Working in manufacturing demands physical prowess and endurance. However, it also places workers at an elevated risk of developing Repetitive Strain Injuries. These injuries are often the result of repetitive tasks and prolonged periods of awkward or forceful movements. They also pose a significant threat to the well-being of manufacturing employees.
Understanding the factors contributing to the increased risk of RSIs is important for both workers and employers in the manufacturing sector.
Repetitive tasks and cumulative stress
Manufacturing jobs often involve repetitive tasks. This means many workers perform the same movements over and over. This repetition, coupled with the force required in many manufacturing processes, leads to cumulative stress on muscles, tendons and joints. As a result, manufacturing workers are more susceptible to RSIs. Often, RSIs manifest as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or bursitis.
Prolonged periods of awkward movement
In addition to repetitive tasks, manufacturing workers often engage in prolonged periods of awkward movements. These may include bending, twisting or reaching, which contribute to an increased risk of RSIs. The sustained strain on muscles and joints during these movements can lead to chronic injuries. This can impact the overall health and well-being of manufacturing employees.
Vibration and forceful movements
Certain manufacturing processes involve the use of vibrating tools or machinery. These tasks expose workers to additional risk factors for RSIs. The combination of vibration and forceful movements can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome and other related injuries. These conditions can cause discomfort and pain. They can also lead to long-term damage without proper preventative measures.
According to HealthDay, RSIs and other musculoskeletal disorders account for about 30% of all work injuries serious enough to warrant time off from work. Prioritizing ergonomic solutions and fostering awareness about risks helps minimize the impact of RSIs in manufacturing.