As with all good control options the priority with avoiding poor work posture is addressed through redesigning the contributing risk factors. This will involve looking at the specific work area, the tools and equipment as well as loads and load handling activities. Where it is not possible to redesign the task, work organisation and other administrative controls need to be applied. These include options such as job rotation, warm up, regular breaks, cool down and other self-management strategies such as SSTM® Everyday to combat the tension that can lead to accumulative injuries. 

The 'Manual Tasks Code of Practice 2010' suggests a number of strategies for avoiding poor working postures such as positioning materials between thigh and shoulder height and providing palate lifters while loading cartons to avoid bending. To limit the amount of twisting required staff can place the most used work items on the workers preferred side and within easy reach. Workers can also be educated to use their feet rather than twisting their backs when reaching behind. To limit stress on the head and neck an inclined work surface can be utilised. This will reduce forward bending and improve visibility of a task by providing adequate writing levels. 

For a more complete list of design strategies see the 'Manual Tasks Code of Practice 2010' by WorkSafe Queensland.

It is imperative to understand that focus should always be on eliminating tasks using design controls to minimise stress and strains. However even light forces such as sitting or standing for long periods can have an accumulative effect on the body. Because of this it is essential that all staff understand the tightness and tension that can develop. They should be aware of specific warning signs in their body and have a set of systematic strategies for managing tightness and nipping problems in the bud on a regular basis. When you combine this awareness with SSTM® injury prevention techniques you empower your workforce to not only be able to control and guide their own bodies for work but to also give them skills to manage tension, nip problems in the bud and prevent injuries throughout their everyday lives.

For more information on Body Leadership's Workplace Injury Solutions combining SSTM® injury prevention techniques please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff on 07 3847 8040 or email info@bodyleadership.com.au.