This will be a three part series on the Root Cause of injuries. If we can identify the Root Cause of various injuries in our workplace, we can drastically reduce them!
Injury occurs when a structural load is placed upon the body or limb that is greater than the load bearing capacity of that body part. The result is structural failure. The simplest example of this that I can think of is a blister. The wooden rake handle rubbing on the ungloved hand creates enough friction and load that the skin tears (blisters) and we have the definition of injury.
In a young healthy person it takes approximately 7 days for the skin to self repair and new pink skin to form. Now if we want to avoid a repeat of the blister from raking we have two options: Enhance the load bearing capacity of the skin or reduce the load on the skin. Humans posses the ability to develop thicker stronger skin cells known as calluses by gradually exposing the skin to incrementally increasing friction over the course of a few weeks. Then, when the callused hand is exposed to 4 hours of non stop raking no blisters or injury occurs because of the enhanced load bearing capacity of the newly callused skin.
In our next post we will cover adaptation. Please contact us if you are looking to improve worker safety and reduce the human and financial cost of injuries at Bruce@sportstherapy.net. Please also visit www.SportsTherapy.net.