Avoiding Overexertion When Working

I had completed an article for the newsletter a few months back about exhaustion and that is a form of mental overexertion. This month let's focus on physical overexertion.

Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes exerting yourselves is not a bad thing. Pushing ourselves to the limit helps us grow physically and mentally. However, overexertion particularly in the workplace can be counterproductive. Injuries often result when we push ourselves beyond our physical and mental capabilities to an extent where we can no longer maintain a healthy posture or cope with the stress.

If you have ever felt that you are just inches away from collapsing or when you have worked unusually hard over a few days and felt that no amount of sleep can eliminate the tiredness in your muscles, you were probably suffering from overexertion.

Physical overexertion in the workplace is caused by…well, physical activity, lifting, pulling, or pushing objects that are larger or heavier than the body can handle. It may also be caused by performing the same movement over extended periods of time.

Subjecting your body to any of the above in an overexert manner could result in sprains, strains or tears to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The severity of these injuries varies depending on a combination of factors.

In most cases, the neck, knees, wrists, and back get injured due to the major role they play in moving or lifting objects. These injuries can be sustained immediately when a heavy object is lifted, or over a period of time due to repetitive motion where the specific body part doesn’t get sufficient time to recover from the repeated stress.

The pain when such injuries are caused is most often acute, but it can be managed and reduced with preventative measures when coupled with rest. However, if proper care is not taken and the working situation remains unchanged, there is a risk of the injury progressing or developing into a chronic condition such as osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or some other repetitive stress injury.

So, you may ask, what can I do to prevent an overexertion injury?

We are all employed to perform specific tasks in the workplace and the risk of physical overexertion injuries is high in some of these tasks then others. If your role requires you to do a lot of heavy lifting, climbing up and down hills or to perform repetitive movements for long periods of time, there are some things you and your co-workers can do to minimize the risk of injuries characteristic to that particular job.

A well preformed JSA should provide you with the necessary information to select the proper protective equipment in addition to ensuring that you get frequent breaks, so your body is not pushed beyond its limits. On your part, you must make sure that you make use of the provided supportive equipment and that you take breaks from your repetitive tasks.

Please remember that overexertion injuries are not limited only to workers who perform physically demanding jobs. Sitting at the computer for 8 -10 hours a day can put you at high risk for carpal tunnel syndrome as well as neck pain, backaches, and eyestrain, all of which are overexertion injuries. These can largely be avoided by ensuring that the workplace is ergonomically designed and that you and your co-workers take sufficient breaks away from the computer.

As always…Educating yourself is the single most effective preventive strategy when it comes to workplace injuries. STAY SAFE OUT THERE!!

CONGRATS!!! Jesse Maldonado, Jr. has been selected as our Safety Employee of the Month. We wanted to thank Jesse Maldonado for always putting safety first and submitting his near miss reports along with completing his safety modules.

Interview Questions:

Why is Safety so important to you?

Jesse: I have relied heavily on my mentors over the years; their continuous guidance and support has molded me into the safety professional I am today. A major part of my “WHY” on a continuous basis is to hold myself accountable to spread the coaching and mentorship they have provided me. In some way if not already, I have aspirations that others may look to me for guidance and as a mentor figure, the only way to accomplish this is to continuously reflect on my “WHY”,  this is why safety is important to me.

Why do you think submitting Near Miss reports is important?

Jesse: Submitting Near Miss reports is a learning tool that all can benefit from. These reports continuously heighten awareness and may help educate individuals on adjacent projects. What others may see at their field setting may prevent a potential incident or injury from occurring on another. This is what makes Near Miss reports so important, it allows us as a team to be proactive versus reactive.

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered up with Boot Barn to offer all Applied Consultants inspectors a 15% discount on all purchases “work related” from the Boot Barn, Nation Wide. Be sure to tell them you work for Applied Consultants and use the key word: “Safety First” to receive the discount. 

July Winners

Platinum Ryan Deville
Gold Richard Burrhus
Silver Kristy Kirkpatrick
Bronze Craig Rawle
Bronze Alejandro Chavira
Bronze Hugo Cantu

If you have been selected as newsletter Q&A winner, please click this link and select your prize(s) from your winning category.

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Applied Consultants, Inc. is always seeking new talent to join our staff of professionals. If you wish to join our team, please email us your resume along with an application letter, we will contact you.


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