Pre-shift warm-ups and stretching
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries such as sprains, strains, and tears were the most frequently occurring injuries resulting in lost work time, transfer, or restriction, making up almost 50% of all injuries. These injuries are also the costliest of all injury types because soft-tissue injuries often result in extensive recovery times and therapy. Last week’s Safety Initiative focused on the prevention of these injuries through proper pre-shift warm up and stretching.
Many of our technicians work very hard during their shift. They routinely lift heavy objects, reach into, over and under vehicles, and get down on the ground and even underneath vehicles. These activities are physically demanding, preparing and warming up your body is one of the best ways of preventing workplace injuries.
Pre-shift stretching and warm up exercises reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries by reducing fatigue, improving balance and posture, and improving coordination. Stretching also increases blood supply to joints and soft tissues which is a key component to reducing fatigue.
What we’re doing at Amerit
Our initiative included a training video that walked our team through breathing and stretching exercises covering full body movements as well as individual muscle groups in the neck, shoulders, back, chest, and legs. Taking less than 5 minutes, these stretches warm the body up and get it ready for work.
The training also included important reminders to further prevent sprains and strains:
- Always lift objects with both hands
- Know your capabilities and ask for help
- Always lift with your legs
- When lifting heavy objects, it is important to keep the object close to your body, avoiding back and shoulder injuries.
Warming up for any physical activity is important to performing your best, and critical in the drive to preventing injuries. 5 minutes each day before your shift can save you months or years of pain and suffering.