Avoiding or Minimizing Workplace Hazards
Electricians are exposed to a plethora of workplace hazards in their line of work. Injuries sustained while on the job may make their employers liable for workers’ compensation. A New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney may be able to advise you if you are entitled to workers’ compensation due to unsafe working conditions. However, you can prevent injuries by being aware of common sources of them.
Awkward postures are a primary source of long-term injuries. Bending, extending, or flexing various parts of the body in unusual ways instead of working in a straight or neutral position can lead to aggravation and musculoskeletal problems, as the increased exertion and muscle pressure compresses tendons and blood vessels. Workers should be careful to avoid bending the elbow beyond 90 degrees for prolonged periods of time, bending or twisting the torso to lift an object from low or high levels, bending the neck backwards or forward (especially when working on overhead surfaces), and extending and flexing the wrist to the side while using tools. Wrist bending is especially hazardous, as it puts stress on the tendons and tendon sheaths and forces them to rub against hard bones and ligaments, resulting in tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have symptoms of any of these disorders, contact a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney.
Contact stress occurs from prolonged or repeated contact between hard or sharp objects and body tissue, such as the soft tissues of the fingers or palms. Creating frequent localized pressure in a small area of the body can inhibit blood flow, muscle function, and nerve function. This can happen by using tools with short handles that dig into the palm of the head or carrying hard items, such as ladders or conduit on the shoulder for prolonged periods, which can irritate the muscles and tendons. Measures workers can take to reduce the effects of contact stress include using: electric tools to minimize repetitive hand motions; tools with appropriately-sized handles that do not require wrist bending; and using cushioning or wrapping around handles and grips to spread out the contact area on the hand.
If you have further questions about safe working practices at the construction site, contact New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404 for a free consultation.