The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Identifying Biomechanical Hazards

Jay Stansell - Friday, March 11, 2011

This week we talk about biomechanical hazards.

Biomechanical energy refers to human motion and the forces produced by a person’s muscles and skeleton.  It is literally “human muscle-power”.  It also covers muscular-skeletal forces that act on the body which are commonly termed body stressing or ergonomic hazards.

Forms of biomechanical energy are involved when:

»        Manual handling - lifting, shifting, pushing, pulling;

»        Exercising - running, jumping, riding and climbing; and

»        Positioning – sitting, standing and reaching.

The incorrect use of a person’ internal biomechanical energy is the leading source of medical treatment and lost-time injuries within the Western World.  Incorrect manual handling techniques cause a variety of injuries including:

»            Muscle strains and sprains;

»            Injuries to muscles, ligaments, inter-vertebral discs and other spinal structures;

»            Injuries to soft tissue such as nerves, ligaments, tendons;

»            Abdominal hernias; and

»            Chronic pain.

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