Preventing Strains and Sprains in the Workplace
The most common injuries in the workplace that require time away to recuperate are strains and sprains, especially back injuries. These seemingly minor injuries can cost employers millions of dollars each year in both worker’s compensation and medical claims.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), laborers, freight movers, tractor-trailer drivers, and nurses and nursing assistants had the highest incidence of reported strains and sprains on the job in the private sector and police, firefighters, janitors, and teachers had the highest incidence of sprains and strains in the public sector. These sprains and strains cause time away from work and worry for the injured person who may lose income and benefits, while the employer has to cover the injured teammate’s shift(s) and work with worker’s compensation to help make the injured teammate whole again.
Causes of Sprains and Strains
While these sprains and strains are often caused by improper lifting technique, prolonged periods of repetitive motion, and inadequate rest and recovery time, each of these can be cured with some procedural changes and/or wellness program changes.
Caring for Sprains and Strains
- Ergonomics: One of the best ways to prevent strains and sprains is to establish an ergonomics program in an office environment. See our previous blog posts about the steps to establishing ergonomics and the benefits your team will see.
- Educating the Team on Proper Lifting Technique: Bending at the knees not at the back can help save many costly back injuries as can assistive devices for heavy lifting.
- Encouraging Regular Breaks and Stretching: Incorporating stretching can help prevent muscle injuries as well as staying active on breaks.
- Establishing Wellness Programs for the Team: Programs like fitness classes or workshops on injury prevention can help strengthen key muscles and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you have concerns about sprains and strains among your team, remember that occupational medicine focuses on workplace safety in all workplaces. From physical exams to ideas that help establish a culture of safety, Jet Medical Center’s staff of physicians can help provide services to your team at our office or your work site. Call, click, or message us today to put our expertise to work for you and your business.
Who is Jet Medical Center®?
Jet Medical Center® is a leading provider of occupational medicine services in the Tallahassee area. We develop, with our client partners, a customized healthcare plan to fit your company’s needs today and into the future.
Our experienced staff of clinicians provides excellent medical care and understands the Worker’s Compensation system and its impact on your company’s financial health. Your employees will have less downtime with less complications reducing overall medical costs.