Every worker can benefit from these 6 jobsite posture tips. Learn how avoid stooping, squatting and twisting at the construction site or office.
Hear what’s wrong with raising your arms above your head. Hear what’s wrong with conventional hand tools. Hear how poor posture and bad ergonomics can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
Plus, in this podcast, Dan Clark gives you good info you can use about work shoes, and ergonomic hand tools. All in just 4 1/2 minutes!
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Dan Clark: If work involves bending, squatting, crouching, kneeling, carrying, pulling or stooping, listen up! I have six jobsite posture tips.
Hi there, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code SAFETYBRIEF. No spaces, SAFETYBRIEF.
Bad ergonomics and bad posture lead to musculoskeletal disorders—the damage to muscles, tendons, nerves and joints. These injuries to the body are many times caused by repeated, awkward body positions, use of the wrong tools or straining to move heavy goods.
So, let’s get right to it: Six jobsite posture tips.
#1. AVOID ARMS ABOVE THE HEAD. This position is okay for The Wave at a football game, but extended time with outstretched arms puts added strain on your back and makes your arms fatigue quickly. And it puts you at risk for dropping tools on your head, or your toes or anything in between.
• Tool extenders. These allow you to work above the head with arms below.
• An extendable brace to keep the object steady until it can be fastened.
• Adjustable scaffolding.
• Turn your whole body and then grab the item.
• Adjust the position of materials. Besides being safer, it also increases efficiency.
#3 AVOID STOOPING. This awkward posture of bending over while the legs are straight puts an extra strain on your neck and back. You can also easily lose balance and fall.
• Elevate items – raise the things you’re reaching for.
• Tool extenders – these allow you to work from a standing or sitting position.
• Use a creeper – if you must work low, try lying on a floor creeper and slide into the work area.
#4 AVOID SQUATTING. Squatting is bad for the knees and back. If you must pick up a box, tool or other items, though, squat correctly. That means squat down, then lift with the legs and not your back.
• Use a hand cart, floor jack or forklift.
• Reduce package size and weight if you must squat to pick something up.
• Use PPE, such as a back brace.
• Before shifts, workers can benefit from stretching.
• Ask for help. If it’s too heavy, recruit a buddy.
#5 WEAR GOOD SHOES. If you’re on your feet for a long time, leg muscles continually support the body, causing fatigue. Complicate that when standing on hard concrete. It can create trauma, tendon issues and muscle problems.
• Good shoes should flex at the ball of the foot, have solid support and adequate padding.
• Nonskid soles are also important, especially in slippery areas.
• Placing a rubber mat on the floor can also improve comfort.
• Hey, high heel wearers! In three-inch heels, your pelvis tilts about 15°. That puts a big strain on your back and hip joints. And finally…
#6 USE ERGONOMIC HAND TOOLS. Conventional hand tools can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and trigger finger. Pick an ergonomic tool, but remember: a tool is ergonomic only if it fits your hand, and the job you’re doing.
• Choose tools that will keep your wrists straight when you use them.
• If you’re wearing gloves, measure the grip size based on the gloved hand.
• For pinching tools, pick those with a soft grip and a spring-loaded handle.
• Take breaks to let hands recover.
See more tips at www.ChooseHandSafety.org.
That’s it for this episode on Six Jobsite Posture Tips. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code SAFETYBRIEF. All one word, SAFETYBRIEF.
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