The nerves of the body enter the head through the neck. With such sensitive wiring passing through such a mobile structure, the potential for problems is high.
Sustained work postures such as forward head and arm positions can contribute to muscle imbalances and compression, which can interrupt the flow of nutrients and oxygenated blood to the arm, wrist, and hand for muscle recovery
Potential MSDs of the Head / Neck
- thoracic outlet syndrome
- tension neck syndrome
- cervical disc disease
Head / neck injuries can be prevented! There are a number of things we can do to decrease the risk of head/neck fatigue and discomfort for team members.
- Follow Ergonomic Design Principles
- Educate and Train Team Members
- Recognize and Report Early Signs of MSDs
1. Ergonomic Design Principles
Ergonomics is the science of fitting the work to the worker, making sure jobs and tasks are within the worker’s capabilities and limitations. It’s part of your company’s commitment to provide a safe workplace.
A systematic ergonomics improvement process reduces injury risk, improves work performance and efficiently builds a better end product.
Ergonomic Design Principles for Head/Neck Injury Prevention:
- Allow for tallest workers
- Avoid forced forward head posture
- Natural posture is to look down slightly
- Avoid narrow viewing angles and visual obstructions
2. Educate and Train Team Members
Poor work practices, a poor health profile and no recognition of early signs and symptoms by team members contribute to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Implement a comprehensive Workplace Athletics process to control risk factors related to individual team members and enhance human performance.
- A good pre-shift stretching program will help increase circulation and elasticity of the muscles and tendons.
- Team members should be educated regarding proper lifting techniques to reduce stress on the head/neck.
- Team members should also be trained and motivated to perform specific stretches to counteract tightness and compression in the head/neck.
- Team members should be encouraged and motivated to adopt good health habits and keep their body fit for work.
3. Recognize and Report Early Signs of MSDs
At the first signs of excessive fatigue and discomfort, team members should be trained to recognize it and strongly encouraged to report it. When an early report is received, an on-location preventative health care professional should conduct a one-on-one early intervention consultation to identify the root causes and help the team member utilize injury prevention best practices.