When you hear the word “ergonomics,” you might think of lifting heavy objects; in truth, ergonomics is much more than that. Ergonomics is about studying your physical abilities and limitations to observe how you can best perform work tasks using various tools, equipment, and materials in your job environment. On a worksite, ergonomics should be consciously considered for any work you do, even jobs that may not seem to affect your body.
There are a few risk factors that lead to body pains and other ergonomic issues. Your job may involve anyone or even a combination of these risk factors. These risk factors include:
To prevent the aftereffects that these risk factors cause, including back pain, bruises, herniated discs, and more, establish some controls for yourself. Some controls are developed at the administrative level, but your health is your responsibility.
If you can, try to substitute the hazard with something safer or eliminate it all together. These are not always possible and usually need to be authorized by the employer. Work safely and never do something too fast.
The first thing you can do is take a break and stretch. You can increase your mobility and prevent long-lasting pain by doing different stretches. You can also wear PPE, like knee pads, to prevent ergonomic hazards. Make sure you practice proper lifting and movement techniques, never putting too much strain on a single part of your body, like your back.
Ergonomics seems like a small thing but neglecting safe practices can lead to you developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). There may be more hazards we have not mentioned here. For more information about ergonomics, visit the Hard Hat Training website. Good luck and stay safe!