Poor ergonomics can put workers at risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), such as a back injury, sprain or strain, or carpal tunnel syndrome, among many others. Training can help prevent those injuries and, in the process, can reduce injury-related absenteeism, lost productivity, turnover, and workers’ compensation claims.
During training, educate learners about the five major risk factors for developing an MSD:
- Repetition (performing the same motion repeatedly for long periods daily)
- Force (constant lifting or pushing and pulling)
- Awkward postures (back or neck bent down or twisted)
- Contact stress (contact with a hard surface)
- Vibration (using vibrating tools or equipment)
Here are some ergonomics-related tips to pass along to learners:
- Keep the major risk factors in mind as you work.
- Use proper lifting techniques.
- Put commonly used items at workstations within easy horizontal reach.
- Rotate tasks to avoid prolonged kneeling, squatting, or overhead reaching.
- Avoid working with your hands or wrists held in a bent or twisted position.
- Evaluate your own workstation and ask about or suggest ways to implement changes to reduce exposure to MSD-related risk factors.