Strains and sprains, the most common workplace injuries, can result from poor posture, improper lifting, and pushing or pulling, causing micro-traumas to the body. These injuries cause discomfort and can lead to long-lasting injuries, prolonged absences from work, lost wages, and increased healthcare costs.
Employees can significantly reduce the risk of strains and sprains with simple preventive measures. Let’s navigate through effective ways to prevent these injuries and promote a healthier and safer work environment.
1. Proper Lifting Techniques & Equipment
Educate employees on proper lifting techniques to avoid injuries when handling heavy objects. Stress the importance of lifting with the legs and not the back. If your workplace involves repetitive or heavy tasks, provide equipment such as dollies, carts, or lifting belts to assist employees and reduce the strain on their bodies.
2. Regular Exercise and Stretching
Support employees to engage in regular physical exercise and stretching. When muscles are tight, they are vulnerable to strain. Strengthening core muscles and maintaining flexibility can help prevent strains and sprains by improving overall body mechanics.
3. Hydration & Diet
Dehydration can increase the risk of muscle cramps and strains. Provide employees with water and encourage them to drink an adequate amount throughout the day to keep their muscles and joints hydrated.
Diet can also affect muscle injury. A balanced, healthy diet can help strengthen and encourage muscles to be more resilient from the risk of an injury.
4. Flexible & Comfortable Workstations
Consider providing flexible workstations that allow employees to switch between sitting and standing positions. Adjust chairs, desks, and computer monitors to maintain proper posture. This will help reduce the risk of neck, back, and wrist strain.
5. Wear Proper Footwear
Encourage employees to wear or provide employees with proper, comfortable, and supportive footwear that fits properly. Appropriate footwear can provide stability, reducing the risk of slips and falls that can lead to sprains.
6. Regular Breaks
Promote employees to take regular breaks to rest and stretch their muscles. Changing up an employee’s sitting or standing position can help prevent stiffness and muscle strain.
7. Workplace Safety Training
Sprains and strains affect employees in every industry. Employers can help minimize injury risk by providing workplace safety training, including proper lifting techniques, ergonomics, and strategies to prevent strains and sprains. Protect employees from potential hazards, promote awareness, and help them understand how to avoid strains and sprains.
8. Open Communication & Early Reporting
Promote open communication about any discomfort or pain employees may experience. Encourage early reporting of signs of strain or sprain so appropriate next steps can be taken immediately.
Preventing strains and sprains at work is a shared responsibility between employers and employees. By acting on these ways to avoid strains and sprains, workplace environments are healthier and safer. Join Axiom Medical on Thursday, August 10th at 1:00PM CT for our free webinar, “Who’s to Blame for Sprains & Strains.” Our expert panel will discuss the impact and management of these injuries, intervention strategies, and more!
Charli Pedersen works for Axiom Medical as their Content Marketing Specialist. She has her bachelor’s degree in English, Professional and Technical Writing and previous experience with creating content for businesses and non-profit organizations.