Different types of work can come with different types of risks. Some of the most dangerous places to work in are dusty workplaces. However, there’s many ways to protect yourself while you work in these spaces…
Dusty Workplaces: Protect Your Lungs
Dangers of dust
Dusty workplaces are risky because of the kind of dust they have in them. Of course, this dust just isn’t your standard dust that gathers around the house. Instead, this dust tends to be from materials like asbestos, wood shavings, or some kind of chemical compound.
Dust like this is very harmful when it gets breathed in. For starters, it can cause irritation in the nose, throat, and lungs. It can also clog up these airways, making it harder to breathe. Plus, this dust could potentially sit in the lungs for a long time, potentially causing health issues like lung disease or cancer.
Protective equipment is key for staying safe in dusty workplaces. Of course, the most apparent piece of gear to have are breathing masks. These masks will ensure you can safely breathe while also filtering out any harmful particles. Different types of mask might work in different ways, so be sure to double-check the kind you’re using.
Don’t forget about other equipment like goggles and gloves as well. Dust can also cause issues if it enters the eyes, and some types might cause skin irritation too. It’s a good idea to wear clothes which will completely cover your body, to get the most protection possible. Just be sure to bring a pair to change into after!
Keep it clean
The thing about dust is that it can steadily build up over time. Now, most dusty workplaces have a lot of dust made all at once due to the work at hand. However, some might only have a bit of dust, which accumulates between work. Either way, you want to be sure to clean up after you’re finished.
Cleaning up dust, even these kinds, is thankfully still straightforward enough. You’ll just need things like brooms, vacuums, or dusters as needed. However, don’t forget to make sure you’re clean too. You don’t want to accidentally track some of that dust back into your home.
Most people figure that work injuries tend to occur while doing some heavy physical work. However, computer-related injuries are becoming more common. One injury in particular which is rising in occurrence is carpal tunnel syndrome. This injury can really turn using a computer into a painful task…
Carpal Tunnel: Preventing Injury
To better understand what this injury is, it helps to first know what the carpal tunnel itself does. The tunnel is a very narrow passageway in the wrist. The main purpose of the tunnel is to protect the median nerve as it goes down from the neck, through the arm, and into the hand.
The median nerve is pretty important for your hand. For starters, it provides feeling to your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. It also is responsible for controlling the muscles around the base of the thumb. Therefore, you can see why it’s important to take good care of your wrists.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the tunnel itself is narrowed. When you place pressure on your wrist, you’re also narrowing the tunnel, and placing pressure on the median nerve. This then leads to feelings of numbness or tingling in the hand. Over time, it could even lead to a weakness in hand strength.
The most common causes tend to be awkward hand placement and repetitive hand motions. You can see why using a computer can be a main cause of this injury. Constantly typing and using a mouse all day is a recipe for placing too much pressure on your wrist, and in turn, your median nerve.
What to do
Combating carpal tunnel tend to be pretty straightforward. Mainly, it’s all about reducing the stress placed on your wrists. This means making sure you keep your wrists straight when using the computer. Using arm braces or padded cushions can also help alleviate pressure to the wrists.
Make sure to also give your hands a break every now and again. During these breaks, it helps to perform some hand stretches to keep them loose. That way, they won’t tighten up while you work, and you give the carpal tunnel and your nerves some relief.
Pain after an injury is pretty common. But, that doesn’t mean that it hurts any less. For this reason, finding means of pain management are probably pretty high on your list of things to do. So, what methods are tried and true? Furthermore, what methods will work for you? Every person is different, as are their coping methods for pain. So, let’s start making some progress towards healing.
Pain Management: Healing and Comfortability
Medication tends to be the most common form of pain management. For example, a doctor might prescribe you a pain reliever after an injury to help ease the pain. Or, you might opt for over-the-counter choices like aspirin instead. Both choices are easy to use and can provide fast relief when your pain flares up.
However, it’s important to be careful when taking these medications, especially prescription opioids. These opioids, while effective, can be addictive if one isn’t careful. As a result, be sure to follow the dosage directions and talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about the medications.
Another useful form of pain management is physical therapy. Depending on the type of injury you have, you might struggle with things you used to do with ease. You might experience increased pain when moving or lifting things, or even just from sitting down.
Due to this, it might help to see a physical therapist. These therapists help re-condition the parts of your body which were most impact by your injury. This helps your body get used to doing physical movement again, and do so without pain.
There are also a few other choices for pain management. For instance, you could meet with a counselor to help you deal with the pain mentally. Your mentality plays a big role in how you handle and deal with pain, which is something a counselor can help you with. They can work with you to handle your pain in a more positive manner.
You can also look to alternative therapy methods. One of the most popular choices tends to be acupuncture. While the idea can seem concerning at first, many people have reported that it helps them with pain relief and management. Of course, the most important thing is finding a method which suits and helps you the best.
While the weather might be getting colder, many workers will still have to work outside in some shape or form. Much like with working in the summer, winter working requires some special precautions to be taken in order to stay safe. That way, you can get your work done and avoid a potential cold-related injury…
Winter Working: Braving The Cold
Wear the right clothes
Clothes are an essential part of winter working. Wearing a few layers of insulated clothing can keep you warm even as the temperature drops. It helps to wear somewhat loose clothes instead of super-tight ones. Tight clothes tend to restrict blood flow, especially to the extremities.
These extremities, as well as the head and ears, need that extra protection. Often times, the cold will affect these areas of the body first. Be sure to wear things like waterproof padded gloves and boots. Things like winter hats or masks are also good for your face and ears.
Take breaks to re-energize
It’s also important to not push yourself too hard when doing winter working. The more you work, the more energy you’ll burn off, which will impact your body’s ability to keep you warm. As a result, it’s good to take frequent and short breaks in warm, dry areas so your body can warm back up.
During these breaks, it also is a good idea to eat or drink something warm. These will further help your body warm itself back up. Plus, they’ll also get some much-needed calories into your system, helping your body keep its energy levels up.
Be aware of hypothermia
The most pressing danger that comes with winter working is hypothermia. However, not many people know what exactly hypothermia looks like. That’s why it’s very important to know what sort of symptoms you should associate with this cold-related illness.
Early stages of hypothermia include shivering, fatigue, and issues with concentration and coordination. More advanced stage symptoms include bluing of the skin, a slow heart and breathing rate, and potentially passing out. If you feel any of these symptoms, it’s important to get out of the cold and receive some medical help ASAP.
There are many jobs out there which may involve working a night shift. Hospitals, emergency services, convenience stores are some of the most common examples. However, it can be hard to make those adjustments. Using some key strategies can help in getting a better handle on the night shift demands.
Night Shift Adjustments: Tips To Try
Reset your sleep schedule
Normally, our body’s internal clock has us waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night. However, this can cause problems for night shift workers. They might end up feeling tired and fatigued during their shift. Once they get home, they might struggle to fall asleep, causing a cycle of a lack of sleep.
That’s why resetting your sleep schedule is one of the more crucial night shift adjustments. You can do this by “tricking” your body into thinking the daytime is the nighttime. Keep your light exposure low and turn off all distractions, and your body will “think” it’s time to sleep. Then, you’ll be more awake and well-rested during your shift.
Change your diet
Diet changes are also an important part of night shift adjustments. What you eat can play a major role in how much energy you’ll have for your shift. Food choices also plays a role in helping you get fully rested afterwards.
Caffeine might be an appealing option to help keep you awake for your shift. However, it should be avoided when it’s time to sleep. Furthermore, processed and sugary foods tend to give you less energy than their alternatives. Try to stick with more natural options, and include plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Exercise is another helpful strategy for making night shift adjustments. Exercising not only improves your overall health, but also helps boost your energy levels. People who exercise also tend to sleep better for longer than those who don’t.
However, you might wonder when you’ll have time to exercise. You might want to try exercising either before or after work. That way, you can see which option feels better to you. Working out beforehand might help give you an energy boost, but working out after could help you sleep faster.
Reduced earnings benefits are something that many injured workers will become familiar with. At some point during your recovery, you might need to return to work. In that instance, you might not be able to perform your typical work duties. Therefore, you might be forced to take on a different position, leading to reduced earnings.
Reduced Earnings Benefits: Why Might I Need Them
You have a difficult transition ahead of you. From facing injury, reaching recovery, and starting work in a new way. There’s no doubt that there will be a period of adjustment for you. But, that period of time does not have to apply to your finances. While the position you’ve been forced to take might have a lower salary, or hourly. Therefore, reduced earnings benefits are there to pick up the slack.
Your new wages don’t match up to the old ones. Therefore, reduced earnings benefits give you the chance to get back to your normal routine without the worry of making ends meet. You will have to report your weekly earnings, and you will still receive that 2/3 of your lost earnings. However, the gap that reduced earnings benefits can close, can make a big difference for your family. Not to mention, they do a lot to ease your mind during a difficult period.
How It Relieves Stress
As we’ve mentioned, these benefits make a difficult time, just a little bit less difficult. This time is painful and stressful enough, but money does not have to add to the stress you’re already feelings. Without having to worry about a loss of wages, you can focus on returning to work and making your recovery and transition a positive one.
If you’re wondering whether or not you qualify for these benefits, you might consider speaking with an attorney. If you feel like you’re missing out on necessary benefits, an attorney might be just the help you need to determine your rights, and what you need to heal.