Prevention of Injuries in the Industrial Workplace
There are many workplaces that involve their workers performing a lot of physical tasks such as lifting, pushing, pulling, operating pieces of equipment and driving.
For all of these manual tasks, there should be procedures and strategies put in place that can reduce the number of injuries that may occur.
Working Safely in Warehouses & Industrial Workplaces
If your workplace is a place where your employees are required to lift heavy objects, stack shelves or push and pull items, it is essential that they are trained on how to perform these tasks safely.
A trained physiotherapist is able to look at the repetitive tasks that your people need to do and teach them the best way to do these tasks. There is always a safe way to pick something up from off the ground, bending over, reaching for things and so on.
All workers are different so one person may have to perform manual tasks a little differently than another person. Assessing each individual’s movement patterns, history of injuries and how they perform certain tasks is a phyio’s speciality.
There also needs to be a limit to the number of times a person performs a task so that accumulative stressors in the body do not occur.
There should be adequate rest from manual tasks and a variety of tasks helps to ensure that your workers remain pain-free. Constantly performing one task can also lead to boredom which also can lead to injury.
Not only can a physio assess how people are moving and performing these tasks but they can determine any other risks within the workplace. Workbenches may need to be at a certain height, doors may need to be in a certain area etc for the space to be safe. Items on the floor can be a risk if someone falls and of course, wet floors are a hazard as well.
Workers that are involved in performing manual tasks need to have a certain amount of physical strength in order to perform their tasks without risk of injury also. A general program of exercises and stretches to help improve the strength and mobility of your employees could help to lower your injury rates. Endurance can also be a factor in fast-paced environments so cardiovascular fitness may be required for certain jobs.
Workers who need to operate machinery such as fork lifts or even truck drivers need to be able to have supportive seating so that the load on their lower backs is kept to a minimum. Many drivers of machinery and equipment can end up with chronic back pain from having to sit in uncomfortable seating for long periods of time. Of course there should also be adequate rest breaks to allow the workers bodies to recover from the stress of operating the vehicle / machine also.
Prevention of Injuries in the Health Workplace
We often think of office workers or manual workers that injure themselves in the workplace but what about your local dentist, physiotherapist or podiatrist?
They too can develop injuries from performing the same task over and over again. It is essential in any workplace to vary the tasks that you do and to strengthen and prepare your body for the tasks that you need to perform.
Dentists often need advice about certain stretches for their upper bodies to avoid accumulating stress in this area, for example.
Physiotherapists who perform a lot of manual massage and hands on work need to be taught how to position themselves well to avoid postural stress particularly in their necks from leaning over patients.
Podiatrists are often sitting on a stool and bending forward over their patients so they need to be able to do this without stress on the body. A trained physiotherapist can recognise all of these individual problems that may arise within this type of workplace also.