National Safety Month - Lets work ergonomically

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Ergonomics involves designing the job environment to fit the person and is important to take into consideration at work, but also while working on projects at home. It’s about learning how to work smarter and preventing conditions such as overexertion.

Ergonomic conditions are disorders of the soft tissues, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs.

These conditions are often caused by factors such as:
• Overexertion while lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching
• Repetitive motions
• Working in awkward positions
• Sitting or standing too long in one position
• Using excessive force
• Vibration
• Resting on sharp corners or edges
• Temperature extremes

Remember, these can occur from activities at work, such as working on an
assembly line, using heavy equipment or typing on a computer. They also can result from activities at home like playing video games, helping someone move, participating in hobbies such as sewing or through home repair projects.

Know the signs
Ergonomic conditions are best dealt with when they are caught early.
Common symptoms include:
• Pain
• Swelling
• Numbness
• Tingling
• Tenderness
• Clicking
• Loss of grip strength

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to see your physician or an occupational physician as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pain.

Did you know?
Overexertion is the third leading cause of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for about 3.2 million emergency department visits.  (Injury Facts)

Common types of injuries associated with poor ergonomic design include:
Strains, sprains, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, ganglion cysts, tennis elbow, chronic back pain, and trigger finger.

About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and safety beyond the workplace.