulders, and back. For instance, if you use an electric drill for every task, your hand may soon feel numb because of the vibrations.
Even using tools like hammers, screwdrivers, and pliers repeatedly could leave you at risk for long-term carpal tunnel syndrome.
If at all possible, use lighter tools for smaller tasks that won’t require as much force or strain in the upper body.
Take care in heavy lifting
Construction workers are often educated about the proper way to lift heavy materials on the job. But then why are the majority of back problems not prevented on a construction site?
Change that now.
Make sure to always bend your knees when you lift instead of straining with your back. It also helps to place one foot in front of the other for balance and avoid turning or twisting from side to side, which will put unnecessary pressure on your lower back.
Take a seat
If you operate a forklift regularly, then you are in luck. Sitting down from time to time on the job will reduce strain on your ligaments and ease pressure placed on your lower back.
When working on other tasks, try to sit instead of squat, which will cause wear and tear on your knees over time. Using a stool for daily tasks could even make a difference in protecting your core, lower back, and knee joints.
Keep your arms in a neutral posture
If you find yourself flexing your wrist over and over again, this will greatly increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Try to keep your arms close to your body in a neutral position to reduce strain on your torso and back when working.
If you experience symptoms like swelling, pain, or tingling, it could signify an overuse injury. Make sure to alert your construction foreman so that you can rest that part of your body until fully recovered.
The above tips are simple enough to remember but easy to forget when you’re on a construction site. But construction workers must try in order to reduce the risk of injury. Most construction workers don’t give a second thought to how often they use certain parts of their body. Taking the time to rest, change tools, or sit will change your workday for the better.
About the author: Sylvia is an online writer who enjoys writing construction-related health articles to prevent injuries of all kinds, including truck forklift mishaps.
On a construction site, health and safety regulations are absolutely paramount for both workers and employers. A safe site equals a safe worker but it’s unreal how many sites get basic health and safety regulation wrong – or just ignore it altogether.
While it is the fault of the employers, it is also the fault of their employees if nothing is said to rectify the situation. Staffs need to gather the courage to say, ‘something is wrong here, boss’; otherwise workplaces are just a big accident waiting to happen.
On the other hand, while employees need to speak up, firms should be encouraging their employees to do so. Sometimes, the workplace can be an intimidating arena, so employers need to come with a few solutions as to how employees can bring up the issue of health and safety without being undermined.
Companies need to make sure there is one key figurehead within the firm that controls health and safety. With a visible, central person leading the way for health and safety, workers should know who to contact if a problem does arise – like someone smoking outside of the designated smoking shelters, for example.
Another issue is the registering of a complaint publicly. Most workers would rather bring up an issue anonymously as to not cause extra grief within the workplace so by installing a simple drop box in the main office; workers can submit health and safety issues anonymously. This makes it easier for staff and it gives the firm a chance to file the complaint. It’s also very cost effective – after all, a box and some pieces of card cost pittance compared to the fine firms could receive if their health and safety measures are poor.
It’s all well and good reporting a complaint but employers need to make sure that action is taken. After all, if people continue to report complaints but see that nothing is being done, will they continue to report issues? The answer is no.
Health and safety is incredibly important in a workplace and so is the aspect of reporting these issues. Without staff and employers joining forces to employ health and safety, firms could face a big fine or – even worse – an accident or death in the workplace.