Work-related injuries are common not only for custodians, landscapers and maintenance personnel. Even if you sit at a desk or serve food, there’s a chance that you’re at risk for injury.
Injuries can happen if you sit or stand in an awkward posture, perform an action repeatedly or even if you work in an environment with extreme temperatures.
Awkward postures can increase pressure on smaller muscles and can prevent you from using your muscles at maximum efficiency. Increased exertion from the weaker, smaller muscles may impair blood flow and increase fatigue. Awkward postures are most commonly caused by not having the proper tools, poor work practices or working at a poorly designed or arranged work station.
If your job requires repeated or prolonged reaching, twisting, working overhead, squatting or gripping, it may cause fatigue or even injury to you, your hands, wrists, neck, back or knees. If you work under poor lighting conditions, if your work is too far away or blocked from your direct field of vision, you may experience eye fatigue.
If you work in extreme temperatures – such as in front of an oven or in a walk-in freezer – you may suffer heat fatigue or your limbs might have to exert extra force due to low temperatures.
You must make sure that your well-being is priority No. 1 at work and everywhere else. Try to be aware of repetition, posture, performing tasks that take too long and how much force you have to use to do your job. Sometimes, preventing a work-related injury is as easy as taking five-minute breaks to stretch or to let your muscles get some rest.
If you have any concerns about how performing your job will impact your well-being, make sure you let your CSEA representative know. There are many things that employers can do to safeguard you from injury, including hiring an ergonomic consultant and making adjustments to your workstation.