Safety tip of the week

Sep 19, 2019
Written by Rick Means, Director of Safety & Education

On tools to help aging workers

As we age, we lose muscle mass that in turn reduces the strength we once had when we were 25 years young.  Heavy lifting, lower awkward positions and static postures are all risk factors for workplace injuries.  Being able to bring the work to the “power zone,” between your knees and shoulders, is always best.

For older workers, that zone is a bit tighter, more at waist height.

By bringing work closer to waist level, you can increase productivity and reduce fatigue. Some tools that may assist would be:

  • Pallet jacks that have the ability to also lift off the floor a couple of feet.
  • Workbenches that can be raised to better fit the employee’s natural working level.
  • Tables with Lazy Susans that allow you to rotate the work with less potential for overreaching.
  • Any addition of other mechanical assists to help with lifting, pulling, gripping and opening.

These mechanical aids can help in reducing time spent on material handling and reduce the potential for overexertion injuries.

If the work you do is computer based, there are solutions including workstations that rise to standing height and back down that allow you to adjust your work posture throughout the day.  Every change is the opportunity to get out of a static posture and give your body a break.

WR members can find more information on this topic right here.

WR Safety Specialist Rick Means is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198 x18, or [email protected]