Work Smart. Work Safe.
Keep your "Heads Up" and work safe!

Speak up and stay safe

By Courtney Taylor                                                                 

My 21-year-old brother Kolby is 6 foot 2 and 180 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes. He currently works in the planer and saw mill in Williams Lake, B.C. operating different equipment, and he occasionally works weekend cleanup crew.

My very good friend Serena is 19, and hits 5 feet on a ‘tall’ day and weighs just 100 pounds. She also has blond hair and blue eyes. Her dream is to be a nurse, and she just completed her first year of nursing.

So what do these two have in common other than their hair and eye colour?

They both work (or will work, in Serena’s case) in professions with high risks of shoulder injury.                       

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Shoulder injuries can be anywhere from mild to severe but serious or permanent damage to the shoulder is uncommon.

Here are some tips to remember while you’re at work to help your amazing shoulder joint stay healthy and pain free.

Don’t ignore the warning signs.

It’s easy to get caught up in your work and ignore the onset of pain in your shoulder. You may think it will get better and then all of sudden it gets to the point where your ability to work is impacted. If you experience pain in your shoulder, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Is the shoulder stiff? Can I rotate my arm in all the normal positions?
  • Does it feel like my shoulder could pop out or slide out of the socket?
  • Do I lack the strength in my shoulder to carry out my daily activities?

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions or the pain is reoccurring, go get it checked out by your doctor. Early intervention is the one of the best forms of treatment for your shoulder.

Use preventative measures while at work

  • Use available equipment to aid you —ceiling lifts were put in for a reason. Don’t try to do more than you can handle.
  • Try to change up your task so it’s not so repetitive and remember to pivot your whole body to relieve some of the stress from your delicate shoulder joint.
  • Remember to take breaks!

 

Speak Up

As a young worker it is important to speak up. Don’t ruin your chance at a long and healthy career and life just because you were too shy to speak up!

For information about the anatomy of the shoulder and to obtain tips to manage shoulder pain and promote shoulder health check out The shoulder book available online and in hard copy. http://www.wcb.ab.ca/pdfs/public/shoulder_book.pdf 

 

Sources: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/videoresource/fspreventingsho.pdf
http://www.wcb.ab.ca/pdfs/public/shoulder_book.pdf
http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/Factsheets-and-Toolkits/FactSheet.html

 

 

 

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