This must-have eBook is loaded with over 50 pages of clear, professionally designed, easy-to-follow, easy-to-remember stretching exercises and routines, including highly effective moves that should be done everyday! It never demands you to do a lot of workouts or exercises. I developed a highly successful on-the-job stretching program at one large manufacturer. Communicate the program to all members of the team. With the hold-relax PNF method, the muscle is placed into a static stretch. With work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) accounting for more than 30 percent¹ of all nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases each year and impacting employers to the tune of $20 billion annually in direct workers' compensation costs,² some organizations are looking for ways to bolster their ergonomic strategies. This should support your ergonomics efforts as well as promote employee health and well-being. Canada’s Healthy Workplace Week 2004 – A Stretch-Break Program for your Workplace! How­ ever, there was an estimated 30% to 40% cost avoidance in rehabilitation costs. Work the Room. The 3 Elements of Effective Feedback for a Safer Workplace, How Safety Leaders Can Manage the Impact of COVID-19, The Carrot is Always Better Than the Stick – Paying People to Get Vaccines, Webinar: COVID-19 Update - Keeping Employees Safe While Reducing Liability, Webinar: Situational Awareness - The Often Overlooked Hazard Control, Virginia Passes Permanent Standard on COVID-19, Employees Don’t Feel Safe Going to Work, Study Finds, Webinar: A New Sheriff in Town - Digitally Transforming Your Audit Program to Meet a New Compliance View, Webinar: Expert Panel – What You Need to Know about EHS and Covid-19 Changes Under the Biden Administration. Notably, employees often have difficulty obtaining proper equipment to ensure an ergonomically sound home workspace. How and where individuals work has been transformed, in some cases significantly, in only a few months. Prior to the pandemic, roughly 3.6% of the total U.S. employee workforce was working from home at least half the time or more, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Here are five ways EHS professionals can ramp up their organization’s focus on health and safety to address the evolving challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has made it critical for EHS professionals to take a more proactive role in driving this process. A 2003 review of three well-known studies related to the efficacy of stretching at work to prevent injuries determined that stretching did not result in any meaningful or statistical reduction in MSDs. Requiring employees to participate can cause problems with unions, so make sure that union representatives are included in the discussion about stretching programs. Sean Salvas is senior market strategy lead-EHS with Origami Risk LLC, a provider of risk management solutions. To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information. The program was targeted to keep muscle strains and repetitive motion injuries to a minimum. By using virtual assessments, EHS professionals can get a better handle on varied office setup risks while helping manage work/rest cycles, awkward angles and repetitive tasks (typing/clicking), all of which represent injury risks that can be addressed with effective ergonomics solutions and best practices. Do not confuse dynamic stretching with ballistic stretching! Stretching and flexibility routines simplified! No matter the size of your company, a workplace stretching program will represent a significant non-value added direct cost. be stretching every day. Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Stretching as a group each morning is a great way to kick the day off with a focus on safety. Over the years, EHS professionals have often been the catalyst to bringing about greater collaboration among team members from various functions in all types of work environments. of each shift. The implementation of workplace stretching programs provides a feel-good aspect to injury prevention. As an interim remedy, many employers now provide equipment stipends to help mitigate the cost of appropriate office furniture to facilitate a sound work environment. It is a great introduction to Moving Stretch which will help you learn to stretch while simultaneously boosting your flexibility, posture and energy levels. Don’t hold your breath. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Do workplace stretching programs work? Subscribe to EHS Today Magazine to receive leading coverage of the EHS industry. These new challenges have also reimagined the roles and responsibilities of EHS professionals. The last option for eliminating injuries is centered on the worker, whether it's providing task-specific personal protective equipment or providing training in the form of stretching and flexibility exercise programs. (B) Exhale as you hinge forward from your hips (without rounding your back) and place your palms on the ground. There also may be a psychological benefit at work in a stretching program. Sep-Oct 2007;12(5):300-2. doi: 10.1097/01.PCAMA.0000291430.84481.14. Despite ergonomic programs having a demonstrated scientific benefit in the workplace, they only are required in California. Within their home environments, employees typically station themselves at raised kitchen counters, coffee tables, or even on their couch or in their bed. For a stretching program to be effective, workers have to participate at least 2 to 3 days per week with a time commitment for each session of 5 to 10 minutes. Workplace Stretching Program Guidelines Even researchers who are highly critical of the proposed benefits of stretching recognize that all methods of stretching are not equal. Dynamic stretching consists of controlled leg and arm swings that take you (gently!) However, by the end of 2021, an estimated 25-30% of employees will be working from home multiple days each week, according to the Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey. The second choice is an administrative control, where the use of policies, procedures and job assignment rotation can be used to eliminate the hazard. Do workplace stretching programs work? Workers in a Midwestern factory were assessed for WMSDs before and after the new 8-min stretching program was implemented. Breathe normally, do not hold your breath. Furthermore, given how quickly circumstances can evolve, EHS team members may need to leverage virtual briefings and information-sharing technologies to help document and quantify safety issues, risks and non-conformance situations in real-time. This stretching program will only work on your body directly. Meanwhile, EHS professionals also may be summoned to play a key role in helping assess and adjust their enterprise’s response to catastrophic events, including natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, floods and earthquakes. Consequently, many EHS professionals and ergonomists are now prioritizing the use of virtual ergonomic assessments to better manage home-based workstations and work environments with an emphasis on proper workspaces that include correct posture, table or desk and chair setups. Stretching Exercises to Prevent Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders -A Review Article by Qais Gasibat , Nordin Bin Simbak , Aniza Abd Aziz Abstract Background: Lower back, neck and shoulder pain, which affects the lumbar spine, are the most commonly reported Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). Select the right program for your facility. Incidents, near misses and potential hazards historically recorded on paper, and tracked and assessed using spreadsheets can now be reported instantly using online portals. Under these circumstances, EHS professionals may need to be the catalyst to drive the adoption and implementation of technology solutions to maintain or adapt their enterprise’s safety practices to what can be rapidly evolving work conditions. Many are seeing value in adding employee stretching programs to help fill the gap between the workers and what can be done ergonomically to protect them. Since businesses continue to implement these programs, they should be done correctly in order to enhance the potential to be effective. Captured data can be analyzed quickly and accurately through artificial intelligence and machine learning-supported predictive modeling tools, shared internally to drive remedial actions and communicated externally to ensure timely regulatory compliance. (A) Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees drop toward the ground. stretching program twice a day for 5 minutes at its work­ place. Make no mistake, employee stretching programs are not a substitute for a comprehensive workplace ergonomic program. An effective stretching program needs to be consistently evaluated and refined as workplace conditions and systems changes become necessary. Sang Choi and Todd Woletz (2010) reviewed several research articles and concluded that, “While research does support that stretching improves flexibility/ROM and self-worth, stretching alone might not prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders and … Work Stretching Programs and OSHA This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps. He can be reached at dgraham@jensenprecast.com. In a paper titled“Do Stretching Programs Prevent Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders?,” Choi and Woletz described the concept of stretching in this manner:  “It is commonly believed that stretching before or after physical activity can reduce the chance of a strain or sprain injury by increasing the flexibility of muscles, tendons and ligaments, which in turn increases the range of motion in a joint or group of joints.”. • If you can’t do endurance or strength exercises, and stretching exercises are the only kind you are able to do, do them at least 3 times a week, for at least 20 minutes each session. Implementing a Successful Stretching Program When implementing a stretching program, there are three key elements to consider: Leadership buy-in and support; … You can do these stretches 5-6 days a week for 3 weeks. As with any training in the workplace, there's a cost, and the cost has to be justified by a benefit or return on investment. On-the-Job Stretching Programs. Prof Case Manag. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves. A stretching program is a form of physical exercise where specific muscles are elongated to their fullest length to improve the muscles' elasticity. They also call for ready access to timely data about regional and local virus spread rates, employee infections and exposures, as well as details on evolving employer requirements emanating from federal, state and local governments and regulators. Take a stretch break – performing some stretching exercises throughout the day can help relieve common aches and pains, tension, and loosen stiff muscles. Beginner’s Stretching Program This program takes you through a daily routine over the course of 6 weeks. With mask mandates, for example, EHS professionals may be actively involved with employer programs for fit testing and maintaining adequate levels of PPE across all of an organization’s operations. These mini stretch breaks can help clear your mind for the tasks ahead and release stress, at least temporarily, from your day. Knowing this, it isn't any wonder that environmental, health and safety (EH&S) professionals are looking for new methods to help prevent WMSDs, and employee stretching and flexibility programs have gained such popularity. All industries have been impacted by the virus—from manufacturing and industrial operations to retail, banking, financial and professional services, the public sector and educational institutions. Benefits: The lying torso twist stretches your hips, groin, and lower back muscles, increasing mid-back mobility while opening chest. These meetings typically were held in person so all risks could be discussed and prioritized, and any related remedial actions could be implemented on a coordinated, programmed basis. Studies show stretching at work can make us more refreshed and productive in our jobs. So, the differences you notice aren’t just temporary. Injuries are a source of concern for any type of business. Some employees might refuse to participate or won't participate because of religious reasons. That takes a toll on your back, hips, neck, and … to the limits of your range of motion. Prepare. These responsibilities include addressing logistical challenges to ensure PPE is supplied and available at all pertinent sites. Stretching should not feel painful, if you feel pain stop and release the stretch, you may have stretched too far. Hold stretch for at least 20 seconds and repeat with right knee. With new guidance and local requirements now in place in many areas of the world, EHS has moved deeper into areas involving industrial hygiene and occupational health. A Supplement, Not a Substitute Besides sustaining significant hits to their revenues, employers able to remain or resume operating have had to navigate dramatic changes to their workplaces, business processes and workforces. Stretching programs offer benefits and challenges. If you cannot demonstrate that any expenditure is realizing a benefit to the company (i.e., reducing soft tissue or musculoskeletal injuries for a reduction in workers' compensation costs, or improved worker productivity and wellness) then the training will not be perceived as a benefit by the employer. JOB SITE STRETCHING EXERCISES. Employers who have implemented OSHA's ergonomic guidelines have lower incidence of cumulative trauma injuries and associated workers' compensation costs. Most of us spend hours hunched over computers, smartphones, and steering wheels. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have widespread impacts on governments, communities and employers throughout the U.S. and around the world, EHS professionals bring critical skills and expertise their organizations need to keep employees and customers as safe as possible as they navigate the various challenges the pandemic presents. Workplace on-the-job stretching programs are controversial, some safety professionals believe in them while others think they are a waste of time. Do workplace stretching programs work? The person is instructed to “hold” and contract the muscle against resistance from a partner for 10 seconds. Simply rounding up employees for some random calisthenics isn't going to prevent WMSDs. With hand open and facing down, gently bend wrist from side to side, as far as possible. Stretch both sides of your body evenly. Here are seven steps to follow to implement your pre work stretching program: Establish top level buy in. Perfect even for people with lower levels of flexibility and mobility. Emergency response and business continuity plans may need to be adjusted to address issues related to social distancing, adequate PPE supplies, remote workers, and scaled down or expanded operations, among other factors. Across the U.S. and around the world, work life and social life have changed dramatically from the impacts of COVID-19. This semi-social grouping or bonding in the workplace creates the perception of caring and support felt by employees from management. Regardless of whether they and their colleagues are able to work on-site with ready access to their employer’s facilities or must work remotely, EHS professionals can continue to have a measurable impact on their organization’s ability to deal with the effects of COVID-19 on their enterprises. Train management and all team members. With more people working remotely as well as in retrofitted and different work environments, a new push for ergonomic best practices has become top of mind for EHS professionals. Stretching the Hands & Forearms 1. I will no longer have to spend endless hours trying to develop my own stretching program for my clients. Most advocates of stretching programs recommend PNF stretching, which allows the muscle to be stretched to a greater degree by increasing the proprioceptor signals through a 5- to 10-second voluntary muscle contraction followed by a 5- to 10-second voluntary muscle relaxation. A preshift stretching program was implemented to evaluate its effectiveness in preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). The California ergonomic standard is triggered when a workplace has two or more cumulative trauma injuries as identified by a medical professional. Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? Many experts agree that static stretching, where the muscle is stretched and held, is simpler to perform and also is very effective as a choice for most workplace stretching programs. Back and spine – The overall rate of neck and back injuries has seen a consistent decline from 34,000 injuries in 2002 to 12,000 injuries in 2010 but the construction industry still sees more back injuriesthan most other industries (almost 25 per 10,000 workers, as opposed to 21 for all other industries combined). © 2021 Endeavor Business Media, LLC. These hidden costs are reflected in the time lost for an employee who is not available to accomplish his tasks, as well as the cost of training replacement workers and increased insurance costs. For a stretching program to be effective, workers have to participate at least 2 to 3 days per week with a time commitment for each session of 5 to 10 minutes. During the past year, the accelerated adoption of technologies—such as wearable devices to measure ergonomics risk factors, remote sensors to measure vitals and work activities in remote locations, and sensors to capture environmental exceedances—have all helped to roll-up risk factors and safety metrics. Hazards in the workplace can be controlled by several methods; usually engineering controls, where the hazard is designed out, is the first choice. The following are some simple stretching exercises you can do at your work station. The program is applicable to any industry and is easily adaptable for unique situations. They are another tool in the musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention toolbox. On average, $5 is spent for every $1 of medical expense on a typical injury. 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