By Any Stretch | Occupational Sprains and Strains

Strains and sprains are among the most common causes of workplace injury. A sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament, which is the connective tissue between bones. A strain is a stretch or tear in a muscle or tendon connecting muscles to bone. These injuries can be quite painful and often require lengthy recovery time.

Workplace sprains and strains commonly occur in a person’s back, arms, or shoulders and can develop in an instant or slowly over time. Work activities that fall into the following categories increase a worker’s risk for sprains and strains:

  • Tasks requiring excessive force, which may include lifting, pushing, or reaching;
  • Tasks that are highly repetitive;
  • Tasks that involve awkward postures or twisting a part of the body;
  • Tasks that require standing or sitting for long periods;
  • Any slip and fall accident on the job.

The good news is that sprains and strains are preventable. Below are some tips to help you reduce your injury risk:

  • When faced with moving or lifting heavy loads, use mechanical devices or get help from another worker to lighten your load.
  • Lift with your legs, not with your back. Lift slowly and avoid twisting while lifting.
  • Carry items close to your body, near waist level.
  • Use ergonomic best practices to reduce risks from body positioning.
  • Take frequent breaks to stretch and change work position.
  • Identify and eliminate awkward work positions.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and quickly address slip and fall hazards in the workplace.

Create a safe and healthy work environment by focusing on injury prevention. With a few simple changes, you can avoid sprains and strains on the job. For more information and tips, see OSHA’s webpage on Ergonomics. We also offer a 100% Online Back Safety in the Workplace course which provides training on back injury prevention.

Date Posted: 03-27-2018
Tags: back injury, back safety training, osha safety topics, osha safety training, osha workplace safety, workplace sprains and strains,
Categories: OSHA Safety,