Manual laborers at high risk for repetitive strain injuries

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Manual laborers, including factory, maintenance and agricultural workers, often face repetitive tasks and physical strain as part of their job duties. These repetitive motions put them at a heightened risk of developing repetitive strain injuries.

RSIs, also known as musculoskeletal disorders, occur when muscles, tendons and nerves suffer damage due to repetitive movements or overuse. Understanding the risks associated with manual labor helps protect the health and well-being of manual laborers.

Causes of RSIs

Repetitive strain injuries can result from many factors. Some include lifting heavy objects and performing repetitive motions, such as bending, twisting or reaching. They can also result from working in awkward or uncomfortable positions for extended periods. Poor ergonomics, inadequate training and lack of rest breaks can also contribute to RSIs among manual laborers.

Prevention strategies

Preventing repetitive strain injuries requires a multifaceted approach addressing workplace factors and individual behaviors. Employers can implement ergonomic improvements to reduce strain on the body. This might include providing adjustable workstations and specialty tools. Training programs can educate manual laborers on proper lifting techniques and posture. These programs can also teach them about the importance of taking regular breaks to rest and stretch. Workers can also protect themselves by using proper lifting techniques and maintaining good posture. Practicing self-care techniques, such as stretching and strengthening exercises, can also help.

HRD America reports that RSIs account for more than 40% of all workplace lost-time injuries. By recognizing these risks and implementing preventive measures, employers and workers can reduce the incidence of RSIs. In doing so, they can create safer work environments for everyone.

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