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Tendon disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis are some of the most common ergonomic-related injuries that occur in the workplace.
Repeatedly working with your hands above your head can cause rotator cuff tendinitis.
Vibration that affects the whole body, such as when driving trucks or buses, can lead to low back pain, shooting pain or numbness in the upper legs, and even back disability. (Source: OSHA)
Ergonomics focuses on finding a best fit between a worker and their work environment. The idea is that an ergonomically designed workplace involves the least exposure to the six musculoskeletal disorder risk factors. These include localized pressure, repetitive motion, vibration, excessive force, cold temperatures, and awkward or static postures.
Almost every job you will ever work at involves ergonomic hazards. However, some of the more high risk industries are healthcare, office jobs, construction, warehousing, transportation, and so on.
A workplace free from ergonomic hazards allows employees to be more productive. Frequent injuries on the job can harm workplace morale and employee retention. Furthermore, lost work injuries equals less work being performed. By employing ergonomic practices in the workplace, employees are less likely to sustain chronic injuries related to MSDs.
There are six risk factors that contribute to the development of an MSD. The main cause of musculoskeletal disorders includes exposure to excessive force, repetitive motion, vibration, localized pressure, cold temperatures, and awkward or static postures. These risk factors are most often present in the workplace, but it is also possible to experience these risk factors at home.
There are all sorts of symptoms that may indicate an MSD. We can’t cover every physical sensation you may experience, but you should generally look out for stiffness, muscle spasms, pain, reduced range of motion, aches, tingling, numbness, swelling, and soreness. These are just a few symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders that you should watch for.
There are a few things you can do to make your office ergonomically correct. Make sure your computer screens are about an arm’s reach from your body and aligned with your eyes. Adjust your chair so that your feet are firmly planted on the floor. Sit up straight so that your lumbar is supported. If it isn’t, consider purchasing a different chair. Reposition your keyboard and mouse so that they allow your elbows to rest at a 90-degree angle as you work.