One important way to prevent back injuries is to design workplaces to minimize the risk.
It’s a four-step process:
- Recognize the signs – look for things such as workers stretching or rubbing sore muscles, comments about discomfort, self-modifying equipment or workstations, and quality or production issues.
- Spot the hazards – watch out for awkward body postures held for extended periods of time, applying excessive forces with the body, repetitive work for long periods, poor lighting, excessive vibration or excessive exposure to heat or cold without protection.
- Fix the hazards – change work processes to improve working posture, reduce the need to lift and manually move materials, reduce physical forced needed to do the job and reduce task repetition.
- Eliminate future hazards – managers can help eliminate future hazards by assessing the ergonomics of equipment and workstations and considering the requirements of the task, who is doing the work, and where is it being done. Then review the worst-case scenario and consequences of human error.
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