Repetitive stress injuries represent a significant workplace danger. Employers do what they can to avoid these conditions, but it is up to you to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself healthy. With the proper steps, you can minimize the risk that repetitive stress will take its toll.
When people think of workplace injuries, they usually imagine sudden, devastating accidents. Slipping and falling, falling off a scaffold, getting caught in a machine – terrible, one-time events that can completely alter a person’s life. However, these abrupt calamities aren’t the only way to find yourself hurt on the job. Rather, repetitive stress injuries (like carpal tunnel syndrome) can cause as much disruption to your life and career…just in a more subtle way.
Repetitive stress is a common problem. Data indicates that 1.8 million workers suffer from these injuries each year, equating to about 2% of the working population. Don’t become part of those statistics. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid RSIs:
Perform Tasks Correctly
Think about the term “repetitive stress.” The key point comes from the concept of repetition. You are performing the same task over and over again.
The best way to limit the long-term damage caused by a particular task is to make sure you perform that task in the safest way possible. Follow all instructions and procedures. Learn the right way to complete your job, so you keep your work as efficient and safe as possible.
Organize Your Work Station Appropriately
Following the proper procedures represents the first step in reducing repetitive stress injury. However, you need to take other factors into account as well. Specifically, look at your surroundings. Is your workplace appropriately designed?
If not, reorganize it to minimize stress on your muscles and joints. You should not have to do an unnatural amount of reaching stretching or bending, Organize your work area ergonomically, or you could eventually feel the results.
Repetitive stress operates by wearing your body down. Periods of rest allow you to avoid significant damage. Think about a pitcher in baseball. At some point, a reliever will come in to replace the starting pitcher, because their arm gets too tired to pitch effectively.
You might not have a reliever at your job, but use the same mindset. Take appropriate breaks to avoid overtaxing your body.
Stay in Shape
Your overall physical well-being plays a role in repetitive stress as well. If you are already prone to issues, your work can make those problems worse. For that reason, stay in good shape. A strong body will allow you to absorb some of the physical stress of work.
Report Any Pain/Discomfort
No one likes to admit weakness or to ask for help. People are afraid that they will be labeled as troublemakers or not be seen as team players. However, you need to view management as your partner in the effort to minimize RSIs. After all, they don’t want you missing any work time. As such, your bosses have an incentive to keep you healthy.
Don’t try to gut through any pain and discomfort. Inform your supervisor if you suffer any symptoms and see if you can perform some different work, at least until the pain subsides.
Get into a safer job
Everyone should work together to avoid repetitive stress. A good employer will be dedicated to everyone’s safety. Finding the right workplace gets easier when you have a strong recruiting partner. A top-flight staffing agency, like LaborMax, can make sure you find the perfect match for your skills and background.
Contact LaborMax today to learn more.