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Safety and Ergonomics: Not Just for at Work

Millions of dollars are spent annually by corporations to promote safe and efficient work environments, but what happens when you leave the workplace and head for home? Home-related accidents often result in injuries to the back and neck and sprain/strain injuries to shoulders and knees. These injuries are often preventable.

Most injuries occur as a result of a lack of planning. Shortcuts to get the job done faster can often cause an otherwise preventable injury. Several household-related chores that can lead to injury over time are lifting large laundry baskets, taking out the garbage and routine child-care tasks, all place you in dangerous positions. Objects that are stored low and “out of the way,” or heavy objects stored overhead can also lead to potential disaster.

Tips to prevent injuries at home:

  • “When in doubt, stick your butt out.” This instills proper alignment of the spine from a variety of lifting positions and enforces a safer position.
  • “The best way to lift an object is to have someone else lift it for you!” You can also offer your assistance in a safe 2-person lift for heavy and awkward objects.
  • Avoid storing heavy objects in low, out of reach areas, or overhead areas to avoid risk retrieving it.
  • Maintain clear and uncluttered pathways in main traffic areas and entrances.
  • Take your time and avoid rushing to complete tasks. Most injuries are the result of being in a hurry.

Poor nutrition, muscle weakness and poor posture also contribute to potential risk of injury. By repetitively straining soft tissue structures while lifting improperly you weaken the structures and become susceptible to injury.

Injury prevention in the home is a process, not just an isolated event. Having a safe home requires constant upkeep to ensure success.

HCR ManorCare is part of ProMedica, a mission-based, not-for-profit integrated healthcare organization headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. HCR ManorCare is a leading provider of short-term, post-acute and long-term care. For more information, visit www.hcr-manorcare.com.

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