While many people tend to associate orthopaedic injuries with professional athletes and weekend warriors, it’s actually very common for people to suffer these types of injuries in the workplace. Even if your job requires little or no physical activity, you can still suffer an orthopaedic injury at work.
The Dangers of Manual Labor
One of the most common orthopaedic injuries suffered by people who perform manual labor are shoulder injuries. That’s because this type of work often requires a great deal of moving or lifting heavy objects. Wrist injuries also occur often due to repetitive motions required in some manufacturing jobs. However, when performing any type of manual labor there is always risk of injuring almost any part of the body, including the neck, back, shoulder and knee.
How to Prevent Workplace Injuries
Lift Safely: Learn how to lift heavy objects safely by bending at the knee and lifting with your legs rather than your back.
Follow the Rules: Pay attention to safety training, follow all safety regulations and review your company’s safety manual.
Pay Attention: Many workplace accidents occur when people are simply not focused on what they are doing and what’s going on around them. Be careful, and watch out for your neighbor.
Take a Break: Take advantage of all breaks from work during the day. This will help keep you alert and focused.
Injured at the Office
Orthopaedic injuries are by no means limited to manual laborers. White-collar workers are also at risk. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common injury among people who spend a lot of time at a computer. This is a type of wrist injury that can cause pain and numbness in the hand.
Neck injuries are also common – usually caused by bad posture while sitting in a chair day after day. And, of course, you can be injured at any time simply by tripping or slipping – resulting in a fall that fractures a bone or twists one of your joints.
How to Prevent Injuries at the Office
Carpal Tunnel: This type of injury can be prevented by keeping your hands relaxed, whether typing on a keyboard or using a mouse. It also helps to gently stretch and bend your hands and wrists periodically.
Slips, Trips & Falls: Make sure your office is free of clutter (no boxes, papers, etc.) on the floors. Clean up any liquid spilled on the floor immediately to prevent slips.
Posture is Important: Maintaining good posture when sitting at your desk can help you stay healthy. Adjust the height of your chair to ensure your feet are flat on the floor. When typing, make sure your elbows are not bent sharply – the straighter your arms are, the better.
By following all company safety requirements and paying close attention to what’s happening in your work environment at all times, you can reduce your risk of being injured on the job.
DISCLAIMER: Always consult your physician before acting on any medical advice or tips you may receive – including those involving medical procedures, exercises, lifestyle changes, supplements, vitamins, etc. Lafayette General Orthopaedic Hospital is not responsible for any adverse effects experienced by persons who act upon advice without prior approval from a qualified physician.