10 Aug 2016
What are the safety issues in your workplace?...we tend to think of the big, dramatic Hollywood events; serious injury risks associated with working at heights or lifting heavy loads.
However, businesses also need to be mindful of the risks involved with repetitive movements, such as employees who work in an assembly line, and consider what can be done to reduce these risks.
What are the risks for your business?
For employees working in assembly lines or other related occupations, there can be serious disorders which come of work-related repetitive motions including tendonitis or bursitis. In Australia, work-related musculoskeletal disorders are the most common cause of workers compensation claims and one of the main reasons for these disorders are repetitive motions, muscle loading or muscular stress with no objects being lifted.
Common work-related musculoskeletal disorders include carpel tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and tendonitis. It can also aggravate existing conditions such as arthritis. The symptoms of these conditions are pain, swelling, redness, tingling and numbness to the affected area. Those affected may also experience a loss of flexibility and strength. If an employee is affected by one of these disorders, there is generally no outward sign but they may struggle to perform simple tasks and it can eventually cause long term of permanent damage to muscles, tendons, nerves and ligaments.
A good start when it comes to assessing the risk of repetitive movement related disorders in your business is to encourage employees to be open about any issues, such as pain or discomfort, they may experiencing in the workplace. Have employees complete surveys on a regular basis covering questions around musculoskeletal disorders and be aware of issues you can see such as poor posture.
What is the solution?
The health and safety of employees is your priority and the last thing you want is to be faced with injuries related to repetitive movements or standing for a long period of time. A solution to these issues is to assess the workbenches in the workplace and ensure they are appropriate for reducing injury. If not, custom workbenches may be the answer and this solution focuses on correct ergonomics.
A custom workbench can be designed to suit your business needs and the needs of employees. Some of the features of a custom workbench can include adjustment height so the work station can be suited to the employee’s size and the nature of their work. In built footrests or anti-fatigue mats means workers relieve pressure in the lower body and elbow supports can relieve tension in the upper arms and neck. All work stations should provide enough room to move around and sit if necessary.
Of course, the features of each custom workbench will differ for each business and this can be discussed during the design process.
We look forward to assisting you in providing a solution to improve safety in your workplace, whether it be one workbench or ten, or a complete workspace overhaul!
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