• Tips to Avoid Workplace Injuries

    on Mar 20th, 2018

Here’s a big statistic to wrap your head around: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2016, which is a rate of 2.9 per 100 full-time workers.

And you don’t need to be dangling from scaffolding to be at risk. Wholesale and retail trade tracked at about the same levels as the usual suspects, construction and manufacturing, with all four reporting 3-5 injuries per 100 employees. The finance and insurance industry injury rates were predictably lower, at about 1 per 100, but these workers are by no means immune to injury.

Here at Enhanced Medical Centers, we see our fair share of workplace injuries among our patients, many of which could have been prevented. To that end, we’ve gathered together a few tips to help you avoid workplace injuries, whether you’re at a desk or on a roof.

Repeat after us

One of the most common injuries we see at our practice are repetitive use injuries. From carpal tunnel syndrome to painter’s shoulder, any job that requires you to make the same movement over and over puts you at risk for developing painful tendon and ligament problems.

If you spend hours at a keyboard or all day turning a wrench, make sure your spine is properly aligned, which means checking your posture. And take frequent breaks. It’s all too easy to get caught up in your work and, before you know it, hours have flown by. Set a timer to take a break, stretch, and correct your posture every 30 minutes or so.

Lastly, know the signs of a repetitive use injury in the making. The moment you feel any nagging or dull pain, get in to see us so we can make some corrections to your alignment.

Watch your step

Slips, trips, and falls account for a fair number of workplace injuries (about 230,000 in 2013) and these injuries are the most avoidable of all injuries. Clearing out the clutter, wearing the proper shoes, and cleaning up spills rank among the top things you can do to protect yourself. For desk jockeys, make sure you close desk drawers and watch the mass of cords that seem to sprout out of every socket and spread across the floor.

A smart lift

Whether you’re delivering a heavy package or you’re on the receiving end of one, take care to protect your low back from injury. If heavy lifting isn’t part of your daily routine, use your knees instead of your back to lift that heavy box of copy paper. If heavy lifting is part of your job description, make sure to wear the proper back brace and do yourself a favor off the job by exercising your core. A solid core is one of the best ways to take the pressure off your spine.

Heads up

The third most common workplace injury is being hit by falling objects. While you can’t control someone else’s neglect, you can ensure that you’re not the culprit behind your co-worker’s injury. Secure your tools, stack boxes correctly, and look around your workplace for any loose items that may present a hazard, and that includes the factory warehouse as well as the office supply room.

You can protect yourself by being aware of your surroundings, and not taking any risks when retrieving items placed higher up. Reaching for a box on the top shelf on your tippy toes is a recipe for disaster. Grab a small step ladder and enlist the help of a colleague.

Collision course

Watch any busy street and you’ll see that most people are set on a collision course thanks to having their heads buried in their phones. The same can be said of the corridors and aisles at work. If you’re racing the halls while trying to check a report from the boss, be aware that someone else is likely doing the same thing, and neither of you will see each other until it’s too late.

No shortcuts

All too often, workplace injuries stem from not taking the time to adjust or get the right tool for the job. If you’re at the top of the ladder, trying to put the finishing touches on your paint job, don’t be tempted to reach as far as you possibly can in order to avoid climbing down and moving the ladder. An overextension or falling injury means you won’t be completing any job in the near future, never mind the one you’re working on.

Be proactive

One of the best ways to avoid workplace injuries is to be proactive about your health. Through regular chiropractic care, you can make sure your spine is in alignment and your body’s natural systems are flowing unimpeded. At Enhanced Medical Centers, we partner with our patients to not only treat their injuries, but prevent them in the first place.

To learn more about workplace safety or workplace injuries, feel free to give us a call or schedule a consultation on the website using our easy booking tool.

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