In this blog series, we’re addressing some of the most common injuries we see. In our last blog, we talked about sports-related injuries including injuries experienced by golfers. Now, let’s talk about work-related injuries.
Millions of Americans are injured each year on the job. Some of those injuries are serious enough to keep people out of work for days or longer, costing them much-needed income and jeopardizing their employment. While we cannot prevent every injury, there are steps we can take to minimize our risk and protect our jobs.
Work-related injuries can be grouped into three categories:
Injuries related to movement
Injuries related to lack of movement
Injuries related to environment
Injuries related to movement include any kind of repetitive motion (assembly line workers are particularly at risk for these types of injuries). They also include operating heavy equipment, falling on the job or kitchen workers cutting themselves on a knife.
Injuries related to lack of movement include driving injuries (including those experienced by big rig drivers, in accidents) and sitting. We know that sitting is the new smoking – we’ve been writing about that serious issue in many of our blogs – but let’s look at all the potential risks for work-related injuries.
Driving: Whether you’re a big-rig driver sitting for too many hours, or a pharmaceutical rep with a large territory – there are many risks involved with driving. This includes car accidents and weather-related falls. Key to safe driving: be alert and aware. This means you need plenty of rest ahead of any driving trip.
Operating Heavy Equipment: Laws were put in place years ago to make sure the equipment used in the work environment was safe, effective and all users were thoroughly trained. Make sure that you ask questions before testing any new equipment at your job and if you feel uncertain or nervous, speak to a supervisor. Make sure you also use any additional equipment (goggles, gloves, etc) required for each piece of heavy equipment you use.
Repetitive Motion: Doing the same thing over and over doesn’t always mean you do it well. Twisting, turning, bending, lifting – don’t get overconfident. Take breaks and as your chiropractor, we don’t encourage that you ‘push through’ any pain you’re experiencing.
Falling Objects: Stay alert and aware. Look around. Know your environment and of course, if you see something – say something. Not only could you be at risk for an improperly placed item, but someone else could be as well.
Falling: Inside or outside, in good weather and bad, make sure that you have proper footwear and use equipment (like ladders) safely.
Overexertion: When we’re tired, or stressed, work-related injuries happen more frequently. Be wary of caffeinated drinks just to ‘stay awake on the job’. And when asked to handle a task you don’t feel confident in, speak up. It’s a huge liability for your employer if you’re injured on the job and we’re sure they will appreciate you looking out for their bottom line and also protecting your peers.