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Overexertion Injuries . What they are How they happen How they can be prevented. In this Slide Show. What are overexertion injuries? How do overexertion injuries occur? What are the causes of overexertion injuries? What do people say who have had overexertion injuries?

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Overexertion Injuries

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overexertion injuries

Overexertion Injuries

What they are

How they happen

How they can be prevented

in this slide show
In this Slide Show
  • What are overexertion injuries?
  • How do overexertion injuries occur?
  • What are the causes of overexertion injuries?
  • What do people say who have had overexertion injuries?
  • Some helpful guidelines for reducing overexertion risk.
  • Links
what is an overexertion injury
Ligaments – very tough connective tissue which connect bone to bone, and hold the tendons in place and stabilize the joints.

inter-vertebral muscle

tendon-muscle junction

What is an Overexertion Injury?
  • Overexertion injuries generally fall into two categories:
      • Sprains – stretching or tearing ligaments
      • Strains – stretching or tearing tendons or muscles

Muscles – the tissue responsible for movement of joints. They are attached to bone by tendons, and shorten to create movement of a joint.

Tendons – the tough connective tissue which connects muscle to bone

how do overexertion injuries occur
How do Overexertion Injuries Occur?

Overexertion occurs when the load, whether lifted, carried, pushed, pulled or otherwise handled, exceeds the limits of the human joint system doing the work.

In this case the “lower back”

causes of overexertion injuries
Causes of Overexertion Injuries

Overexertion injuries have been associated with these activities:

  • lifting
  • repeated bending at the waist
  • bending at the waist with twisting
  • long term bending at the waist
  • pushing/pulling
  • carrying
  • reaching
  • long term poor posture - sitting or standing
  • sitting while absorbing vibration through the body (as in truck driving)
personal factors
Personal Factors

Some personal factors have been associated with overexertion injuries:

  • aging and its loss of body flexibility (becoming stiff)
  • poor physical condition - losing the strength and endurance to perform physical tasks without strain.
  • overweight
what do people say who have had overexertion injuries
What do people say who have had overexertion injuries?

…that they were:

1. moving quickly to perform the task

2. positioned in an awkward posture


Perform the task twice:

Once With Your Mind


Once With Your Body

As you think about the task, determine what has to be done to perform it safely and then follow through.

good techniques for lifting
Good Techniques For Lifting:
  • Assess the weight of the load (by observing or pushing).
  • Make sure your footing is stable and the path is clear.
  • Bend at the knees.
  • Hug the load (keep the load as close to the body as possible).
  • Keep the back straight.
  • Avoid twisting.
  • Avoid heavy loads (lighten if possible).
  • Get help with heavy loads.
ideas for proper carrying
Ideas for propercarrying:

If there is a mechanical device like a hand truck or pallet jack…use it! (the more you carry something, the greater the chance that you can be injured)

If there are no mechanical devices…

Keep the load as close to the body as possible.

Better to take more loads of less weight than try to take it all at once.

ideas for reducing reaching
Ideas for reducing reaching

This bin has fold down door so the worker can get the product with less bending

Remove obstacles

Slide closer

An adjustable height pallet jack with a turntable would allow this worker to turn and raise the load to get the product, instead of reaching.

Reduce shelf depth and try to store products between knee and shoulder height

Reduce package size

ideas for reducing reaching12
Ideas for reducing reaching

Slide objects closer

The person in the bottom picture is using a stick with a hook, to pull products closer for access

reducing reaching
Reducing reaching

Install gravity feed racks

Reduce shelf depth

ideas for reducing lifting hazards15
Ideas for reducing lifting hazards

This is a mobile scissors lift. Products can be removed from pallets or shelves and transported with no lifting.

This is a mobile, height adjustable (electric motor) platform, for transporting products.

A link to WISHA’s Ergonomics Ideas Bank is in the Links page at the end of this slide show

good ideas f or pushing pulling
Good Ideas for Pushing/Pulling:
    • If you have the option, push rather than pull.
  • The carts to the right have been modified so persons of different heights can push them with their hands at the appropriate height
reducing bending
Reducing bending

Add handles

The manufacturer of this product included cutout handles in the box, so the handler could lift it from a higher level. Also, storing them on one or more pallets raises the level of the handles even more.

reducing lifting by sliding
Reducing lifting, by sliding

Arrange storage

This person has placed a cart just below the level of the shelf, so she can just slide the box onto the cart deck rather than lift it.


Heavy Battery

helpful links
Helpful Links

WISHA’s Ergonomics Ideas Bank:


Preventing Lifting and Overexertion Injuries

Ohio State University Extension's Agricultural Tailgate Safety Training Series