Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Workplace Sprains and Strains
When it comes to injuries in the workplace, sprains and strains are at the top of the list, with the back, shoulder, and knees being the parts of the body that are most affected. While these injuries may be common, in many cases they are preventable, regardless of where you work. By identifying the risk factors and implementing proactive steps to eliminate certain risks, you can avoid painful, potentially costly injuries from sprains or strains in the workplace.
Sprains Versus Strains
- A sprain occurs when a ligament – or tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint – becomes stretched or torn.
- A strain occurs when a tendon – or tissue that connects muscle to bone – becomes stretched or torn.
Workplace Risk Factors
- Excessive Force: When too much force is imposed on the muscles in the body, it can cause sprains or strains.
- Excessive Repetition: Some jobs require repetitive tasks by nature, but when the task involves risk factors like awkward postures, or heavy lifting and/or moving, it can cause injuries including sprains and strains.
- Awkward Posture: When the joints of the body are out of alignment, and excessive force is imposed on muscles and tendons, it can increase the risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) like sprains and strains.
- Other Factors: Sprains and strains can also be caused by slip and fall hazards in the workplace.
Individual Risk Factors
- Poor Work Practices: When workers do not follow the proper techniques, whether they are lifting heavy objects or sitting in a way that affects proper body alignment, it puts undo stress on the body.
- Unhealthy habits: Employees who engage in unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking excessively, poor nutrition, or other poor health habits, are at an increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), as well as other chronic diseases.
- Fatigue: Workers who do not get enough sleep are more likely to suffer MSDs, including sprains and strains.
- Failure to recognize signs of injury: An MSD like a sprain or strain typically develops over time, and may not be obvious at first. Recognizing the early warning signs will give workers the opportunity to prevent the injury from becoming worse.
How to Avoid On-the-Job Sprains and Strains
- Use proper lifting techniques, using the strength of the legs, not the back.
- Carry heavy loads close to the body, with the bulk of the weight at waist level if possible.
- Do not attempt to lift a heavy object alone. Either get help from another employee, or attempt to break the load down into smaller parts if at all possible.
- If using equipment, make sure it is in proper working order or you can become injured if the machine moves or shifts.
- Change work positions regularly in order to prevent chronic strain to back, shoulders, and arms. Use proper ergonomics to avoid slumping or excessive reaching.
- Take small breaks throughout the day to stretch the muscles and increase flexibility.
When it comes to workplace injuries, prevention is key. With the right systems in place, many injuries – including sprains and strains – can be avoided. From ergonomic tools that help workers maintain proper joint alignment to educational programs that train employees on all aspects of safety, health, and wellness, these proactive steps can create a safer work environment for employees. Similar to a professional athletic team, when all employees are healthy and functioning to their best ability, it leads to a more productive work environment, for employers and employees alike.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight for Workers Injured On the Job
If you or someone you know has suffered a sprain or strain while performing a work related task, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will work tirelessly to examine all aspects of your case and aggressively pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. For a complimentary consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
We serve clients across the state of Maryland, including Baltimore.