Your health is your primary concern and responsibility. It dictates the quality of your life, your enjoyment, as well as your productivity at work. The healthier and more able your body is, the more that you can do in life.
People do many things to ensure that their health is in good shape. They eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and don’t skip their doctor’s appointments. However, when it comes to their work, health usually takes the backseat. This should not be the case, no matter what type of job you have.
Your job is there to provide you and your family the means to buy your needs. Yes, it is important, especially if you have a family to take care of. However, what people fail to realize is that once your health fails, everything falls apart. Once you do not feel well, the quality of your work will suffer. Your efficiency will also be affected. Worse, you will not be in shape to do your work and have to take a sick leave.
Workers involved in manual handling are exposed to higher risks of workplace injuries. They are prone to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that result from repetitive strains on the arms, legs, and joints.
Avoid Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders
Crane service companies help commercial and industrial companies with their lifting needs. However, smaller lifting requirements will not require a crane or a lift. Manual handling is still needed in many industries.
The OSHA does not have a standard on the limit of the weights that manual workers can safely lift or carry. However, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) uses a mathematical model that can compute the recommended weight limit for healthy workers.
Musculoskeletal disorders pertain to injuries in the muscles, joints, tendons, and spinal discs. Factors that affect the risks of these injuries include the following:
- How often the worker has to lift something at work
- How the worker does the lifting
- How high the object needs to be lifted
- How long the worker has to hold the object
While the NIOSH equation establishes a maximum lifting load of 51 pounds, its effects will still depend on how often the worker lifts heavy objects, whether he is twisting or bending, how far he has to move and lift the object, and the ease with which he holds the object.
If your work involves manual lifting, you must take extra care to lower your risks of musculoskeletal problems. Here are some guidelines that you should follow to reduce your risks of MSDs.
- Always take into account your own capability. What may look like featherweight to a co-worker may be heavy for you.
- Consider the nature of the load. Some loads may require steady handling, so you need the aid of tools and lifting equipment.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help and assistance.
- Avoid twisting and stooping when lifting a load.
- Avoid lifting heavy loads from the floor to shoulder level.
- Keep the load close to your waist and body.
- Plan before you lift. Ensure that there are no obstructions to your destination.
- Keep your position stable with your feet apart.
Take Care Of Your Body
Your body is meant to move. Before you start your working shift, stretching can help prepare your body. Stretching increases your body’s flexibility, improves your posture and helps prevent back pain and injury. You can do some hip, triceps, trunk, thigh, hamstring, triceps, and forearm stretches before you start work.
Working out at least two days a week can help strengthen your muscles and your body for your work demands. A regular workout also helps boost your energy. While you may think that inserting time for exercise is impossible with your workload and personal life, setting aside time to work on your fitness is necessary.
You can use your day-offs for your training. You can have cardiovascular exercises such as mountain biking, jogging, swimming, or even some basketball game with friends on Saturdays. Then you can have your strength training on Sundays.
While enrolling in a gym has its benefits, you can have your workouts at home if paying for a membership is a burden. You can invest in some dumbbells and resistance bands for your training. You can do sets of squats, lunges, push-ups, and bicep curls, among others. Remember to balance your work-outs between your core, arms, legs, chest, shoulders, and back. You need to strengthen all your muscle groups to reduce your risks of injury when at work.
Of course, working out is not the only way to keep your body in optimum shape for your job. Strive to get at least seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night for maximum health benefits. Eating healthy will also help strengthen your body. When you are healthy and well-rested, you will be more alert, and you will have better productivity.