Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population. Effective and successful “fits” assure high productivity, avoidance of illness and injury risks, and increased satisfaction among the workforce. To prevent workplace injuries in the senior living, assisted living, and healthcare industries, it’s important to stay in shape. Stretching and strengthening during off-time can better prepare staff for physically strenuous work. A healthy diet and rest are also important for energy and strength.
Here are some great safety tips for your employees on how to manually lift an object and/or resident:
- Test your load. If you’re required to lift something heavy, request assistance.
- Spread your feet apart. This will give your body a wide base for support.
- Keep in close proximity. Stand as close as possible to the object you’re lifting.
- Bend at your knees. Try not to use your waist or back to lift.
- Tighten your stomach muscles. This is important as you lift the object up or lower it down.
- Slowly lift. Use your muscles in your hips and knees while slowly lifting.
- Do not bend forward. This is important as you stand up with the object and/or resident.
- Keep your back straight. Take small steps to turn your entire body in the direction you want to move while keeping your back straight.
- Squat as you set the object down. Use the muscles in your knees and hips and keep your back straight when you squat down.
The importance of ergonomics in the workplace continues to grow, especially as senior living, assisted living, and healthcare organizations nationwide face nursing shortages and staff burnout at an increasing rate. For questions or guidance on ergonomics in the workplace, contact the MMA healthcare safety department.