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Carpal Tunnel Prevention

Many workplaces make use of computers, especially in offices. However, all that typing and clicking can eventually lead to carpal tunnel. This could seriously get in the way of you doing your job effectively. However, there are some ways that you can help protect yourself…

Carpal Tunnel: Repetitive Stress Injuries

Use less pressure

Often times, when we get used to doing something, we never give it a second thought. One of these areas can be how much force we use. For instance, you could grip a tool too hard when you don’t need to. Or, in this case, you use too much force when typing when gentle keystrokes are all you need.

Using too much pressure and force when typing isn’t the best thing for your hands and wrists. Doing so will add a lot of unnecessary strain on them which could lead to carpal tunnel. Plus, it’ll keep your hands tense, further complicating things. Instead, try to ease off the pressure and keep your hands more relaxed while you work.

Take a break

It’s always important to give yourself a break when you need it. This is pretty easy to see if you work at a job that requires a lot of physical activity. If you don’t take a break, your job quality can suffer, and your chance of injury can go up. However, for people who work desk jobs, this can be harder to realize.

While a desk job might not be a strenuous as other jobs, it still presents hazards like carpal tunnel. That’s why it’s still important to take the occasional break. A quick 10-15 minute break every hour, for example, is a good idea. Plus, you’ll also be giving not just your hands a break, but other areas like your eyes one as well.

Do some stretches

Part of preventing carpal tunnel is keeping your hands nice and loose. A great way to do this is by doing stretches. As it turns out, there’s plenty of different hand and wrist stretches you can do at the comfort of your own desk. 

One of the nice things about these stretches is that they compliment your breaks quite well. These stretches are quick, easy, and can be done at nearly any time. Doing them will help you keep your hands loose for the rest of your working day.

Computer Eye Problems

Every profession comes with it’s own set of risks. However, when you think of work-related injuries, you likely picture broken bones, falling materials, burns, or something of the like. However, work-related injuries come in all forms and fashions. Take, for example, computer eye strain. Computer eye strain originates from an obvious source— spending your workday staring into a computer. In fact, computer eye strain has become a major job-related complaint for computer workers. So, how do know when you’re on the receiving end of computer eye problems? What can you do to prevent it? And lastly, what can you do to treat the damage? 

Computer Eye Problems: Common Computer Worker Injuries 

Prevention and Management 

Comprehensive eye exams are a necessity when you spend most of your days in front of the computer. Therefore, it’s important that you take measures to prevent damage, but also to document changes in your eyesight in case of injury. When seeing an eye doctor, make sure to tell them how often you work on a computer, how much time you spend there, and they can test accordingly.

Take a break every now and then

.rd documents, or something of the like. In doing so, you might forget to blink or rest your eyes from time to time. Eye doctors have a “20-20-20” rule that they encourage people prone to computer eye problems to follow. Once every 20 minutes, look away from your screen, at an object 20+ feet away, for at least 20 second. Doing this 20-20-20 exercise gives your eyes a moment to relax, and reduce fatigue. 

Modifying eyewear 

If you wear glasses, or even if you don’t, consider introducing customized glasses into your daily uniform. Computer glasses can help to reduce or eliminate computer eye problems by reducing exposure to harmful blue light that radiates from digital devices. This is a feature that can be added onto your existing glasses, or you can get a specific pair that only have this function. 

In short, computer eye problems are extremely common for people who work primarily from the computer. However, that’s not to say every computer worker is will end up with eye issues. But, you have to take the time and put the work in to avoid it. See your eye doctor, express concern, and keep record of how your eyes improve, or worsen over time. 

Scaffolding Safety:

There are many different positions in the workforce which might lead to your requiring the use of scaffolding. Maybe you work in construction, architecture, window cleaning, or even painting. Whatever the profession, it’s important that scaffolding safety be used every step of the way. From construction, to removal, and everything in between— there is a danger to this workplace necessity. However, there are plenty of ways that you can combat it. 

Scaffolding Safety: Avoiding Unnecessary Injury 

It starts with construction… 

As with anything safety-related, there should be a seasoned professional in charge of constructing the scaffolding you’ll be using for any job. When scaffolding isn’t built correctly, it might not be stable enough to hold there necessary weight, and you run the risk of a dangerous, or even deadly, collapse. Hire someone qualified to do the work, and remember to do your own research. 

While you want a qualified person in the driver’s seat— you should be prepared to ask a few questions: what footing will you use? Are the planks strong enough to support the necessary weight? And lastly, will there be the necessary support wires and ropes to support heavy loads attached to the scaffolding? While a seasoned professional will obviously have all of these supplies and questions at the ready— you never can be too sure. 

Workplace safety 

Just as you want qualified professionals building the scaffolding, you also want professionals using them. Scaffolding is often a bit wobbly, regardless of sound construction. Furthermore, it can also be quite tight in terms of work space. Slip and fall injuries are a common risk associated with scaffolding, and that’s where safety comes in. 

Avoid slipping hazards 

Keep your scaffolding clear of obstructions and hazards, such as rain, ice, or slippery materials— such as paint. Furthermore, keep your tripping hazards in place, such as your tools. Work only under safe conditions. No high winds, no rain, and no distractions. 

Safety equipment 

Lastly, make sure you’re using the proper safety equipment when working on the scaffolding. From non-slip shoes, to safety harnesses, hard hats, — safety is the number one priority in any and all work environments. 

Teaching Injuries

We mention it all the time, there are inherent risks in every profession. Furthermore, there are unique safety measures that need to be taken. However, today, we’re going to look at one profession in particular that comes with a unique set of risks… teaching. Teaching injuries can be brought on by a number of different circumstances. From unhealthy students, to slips and falls, a fight in the classroom, and even violent school invasions. In short, anything can happen. Therefore, you have to be prepared for what may come when you step into your classroom. 

Teaching Injuries: Unexpected Classroom Accidents 

Exposure to toxic materials 

You might not think so, but a classroom can be quite the dangerous place. Take, for example, working in an old building. You know that your school building has been there since the ‘70s. Not to mention, you know that it has a certain smell. However, what you might not realize is that the strange smell is pointing to a bigger issue— mold. Toxic exposure in the classroom is not highly common. But, it can happen from time to time in a poorly maintained building. So, if you find yourself stationed in a classroom that has you worrying, ask an administrator to hire an inspector. Don’t add ‘treating teaching injuries’ to your long list of things to get accomplished. 

Acts of violence 

When you sign on to become a teacher, you have to acknowledge the inherent risk that comes along with it: acts of violence. According to the CDC, nearly 24% of students reported being in a physical fight on school property one or more times during a school year. Furthermore, the risk of school shootings is present now more than ever. Students getting into fights doesn’t always lead to teaching injuries. But, you are handling a dangerous task: breaking up the fight. Furthermore, school shootings are inherently rare— although we’ve seen more of them recently than in past years. However, if that time comes, you and your students are at risk of serious injury. 

Work-induced stress 

As a teacher, you have many roles to fall into on a daily basis. You are an educator, mentor, role model, babysitter, therapist, nurse, security guard, and a figurehead. You have to take on mental health in your students, make sure they have the resources they need, make sure they’re learning, and also watch for signs of abuse, hunger, neglect, and the like. In short, a teacher has the responsibility of 10-30 kids on a daily basis. You are a caretaker, and an educator. That is no small feat. Therefore, among all teaching injuries, work-induced stress is the most common one out there. You often face overcrowded classrooms, underfunded materials, a lack of support on part of administrators, and frustrated kids.

Teaching is not easy

In short, there’s nothing easy about being a teacher. From the beginning of your day, to the very end— you take on a number of different roles, all of which can be extremely stressful. Teaching injuries can be physical, mental, or emotional— and each one is quite difficult to face. We commend our educators, and encourage them to take a moment here and there for themselves. 

Accountability in Workplace Safety

Accidents are bound to happen in the workplace. However, if there is anything we can do as managers, business owners, or shift leaders— it is to reduce those incidents. Ultimately, accident prevention begins with workplace safety, and accountability. So, what can we do encourage these things amongst our employees? 

Accountability in Workplace Safety: Avoiding Injuries  

Start with proper training 

The most important step in inspiring accountability in your employees, is to give them the tools to do so beforehand. When you bring on new hires, make sure they are receiving proper workplace safety training. Furthermore, use it as an opportunity to refresh your current employees on what it means to be safe. 

Ask for their opinion 

No one knows what’s happening on the floor better than the people who spend their day-to-day lives there. So, ask for their help in deciding what safety protocols are necessary, unnecessary, and also what might be missing in terms of safety protocol. When they have a hand in implementing changes, they will feel more accountability in terms of honoring them. Every employee needs to feel valued in order to value their work. So, use your employees point of view as a means of giving them that feeling, and also as a means of bettering the workplace. By doing so, you’ll improve your employee’s accountability.

Address poor performance in a non-aggressive way 

Don’t call one person out for doing something wrong, as this can hinder accountability and alienate your employees. Chances are, if one person is using poor protocol— they aren’t the only one. Use these instances of poor performance as a means of addressing the whole group. Don’t call one person out for handling boxes poorly. Instead, host a meeting where you review what is going wrong— and urge your employees to self-correct. Start here, and move forward as necessary in terms of addressing the issue. 

Incentivize proper protocol and milestones 

Let’s face it: we care about our employees and want them to be healthy and safe. However, we can’t deny the appeal of meeting a safety milestone. 90 days accident-free means healthy employees, and fewer costly claims. So, every 90 days without an accident— consider hosting a breakfast, a happy hour, or letting everyone head home an hourly early for the day. There are small ways to encourage accountability in your employees, and giving them something to look forward to is a great way to do that. 

Welding Injuries

Being a welder is dangerous work. You’re dealing with high-heat, heavy light exposure, radiation, fumes, and melted metal. In short, being a welder comes with quite a few different risks. However, injury prevention begins with acknowledging what those injuries are. that way, you can attempt to beat them before they happen. So, what are a few common welding injuries? 

Common Welding Injuries: Acknowledging Risks 

Burns 

As we mentioned above, you’re dealing with some pretty high-heat materials. From the torch you’re using to weld the metal, to the metal itself, flare-ups, torch lighting, and flammable materials. Every aspect of welding is dangerous, and that’s why it’s so important to use the proper gear. 

Eye Injuries

Using goggles and welding hood are extremely important to protecting your eyes from debris, and also from light. A welder’s hood dims the light, and filters it to make sure your eyes are not exposed to the bright light that surrounds whatever you’re welding. Furthermore, using these pieces of equipment will help you avoid damage caused by flying items and debris that come off of what you’re welding. 

Welder’s flash is an injury caused by the UV and Infrred light that comes from the welding arc. Think of UV light as a sunburn for your eyes. It’s not something you notice right away. However, with time, that light exposure will lead to scorched retinas and even cataracts. 

Hearing problems 

Excessive noise in the workshop has the potential to cause hearing loss and damages. The rule of thumb is if you can’t hear the person next to you, you’re at risk for hearing-related issues. So, consider purchasing some noise filtering earplugs, or headphones. Furthermore, consider wearing earplugs, using sound barriers, and having a hearing test every now and then. While you might not think about it too often— welding injuries come in all shapes and sizes. 

Acknowledging dangers 

The first step to preventing injury, is knowing what a common injury looks like in your work field. As for welding injuries, we now know that the effects can be quite serious. From burns, to hearings loss— the important thing to remember is that there are ways to minimize danger and risk.