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Preventing repetitive stress injuries

Employees in Massachusetts who work in jobs in which the same task is performed over and over may notice recurring and/or continual pain, which is known as repetitive stress injury. While it is important employers take steps to prevent these types of injuries, workers should also be aware of the symptoms involved so they can make changes in their daily routines.

According to Safety and Health Magazine, repetitive stress injuries usually occur in computer-related and assembly line jobs, and the pain typically is felt in the wrists, hands, shoulders, neck and lower extremities. The best way to make sure RSI do not result is to eliminate tasks that require repetitive work. Employers should create jobs in which workers can perform a variety of tasks, move around and use different muscles. Frequent breaks should be given for those who work in repetitive positions, and employees should be trained to identify the symptoms, such as localized soreness and pain, of RSI.

Ergonomic tools and workstations should be provided to help cut down on issues. Web MD recommends a number of ways a workstation can be designed ergonomically to prevent RSI. These include:

  • Using a footrest to reduce low back strain
  • Placing the computer screen right in front of the worker at eye level
  • Placing common items within easy reach so no twisting or bending is involved
  • Using an adjustable chair so the height and arm rests can be altered for different people
  • Using wrist pads and a contoured keyboard

People who lift a lot for their job should use proper lifting techniques such as bending the knees, keeping the object close to their body and asking for help with heavy objects. Back belts should not be used as they tend to make the lifter overconfident which can lead to more injuries.

 

 

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