This pamphlet contains general information ERGONOMIC TIPS To reduce your risk of injury, TIPS to Prevent about tasks that contribute to musculoskeletal for the Hospitality Industry injuries (MSIs) such as sprains and strains. A PRACTICE THESE TIPS . . . Repetitive Work musculoskeletal injury (MSI) prevention program is the responsibility of the employer. • Don’t use water jugs or other beverage The same muscles are used over and over For further information, see sections 4.47 – containers that have sharp edges on the again in repetitive work. 4.58 of the Occupational Health & Safety handles as the edges increase the pressure on Repeated forceful movements – especially in Regulation and the WCB publications your fingers. awkward postures – increase the risk of injury. “Understanding the Risks of Musculoskeletal • Wrap a serving towel around the handle if Injury (MSI): An educational guide for workers you have to use beverage containers with on sprains, strains, and other MSIs” and sharp edges. To reduce your risk of injury, “Preventing Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI): A PRACTICE THESE TIPS . . . guide for employers and joint committees”. • Move around the table to serve guests. This will promote good posture and reduce the • Vary your technique to use different muscles, Based on work by BC Research Inc. under the need for reaching. such as alternating between left and right Workers’ Compensation Board of British hands when carrying trays. Columbia, Grants and Awards WorkSafe • Wear shoes with enough cushioning to Solutions Grant #97FS-24H relieve the stress on your knees and back • Take “micro pauses”. when you are on your feet for long periods. Additional copies may be obtained through: Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C. Micro Pause Publications and Videos Section 6711 Elmbridge Way • Let muscles rest by Richmond BC V7C 4N1 pausing for 5 to 10 seconds. Phone (604) 276-3068 • Return to an upright posture and let Fax (604) 279-7406 your arms hang loosely by your sides. WCB Prevention Information Line The WCB Prevention Information Line can answer your questions about workplace health and safety, worker and employer responsibilities, and reporting a workplace incident. The Preven- tion Information Line accepts anonymous calls. Preventing Injuries to Prev Phone 604 276-3100 in the Lower Mainland, or call 1 888 621-SAFE (7233) toll-free in B.C. To report after-hours and weekend incidents and Servers emergencies, call 604 273-7711 or toll-free 1 866 922-4357. TIPS to Prevent To reduce your risk of injury, TIPS to Prevent High What is Ergonomics? Awkward Postures PRACTICE THESE TIPS . . . Muscle Forces Many of the ways we work – such as lifting, Our bodies function best in comfortable • Carry a loaded tray with your shoulder, arm, Muscles produce force to move or hold a posture. reaching, or repeating the same movements – (neutral) postures. Awkward body postures and hand in a neutral position as shown High forces can result in injury. may strain our bodies and lead to injuries. increase the stress on ligaments and joints. This below. High forces are required to lift, lower, carry, can lead to fatigue and discomfort and increase Ergonomics prevents these types of injuries by push, or pull heavy objects, especially in awk- the risk of injury. Example of preferred posture fitting the job to the person using proper ward postures. High forces are also required to equipment and work practices. This results in Carrying trays, plates, or beverages during table hold a posture, especially for long periods. Here the safest way to work and prevents workplace service often results in awkward postures for are two examples: injuries. servers. • Carrying plates often places the wrist and The high number of sprains and strains (muscu- Example of awkward wrist and elbow posture fingers in awkward positions, and requires loskeletal injuries — MSIs) in the hospitality strength to support and balance the load. industry concerns employers, workers, and the • Carrying coffee pots, water jugs, and full Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). glasses places stress on the fingers, wrists, Employers must provide equipment and estab- forearm, and shoulder. lish safe work practices to reduce the risks of sprains and strains (MSI). Employers must also • Carry the tray as close to your body as instruct workers in these safe work practices. possible. To reduce your risk of injury, Workers must follow employers’ instructions to PRACTICE THESE TIPS . . . protect themselves. • Balance the tray on both your arm and hand. When it’s not possible to carry a tray in this • Carry fewer plates at a time. Working together, employers and workers can prevent many sprain and strain type injuries manner, alternate which hand you use to carry Make two trips or ask other servers to help (MSIs). the tray and vary your posture. with large orders. The more plates you carry, Example of an awkward finger posture • Balance the load and place heavy items close the greater the stress on muscles and joints. Risk Factors to the centre. • Carry plates, coffee pots, and water jugs close Many jobs have risks that can lead to sprain and to the body. This will decrease the amount of • Make sure the tray is clean and dry. strain injuries (MSIs). If we are aware of the risk strain on the shoulders and wrist. factors, we may be able to change how we do our jobs and prevent injuries. • When pouring, move the glass or cup as close to you as possible, rather than overreaching This pamphlet explains some of the risks of with a full jug. serving, and provides tips on how we do work practices to prevent injuries. Prevention is the best policy. You may not feel pain or discomfort when in risky postures, but the potential for injury is still present. Be aware of your posture when you work.