Saturday, 30 November 2013 22:34

Health & Safety at Work: Avoiding Musculoskeletal Disorders

Written by  Author: John Francis - john.francis@matcentre.co.uk
Should be using anti fatigue mats! Should be using anti fatigue mats!

Back Pain

There are many types of back pain, and a number of causes to go with them. The vast majority of back pain at work is due to poor working conditions, and although not intentional, employers are not always aware of equipment or necessary procedures to implement and so are putting their staff at risk.

Issues associated with standing can be easily remedied. Simple solutions involve ensuring your staff take a walk, stretch off and loosen their muscles every 15 minutes; using adjustable stools, or implementing anti fatigue mats.

There are a many types of stools to choose from - adjustable with backs and arms, or without backrests and arms. It is best to look at ergonomic options for user comfort and although the outlay may be more expensive initially, your business and your employees will benefit in the long run.

Anti fatigue matting are specialist types of mats and are designed specifically for the purpose of catering for people who stand for prolonged periods. They encourage the body to make continual micro-movements in order to relieve the fatigue and pressure to the body that are associated with standing.

Anti fatigue mats come in all shapes and sizes in order to cater for the most unique application. They will often offer other properties such as being slip resistant and providing good insulation to protect those working on cold floors such as concrete.

View our Anti fatigue Rubber Mats here -> 

Neck and Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain is often incurred through hyperextension or strenuous twisting of the neck. It is important that an employee customizes their workspace according to how they operate. For example, a worker who uses a computer needs to ensure their seat is at the correct height, the screen is at the correct height and their keyboard and mouse are at the correct distances from them. Here is a guide on how a computer operators desk should be set up in relation to the user.

Knee and Leg Pain

Knee and leg pain is commonly due to the user partaking in frequent moving of heavy objects. The point of stress usually arises when the knee twists under exertion.

There are a number of safety procedures that can be implemented to ensure your employees are operating in the safest environment possible.

  • Frequent breaks for your staff are needed. Any staff who employ physical activity need to ensure they aren’t overworked to the point of physical harm.
  • Necessary equipment should be used when appropriate, such as knee supports for those that do heavy lifting – it is small adjustments such as this that will ensure the welfare of your employees.
  • Education on safe manual handling should be encouraged, and where possible, lifting should be minimized when can be replaced by trolleys or lifts.
  • When employees are standing for excessive periods of time, apply anti fatigue mats to ease pressure on joints and muscles.
  • Ensure that there is enough room for the operative to move efficiently and effectively by stepping as opposed to having to twist. 

Was this article helpful? Read more about ergonomics in the workplace at our Anti Fatigue Mat Hub Page.

 

Read 1378 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 21:31