RSD is defined as an injury that occurs as a result of over or improper use. 1 in 8 American workers has been diagnosed with an RSD at one time or another, and it’s one of the most common types of injuries at Colby College. Early recognition and treatment is key to preventing significant long term damage and to ensure a rapid recovery. There is no one clear way to know that you are headed for an RSD. Often, by the time you realize that something is wrong, damage has already been done. For this reason, try and pay close attention to your body for the following early warning signs: • Pain: Workers may feel a sharp or dull and aching pain in their limbs, which may increase in intensity over time. Some employees feel this pain after shoveling or mopping for a few hours, while others start to notice it only when they make certain movements outside of work—such as twisting a doorknob to open a door or raising their arms to wash their hair. • Tingling or numbness: Sometimes a worker's hand or arm may have a tingling sensation, or the employee may experience numbness or tingling in certain fingers. This is a sign that nerve damage may have already occurred, so these symptoms should be taken seriously. • Fatigue: A worker who is experiencing pain may tire easily or may be unable to perform the same amount of work that they had done in the past. • Weakness or clumsiness: A loss of strength, dropping items, or having difficulty picking things up can be a sign of a possible RSD. • • • • • High Risk Jobs at Colby: Working at a computer Painting and sanding Any long duration overhead work Mopping or vacuuming Shoveling • • • • S Preventing RSDs: Use the proper equipment Frequent stretches and breaks Good posture and overall health Do something! If you are suffering from early symptoms, tell your supervisor q By the Numbers: • • • • • • Treatment for RSDs include: Avoiding activities that cause symptoms. Stretching and strengthening exercises. Applying moist heat or cold packs alternately. Resting the area and using splints. Using anti-inflammatory medicines. Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. $20 billion worker's compensation costs annually spent due to RSDs 25% national average percentage of injuries due to RSDs 40 words/minute turns into about 12,000 keys per hour, and in an 8hour work day, you will have pressed a total of 96,000 keys. 8 ounces of force is necessary to depress one key, which equals almost 16 tons of force exerted by your fingers! 1. 2. 3. 4. Review / Discussion Questions: What are some jobs that you do at Colby that have a high risk for a RSD? Have you ever suffered an RSD and was it work related? Do you have any hobbies or sports activities that put you at risk for an RSD? What are some preventive measures that you can take to protect yourself at work and at home? Printed Name Signature Questions, concerns or comments contact the EHS Director at extension 5504 .
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