Some people lean on their laps, some on their knees. Some hunker down on the train or bus. But even if your employees use their computers while sitting at a desk, they could be doing serious damage to their hands or arms. The same holds true of any repetitive motion, whether that’s engaging in regular spill clean up at a grocery store or event center, or hefting bags of XSORB Select Oil Absorbent and Coldform Universal Absorbent Rolls as part of an emergency spill containment response team.
As a companion feature to our post on back-saving suggestions, we wanted to focus on protecting these essential upper appendages. Employees who perform any repetitive motion are at risk for repetitive strain injury (RSI) symptoms. This includes:
- Assembly line workers
- Librarians (who constant scan books and input data)
- Data entry employees
- Supermarket clerks and baggers.
To keep medical claims down and your staff healthy and productive, educate yourself and your team about work habits that discourage RSI. The basics for everyone:
- Sit up straight. Although it sounds like grandma’s advice, it’s still golden: proper posture takes the pressure off your hard-working hands, arms and back.
- Cushion your wrists. A simple wrist rest those oblong pieces of foam that sit just in front of the keyboard can do wonders for repelling RSI. By keeping palms parallel to the keyboard, your employees’ hands will be far less likely to “numb out”.
- Ergo, get ergonomic. Hydraulic chairs that can be adjusted to any height or angle are especially helpful in preventing RSI. Position forearms parallel to the keyboard, and make the rest of the chair as comfortable for individual needs as possible.
- Take frequent breaks. You could set your computer to remind you to get up and stretch every fifteen minutes, or at whatever interval feels best. Don’t push through in order to get the job done at your body’s expense.
- Mix it up. Try to plan your workday so that you’re not doing repetitive motions for hours on end.
The estimated cost of RSI injuries runs from hundreds of millions to several billion dollars per year but your company needn’t be among them. As with all ailments, RSI is far easier to prevent than to treat or cure. So take both your staff and your equipment in hand, and your employees will be taking time off for pleasure, not disability.