The county is asking its citizens to become involved in focusing on keeping safe at home and at work, Health Officer Joseph Iser said.
“Because the summer season is traditionally a time of increased accidental injuries and fatalities, it’s an appropriate time to focus attention on injury risks and preventions,” Iser said in a statement last week.
Each week during National Safety Month, the national council will present a specific focus on a critical safety issue we face every day.
For the week of June 10-16, the council will focus on ergonomics.
Ergonomics is the science of designing safe, comfortable and efficient work areas that prevent injury, fatigue and overexertion.
We all have had those difficult days when work requires us to sit far too long to finish that required project or to hit a deadline, or we have been given a desk, chair and cubicle that doesn’t quite fit our legs, arms and physical needs. When this happens, we feel the effects right away — driving home with sore shoulders and a headache.
Apparently, these body aches are not just in our minds.
Ergonomic conditions are disorders of the soft tissues, specifically the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs.
These conditions are often caused by factors such as overexertion while lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching, or stretching; repetitive motions; working in awkward positions; sitting or standing too long in one position; using excessive force; vibration; resting on sharp corners or edges; and temperature extremes.
It’s important not to forget those 10-minute breaks or to stop work for a short walk around the office. It’s easy to do and could save your health in the long run.
I remember working for a division of the state. Twice every day, the office emptied out and everyone took a 10-minute walk outside. We talked, cleared our heads of work and moved our legs enough to carry on once we got back inside.
And, while injuries can occur from activities on the job such as working on an assembly line, using heavy equipment or typing on a computer, they also can result from activities at home, such as playing video games, helping someone move, participating in hobbies such as sewing or through home repair projects.
Knowing the signs of adverse ergonomic conditions, if caught early, can prevent injury and reduce health care costs.
The county health district encourages those interested to visit the National Safety Council’s website at www.nsc.org/nsc_events/Nat_Safe_Month/Pages/home.aspx to learn more about safety issues and tips on how to prevent unnecessary injuries.
Other topics discussed during National Safety Month include employee wellness; preventing slips, trips, and falls; and driving safety.
Jill Lufrano is a reporter at the Sparks Tribune. She can be reached at email@example.com.