By Jessica Chandler, Senior Ergonomics Consultant

According to the most recent injury statistics collected by the American Mushroom Institute’s (AMI) Mushroom Employee Safety and Health (MESH) committee, slips, trips and falls, along with sprains and strains, were the two largest causes of recordable injuries in the mushroom industry. Restricted duty cases related to musculoskeletal sprains and strains made up 40 percent of 194 incidents of the total recorded cases. Additionally, 30 percent of lost time cases were musculoskeletal sprains and strains, a total of 87 recorded cases.

With these injury rates in mind, solutions for eliminating or reducing the rate and severity of sprains and strains are a priority. But these trends and priorities are not confined to the mushroom industry, rather they are seen as commonalities among a multitude of industrial settings.

Injury reduction solutions in the form of redesign or engineering controls aren’t always feasible for all industrial settings, so it is important to establish administrative controls to reduce the rate ad severity of injuries, such as strains and sprains. This is where including a stretching program in the health and safety plan can help.

Proper stretching and safe techniques can improve function to prevent injuries, decrease the severity of sprains and strains, and decrease the number of days away from work by improving the rate of healing and decreasing rehabilitation time and costs.

But how does one go about implementing a stretching program? Jessica Chandler, Senior Ergonomic Specialist, explains in the Safety Seconds portion of the August 2017 issue of Mushroom News.