No one wants to get hurt. This is especially true if the injury would lead to time away from work. So how can you prevent the injuries that are most likely to keep you away?
In Rockford, manufacturing employs nearly one-third of all workers, so it's worth noting that the most common injuries in the manufacturing industry are sprains, strains and tears. That's according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports that the injuries led to a median of 10 days away from work, so it pays to avoid them--literally.
Tips for avoiding muscle injuries at work and in life
It’s in your best interest to stay healthy. Healthier people are generally happier and able to enjoy more activities. Plus, staying healthy is good for your finances. compensation if your muscle injuries are work-related, but workers’ compensation doesn’t usually cover your full paycheck. Most of the time, it covers medical expenses, plus two-thirds of your salary for the time your injury keeps you off the job.
That means the steps you take to protect your body are also good for protecting your income. So what can you do? The Harvard Medical School listed six things you can do to help prevent muscle strains:
- Warm up ahead of strenuous activities
- Stretch your muscles on a routine basis
- Work within your limits to avoid overexertion
- Lose weight
- Use good posture
- Practice good lifting techniques
Following those six steps can help you avoid muscle strains pretty much anywhere. Within the workplace, you may have access to even more resources or helpful training. So you might have even more options for avoiding muscle strain, such as:
- Task-specific training
- Custom tools and equipment
- Protective equipment such as pads and braces
Even your choice of shoes can have an outsized impact on your health if you’re on your feet all day.
What to do if you become injured
The Harvard Medical School suggests that most minor strains should get better within a couple days, but some serious strains may need medical attention, as may those that build-up over time. They recommend you seek medical attention when:
- You hear or feel a “pop” when you suffer the injury
- The injury causes your muscles to lose strength
- Your symptoms don’t improve within 48 hours
- Back pains make it impossible for you to do your job or other normal activities
If you need treatment, you want to get it sooner rather than later. The longer you push through your injury, the more likely you are to make it worse.
Remember the big picture
Not every strain needs a doctor. Muscle injuries don’t always result in time away from work. But it’s always worth remembering the bigger picture. When it’s your career on the line, you want to take care of your health. The good news is that people can usually recover fully from their strains, sprains and tears. You just want to approach your job and health with your eyes wide open.