Back Health & Safety

Back pain comes in second only to stress as a leading cause of sickness absences from work in Britain. In addition, 80% of the population suffers from back pain at some point in their lives.

In the United States, 1 million workers suffer from back pain yearly, accounting for 20% of all workplace absences and second only to the common cold.

While injuries and accidents do contribute to the problem, 85% of back pain in the workplace is actually related to incorrect posture, incorrect lifting techniques, excessive weight and lack of exercise.

Correct Posture

Back pain happens to both manual as well as sedentary workers. And much of the back pain for both groups is often caused by poor posture. Incorporate the following advice for helping correct and prevent back pain caused by incorrect posture.

  • Learn about ergonomics to ensure a healthy working environment.
  • Make sure chairs and work areas are adjusted to proper height for reducing back strain.
  • Take regular breaks to stretch stiff muscles.
  • Use proper sitting & standing techniques.
  • Wear proper shoes & use good posture when standing for long periods.

Correct Lifting Technique

back-painThe most common back injuries in the workplace are sprains, strains and herniated discs. While age does contribute, the problem largely stems from incorrect lifting technique. Employ the following tips to reduce back injury caused by improper lifting.

  • Ask for help with heavy objects.
  • Hold objects close to the body when lifting.
  • Avoid twisting when lifting and carrying heavy objects.
  • Use leg muscles to lift instead of back muscles.
  • Lift slowly, staying in control without jerking.

Healthy Lifestyles

While posture and correct lifting go a long way in preventing back pain, living a healthy lifestyle can go even further with regard to reducing and even eliminating time off work due not only to back pain but to other health issues as well. Consider the following healthy lifestyle tips for reducing back pain & increasing overall health and wellness.

  • Improve back flexibility and strength with stretching exercises.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Remember that a good night’s sleep allows for necessary repairs to your body.
  • Pay attention to warning signs and seek treatment immediately.
  • Quit smoking & control weight to increase blood flow and reduce strain.

Additional Resources

While back pain may be a leading cause of workplace absences, there’s no shortage of solutions for reducing these absences. Use the above tips as a starting point for improved back health, and continue educating yourself by reading some of the abundance of information available for back healthy and safety in the workplace. The following list of articles will help educate you on back health & safety in the workplace.

Safety Accessories: 7 Products You Didn’t Know You Needed

Eyewear AccessoriesOne reason people fail to wear safety gear is because of some seemingly unresolved problems encountered when wearing them. Another reason is accessibility. Fortunately, safety accessories can help resolve some of these issues.

Consider the following 6 safety eyewear accessories and the solutions they provide:

  1. Cases & Pouches: Cases & pouches keep eyewear safe and secure when not being worn. Many even double as a cleaning cloth. Some cases, such as the Wiley-X TS-235 Hard Case, provide additional room for storage of extra lenses and other needed items. When eyewear stays in good working condition, it is much more likely to be worn. Also, having all your eyewear gear close at hand makes wearing the appropriate gear much more likely.
  2. Eyewear Dispensers:  About 90% of eye injuries could be prevented by wearing proper safety eyewear. Not exactly an accessory, but close enough, an eyewear dispenser makes eyewear accessible which makes wearing it much more likely. Keeping the dispenser in convenient locations both at home and in the workplace makes it an essential accessory.
  3. Lens Cleaning/Defogging Products: A clean lens is a safe lens. So, keeping lenses clear of smudges and fog by using products such as Super Strength Anti-Fog Spray and Opti Magic Optical Cleaner and Polish can make sure lenses provide the best vision possible.
  4. Neck Cords: While sometimes making a fashion statement, the more practical purpose of neck cords is to help protect and conveniently store your eyewear. When eyewear is within reach, it’s more likely to be worn. Additionally, cords add convenience when glasses must be taken on and off frequently.
  5. Sideshields: Safety shields come in a variety of styles from temporary ones that protect from light particles and droplets but are not rated for impact protection to those that auto-adjust for fit, provide impact protection and provide UV protection. Adding sideshields to current safety eyewear can significantly increase eye protection in a simple, easy and effective way.
  6. LED Lights: LED lights that fasten onto safety eyewear can free up your hands not only making you better able to do your work but able to do it more safely because you’re not also struggling to hold a flashlight. LED safety lights come in a variety of options, allowing them to fit virtually every type of eyewear. Some even fasten to safety helmets!

While not exactly an accessory, let’s look at one more add-on that can provide another way to help keeps eyes safe and healthy, emergency eyewash.

A big cause of permanent eye damage comes from chemicals splashing into the eyes, both at home and in the workplace. Having an emergency eyewash station can save valuable time, especially when you consider that eyes stand a much greater chance of recovery from chemical splash when flushed immediately after exposure.

The first line of safety to protect eyes lies with consistently wearing safety eyewear. Adding some of the above accessories can go a long way in increasing the effectiveness of that safety eyewear.

Eye Injury Prevention – A Quick & Easy Approach

Dog with GogglesEye Injury Prevention Month occurring in July – right in the middle of summer – is no coincidence. With an increase in outdoor activities from yard work to sports to fireworks to home maintenance, reasons for remembering eye safety during the summer months seem obvious.

Yet, summer often flies by with many never considering the prevention of eye injury until it’s too late. Don’t become one of these statistics…

  • More than one million people suffer from eye injury yearly.
  • Eye injury occurs at a rate of more than 2,000 per day.
  • About 1,000 eye injuries occur daily in the workplace, which means that 50% of eye injury takes place outside of the workplace.
  • Any exposure to sunlight adds to the cumulative effects of ultraviolet radiation on your eyes.
  • UV exposure has been linked to eye disorders such as macular degeneration, solar retinitis, and corneal dystrophies.

Don’t let the fun and carefree feeling of summer keep you from taking a few basic steps to prevent eye injury & disease. Help keep your summer memories safe with two simple habits.

  1. Wear sunglasses regularly. Get the proper UV protection and eliminate excuses.
  2. Wear safety glasses regularly. Keep summertime fun by avoiding eye injuries.

That’s it. Pretty simple, right? Wearing quality sunglasses and safety glasses is all it takes to eliminate 90% of eye injuries and to prevent disease caused by cumulative damage to the eyes by the sun.

Take the first step today, and purchase the appropriate eyewear to have ready when needed. Then continue enjoying a happy and safe summer.