As the most mobile and one of the most versatile joints in the body, the shoulder is highly vulnerable to musculo-skeletal disorders (MSDs). Recovering from these injuries takes an average of 21 days – one of the longest recovery periods for on-the-job accidents.
To help keep your workers’ shoulders healthy, and your Workers Comp premiums under control, we’d recommend these guidelines.
- Minimize lifting. Provide mechanical assists (carts, slings, dollies, jacks, etc.) to raise and hold objects. Put materials as close as practical to where they will be used
- Lighten the load. When lifting can’t be eliminated, or when objects (such as tools) must be held at arm’s length, make sure these items are as light as possible, In construction, for example, use lighter-weight building materials. Have a team lift all heavy objects.
- Control motion. One of the most dangerous situations is a “save” – when a load shifts or slips and a worker attempts to prevent a fall. To reduce this danger, hold work pieces in place using a jack or brace.
- Improve the grip. Lifting requires more force, and is more difficult (and more likely to cause injury) when there’s no easy way to grasp the object – for example, drywall panels. One solution: apply removable suction handles and temporary handles to flat surfaces.
- Encourage rest and stretching. Workers can minimize damage from jobs that put stress on their shoulder joints by taking frequent short breaks (15-20 seconds) and stretching gently to relieve tension in over-worked muscles and ligaments.
For more information, please get in touch with our workplace safety experts.