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Standing at Work – Follow These Easy Tips to Avoid Injury

Standing at Work – Follow These Easy Tips to Avoid Injury

To avoid the detrimental effects of seated work, many offices are converting to standing positions only. Avoid prolonged standing injuries with these tips!

“Prolonged standing can lead to muscle soreness in the back, legs, and neck. It can also lead to edema or swelling of the legs and feet.” WebMD

If you have a job where you or your employees must be on their feet all day, there could be room for injuries to occur. 

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

While most of us have heard the risks and potentially negative side effects of sitting all day, prolonged standing can also lead to some significant discomfort and even injuries. However, there are things you or your employees can do to prevent any issues. 

Be aware of workplace injuries from prolonged standing.

If your job requires you to stand while working, be aware that prolonged standing can lead to muscle soreness in the back, legs, and neck. It can also lead to edema or swelling of the legs and feet. As you stand all day (without much movement) your body’s blood flow is somewhat inhibited.

Prolonged standing can even lead to painful varicose veins. Thankfully, the following strategies can help you avoid these injuries and more.

1. Learn how to adjust your workstation with ergonomics in mind.

One of the best things you can do to make prolonged standing bearable at the workplace is to improve your workstation. For example, there are various heights for tables, benches, and desks that are recommended for certain types of work:

  • Precision work should be done at elbow height.
  • Heavy work should be done below the waist.
  • Light work should be done at or near the waist.

Adjustable tables can serve to prevent lower back injuries, neck strains, and so on. It’s also important to ensure your employees have plenty of room to move around, stretch, etc. Consider hiring an ergonomics consultant to perform a workstation evaluation to determine best practices.

2. Use proper footwear.

The shoes you wear if your work involves prolonged standing are incredibly important. You need adequate support for your arches and plenty of padding all the way around the shoe. 

You also need to make sure that your shoes don’t change the shape of your foot. Your shoes need to fit your foot shape but have plenty of room for the natural swelling of your feet throughout the day.

Consider investing in a standing mat as well.

3. Use proper body movement at work.

One of the best ways to prevent injuries for you and your employees who experience prolonged standing during the day is by holding a training course to improve their ergonomics. 

How you lift, crouch, twist, and turn can all lead to potential injuries, especially if they’re done while bearing weight. A simple training course that reinforces safe movement can go a long way towards a safer, more comfortable workplace.

We strongly recommend contact an ergonomics company to establish proper training for your staff.

4. Take breaks and move around.

With any job, employees should always take at least two 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch to rest their body and mind. To make the most of your breaks, read our blog on: active work breaks.

While you may be stuck standing at work, be sure to move around and get your blood moving.  When you walk around, your blood circulates through your muscles and benefits your body.

You don’t need to do exercises at your desk (though here is a list of some you can do if you wish), but get into the habit of moving around to counter being stuck standing at work all day.

In conclusion, knowing how to protect yourself or your employees from workplace injuries due to prolonged standing is important.

These are some basic tips for employees that must stand while working. However, there’s a lot more to cover, as every workplace is different. Consider contacting the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. to evaluate your workstation. It may even be possible to incorporate sitting once an ergonomics assessment is performed.

Check out the rest of our ergonomics blog for more advice about safety and comfort in the workplace.

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

Stay Safe in the Industrial Warehouse Plant: Warehouse Slip and Fall

Stay Safe in the Industrial Warehouse Plant: Warehouse Slip and Fall

Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Kent, Renton, Seattle, and Tacoma Washington, California, and Oregon.

Warehouse Ergonomics, Avoid Slip and Fall Injury

5.5 injuries occur per 100 full-time warehouse and storage workers every year. – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Slip and fall injuries are too common

It is important to be mindful of your surroundings when you work in an industrial plant or warehouse. According to the 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 1 in 4 accidents in the warehousing and storage industry occur when employees fall, trip, or slip.

A few common reasons workers may fall, slip, or trip in the workplace are:

  • Accumulations of dust or powder on floor
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Electrical cords and hoses positioned across walkways
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps with no handrails
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • General clutter
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps with no skid-resistant surfaces

3 Quick Tips to Avoid Slips and Falls in the Warehouse

  1. Establish good housekeeping habitsEmployees should be encouraged to keep their area clean and free of clutter. It may help to assign cleaning as a daily task for specific employees to ensure that cleaning becomes a daily routine.Keeping the plant clean and organized will not only prevent injury, but it will also help keep the work efficient.

 

  1. Organize your surroundings

    Be mindful of any equipment that requires wires or hoses to be in a walkway, this equipment should be covered with protectors to prevent tripping.All walkways and docks over four feet should have railing. And be sure to keep all areas well lit – if it is difficult to see, then it is more likely for a worker not to see potential hazards in their way.

 

  1. Reduce slippery or wet surfaces outside of the floor

    While cleaning the warehouse floor seems like a given, it is important to control other indoor and outdoor surfaces. For example, wet or rainy weather from outside can be tracked inside, therefore it is important to keep parking lots and sidewalks clean.Provide moisture-absorbent mats and display “Wet Floor” signs as needed. Don’t forget about kitchen areas, be sure to use proper area rugs or mats.


In conclusion

Stay vigilant when it comes to avoiding slip and fall injuries in the warehouse. Don’t hesitate to consult with an ergonomics expert to assess your warehouse to keep your employee’s workplace safe.

For more ergonomics tips, visit SolutionsNW.com and subscribe to our blog.

SolutionsNW.com  provides work place and ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., an ergonomics assessment provider located in Seattle, Kent, Renton, Tacoma, Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

 

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Beat the Heat at Work

Beat the Heat at Work

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager, Arcata, CA
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

Beat the Heat a Work

“More than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry, but workers in every field are susceptible. ” – Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The summer months can be difficult for some workers and it’s important to remain aware of heat-related dangers in the workplace. Please share the following tips and general information to help raise awareness of heat-related illness in the workplace this summer.

What is Heat-Related Illness?  There are three types of heat-related illnesses:

  1. Heat cramps can occur due to loss of large amounts of salt and water through exertion. Remember to consume plenty of fluids and electrolytes when working in heat.
  2. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body “loses large amounts of water and salt through excessive sweating, particularly through hard physical labor or exercise. This loss of essential fluids can disturb circulation and interfere with brain function. Individuals who have heart, lung, or kidney problems or are on low-sodium diets may be particularly susceptible to heat exhaustion.” as described by WebMD.
  3. Heat stroke is a serious illness that occurs when the “body suffers from long, intense exposure to heat and loses its ability to cool itself. In prolonged, extreme heat, the part of the brain that normally regulates body temperature malfunctions. There is a decreases in the body’s ability to sweat and, therefore, cool down. Those who have certain medical conditions that decrease the body’s ability to sweat — such as scleroderma or cystic fibrosis — may be at greater risk of developing heat stroke.” as described by WebMD.

The most common signs and symptoms of heat related illness include:

  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

5 Quick Tips to avoid Heat-Related Illness from the Red Cross:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • If possible, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

Review OSHA’s “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign:

Employers must protect workers from known safety workplace hazards, including extreme heat. OSHA suggests employers provide a heat illness prevention program. The following suggestions are directly from OSHA’s “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign:
1. Provide workers with water, rest and shade.
2. Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
3. Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention.
4. Monitor workers for signs of illness

Hopefully this information provides a general idea of heat safety in the work place. Be sure to share these tips with your co-workers or employees. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more information.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

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