John Jacobs
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Many workplace injuries are a result of overexertion caused by lifting, pulling, or pushing objects. Overexertion is spraining a ligament or straining a tendon or a muscle and occurs when the amount of work attempted exceeds the limits of the body parts doing the work.

People with a preexisting condition, limited mobility, or aging limitations are more prone to overexertion injuries. In some cases individuals will overuse one body part to compensate for the limitation of another body part.

Overexertion injury is likely to occur in four ways.

  1. High force demands. This can happen when lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, gripping, and using tools.
  2. Awkward or stationary posture. This can occur when bending, twisting, reaching, and kneeling.
  3. Repetitive movements or actions. Doing the same motion repeatedly without taking a few small rest breaks can cause this.
  4. All other overexertion hazards. This includes contact stress, hand-arm vibration, whole-body vibration, hammering with hand, and working in cold temperatures or hot environments.

The best way to prevent an overexertion injury is to work through the task in your head to figure out the way to best perform the work with the least amount of energy and then follow through with the plan by taking necessary precautions. A major precaution includes using proper lifting guidelines.

Some other guidelines to reduce the risks of overexertion injuries:

This toolbox topic was reviewed by ______________________________________ on ___________________________ with the following employees: