Look Twice, Act Once - Don't Over Exert Yourself!
Welcome to week two of our Look Twice, Act Once series on physical strain and injury!
This week we will be focussing on the message of “Don’t Over Exert Yourself”. Now, this might seem obvious to you, but when you’re in a work situation and you’re in a rhythm – sometimes it can be hard to listen to your body’s messages around what is happening to it.
And, it can be the small things which cause big damage in the long run – repetitive actions, improper posture, improper space to work in, and using worn-out tools – amongst other things.
So we are now going to give you some tips on how to avoid these issues and others.
- Take regular, small, breaks
Imagine you’re there all day on site, twisting wires together. Now, I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point – but that repetitive action can be quite damaging on your wrist and arm. So too, can any repetitive task that goes on continually and for a long period of time. So, the best way around this is to take regular, short breaks from doing such repetitive tasks to keep your muscles in good working order.
- Have correct posture
This sounds a little obvious, but sometimes you aren’t aware of how bad your posture is until someone points it out. And when you’re doing some work, especially if you’re bent over a desk – or more likely a trestle table – you can bend your back in odd ways. So, grab something to sit down with if you’re going to be sat for long periods of time, and if you’re going to be standing make sure you’re not bending over in an odd way!
- Maintain your tools!
Ill-maintained equipment can cause damage in various ways, especially by over-exerting yourself. If you’re using a blunt drill bit, this could cause you to push harder on the drill to make it drill into what you’re trying to drill into – which in turn could lead to a strain injury, or worse, cause the drill to bind and sprain or break something. And this is just one example. So if you maintain your tools – not just your drill bits – you will ensure they are well prepared for the job and will also help you avoid over exertion on site.
- Work in a proper space.
Working on site sometimes means working in small, cramped spaces, or noisy ones, or ones up high. The point is, there are a variety of different spaces on a worksite – and the tasks you can perform there also vary depending on what it is that you’re standing in. For example, if you’re working in a small space, and you need to cut something with an angle grinder, take it to a proper space to do so. If you don’t have enough room to move and work freely to do whatever it is that you’re doing, then move to where you can. Otherwise, you risk overexerting yourself and twisting yourself to conform to the space – and injuring yourself whilst doing so.
So there you go – four ways your can keep yourself safer, and avoid overexertion whilst working on site.