Ergonomic hazards are a result of physical factors that can result in musculoskeletal injuries. They can be found in every workplace and, if not managed correctly, can have significant long and short term impacts on your employees health and wellbeing. Musculoskeletal injuries are those that affect the musculoskeletal system, including damage to muscles, tendons, bones, joints, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. Types of ergonomic hazards include:
- Manual handling. Manual handling occurs every time you lift, put down, push, pull, carry or move a load using your hands or bodily force. Poor manual handling techniques can have serious consequences unless employees are appropriately trained in their duties. These include long term damage to the individual’s musculoskeletal system and mental health.
- Use of display screen equipment. Most jobs in this current, technological age, will require the use of some form of display screen equipment. Prolonged use of poorly designed workstations can result in a range of ill-health effects, including musculoskeletal injuries, repetitive strain injury, fatigue and eye strain.
- Vibration. Long term use of vibrating tools can have serious health impacts including vibration white finger, sensory nerve damage, carpel tunnel syndrome and muscle and joint injuries. For more information on the impact of vibration exposure, have a look at our article: Effects of Vibration on the Body: HAVS Guidance.
Ergonomic hazards can have severely disabling impacts if they are not managed correctly. Therefore, it’s important that you understand How to Identify Ergonomic Hazards at Work and take steps to ensure that your employees can carry out their workplace activities safely.