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Preventing workplace injuries with ergonomics

Injuries at the workplace are costing employers and their employees in Minnesota and nationwide billions of dollars per each year. One reason for such expense is from employees taking time off due to injuries that may have been preventable. Common injuries workplace injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, lower back pain and tendonitis. Ergonomics is the science of proper workplace conditions to accommodate employees in their jobs.

Insufficient workspace conditions frequently contribute to common work injuries caused by repetitive stress or cumulative-trauma disorders. Placing continual, unnecessary stress on joints due to poor posture may be a precursor to personal injury. When in a resting position, it is important for workers to keep their joints either in a neutral position or flexed only partially into their maximum range of motion.

To prevent muscle fatigue, having the proper posture is essential. A desk and chair that are the proper height are beneficial to maintain proper posture. Small breaks should also be taken just about every half hour to stretch and move around. Lifting heavy items with the largest muscles first, such as the legs, makes lower back problems less of a risk.

Some residents of Minnesota who have suffered injuries in the workplace may not know that contacting a lawyer may be able to get them the help they need. A lawyer could help them file a workers' compensation claim. While a claim should result in all reasonable and necessary medical expenses being covered by the employer's insurance carrier, a claim might be denied if a worker's injury took some time to develop. The lawyer could obtain the necessary medical documents to prove that the injury was obtained from work.

Source:, "Workplace ergonomics", June 18, 2014

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