Job Hazard: Prolonged Standing

by Anna Katharina on May 22, 2011

in Health Sense,Safety


“In case of injury, remember RICE: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.”

Security guards, sales persons, teachers, traffic enforcers, nurses are people who have jobs that require prolonged standing in the performance of their duties. Standing is a daily activity for us but standing for hours on a daily basis can cause several body complaints.

Complaints can be in the form of fatigue, leg and foot muscle pain, back and hip pain, and even tingling sensations on the foot and edema or inflammation of both feet.

Prolonged standing causes muscles strain at the same time blood remains in the legs and feet and cannot properly circulate. This results in inflammaton of the veins and over time ,this can progress to varicose veins. The veins become dilated and this will prevent further circulation of the blood going to the heart.

There are several ways to reduce the bad effects of prolonged standing :
1. Practice body mechanics.

  • When standing for aperiod of time, periodically flex one hip and knee and rest your foot on an object if possible.

2. Change your work position frequently .

  • Shift body weight from one leg to the other. Walk or move around. there is less strain on the individual muscles and joints used to maintain the upright position.
  • Changing body positions also improves blood supply to the working muscles. Both effects contribute to the reduction of overall fatigue.

3. A seat should be provided in any case to allow the worker to sit occasionally.
4. Proper footwear. Wear comfortable low-heeled shoes that provide foot support and will not cause you to slip, stumble, or turn your ankle.
5. At home raise your legs up above hip level whenever they are aching.
6. Stay away from tight fitting clothes, particularly a girdle that is too tight, or a panty hose that is constricting in the groin area.

An increase in monetary compensation is not the only thing to ask your employer, they should provide occupational and health safety work environment to employees to prevent accidents and occupational illnesses.

Let’s have a pain and hazard free work environment.

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