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Repetitive stress injury and ergonomics

Many jobs require people to perform tasks over and over again, five days a week, year after year. Hammering, typing, and lifting are all examples of things that can result in repetitive stress injury.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population. This applies to workstations, grips on power tools, boxes, and other devices that people often use for work. Some of the most important safety products, including back supports and work gloves, are ergonomically designed, and jobs that require repetitive motions should always use the most comfortable equipment.

Workers performing monotonous tasks should take frequent, short breaks. Consistent hammering, swinging, throwing, or lifting will eventually result in repetitive stress injury. Frequent breaks give muscles, bones, and tendons a chance to rest and will make repetitive stress injuries less likely.

Depending on the type of activity, many repetitive motions can be reduced with training on proper tool use, redesigned work stations, and adding hand cut-outs to boxes. Even when using tools with ergonomic grips or extended triggers, vibration-dampening gloves will help reduce repetitive stress injuries.