UKZN’s Occupational Health and Safety Department celebrated World Health and Safety Day by hosting an event to raise awareness about preventing sprains and strains in the workplace.
World Health and Safety Day is celebrated annually on 28 April to create awareness on safety issues with the emphasis being that safety at work should continue throughout the year.
The main speaker, Dr Rowena Naidoo, Academic Leader: Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences (BELS), assured audience members that should they perform the seated exercises she demonstrated, it would help prevent certain work-related sprains and strains.
Naidoo said BELS would soon be embarking on a “seated workplace wellness project” where staff would be assessed and given guidance about postures and activities.
She mentioned several activities staff often do on daily basis, such as cleaning and carrying heavy objects that could cause sprains and strains. She said using cell phones could cause thumb injuries while sitting too long and using computers for extending periods without taking a break could create health problems.
Naidoo recommended “RICE” therapy – Rest (limb to be rested), Ice (apply ice on the affected area), Compress (by applying a bandage) and Elevate (raise and support the affected limb to reduce sprain swelling).
The co-ordinators of the awareness event, Safety Officer, Mr Kaizer Mhlophe and Occupational Health Nurse, Sr Nozipho Jali, said people often got sprains and strains at UKZN after tripping on stairs, hence awareness on injuries is crucial.
Words: Lihlithemba Sosibo