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Step 4. Prevention
© University of Bergen/Author: B.E. Moen

To avoid working conditions that can cause musculoskeletal diseases, we can do a number of things. These can be summarized into four main actions:

Robots in a car factory. Robots in a car factory. © Colourbox

a. Remove the cause

It is best if you can avoid the wokers having to engage in tasks that cause musculoskeletal strain. Some factories use robots and machine to avoid having workers do too much heavy lifting. It is also important to avoid having to do repetitive movements over longer periods, particularly if these are performed at high speed. Automatization of such work is a better option, as is improving the organization of the work.

b. Find help

If you can find aid when lifting is performed, like a colleague or a technical device, it will be a great improvement.

People in a coffee factory help each other in lifting heavy coffee sacks These people in a coffee factory help each other in lifting heavy coffee sacks.
© G. Tjalvin

Person transporting sacks on a trolley A trolley can be the help you need to move heavy sacks.
© G. Tjalvin

c. Teach and learn

In many work situations, workers can be taught how to carry out their duties in the most optimal manner, whether it is physical, repetitive or any other type of work. Experienced workers can help teach new ones. Person sitting by her desk in a chair that can be regulated This director has a chair which can be regulated up and down and the back of the chair can be moved as well.
© G. Tjalvin

d. Variation, variation, variation

Variation is the answer to many musculoskeletal problems and can be a solution to prevent the occurrence of this type of diseases. To illustrate this, I will tell you that “The perfect chair does not exist”. Many companies try to develop the perfect chair. Many workers in sitting position ask for the perfect chair to sit on to avoid musculoskeletal problems. Due to this, designers are constantly working on this issue. However, there is no such thing as a perfect chair. Whatever you sit on; if you sit in the chair the whole day, in the same position, you will end up with pain somewhere; in the back, in the groin or in the neck. We need variation. If you vary your work position, the risk of developing pain in the musculoskeletal system will be reduced. People who have desk jobs should stand up, walk to a printer, move to talk to a colleague, have a meeting – anything to keep moving will help to reduce your risk of developing work related musculoskeletal diseases at work places where you need to sit most of the time. Variation is important.

© University of Bergen/Author: B.E. Moen
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Occupational Health in Developing Countries

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