In order to prevent ergonomic risks in the workplace, many company owners have turned to innovative solutions, such as chair ergonomics. However, in order to be able to address the issue, you must be able to recognize it. This includes reviewing the workplace, work practices, and the overall setting. There are many different risk factors that can be present in the office workplace setting and below we will go over a few of greater importance:
- The Use of Excessive Force
This can include anything from lifting heavier loads, pushing or pulling heavy objects, manually moving heavy material, maintaining or controlling equipment or tools. These are all considered to be excessive force if performed on a daily basis.
- Repetitive Tasks
If the employees are performing the same motions over and over again over an extended period of time, there could be at risk of them developing chronic pain in the areas of the body that they are constantly using.
- Sitting or Working in Awkward Positions
If this goes on for longer periods of time, the awkward positions place stress on the body which in the short term is not that bad but repetitively can have long term effects. Some of these positions may include reaching above your shoulder height, kneeling, squatting, leaning over, bending the wrists, or twisting the torso often.
- Using the Body to Apply Pressure to Items
In certain working environments the employees find themselves in a situation when they must use one of the hands as a hammer or another type of tool and this can stress the whole body tremendously, since the pressure applied comes from gathering force from the body as a whole.
Although minor, this factor can also have impact on the body, especially cooler temperatures. While it’s not enough on its own, in combination with something else it can make it easier for MSD to develop and progress.
This is yet another another risk that many people don’t think about. If you have constant vibrations on your hands you could easily damage the capillaries that can make your hands harder to control. Vibrations can have an effect on the whole body and not just the hands or arms.
Any combination of the factors mentioned above poses even a greater risk of suffering injuries.
While some of these may happen more often in an office environment and some may not, it is important to know how to prevent them from happening in the first place. While you can go in depth and research all the different aspects of ergonomics in the workplace including desk and chair ergonomics, today we will just touch on the basics of how you can prevent some of these risks at an office job.
The most common risk in an office environment is repetitive movements. In order to help ease this, you can get the employees to try switching up tasks, taking a few breaks, stretching as often as possible and provide lower back support. Safety should come first, so hopefully after reading this article you feel more able to integrate these tips into your work environment and prevent workplace injuries.