Every business wants to maintain a safe work environment in order to prevent sprains and strains. Why those injuries? Millions of sprain and strain injuries occur in the workplace every year. According to Workers’ Compensation claim data, these injuries to muscles and connective tissues are the top accident category for both frequency and severity.
Sprains and strains can result from lifting, being hit by fallen objects or even a simple misstep. Protect yourself and others from these painful injuries by always practicing safety on the job.
What is the difference between sprains and strains?
Sprains occur when a ligament has been stretched too far from its normal position. Sprains of the fingers, wrists, knees and ankles are most common. In contrast, strains are the result of pulling too far on a muscle or by pulling a muscle in one direction while it is contracting. Strains can also be caused by repetitive movements that lead to an over-stretching of muscle fibers. Strains of the back, neck, groin and hamstring are most common.
Tips for Prevention
To help reduce the risk of sprains and strains, keep these tips in mind:
- Create specific company guidelines for safe lifting, especially if you have positions that require heavy lifting. Advise when employees should seek assistance with a heavy or awkward item.
- Find ways to reduce repetitive movements if possible; chronic strains are usually the result of overuse.
- Demonstrate proper form for completing tasks and avoid extensive gripping, which can increase the risk of hand and forearm strains.
- Practice safety measures to help prevent falls.
- Specify the proper attire, including footwear, gloves and other applicable protective equipment employees must use by task.
- Don’t forget office workers. Show them the correct posture when sitting for long periods of time; especially maintaining an overall relaxed position.
- Use your wellness initiatives to encourage employees to maintain a healthy fitness level outside of work to keep them strong and flexible.
- Encourage stretching before they begin working, and have them take short breaks throughout the day to stretch and rebalance.
For more prevention tips to support your culture of safety, please contact The Flanders Group at 800-642-6435. We have resources and training modules available for your use.