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Break the Cycle, Not Your Back!

Material handling is a part of our everyday lives, from carrying groceries and the laundry basket, to moving, lifting, and carrying materials at work. We are creatures of motion!

Doing these tasks can take a toll on our bodies and increase our risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s).  

Fatigue in your back and joints is one of the most common injuries of material handling, and one of the most common complaints at our practitioner’s office. Most of us have felt that “twinge” in our back, hoping it goes away with rest, while some of us have to seek treatment for the injury.  

Spark Safety can offer you some tips on avoiding MSD injuries in the workplace.

Tip #1 Ergonomics

Designing the job to the worker is not the easiest solution, but it is highly beneficial. When our workstation can be adjusted to work with the worker, it can alleviate stress on our muscles and joints and reduce the overall risk of injury. When reviewing your current workstation look for ways to reduce:

  • Repetitive motions such as reaching, twisting, and bending 
  • Frequent carrying or lifting, 
  • Reduce the weight being carried; use ergonomically designed tools specific for the job
  • Remove forceful exertions such as pushing or pulling; again, utilise tools to aid you in the job at hand – request them if they aren’t readily available!

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Tip #2 Train Proper Lifting Techniques

  • Keep the load as close to your body as possible
  • Lift with your legs and not with your back
  • Don’t be a Hero! Get assistance when loads are heavy or awkward
  • Incorporate a stretching routine in your morning start up meetings; lifting, pulling, or pushing while your muscles are ‘cold’ is hazardous

Tip #3 Encourage Participation

Employees are out in the trenches everyday, they are the experts in their jobs, encouraging open communication regarding the material handling hazards goes a long way when trying to identify and put in place corrective actions to prevent incidents.

Spark Safety offers a wide range of training and ergonomic consulting to help your workplace prevent MSD injuries. Check our training calendar or contact us if you have any questions about how we can help you identify and prevent MSD in your workplace. Let us Bring Safety to Life in your Workplace.

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