Ergonomic Injuries: What They Are, Causes, and How to Prevent Them

What to Know About Ergonomic Injuries in the Workplace

If you work in an office, chances are you’ve heard of ergonomic injuries. But what are they? And more importantly, how can you prevent them from happening to you? In this blog post, we will discuss the definition of ergonomic injuries, their causes, and how to prevent them from occurring.

What are Ergonomic Injuries

Ergonomic injuries are physical ailments that can be caused by repetitive motions or prolonged exposure to certain work conditions. They can range from minor aches and pains to more serious health issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis (tendinopathy).

An ergonomic injury can impact any part of the body, but some of the most common areas affected are the neck, back, shoulders, wrists, and hands.

ergonomic injuries in the workplace

OSHA and NIOSH refer to ergonomic injuries as Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). They may also be referred to as repetitive stress injuries or cumulative trauma disorders.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33% of workplace injuries are due to ergonomic injuries. This means that they are one of the most common types of workplace injuries.

Construction, food processing, firefighting, office occupations, healthcare, transportation, and warehousing are just a few of the many industries that face ergonomic dangers.

Causes of ergonomic injuries

There are many different causes of ergonomic injuries. One of the most common is repetitive motion. This can happen when you perform the same task over and over again, such as typing on a keyboard or using a mouse.

ergonomic injuries in the workplace

Another common cause of ergonomic injuries is prolonged exposure to awkward positions. This can happen when you work in a position that is not natural for your body, such as leaning over a workbench or standing in one spot for a long period of time.

Other causes of ergonomic injuries include:

* Poor ergonomics in the workplace

* Unsafe work conditions

* Lack of training on how to properly perform tasks

* Lack of rest breaks

For a full breakdown of ergonomic risk factors and their potential threats head to our blog post all about What are Ergonomic Risk Factors.

How to prevent ergonomic injuries

The best way to prevent ergonomic injuries is to create a safe and healthy work environment. This starts with proper ergonomics. Ergonomics is the study of how people interact with their work environment. It includes everything from the design of your workspace to the way you perform your job tasks.

Some tips for creating a safe and healthy work environment include:

* Using ergonomic office furniture, such as adjustable chairs, standing desks, and wrist rests

* Taking regular breaks to stretch or walk around

* Learning proper posture and techniques for performing your job tasks

* Adjusting your workstation to fit your needs

* Rotating between workstations/jobs as available

Ergonomic injuries are a common type of workplace injury. By understanding the causes and risk factors, you can take steps to prevent them.

ergonomic injuries in the workplace

The Most common ergonomic injuries

We have already established that ergonomic injuries are common and that they are defined as musculoskeletal disorders by OSHA. But, what are the most common ergonomic injuries reported?

Here is a list of the most commonly reported ergonomic injuries:

* Carpal tunnel syndrome – This condition is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand and fingers.

* Tendonitis – This condition is caused by inflammation of the tendons. It can occur in any part of the body but is most common in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

* Epicondylitis – This condition is caused by inflammation of the tendons in the elbow. It is also known as “tennis elbow” or “golfer’s elbow”.

* DeQuervain’s syndrome – This condition is caused by inflammation of the tendons in the wrist. It is also known as “gamer’s thumb” or “texting tendonitis”.

* Lower back pain – This condition can be caused by a number of factors, including poor posture, lifting heavy objects, or sitting in an awkward position for long periods of time.

While these are the most common ergonomic injuries, they are not the only ones.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention and consult with your employer. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the condition from worsening and becoming more difficult to treat.

What Industries do Ergonomic Injuries Usually Occur?

While ergonomic injuries can occur in any industry, there are some that are at a higher risk. These industries include:

* Construction

* Food processing

* Firefighting

* Office occupations

* Healthcare

* Transportation

* Warehousing

If you work in one of these industries, it is important to be aware of the dangers and take steps to protect yourself.

Trust WorkSafe Physical Therapy for Your Ergonomic Injury Prevention

Ergonomic injuries are a common type of workplace injury. By understanding the causes and risk factors, you can take steps to prevent them.

The best way to prevent ergonomic injuries is by creating a safe and healthy work environment. This starts with proper ergonomics. At WorkSafe Physical Therapy we have solutions for you to meet your needs today.

Contact WorkSafe Physical Therapy to find out how we can help your company


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