If you work in a manufacturing facility, repetitive motions and other actions put you at risk for injury. Often, this type of injury results in time out of work and significant medical expenses.

Take these steps to reduce your risk for a serious injury related to factory work:

Wear appropriate protection

Depending on the job, you may need to wear earplugs, special shoes or boots, a hard hat, gloves, and face or eye shields. If you do not have the right personal protection equipment, talk to your supervisor or human resources representative.

Report unsafe conditions

Be aware of unsafe conditions in your work area. Report hazards to your supervisor right away. Examples include issues with or damage to machines, equipment, ceilings, stairs and floor surfaces. Keep your station clear of cords, tools and debris that can cause a tripping accident. Clean up spills promptly, and make a report if the spill involves chemicals or hazardous materials.

Practice good posture

The right position can protect your body from strain and repetitive motion injury. When lifting a heavy object at work, bend at the knees instead of the hips to shield your back from injury. If you stand at work, keep your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders back and back straight. If you sit down at work, your feet should rest flat on the floor when seated in your chair. If you use power tools, gloves can shield your hands from damaging vibrations.

Know your rights

Federal law protects your right to workplace safety. This includes the right to:

  • Use safe and well-maintained machines and equipment
  • Receive understandable training in your language
  • Receive and wear safety equipment
  • Ask for an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection at your workplace without retaliation

If you experience an injury in your Pennsylvania workplace, you can file a workers’ compensation claim through the state Department of Labor. This program covers the cost of medical bills and lost wages related to your workplace injury.