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Hazard Control | Safe Lifting for Supervisors

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SUPERVISOR WSPS.CA 130-BPS-11-IGOT © 2024, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) 1 877 494 WSPS (9777) | 905 614 1400 1 Materials Handling & Musculoskeletal Disorder Prevention What Supervisors Need to Know Anytime a worker must move materials, articles, or things there is a risk of injury if they do not do it safely. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are muscle, soft- tissue, joint, bone, and nerve injuries that may occur suddenly or develop over time. It is important for supervisors to understand how these injuries occur, and to ensure workers perform manual material handling tasks safely. What causes MSDs? Repetitive motions, awkward postures, heavy forces, and poor lifting, pushing, pulling, or storage practices can cause MSDs. MSD RISK FACTOR CONTROL RECOMMENDATION Awkward Posture: Neutral joint postures are those that reduce strain and fatigue on the joints and muscles. Neutral posture is standing straight, with arms at your sides. Tasks that require movement outside of this position may increase the risk of injury. Monitor workers to identify situations involving awkward postures. Engage with workers to help them understand risks and determine how to handle materials safely. Repetitive Motion: Doing the same tasks or movements consistently and without rest can fatigue muscles and other body tissues, especially if limited to specific muscles and joints. When assigning tasks, try to include job rotation or variety in the work to reduce repetitive strain. Force: The amount of effort required to lift, pull, push, or handle items; higher forces place additional strain on muscles and joints, increasing the risk of injury. Whenever possible, use lifting equipment and devices to move heavy or awkwardly sized items. Note: Risk Factors can be cumulative; one risk factor increases the risk of an MSD – multiple risk factors can greatly increase the risk of injury.

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