Use the information and resources below to find solutions to prevent sprains and strains in your workplace. Still need help finding a solution? L&I Ergonomists are ready to help so contact us today.

Solution Tips

Involve your employees when looking for solutions:

  • They are the experts in their work. They know the most demanding tasks, and they probably already have some simple improvement ideas. You can use this brainstorming tool to help create more solutions. They’ll also accept changes better if they participate in making them.

Find quick fixes to get momentum going:

  • Don’t over-complicate fixes. A quick and simple solution, like rearranging a storage area to reduce lifting, or raising a counter-top to reduce bending can create enthusiasm by showing how effective and simple ergonomics can be.

Focus on effective solutions:

  • Changes to work practices and equipment often can eliminate or substantially reduce injury risk. Search the Ergonomics Ideas Bank to help you find effective solutions. Training in proper work practices is important and should accompany any new equipment or procedures, but training alone isn’t very effective in reducing injuries.

Expect results, but be patient:

  • Ergonomics tools and practices keep workers healthy and increase productivity, quality and employee morale. However, you shouldn't be discouraged if these results are not immediate. You should consider all of the benefits when calculating the return on investment, not just reduced claims costs.
Simple Solutions

You can quickly and easily fix many of the hazards that lead to sprain and strain injuries. Look at the tasks in your workplace and use the simple solutions below to make the work safer and easier.

1. Store it off the floor

Lifting from the floor doubles your risk of back injury compared to lifting at waist level.

Guárdelo fuera del piso

Levantar del piso duplica el riesgo de lesiones en la espalda en comparación con levantar a nivel de cintura.

2. Push, don't pull

Pushing lets you use your body weight and larger muscles to move a load.

Empujar en vez de jalar

Empujar le permite usar su peso corporal y músculos más grandes para mover una carga.

3. Keep it close

Shorter reaches to tools, materials and supplies means less strain on your arms, shoulders and back.

Manténgalo cerca

Alcances más cortos a herramientas, materiales y suministros significan menos tensión en los brazos, hombros y espalda.

4. Hands below head

Keeping your hands below your head reduces stress on your shoulders and neck.

Mantenga las manos debajo de la cabeza

Mantener las manos debajo de la cabeza reduce la tensión en los hombros y el cuello.

5. Grip, don't pinch

Gripping with the whole hand uses stronger muscles than pinching with your fingers. This means less strain on your hands and fingers.

Agarre, no pellizque

Agarrar con toda la mano –el puño- usa músculos más fuertes que pellizcar con los dedos. Esto significa menos tensión en las manos y los dedos.

6. Keep wrists straight

You have more grip strength and you'll feel less strain on your hands and wrists.

Mantenga las muñecas rectas

Tiene más fuerza de agarre y sentirá menos tensión en las manos y las muñecas.

7. Roll it

Use carts, hand trucks and conveyors instead of carrying items. Carrying is hard on your hands, arms and back, and can make a slip or trip more likely.

Rodar en vez de cargar

Use carros, carretillas manuales y transportadores en lugar de transportar artículos. Cargando artículos es difícil para las manos, los brazos y la espalda, y puede hacer que un resbalón o tropiezo sea más probable.

8. Work at waist height

Too much bending, kneeling and squatting puts strain on your back, knees and hips.

Trabajar a la altura de la cintura

Demasiado agacharse, arrodillarse y ponerse en cuclillas ejerce presión sobre la espalda, las rodillas, y las caderas.

9. Keep a level head

Tipping, tilting or twisting your head to see your work places strain on your neck and shoulders.

Mantenga su cabeza nivelada

Inclinar o torcer la cabeza para ver su trabajo ejerce presión sobre su cuello y hombros.

10. Use low vibration hand tools

Using tools with high vibration reduces your hand strength and dexterity, and increases the chance of injury.

Utilice herramientas manuales de baja vibración

El uso de herramientas con alta vibración reduce su fuerza y destreza, y aumenta la posibilidad de lesiones.

11. Change it up

Moving the same way over and over for a long time can lead to fatigue, mistakes and injury. Reduce how often and how long risky tasks are done.

Hacer lo mismo es fatigante. Cambie seguido

Moverse de la misma manera una y otra vez durante mucho tiempo puede provocar fatiga, errores y lesiones. Reduzca la frecuencia y el tiempo durante el que se realizan repetidamente las funciones riesgosas.

12. Match work height to the task

Set your work a little below elbow height when you have to use more force. Set your work a little above elbow height when the task needs a light touch and a better view.

Hacer coincidir las alturas de trabajo con las funciones

Establezca su trabajo un poco por debajo de la altura del codo cuando tenga que usar más fuerza. Establezca su trabajo un poco por encima de la altura del codo cuando la función de trabajo necesite destreza fina y una mejor vista.

What Works

The table below can help you choose an effective solution.

Solution Does it prevent injuries?
An ergonomics process to find and fix hazards Yes. Learn more about the process here.
Mechanical lifting device (hoist, vacuum lift, and so on) Yes.
Lift table to eliminate low lifts Yes.
Safe lifting techniques training No, but good technique can work along with other solutions. Learn how to make lifting safer here.
Job rotation Probably not. Learn more about job rotation here.
Stretching programs Probably not. Learn more about stretching programs here.
Body mechanics training No.
Workstation evaluations without employee involvement No. But evaluations that involve employees can be effective.
Sit-stand workstations Maybe. Training on how to use the workstations can help.
Training without other workplace improvements Most of the time, no.
Putting equipment in place without training employees on how to use it Most of the time, no. Find out why training needs to be part of your prevention process here.
Exoskeletons Too soon to tell. Find out more about exoskeletons here.
Anti-fatigue mats Maybe. They can help with comfort. Find out more about anti-fatigue mats here.
Knee pads Sometimes. They help prevent bruises and scrapes, but may not prevent long-term knee injuries.
Anti-vibration gloves Only in very limited cases. You can read more about anti-vibration gloves here.
Back belts No. You can read more about back belts here​.

Training Resources

Common Sprains & Strains Hazards in Your Workplace and Some Solution Ideas

How to Control Repetitive Hand and Wrist Tasks

Preventing Overexertion Injuries