Everyone wants to be able to reduce accidents and injuries in the workplace. Sometimes making simple adjustments to our daily work practices is where injury prevention is the most important.
What if I told you that you could reduce 22% of all workplace accidents by preventing just one thing?
What Is Overexertion?
Overexertion is any workplace injury resulting from work activities that include lifting, pulling, moving, throwing or carrying. It’s also the leading cause of workplace injuries at 22%, or about 3.5 million injuries per year. Overexertion is also the most expensive of injuries, as it accounts for $3.4 million benefit costs annually.
The good news is there are several ways to prevent overexertion workplace injuries, starting right now! (To find more general workplace safety tips, click here.
If you’d like to lower your facility’s accident rate by 22%, follow these simple workplace safety steps to reduce overexertion-related injuries:
1. Stretch Before Lifting Or Moving Heavy Objects
You don’t want your workers lifting or moving heavy objects without stretching first. They are more likely to strain, sprain or tear a muscle while lifting a heavy, cumbersome object if they don’t properly stretch beforehand.
Stretching warms up muscles and gets them loose, preventing the chance for injury.
2. Wear The Proper Safety Equipment
If safety equipment is required for a task, then your workers should always use it. Be sure to have the proper safety equipment ready and available for your workers to use when they need it to get a job done safely.
For example, if safety goggles are required while operating a certain machine, put them on. An object could fall or a part could snap off like shrapnel and easily damage the eyes. Wearing the proper safety equipment prevents many workplace injuries.
3. Ask For Help If An Object Is Too Heavy
Workers are often too proud to ask for help when lifting a very heavy object. However, lifting an object that is too heavy creates additional stress on the back. This added stress on the back easily leads to an overexertion injury, usually of the sprain, strain or tear variety.
When attempting to lift a very heavy object requiring more than one person to lift, encourage your workers to ask someone nearby for help or use a machine designed to aid in lifting. Asking for help for lifting heavy objects helps prevent a lot of exertion injuries in the workplace.
4. Using The Proper Technique When Lifting An Object
Using improper technique while lifting objects is one of the main causes of overexertion and workplace injuries. Some examples of improper techniques used while lifting objects are bending over at the waist to pick an object up, twisting and holding the object away from the body.
Encourage your workers to practice the proper lifting technique: bend your knees to get an object, then lift it up and keep it close to your body. Bending your knees to pick the object up takes a lot of stress off of the back. Keeping it close to your body gives you better leverage and control.
You can cut down your workplace injuries by almost 22% by implementing preventative workplace safety practices specific to overexertion injuries. That’s why it’s important to alert your workforce about these helpful tips. Or, visit the safety programs page on Arbill’s website to learn more about how safety programs improve workplace safety.
Ready learn more about preventing common workplace injuries? Call 800-523-5367 or click on the button below to speak with a safety specialist at Arbill.