Sheet metal fabrication in itself is conducive to back injuries because of the specific physical activities that are performed to fabricate duct work and other sheet metal products.
While these necessary actions must be performed due to the nature of the job, you can minimize the occurrence of back injuries by being mindful of your back and its limitations.
What are the major threats to your back in duct fabrication?
Any type of movement that involves potential twisting of the lower back, especially if it is coupled with heavy lifting, has the potential to cause serious back issues. Activities in a duct fabrication shop include:
Running metal through fabrication machines
Since many of the machines involved in bending or shaping metal involves running metal sheets through lines of horizontal rollers, a worker is faced with the task of placing and adjusting a sheet of metal against a guide bar, then holding the metal in place as if travels through the machine.
This can place strain on the lower back, as a worker attempts to both support the weight of the metal sheet and keep it even against the guide bar to ensure that the metal is fabricated properly and doesn't jam the machine, causing loss of the metal and valuable labor in disassembling the machine to extricate the metal.
Back injuries can be avoided by placing the metal on a surface, such as a rolling table, that is level with the entrance point of the machine. Doing this will allow the worker to adjust the metal without supporting its weight and also allow the worker to adjust their stance as needed by moving their feet instead of twisting their back.
Moving sheets of metal
When sheets of metal are placed atop each other for storage, they are often difficult to separate because their flexibility and the nature of their surface creates a vacuum that causes sheets to adhere to each other.
When a worker wishes to slide a large sheet of metal from a stack of similar sheets, they are required to pull them horizontally onto a transport table or work bench. This creates stress on the lower back as the worker attempts to slide a sheet of metal that sticks to the sheet beneath it.
Lifting one corner of a sheet of metal to create a ripple in the vacuum will often help to break the bond and allow a sheet to be moved without as much strain on the lower back.
The effects of these stresses and strains on the lower back are not always readily apparent.They are cumulative and cause persistent lower back or sciatic pain, which occurs along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the feet.
Chiropractic services may be required to keep the spinal vertebra in proper alignment when back problems occur. When the spine becomes misaligned, pressure may be placed on spinal nerves or spinal fluid may cause irritation to the nerves.
A chiropractor may need to provide spinal adjustment on an ongoing basis for those in fields such as duct fabrication, whose jobs demand that their backs bear more of a burden than the average worker.
For more information, contact Health Atlast Fountain Valley or a similar location.