Common Ergonomic Hazards in the Workplace
When you hear the word “ergonomic,” the first thing you might think of is an office chair or desk. But ergonomics are an issue that impacts people in a wide range of industries, not just office workers. It’s also important to understand that ergonomics are more than a matter of simply being comfortable or uncomfortable. Poor ergonomics can potentially lead to a wide range of serious injuries.
What is an Ergonomic Injury?
Ergonomic injuries refer to a group of conditions that are typically caused by spending a prolonged amount of time in postures or doing actions that put a strain on soft tissue, resulting in things like musculoskeletal disorders and repetitive strain injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one very common type of ergonomic injury. Other common ergonomic injuries include back injuries, tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, and bursitis.
Ergonomic injuries are a very common type of work-related injury. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 266,530 work-related musculoskeletal disorders that required time away from work were reported in 2019.
Common Ergonomic Hazards
Whether you’re working in an office, taking care of patients in a hospital, or working in a warehouse, good posture is important. Spending an extended amount of time in awkward positions can put an unnecessary strain on muscles. For example, this can include working at a desk with a computer monitor that’s too low, forcing a person to bend their neck downward to see their screen. Or a nurse might have to frequently reach in uncomfortable ways while working with a patient in a hospital bed.
Heavy Lifting & Other Forceful Motions
Lifting heavy items can put a lot of strain on the body, and if proper lifting techniques or assisting devices aren’t used, it can be very easy for muscles and joints to become painfully strained. This can also occur if a person frequently has to make other types of motions that require a lot of force, such as pulling, pushing, or pounding.
Many types of jobs require people to make a lot of repetitive motions as they work, frequently in places like warehouses, factories, and assembly facilities. While those types of motions may be necessary, it’s important for people to be able to take regular breaks to prevent inflammation.
Contact stress is a type of injury that can occur when part of a person’s body comes in direct contact with an object that puts pressure on tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. This can occur in many different ways, such as if a person has to frequently kneel on a hard ground, use tools with hard handles, or tools with handles that are too short and press into a person’s hand. Hands, arms, feet, and knees are all common places for contact stress injuries to occur.
For people who work in construction and manufacturing, people may frequently use tools that produce strong vibrations. Over time, being exposed to those strong vibrations can put people at risk for issues like nerve damage and muscle fatigue.
Contact a Michigan Workplace Injury Lawyer
Many ergonomic injuries can be prevented with proper planning and training. If you developed an ergonomic injury at work, don’t hesitate to contact a workplace injury lawyer to learn about your legal options. At Scott Goodwin Law, we’re experienced in helping people just like you who have been injured on the job in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you.
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