Category Archives: Back Safety

PREVENTING BACK INJURIES IN THE WORKPLACE (GUEST POST)

 
A back injury is nothing to make light of. This type of injury can derail someone’s life, especially when it happens in the workplace. That’s why it’s important to take steps to avoid back injuries in the workplace. 

Here are some tips that will help to avoid back injuries

  • Always use correct techniques for bending, lifting, and moving loads
  • Exercising can help strengthen back and abdominal muscles, which will help support the back
  • Always wear comfortable, supportive, and nonslip shoes
  • Proper posture helps ease strain on the back
  • Losing weight helps put less strain on the back, so if you’re over weight, try losing some pounds to give your back a break

All employers in the United States adhere to Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for proper techniques to be used for specific jobs. Following these techniques helps reduce back injuries. 

If lifting is a part of the job, here is important information to keep your back healthy even while lifting heavy objects.

  • Make sure there is enough room to lift the item. That means test its weight and make sure you’re able to do the lifting safely.
  • Get help for something that is too heavy or awkwardly shaped. Use a dolly to move heavy objects or split the load into multiple smaller loads if possible.
  • Keep loads close to the body when lifting to reduce strain.
  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart to form a solid base of support
  • Grip what you’re lifting tightly
  • Always bend at the knees, not the waist
  • Do not rely on a back belt to provide necessary support for proper lifting; back belts do offer support, but shouldn’t be used as the only method of support
  • Take breaks when lifting multiple items
  • Avoiding twisting as you lift.
  • Use gloves when necessary for lifting to help with traction and protection

The Frequency of Back Injuries

According to the 
Centers for Disease Control, back injuries account for 20% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace. These injuries cost 20 to 50 billion dollars each year. The most effective way to prevent back injuries is to implement an ergonomics program that helps redesign the work environment and work tasks to reduce any hazards associated with lifting, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

There are many products that can help prevent back injuries in all types of industries. Whether an employee is working on a loading dock or in an office, ergonomic products help maintain proper positioning at all times so that the body stays in alignment. 

What Injuries Mean for Businesses

It’s important for businesses to keep abreast of the injuries that can and do occur in the workplace. Keeping accurate data of these cases is necessary so that all information is compiled and company heads are able to 
stay focused on the big data bottom line

This information can include everything from the number of injuries and incidents to customer satisfaction. Most of all, it helps everyone from employers to employees to stay safe and keep the flow of work steady. 



photo credit: 
Nicholas_T via photopin cc

Dana Rasmussen writes about workplace safety tips and how to prevent injuries. She’s a big fan of ergonomically correct computer accessories.

HOW TO AVOID INJURIES WHEN MOVING TO ANOTHER HOME (GUEST POST)

Moving at times can be emotionally difficult but it can be equally fun. It is possible that your body would be undergoing considerable stress. In some cases, the possibility of minor or severe injuries cannot be ruled out. Hiring a moving company is a good move to avoid such injuries. Here are some tips to keep you safer while moving.
 
Keep the box weight in mind while packing. Ensure that these boxes weigh less than 50 pounds. Any weight below 50 pounds can be easily lifted without a strain. If you feel strain while lifting the box, then it would be above 50 pounds. Ask the moving company that you have hired for lifting all heavy weights. However, if you do choose to move the boxes on your own, then you need to learn the proper way of lifting the boxes. Never bend over to lift a box, but rather sit on your heels and lift the boxes with your entire lower body. (You may consider using a lifting belt for support.)  Make sure that you have rented the proper equipment. This is necessary to save you from back strain and for moving larger items that weigh heavily. Always remember to use straps as they are needed for securing the boxes. Whenever you pass any item or box, make sure that the other person has a firm grip on it before you let it go. This is one common cause of accidents.
 
Before you start moving, take a close look at your new home. Inspect the entire property to find out for any possible dangerous areas. Always note any uneven sidewalk. Any steps that are present in the front walkway need to be clearly seen. Mark such steps with a chalk as often people are easily distracted while moving items and this may result in a fall or possible injury.If the walkway or the entrance to your new home comes out to be wet in any way, then use a mat. Any area that is more fragile needs to be made safe with a mat. This would be necessary to prevent a fall while moving items. Other possible hazards such as poles, posts or tree branches need to be looked at as they may pose a problem for your moving process. 
 
Always keep your children out of the process of moving. Keep them with a baby sitter or with a neighbor.   On the day you decide to move, always remember to wear the proper clothing and footwear that would assist rather than inhibit the process of moving. Do not wear loose sleeves to shirttails that would snag.Accidents occur without any warnings. So you need to be prepared for all situations.  Have information about the local hospital, doctor, dentist and pharmacy. With youngsters, you never know what would happen next. A chipped away tooth, a bloody lip or any possible infection may result. Hence, you need to know the nearby hospital. Always make sure that you do not run out of adult pain relievers, as well as children’s pain relievers.  Moving is a stressful time.

 Author Bio: Stephen Roshy is a passionate writer and blogger. He has years of experience in writing content on various industries. Useful information for this article is provided by http://www.help2movela.com. Get in touch with Mr. Roshy on Facebook , Twitter and Google+.

Fatal and Non-Fatal Injuries In The Workplace

This interesting infographic is from Rebecca Fox, of Westermans International, a UK-based welding company.  We appreciate this shared information and can learn what illnesses are prevelant in their respective industries.   

TIPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE AT WORK (GUEST POST)

 Getting to work safely, working in a well-managed environment and returning home safe in the evening is every employees right – but not all the responsibility for this can be held by your employer. It is true your employer had a duty of care to protect employees from danger whilst at work, but as individuals we also have a personal responsibility to ensure we do not place ourselves (or our colleagues) in any danger. 

You will find that keeping safe at work is often common sense, so here a few tips based on common mistakes, which will hopefully make you think twice and help prevents accidents and injuries: 

1- Understand and minimise the risks

Before you commence any task, stop for a moment and consider the task which is about to be undertaken. By doing so you will create an opportunity to briefly analyse the individual components of the task and highlight any aspects which could potentially cause injury. If you feel a safer alternative is available this should always be discussed and then implemented. 

2. Use mechanical aides wherever possible

It is a well-known fact that the majority of back injuries at work are caused by incorrect lifting techniques or by individuals lifting more weight than they can comfortably manage. I’m sure we have all been guilty of this from time to time.  Unfortunately this not only leads to injury for the individual but also to time off work and loss of production for the company. Therefore, if your company offers a training session on manual handling, it is strongly advisable (and often mandatory) that you attend. This can provide you with knowledge on safe lifting techniques that can also be used in the home, and save you from any potential injury.   

3.Wear the correct clothing and footwear (P.P.E)

You wouldn’t dream of turning up to work at farm in a bikini and heels, would you? So why would it be deemed acceptable to work on, for e.g. a building site or indoors as a cleaner, without the correct clothing or footwear protection. Although this sounds like common sense many people shirk wearing the correct items as they deem them unnecessary, when reality safety boots will protect your feet from heavy objects or nails through the soles and hard hats will protect your head against knocks and falling objects, with safety goggles protecting our eyes from chemical splashes. Personal Protective Equipment is important, therefore if you feel you would benefit from any of these items but haven’t been issued any; don’t start the task without first speaking to your employer. 

4. If working alone ensure you are aware of the procedures – and ensure you adhere to them.

If you have to work alone, as many people do, your organisation should have a process in place which you will be expected to follow. This usually involves regular communications with a control centre or named individual so you can ‘check in’ at the beginning if your shift, again at set times throughout and ‘check out’ at the end, and if a call is missed someone will be dispatched to check on you. If you currently work alone and don’t have a process to follow it may be worth discussing setting one up with your employer, as it could one day save your life. 

5. Read and understand the risk assessment.

If you are asked to sign a risk assessment before you commence a task then please ensure you read, understand and appreciate it’s importance – this information is provided for you, so you are aware of any risks involved and how best to mitigate them, don’t brush these documents aside as just paperwork. 

Remember when arriving at work – staying aware, assessing the task and minimising the risks are all that are required to keep you safe in the workplace.  

 

Author Bio: Vivienne Ollis Journalist & Blogger for http://www.essexinsulation.co.uk

WORKING SAFELY WITH CONCRETE AND CEMENT (GUEST POST)

 Whether you are a professional tradesperson or a DIY enthusiast, safety should be at the top of your list of priorities when working with concrete. Unbeknown to many, concrete and cement products must be treated with care during all stages of handling, application and storage. We have devised an essential guide to concrete safety so you can take care of yourself during an upcoming residential upgrade or larger commercial project. 

Dust protection 

The dust caused by the handling of cement can cause a real nuisance to tradespeople and home improvers, and precautions must be taken to ensure your airways remain clear during application. Always wear a dust mask and eye protectors to ensure dust does not get inhaled or make its way into your eyes, especially during the cutting or drilling of dried concrete. 

Cement dust can also cause considerable irritation to your skin, so make sure you wear good quality overalls to protect your entire body. Personal protective gear is essential to the correct and safe handling of cement and concrete, and will ensure you are fully safeguarded especially when working in enclosed areas. 

Handle with care 

It’s not just dry cement powder that causes complications during handling and application, wet concrete also causes difficulties and irritation. Make sure the wet concrete solution does not come into contact with your skin, which isn’t always easy with the splashes created during pouring.

 If the wet concrete does come into contact with your skin, eyes or nose, use a mild soap and clean water to remove. 

Working with concrete accessories 

The concrete accessories you use during the application process also come with their dangers. Concrete buckets must be treated with particular diligence, especially during movement. Never ride on the buckets whilst they are in motion, and take care when the buckets are being lowered, swung or pulled to a height. 

Forming pins can also result in a trip to the emergency room if precautions aren’t taken. It is recommended that you paint these forming pins in a bright colour to ensure they are fully visible to each and every contractor working on site. Opt for a reflective coating to prevent trips and falls come day or night. 

Use your head 

In addition to using respirators, goggles and protective overalls, you must wear a hard hat to protect your head during preparation, application and storage. Head injuries are a common occurrence on site but by using a hard hat you can ensure you are fully protected whether working at height or at ground level.

 Think about your back 

When working with concrete products, it is all too easy to damage your back and legs with incorrect lifting techniques. Make sure you are fully clued up on how to move heavy materials, lifting with a straight back and bent legs is a sure-fire way of preventing serious back injury. If the concrete mix you are looking to move is too heavy, don’t suffer and struggle in silence, ask a friend or work colleague to assist you.

 

This post was written by Brittany Thorley. She works for ReadyMix Concrete (http://www.readymixonline.co.uk/) and regularly advises both professional contractors and homeowners about health and safety when working with concrete and cement.

 

HOW FAR HAS CONSTRUCTION SAFETY COME IN 50 YEARS? (GUEST POST)

Whether you’re thinking in terms of technology, scientific knowledge, or health, there’s no denying that we’ve come a long way over the past fifty years.  Safety in the construction industry is no exception.

The most significant event occurring over the past fifty years that has resulted in safety improvements both in construction and general industry was the signing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. This law resulted in the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

OSHA Standards

Initially, OSHA regulations were based on national consensus standards and began to take effect in 1971. The first standard specific to construction, however, was issued on November, 23, 1972. Since then, a number of standards affecting the construction industry have been developed. While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss each covered topic in detail, major categories include:

o Personal protective and lifesaving equipment
o Fire protection and prevention
o Materials handling
o Hand and power tools
o Welding and cutting
o Electrical
o Scaffolding
o Fall protection
o Concrete and masonry construction
o Steel erection
o Stairways and ladders
o Cranes and derricks

The complete list of covered topics and related narrative can be easily accessed on the OSHA website.

Part 1926 contains the construction regulations with part 1910 being for general industry. However, whether one is involved in the construction business or another industry, it is necessary to refer to both, as there is a considerable amount of overlap between the two.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that states can, and often do, have requirements that are more stringent than the federal regulations. Twenty-seven states and territories currently operate state plans that are OSHA-approved.

ANSI Standards

Contributions from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have had a positive impact on safety over the past fifty years as well through the development of standards to which equipment manufacturers must adhere.

Examples include criteria for safety glasses and fall protection equipment. ANSI standards normally go into much more detail than the OSHA regulations. OSHA will incorporate them by reference into its own standards in many cases.

Safety as Good Business

Technological advancements have resulted in the reduction of hazards through more effective engineering controls and substitution of hazardous products with safer alternatives.

In addition, companies have begun to understand that an effective safety program makes good business sense. Robust safety procedures often carry over into other disciplines and positively impact things such as quality, productivity and cost control.

Hiring With Safety In Mind

Looking at a contractor’s safety record when making hiring decisions can save a company a considerable amount of future grief. For example, negative publicity resulting from a serious injury that occurs on the property, even though the injured person was a contractor’s employee, can be difficult to overcome.

During construction activities, the regulatory agencies will consider the facility a multi-employer work site and can hold both companies accountable for any safety violations. Any citations issues could result in a significant financial impact in addition to negative public relations.

A review of the prospective contractor’s OSHA 300 log, on which any significant injuries must be recorded, can provide a quick overview of how the contractor incorporates safety into the day to day operations. An unusually large amount of entries or multiple entries for the same type cause can raise a red flag that something is amiss.

Information regarding citations and fines levied by OSHA against the contractor are a matter of public record and can usually be found through a web search. When it comes to hiring a construction contractor, a small amount of due diligence up front can save a lot of regret later.

Jason Kane is an advocate of workplace safety in all industries. He is a blogger for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., the preferred choice of the global community since 1979.


 

 

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO A JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS

In our blog, we are always mentioning “perform a job hazard analysis” in our safety tips; however, it made me ask: “Just exactly what is a job hazard analysis?”  So I went to the OSHA site and am sharing the instructions on how to conduct this analysis.  This information is for employers, foremen, and supervisors, but employees are encouraged to use the information as well to analyze their own jobs and recognize workplace hazards so they can report them to you. It explains what a job hazard analysis is and offers guidelines to help you conduct your own step-by-step analysis. The document (OSHA 3071)  also continues with pictures and form samples that you may use to complete your analysis.

What is a hazard?

A hazard is the potential for harm. In practical terms, a hazard often is associated with a condition or activity that, if left uncontrolled, can result in an injury or illness. Identifying hazards and eliminating or controlling them as early as possible will help prevent injuries and illnesses.

What is a job hazard analysis?

A job hazard analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

Why is job hazard analysis important?

Many workers are injured and killed at the workplace every day in the United States. Safety and health can add value to your business, your job, and your life. You can help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses by looking at your workplace operations, establishing proper job procedures, and ensuring that all employees are trained properly.

One of the best ways to determine and establish proper work procedures is to conduct a job hazard analysis. A job hazard analysis is one component of the larger commitment of a safety and health management system.

What is the value of a job hazard analysis?

Supervisors can use the findings of a job hazard analysis to eliminate and prevent hazards in their workplaces. This is likely to result in fewer worker injuries and illnesses; safer, more effective work methods; reduced workers’ compensation costs; and increased worker productivity.  The analysis also can be a valuable tool for training new employees in the steps required to perform their jobs safely.

For a job hazard analysis to be effective, management must demonstrate its commitment to safety and health and follow through to correct any uncontrolled hazards identified. Otherwise, management will lose credibility and employees may hesitate to go to management when dangerous conditions threaten them.

What jobs are appropriate for a job hazard analysis?

      Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates;

       Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness, even  if there is no history of previous accidents;

       Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury;

      Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures; and

      Jobs complex enough to require written instructions.

A job hazard analysis can be conducted on many jobs in your workplace.   Where do I begin?   Involve your employees.

It is very important to involve your employees in the hazard analysis process. They have a unique understanding of the job, and this knowledge is invaluable for finding hazards. Involving employees will help minimize oversights, ensure a quality analysis, and get workers to “buy in” to the solutions because they will share ownership in their safety and health program. 

Review your accident history.

Review with your employees your worksite’s history of accidents and occupational illnesses that needed treatment, losses that required repair or replacement, and any “near misses” —events in which an accident or loss did not occur, but could have. These events are indicators that the existing hazard controls (if any) may not be adequate and deserve more scrutiny. 

Conduct a preliminary job review.

Discuss with your employees the hazards they know exist in their current work and surroundings. Brainstorm with them for ideas to eliminate or control those hazards.  If any hazards exist that pose an immediate danger to an employee’s life or health, take immediate action to protect the worker.

Any problems that can be corrected easily should be corrected as soon as possible. Do not wait to complete your job hazard analysis.  This will demonstrate your commitment to safety and health and enable you to focus on the hazards and jobs that need more study because of their complexity.  For those hazards determined to present unacceptable risks, evaluate types of hazard controls. 

List, rank, and set priorities for hazardous jobs.  List jobs with hazards that present unacceptable risks, based on those most likely to occur and with the most severe consequences. These jobs should be your first priority for analysis. 

Outline the steps or tasks.

Nearly every job can be broken down into job tasks or steps. When beginning a job hazard analysis, watch the employee perform the job and list each step as the worker takes it.  Be sure to record enough information to describe each job action without getting overly detailed. Avoid making the breakdown of steps so detailed that it becomes unnecessarily long or so broad that it does not include basic steps. You may find it valuable to get input from other workers who have performed the same job.

Later, review the job steps with the employee to make sure you have not omitted something. Point out that you are evaluating the job itself, not the employee’s job performance. Include the employee in all phases of the analysis—from reviewing the job steps and procedures to discussing uncontrolled hazards and recommended solutions. 

Sometimes, in conducting a job hazard analysis, it may be helpful to photograph or videotape the  worker performing the job. These visual records can be handy references when doing a more detailed analysis of the work.

How do I identify workplace hazards?  A job hazard analysis is an exercise in detective work. Your goal is to discover the following:  What can go wrong? What are the consequences?  How could it arise? What are other contributing factors?  How likely is it that the hazard will occur?

To make your job hazard analysis useful, document the answers to these questions in a consistent manner. Describing a hazard in this way helps to ensure that your efforts to eliminate the hazard and implement hazard controls help target the most important contributors to the hazard.

Good hazard scenarios describe:

Where it is happening (environment), who or what it is happening to (exposure), what precipitates the hazard (trigger), the outcome that would occur should it happen (consequence), and  any other contributing factors.

Rarely is a hazard a simple case of one singular cause resulting in one singular effect. More frequently, many contributing factors tend to line up in a certain way to create the hazard. Here is an example of a hazard scenario:

In the metal shop (environment), while clearing a snag (trigger), a worker’s hand (exposure) comes into contact with a rotating pulley. It pulls his hand into the machine and severs his fingers (consequences) quickly.

To perform a job hazard analysis, you would ask:

 What can go wrong?  The worker’s hand could come into contact with a rotating object that “catches” it and pulls it into the machine.

• What are the consequences?  The worker could receive a severe injury and lose fingers and hands.

• How could it happen? The accident could happen as a result of the worker trying to clear a snag during operations or as part of a maintenance activity while the pulley is operating. Obviously, this hazard scenario could not occur if the pulley is not rotating.

• What are other contributing factors?

This hazard occurs very quickly.  It does not give the worker much opportunity to recover or prevent it once his hand comes into contact with the pulley. This is an important factor, because it helps you determine the severity and likelihood of an accident when selecting appropriate hazard controls. Unfortunately, experience has shown that training is not very effective in hazard control when triggering events happen quickly because humans can react only so quickly.

Note: This very thing happened to the son of one of my friends about two weeks ago.  The fingers of the gloves he wore were slightly too long, and the glove got caught in a piece of equipment, injuring his hand before the machine could be stopped, to remove his hand.  He missed some days of work, but luckily, none of his fingers. pb

Source: OSHA

 

 

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER’S SKIING ACCIDENT – WHAT LESSON DOES IT TEACH? (GUEST POST)

Nothing is considered as a failure if you learn from your mistakes and stop repeating them over and over again. The human history is full of interesting incidents that teach us plenty of lessons. However, most people are unable to learn and continue suffering because of the blunders they make. 

Even if you are not interested in knowing about the past, you just have to look around and see what is happening everywhere. You can connect to the internet and find out everything about the world in order to become more knowledgeable. Although any sort of information will help, yet the most significant piece will be the one that aims at improving your personal safety. 

People related to racing, especially on two wheels, are always at a risk of sustaining serious head injuries, thus it is extremely crucial for them to wear the right kind of protective gear that can at least prevent the brain from damage. You can easily find some high quality helmets at JS Accessories and find some other useful gear as well. 

However, racing is not the only activity that puts your life at a risk, as there are numerous other fields of life in which you have to take precautionary measures. For example, working at a construction site or a mine requires you to be fully equipped with protective helmets, goggles, boots and different other things that are necessary. 

While working at such a workplace, you should always be prepared for the worst, as there are things that are simply out of your control. Simply by wearing a helmet, you can reduce the risk to a greater extent, as this wonderful head gear saves you from direct impact. Then of course you have the skull that can also shield your brain to some extent, but that alone will not work in most of the situations. 

Recently, a legendary sportsman was involved in an accident in France that left him fighting for his life. He was neither racing someone at that time nor was he at a work station, yet you can learn an important lesson from the accident that he encountered. 

If you have not guessed it by now, the person involved in the accident was the seven-time Formula 1 champion, Michael Schumacher, who fell on his head while skiing with his son in the French Alps and sustained serious head injuries.

Luckily for the 44-year-old, he was given immediate medical attention by some of the best neurosurgeons in the world. He was initially thought to be perfectly fine, as he was conscious and talking after being brought to the hospital. However, he soon went into a coma, which indicated that something was terribly wrong. 

Looking at the condition of the former Ferrari and Mercedes F1 driver, the doctors decided he needed an operation. By this time, his brain has been operated twice and there has been a slight recovery, which is positive news for his fans worldwide. However, no one is really sure whether what will happen to the legendary figure, who has been in an induced coma since the day he hurt his head. 

Despite that, the doctors made one point quite clear that Schumacher could not have made it this far, had he not been wearing a helmet. Although people do not take this quality head gear seriously, yet it has numerous benefits and it certainly does work. 

So, the message is quite clear for everyone out there regardless of what field they belong to. If you are involved in any sport or work at a place where your head can be exposed to any danger, you should always wear a helmet or any other protective gear available. Nothing is more precious than your own life, so value it as much as you can. 

Even if a helmet cannot give you 100 percent protection, it can offer the most amazing thing that a person can have – hope. It is the same hope that millions of people worldwide have kept alive for Schumacher that he will be fine and smiling once again like he used to in the past. 

Author Bio:

This Guest post is written by Randy Martin. He is a bike racer and blogger who like to write on safety tips while riding Motorbikes. 

 

AT WORK: DO YOU REALLY CONSIDER HOW YOU SIT? (GUEST POST)

Modern society is plagued by a new culture that is ruining lives and is forcing people into healthcare. It is not something we can easily get away from. As early as attending school, we are to sit for prolonged periods of the day, and more so for a majority of people when we leave education and move into full-time employment. 

Our sitting culture is growing rapidly. We used to walk to school or work, but long commutes hinder this form of travel and we resort to sitting in a car or on public transport to take us to our destination, for us to then sit down some more until we have to go home. 

70% of people in the UK surfer from back pain at some point or another in our lives which equates to £12.3 billion a year, a figure that is increasingly on the rise. 

A recent survey conducted by Pfizer (World’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company) revealed that 50% of people between the ages of 18-34 complained of back pain and of that 50%, 25% said that it affected their ability to work.

“This is hugely in excess of what you would expect in this age bracket” says Sean McDougall, from Backcare, the charity for healthier backs. 

Another survey produced by CBI entitled “Absence and workplace health survey 2013” found that minor illnesses are the most common cause of short-term absence, with back problems a major feature in this category. 

“with over a third of employers (37%) reporting acute back pain as a leading cause of absence among manual workers and more than a quarter (28%) among non-manual employees” (CBI, 2013). 

But with all this in mind, trying to avoid sitting down can be a challenge to many of us. However, not everything is all doom and gloom. There are many techniques that can be used to help us relieve the stress on the base of our spine which anyone can incorporate into their everyday lives. 

Follow our five tips and see if you too can feel the difference 

1.       Invest in an Ergonomic Chair 

Having an ergonomic chair that helps promote good posture can be extremely beneficial, especially to office workers whose majority of the day is spent sitting down. An ergonomic office chair can provide superior lumbar support to its user compared with any other chair that hasn’t been built with ergonomics in mind. There is no style of chair that has been named ‘best’ as everyone is different. This is why a good ergonomic chair comes with an array of features to help support individuals in a way that they feel best. This includes adjustable seat height, lumbar support, seat width, chair tilt and armrests. 

2.       Use The 30/30 Rule 

There are many variations on this rule which in turn change the name of the rule, but we like to go with the 30/30 rule. This means you should get up for 30 seconds every 30 minutes to help give your body a chance to recover. Our body isn’t designed to sit still for long periods of time, even when sitting in a correct position. Taking regular breaks for even as little as 30 seconds can help relieve the pressure on your spine, and ultimately work towards preventing a back-pain free life. 

3.       Correctly Setup Your Workstation 

Before sitting down in your lovely new ergonomic chair, setting up your workstation properly is vitally important. Your workstation is where many of you will be during the office hours, and it is yours to adjust depending on your needs.

Be sure to sit closely to your keyboard, making sure that the keys are centred with your body. You do not want to be so far away from your keyboard that you have to stretch to hit the keys. If you do like to use your chair to slightly recline, take full advantage of any adjustments that can be made to your keyboard so you can put a slight tilt on it.

Your monitor or reference documents positions are also important items for you to consider also.  Position the top of your monitor directly in front of you with the top of the monitor 2-3” above your seated eye level. 

4.       Plant Your Feet 

Planting your feet firmly on the ground so that you allow your hips and knees to be at a 90-degree angle is very important while your sit. By not doing this you expose yourself to a tingling sensation, numbness and even pain in either your thigh, or lower leg due to the excessive pressure on the back of the thigh which compresses the sciatic nerve.

If you are having trouble planting your feet on the floor in a comfortable position, consider using a footrest to help you achieve that 90-degree angle. 

5.       Stretch 

Stretching is not only important to help release some of that muscle tension, but it also feels great! You can stretch while seated, or incorporate it into your 30/30 breaks. Remember to stretch your shoulders, neck, arms, legs and wrists. By doing this regularly throughout the day you will feel a lot better and a lot less tired. 

Conclusion 

Many of us may not have even considered how we sit as we feel ok at the time. But health complications from sitting in a poor position can creep up on us when we least expect it. By adopting the 5 tips above into your working life, you too can feel the benefits of consciously sitting correctly.

 

Author bio: This guest post is brought to you by ChairOffice.co.uk, the UK’s leading office chair supplier.  Our thanks to Matt Pierce. pb

UNDERSTANDING BACK SUPPORTS (GUEST POST)

If you work a job that requires you to stand for most of the day or if you have to lift heavy materials, you’ll likely need substantial support for your back to prevent injury. It’s important to know which back support device will work best for your body and prevent your muscles from being strained. You’ll also need to keep a few safety tips in mind that will help you make the most of the back support products you purchase.


Back supports are designed to stabilize the groups of muscles in the back and abdomen region.

Supports that Prevent Strain

When lifting heavy boxes and machinery, a back support that securely holds your lower lumbar area is best. Products like the Spanbak Allegro back support may be a viable option. The brace is made from spandex that is breathable, so it will easily take on the shape of your body without causing you to excessively perspire. The back support brace also comes with removable suspenders that you can wear for especially strenuous jobs. There are also stays on the brace that are made from carbon steel coated in plastic to provide support for your torso and back as you work.

Supports that Provide Stability

When you stand for hours at a time and have to turn your torso constantly to move objects or operate machinery, you’ll need a back support that will keep the midsection of your body stable. The All Fit Back Support by Allegro is a great choice in cases like this. The support device fits most body sizes and includes a neoprene pad that fits over the center of the back and covers the spine to keep your back in a healthy position. There are also padded cushions in the front of the brace so that the abdomen is protected.

Supports that Prevent Further Back Injury

If you’ve strained or injured your back at work before, you’ll need a brace that will prevent the injury from getting worse and help you to avoid further strain. A brace with lumbar support that provides relief from pain in the back and keeps the muscles from becoming weaker is the answer. It’s best that the back brace is lightweight so that your body won’t have to carry too much extra weight, which could be overwhelming for your already fatigued muscles. The Lo Plus Lumbar Support may be a helpful solution in this case.


Don’t forget to stretch your back muscles after being in a standing position for hours.

Other Ways To Help

In addition to wearing back supports during work, there are a number of foods you can eat to make your back and torso muscles strong. Foods that are rich in protein and antioxidants will strengthen the muscles and improve circulation, so be sure to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables during your lunch break or at dinner. Nuts and seeds are healthy sources of protein and will give your muscles the endurance they need so you can do your job thoroughly.

Stretching the back safely before and after a long day at work can also keep your muscles from becoming stiff and inflamed. Remember to remove your brace as soon as possible after work to help it maintain its shape, and store it on a hanger so it will stay intact and be ready for everyday use.

P.S. Texas America Safety Company, tasco-safety.com, also carries the Spanbak lines of back support, as well as OK-1 Model SS, premier lifting belt.  Mention you read it on the blog, and you get 5% off. pb