Injuries at work can affect various parts of your body. Certain activities can cause fatigue, discomfort or pain when you do them over and over again without taking a break. These activities include:
- Bending or reaching
- Staying in the same position for a long time
- Continuous pressure from being on a hard surface when kneeling or standing
- Working in very hot or cold temperatures
- Repetitive motions
Make sure to report any injuries to your supervisor right away so changes can be made. If no changes are made, your symptoms can get worse.
Some injuries are caused by only having a small amount of time to get a job done. When you have to work fast and are under pressure, it is easy to forget about safety.
Here are some general tips to avoid injury:
1. Before you start a task, make sure your tools and equipment are in good working order.
2. Alternate heavy and lighter tasks to give your body a break.
3. Focus on the task you are doing, hazards exist even if you have been doing the task for years.
4. Pay attention to your posture.
When bending down to pick something up, make sure to:
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight
- Use the muscles in your upper legs and abdomen to protect your back when you stand
When lifting an item, make sure to:
- Check its weight to make sure it is a weight you can lift
- If it is too heavy, ask for help or use lift assist equipment like a three-way dolly
When dumping trash bags, make sure to:
- Wear gloves at all times to avoid cuts from glass
- Have your feet and body facing the dumpster
- Step close to the dumpster
- Use a step-up platform to reduce lifting above shoulder height
- Avoid twisting or tossing sideways
Preventing slips, trips and falls
- Clean all spills immediately
- Mark spills and wet areas
- Adjust your stride to a pace that is appropriate for the walking surface and tasks you are doing
- If walking on a slippery surface, shorten your stride and walk with your feet turned slightly outward
- Make wide turns at corners
- Remove obstacles from walkways and always keep them free of clutter
- Secure mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat
- Replace used light bulbs and faulty switches
- Keep working areas and walkways well lit
- Cover cables that cross walkways