Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are responsible for around 33% of workforce injuries and illnesses. Musculoskeletal injuries are unfortunately common in the manufacturing industry. It is because workers in the manufacturing industry have to go through physically demanding tasks.
Repetitive activities and handling heavy equipment can lead to back, neck, and limb injuries. It is essential to implement effective employee health solutions to prevent such health issues. The following steps can help in avoiding musculoskeletal injuries among workers in the manufacturing industry:
You can start making appropriate improvements at the workplace. For example, establishing engineering controls can help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. First, evaluate the space and make necessary physical changes. Then, look for systematic processes that can identify and reduce such risks.
Investing in tools for ergonomic assessment is beneficial. For example, a job screen can screen various manufacturing job tasks. It identifies the tasks with moderate and high risks for musculoskeletal injuries.
A lifting equation tool can help in assessing the manual material handling risks. You can identify which lowering and lifting tasks are risky for the workers and look for alternatives.
Proper stretches are essential to loosen the body and improve flexibility. When workers stretch before, after, and during work, it can decrease the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
Ensure to incorporate short stretching sessions before each shift. You can also establish timely stretching and warming up breaks. They help in improving your workers’ posture and muscular balance. Additionally, it can reduce fatigue and enhance muscle coordination.
Continuously working on repetitive tasks for long hours can stress the muscles. Stiff muscles and excess pressure can cause musculoskeletal injuries. Look for ways to create a proper schedule for all your workers.
Implement job rotation and ensure effective interchange of workers among different tasks. It gives each worker different tasks to work on. Make sure that it is a proper combination of physical tasks with jobs requiring lesser manual work.
Employee health solutions such as ergonomic training can ensure that workers in the manufacturing industry perform their tasks safely. Educate them on ergonomic practices that they can adopt throughout their routine work. In addition, it eliminates any bad habits that cause musculoskeletal injuries.
Make sure that the training sessions are practical and consistent. Teach employees the correct lifting techniques and postures. Apart from classroom training, practical personal training helps workers develop self-care practices. You may hire injury prevention specialists to handle ergonomic training programs.
You have to encourage workers to report musculoskeletal injuries early. Most workers ignore the injury unless it is severe. However, it can only aggravate the health issue and lead to more problems. The workers risk their health and employers lose productivity.
By reporting any musculoskeletal disorder symptoms early, workers can receive timely medical attention. They may heal faster and get back to work. Moreover, you can avoid workers’ compensation costs.
Establish open and effective communication channels. Ensure that your workers do not hesitate to report any health issues. It helps in making the work environment safer.
Workers in the manufacturing industry are more susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries. It is crucial to implement the above steps and make your workplace safer for employees. Make sure to establish ergonomic practices and safety controls wherever possible.