Repetitive strain injuries are among the most common workplace injuries, with millions of people affected by them every year. These injuries result from repeated motions and overuse of muscles, tendons, and nerves. The primary causes of these injuries include poor posture, inadequate office equipment, and inadequate training of employees in the best workplace practices.
What Is Ergonomics, and Why Is It Important?
Ergonomics is the study of how people interact with their work environment. Ergonomics is important in the workplace because it helps workers perform their tasks more efficiently and safely. One of the primary goals of ergonomics is to minimize the risk of injury to workers.
Best Practices for Employers:
Provide Ergonomic Office Equipment and Furniture:
The first step employers can take to prevent repetitive strain injuries in the workplace is to provide ergonomic equipment and furniture. This includes adjustable office chairs, desks, and ergonomic mice and keyboards. Ergonomic furniture and equipment aim to provide better posture for employees and prevent muscle overuse.
Provide Ergonomic Training:
Training employees to set up their workstations and use their office equipment can help reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries. Employers can provide ergonomic training sessions, ergonomic assessments for individual employees, and individualized training sessions for each employee that focus on their needs.
Encourage Regular Breaks:
One of the best ways to prevent repetitive strain injuries is through regular breaks. Rest for five to ten minutes every hour is recommended, which helps to avoid muscle fatigue and strain. Employers can ensure that their employees take regular breaks by scheduling their workday to include frequent breaks. Encouraging workers to take breaks allows them to move around, stretch their muscles, and reduce the risk of strain.
Encourage Employees to Report Injuries:
Employers should encourage employees to report any repetitive strain injuries in the workplace. Early reporting of such injuries is critical to preventing future injuries. Employers should create a supportive work environment that encourages open communication so workers feel comfortable reporting workplace injuries.
Consider Job Rotation:
Finally, job rotation is a strategy employers can use to help prevent repetitive strain injuries. This means rotating employees between tasks so that no single task is repeated. Job rotation helps prevent muscle fatigue as long as the tasks are equally strenuous and the employees are given sufficient breaks.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Iowa
If you're an employer in Burlington, IA, looking for assistance in preventing repetitive strain injuries in your workplace, Pothitakis Law Firm is here to help. We specialize in workers' compensation and can provide you with the legal guidance you need to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Contact us today at (319) 754-6400 to learn more about our services.