Understanding and Stopping Overexertion in the Workplace
Driven, hard-working employees are something that every employer strives to have, and often employers are blinded by the sole goal of getting the job done they overlook overworked employees. It is extraordinarily important for employers to pay attention to the efforts each employee is putting into their work to ensure they are not overexerting themselves.
According to the National Safety Council, “Overexertion causes 35% of all work-related injuries and is the number one reason for lost work days.” Posture, comfort, flexibility, force, environment, movement, personal-care and stress can all be factors that increase the chances of injury due to overexertion.
It is urgent that employers give proper attention to ergonomics in the workplace and provide comfortable, stress-free environments. Employees should be trained to know their physical limits for each task they perform.
Causes and Tips for Overexertion
Fatigue is one of the major causes of overexertion incidents. When employees push themselves too hard for too long they become exhausted and begin to see side effects that affect their health and overall work productivity in the long run. Employees may also become fatigued when they are not receiving enough sleep, which can be a result of spending too much time at work and not enough time on personal needs.
Other culprits of overexertion incidents can be repetitive movement, dehydration, heat-exhaustion and hypoglycemia (not eating causing low blood sugar). Each of these should be topics employers address on a regular basis to ensure that employees understand they should take a break if they are feeling symptoms like irregular breathing, dizziness, headaches or other symptoms that affect their over-all well-being and working abilities.
It is no surprise that stretching every day is recommended for employees who perform physical tasks at work. This can help prevent straining or spraining muscles when lifting or moving. Pre-shift and frequent stretching can help prevent fatigue and improve muscular coordination especially when the time between physical activity increases .
Maintaining a neutral posture while lifting or moving items and ensuring that items are in a comfortable range are crucial for reducing the chance of a sprain or strain incidents. For some examples and tips on best, neutral body positions check out ErgoPlus’ 8 Fundamental Ergonomic Principles for Better Work Performance.
The more comfortable a worker is the less stress they are putting on their body, so it is important that employees pay adequate attention to the stresses they are putting on their body. Contact SMART Safety for help training employees on best safety practices to increase overall employee health and safety. We take pride in dedicating our time and efforts to protecting people, property and profits each and every day.