Training Trumps Gadgets in Reducing MSDs

Yesterday we looked at the five primary methods OSHA recommends for preventing ergonomic injuries in the workplace ( safe work practices, PPE, administrative controls, training, and engineering controls). Today we’ll look at ways to train your workforce on health- and money-saving ergonomic practices.

It is critical that your employees understand the causes of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are one of the major categories of ergonomic injuries. Causes of MSDs include:

  • Repetition. Making the same motions over and over again places stress on the muscles and tendons. The severity of risk depends on how often the action is repeated, the speed of the movement, the number of muscles involved, and the required force.
  • Forceful exertions. Force is the amount of physical effort required to perform a task (such as heavy lifting) or to maintain control of equipment or tools. The amount of force depends on body posture, type of activity, type of grip, weight of the object, and duration of the task.
  • Awkward postures. Posture is the position of the body that affects muscle groups involved in physical activity. Awkward postures include repeated or prolonged reaching, twisting, bending, kneeling, squatting, working overhead with hands or arms, or holding fixed positions.
  • Contact stress. Pressing the body against hard or sharp edges can result in placing too much pressure on nerves, tendons, and blood vessels. For example, using the palm of your hand as a hammer increases the likelihood of creating an MSD.
  • Vibration. Operating vibrating tools such as sanders, grinders, chippers, routers, drills, or saws can lead to nerve damage.

By watching out for symptoms and examining how jobs are performed, your workers can save themselves from experiencing painful and expensive injuries.

Whatever safety meeting you need, chances are you’ll find it prewritten and ready to use in BLR’s Safety Meetings Library on CD.  Try it at no cost or risk. Here’s how.

Ergonomics seeks to reduce strain by cutting back on the stress and the number of repetitive motions performed on the job. Though it may sound complex, many ergonomic changes can be implemented by supervisors and employees because they know best what each job entails and what tasks cause pain and discomfort.

BLR’s Safety Meetings Library says that some of the simple ways you can train workers on the benefits of proper ergonomics include:

  • Demonstrating improvements that can be made by examining actual work stations and demonstrating proper and improper arrangement of computer and/or other workstations
  • Showing employees examples of ergonomic aids
  • Demonstrating right and wrong ways to use tools
  • Having workers use an ergonomically designed tool and one that isn’t
  • Reminding employees to report any symptoms to their supervisors

While high-tech solutions like “ergonomically correct” equipment may look appealing, the best investment an employer can make is to ensure that everyone is adequately trained. Employees should be taught the factors that cause repetitive motion—and other—ergonomic injuries. Training new employees is even more successful because they learn to avoid bad habits from the start.

Our editors think Safety Meetings Library is an ideal answer to your training needs because it contains a wealth of ergonomic training materials, much of it tailored to specific types of work and workplaces. Among the 11 separate meetings devoted to ergonomic training are:

  • Computer Workstation Health Problems
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders in Industry
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Office
  • Musculoskeletal Problems in the Workplace

All told, the CD-ROM provides you with more than 400 ready-to-train meetings on more than 100 key safety topics. The in-depth meeting outlines are supplemented with quizzes and handouts, as well as with regulations (OSHA’s CFR 29), a listing of the most common safety violations cited by OSHA, and case studies of actual OSHA cases and their outcomes.

We challenge you to NOT find a safety meeting you need, already prewritten, in BLR’s Safety Meetings Library. Take up our challenge at no cost or risk. Get the details.

Safety Meetings Library lets you choose from a variety of training approaches, including:

Mandatory – Sessions that are OSHA-required
Comprehensive – Sessions with broadest coverage of a topic
7-Minute – Short, simple, targeted sessions to fit tight schedules
Initial – A session used as introductory training on a topic
Refresher – Sessions that follow up on or reinforce previous training
Tool Box Talks – More informal reinforcement of a topic
PowerPoint® – Graphic presentations for comprehensive initial or refresher training
Hands-on – A session in which there are training activities
Spanish – Including Spanish language handouts and quizzes coordinated with English sessions

You can get a preview of the program by using the links below. But for the best look, we suggest a no-cost, no-obligation trial. Just let us know and we’ll arrange it for you.

Download document type list
Download product sample
Download table of contents