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Avoiding common workplace injury risk factors

Protecting workers from experiencing a workplace injury takes more than avoiding dangerous machinery and unsafe working conditions. Teaching New York workers how to avoid fatigue and discomfort while doing their jobs may help to reduce the number of people injured on the job due to repetitive stress injuries that could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or by other job-related activities that could lead to a back injury or a neck injury.

Office workers are just as susceptible to being injured on the job as are construction workers. A person sitting at a desk and working on a computer each day might not be exposed to the same risks as a construction worker, but the relative safety of an office does not protect a worker from becoming a work accident victim.

Some of the risk factors that can cause a musculoskeletal order at work include repetitive movements, force, poor posture, contact stress and vibration. Repetitive movement might include typing on a computer keyboard or constantly reaching overhead. Force is defined as constant or continuous pushing and pulling or lifting movements. Poor, awkward posture such as a bent or twisted neck, can lead to musculoskeletal disorders including neck or back injury. Contact stress happens when workers grip poorly designed tools can place added stress on fingers or other sensitive parts of the hand. Finally, vibration is the constant use of vibrating equipment or hand tools might cause damage leading to permanent disability.

Teaching workers the proper techniques to minimize or avoid the risk factors can prevent them from becoming a work accident victim. A person who suffers a workplace injury due to a lack of preventative training may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The medical expenses and lost wages paid to a worker injured on the job can help get that person through the recovery period and back to work.

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