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Topic #16

Practice Good Ergonomics to Avoid Injury

Practice good ergonomics to avoid injury.

Links, Resources & More

  • Download the free Nonprofit Safety Hero Ergonomics Guide (PDF, 20 pages). Share it with other volunteers!
  • Take the free ergonomics course from Nonprofit Safety Hero. Your body will thank you.
  • View a complete list of volunteer safety topics from Volunter Safety Hero.
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Ergonomic practices are ways to use your body safely and effectively to do work, including volunteer work or tasks at home. When you use good ergonomics, you get more done, have fewer injuries, and usually have a better time doing the work.

The FACTS: What you need to KNOW

  1. Ergonomics apply to everyone, whether you're working in a warehouse, at a desk, or outdoors. You'll find dozens of opportunities to use this knowledge every day.
  2. Good ergonomics is proactive, and the benefits last a lifetime. When you apply ergonomics to volunteer tasks, you prevent long-term injuries.
  3. Injuries caused by bad ergonomics are expensive and can literally ruin your quality of life.
  4. Ergonomic principles cover areas like lifting (card #9), working at the right height, good lighting, exertion, repetitive motion, and stretching.

The Actions: What you need to DO

Make a conscious choice to evaluate your working situation and improve your ergonomics. Get creative as you look at your work environment for opportunities.

Work in neutral positions with your head level and your wrists straight. Move the work close to your body to avoid reaching and reduce excessive motions.

Practice techniques to avoid excessive force. Push, don't pull. Grip, don't pinch. Roll or slide heavy items. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Move and stretch at regular intervals while working. Change it up.