In companies where repetitive activities are done, such symptoms are prevalent among the employees. Action is required in good time so that the victims of this condition are helped in good time. It is also essential that Repetitive Strain Injuries are minimized as much as possible by automating some processes in these companies. This paper aims at analyzing the repetitive strain injury taking Goodman Company as the case study. This paper also proposes at coming up with solutions that will help to eliminate the Repetitive Strain Injuries that are encountered in this organization.
Repetitive Strain Injury generally describes some pain that is felt in the muscles, tendons and the nerves. This pain is caused mainly by repetitive movement or overuse of these muscles. In other terms, it can also be described as upper – limb disorder that is work-related. Such conditions affect some specific parts of the body such as the elbows and the forearms, the wrists and the hands as well as the shoulders and the necks (Baker, 2017). Such a condition can be felt in symptoms which range from mild to severe, and these are gradual changes.
These symptoms include pain or aching tenderness in some body parts and stiffness as well as throbbing. The patient can also feel some tingling or numbness which develop from mild to severe levels. There is a general body weakness that the patient feels as well as a cramp. In the initial stages, these symptoms can go unnoticed by the person who is carrying out repetitive activities. However, when there is no treatment, these symptoms could develop and in the long run become permanent and thereby cause a longer duration of pain (Baker, 2017). You might also generate some swelling in the area that is affected.
Background of Goodman Company
For more than three Decades, Goodman has been in existence daily concentrating on more important things than simple brand recognition and advertisement. This company has helped many homeowners to achieve a reliable, affordable and high-quality comfort through the products which are designed and engineered in the United States. Through this, Goodman Company has commanded a lot of respect and loyalty among the many independent cooling and heating professionals in North America. These professionals believe that their products are the best for specific indoor air quality solutions (Duhig, 2017). When you purchase Goodman brand product, then you are sure to get the best indoor comfort at an affordable price.
Goodman deals in brand lines such as tubular gas furnace heat exchanger with a fantastic design of excellent durability. High – efficiency air conditioners are also developed by this company. There are also Communicating Control systems which assist in high-efficiency systems and are best known for the best level of controls as well as precision on operations. This manufacturing company is a subsidiary of Daikin Group, and it is listed among the largest manufacturers of heating, ventilation, systems of air conditioning and the products in the whole world.
This Company was founded in the year 1975, and it is based on Houston Texas where there are residents of heating and cooling systems. The production of these products involves a series of activities much of which is repeated over and over again. The result of such repetitions results in repetitive strain injuries which is a threat to the health of the employees who are working in this company. They run the risk of becoming numb (Duhig, 2017). There are several causes of repetitive strain injuries, but more specific to this company are; manual labor and office work and the frequent use if the modern technological devices.
Causes of Repetitive Strain Injuries
There are several causes of RSI but the most common ones are constant repetitions of tasks which usually result in damages, and exertion of force usually accompanies these. These repetitions have a series of effects on the body. One of such effects is known as carpal tunnel syndrome which results from the repeated exertion of the wrist causes inflammation of the tendons, and this leads into pressure on the nerve at the middle and hence resulting in numbness, burning and tingling symptoms. Tennis elbow is another effect of Repetitive Strain Injury.
This is an effect where the tendons inflame the muscle lesion at the point where they attach to the bones. Tenosynovitis and writer’s cramp is another effect which occurs in occupations that involve routine as well as clerical or assembly line of work. This effect is widely observable among the employees at Goodman manufacturing company because most of the activities they are involved in include assembling of various products to obtain a finished and useful product (Erickson, 2017). Vibration white finger is another effect which results mainly from the continuous use of harmers and pneumatic drills for an extended period. The employees at Goodman manufacturing company also suffer from this syndrome.
Overuse of some part of the body complicated more by poor posture, twisting, intense vibrations and stress is also a factor that could easily result in Repetitive Strain Injuries. There are also the secondary factors which are the causative agents of Repetitive Strain Injuries other the primary elements such as the ones that have been discussed. These secondary factors might include; Predisposition such as intrinsic strength and health in general (Erickson, 2017). Emotional or physical stress also causes the soft tissues to tense up and become prone to injury.
Effects of Manufacturing Activities
A manufacturing establishment can be defined as a unit of production that is located in some particular area which is actively engaged in transformation activities. These activities are aimed at changing the products chemically or mechanically into forms that can be consumed by a final user. The establishment which gives the provision for the manufacturing activities or parts to be assembled is included in the manufacturing establishments. The services at the manufacturing industries are those which are aimed at serving others. The establishments of the other activities are linked closely to the different sectors within the industry.
As is suggested apparently by the name, Repetitive Strain Injury mainly affects those people who perform tasks that are repeated for some extended duration of time (Jayaraman, 2017). The primary group of people who are affected by this disease is, for example, those individuals who sit on the computer for an extended period. The other group of people that are severely affected is those who do the mechanical or manual roles in the manufacturing processes in the manufacturing industries. According to the department of labor in Goodman organization, Repetitive Strain Injuries are the most costly health problem at the professional level in the organization.
It is reported through the statistics that close to two-thirds of those who work in this organization are said to have an illness that has been caused by exposure to these severe conditions of repetitive tasks which result into these harsh conditions as indicated clearly. A perfect example of the injuries that have caught up with these workers is one that is known as Carpal tunnel syndrome which is the most common among all the other diseases (Erickson, 2017). This disorder is on the upper extremity. This process affects a small percentage of the whole population, and mostly the working people and the treatment of this disease is the most common treatment type that these people at Goodman organization are taken through.
Furthermore, carpal tunnel syndrome is mostly treated through surgical means of the hand and the wrist. One can seriously be surprised at how the unconscious activities that we engage in can affect us and be harmful. Continuous movements of the hand and other body parts from day to day and from hour to hour eventually strain the muscles and in the long run the tendons of the hands and the forearms as well as the wrists.
The sheaths that act as a covering to the tendons become unlubricated after some period because there is not enough time that is given to them so that they can rest. Because of this abrasion, the muscles end up being inflamed and also start pinching the adjacent nerves. The result of this is numbness and tingling as well as hypersensitivity to touch. If this cycle is interrupted, then there is the repetition of this pain for some long-term, and the result could, in the long run, be chronic.
Repetitive strain injury also is referred to as repetitive stress injury or repetitive motion injuries, and some other times this disorder is seen as cumulative trauma disorder. This results mostly from by repeated use of a particular part of the body (Jayaraman, 2017). Contrary to sudden or normal injury, the signs and symptoms are much longer. Forceful exertions, vibrations as well as pressing against the hard surfaces (known as mechanical compressions) or awkward positions. The conditions such as these are usually as a result of physical and or psychological stressors. These effects are prevalent among the worker at Goodman manufacturing company.
In most cases, Repetitive movements of the body parts are linked closely to the symptoms. There is not an apparent reason however why people develop repetitive strain injury while others do not produce these symptoms. There are several causes of repetitive strain injury such as the overuse of the muscles in the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck and the back. In the manufacturing industry, several processes are repeatedly done over and over again. These muscles are strained and thereby repetitive strain injury (Jung, 2017). The affected area where the repeated actions are performed on a daily basis suffers for an extended period.
The other cause of repetitive strain injuries is as a result of actions that are done in a cold place. Several vibrating types of equipment are used in the manufacturing processes which are also causative agents of repetitive strain injury among these employees. A series of powerful forces are applied in the methods of making some final products in this organization. These forces repetitively stretch the muscles of the wrists and the hands. Some workstations are organized poorly and thereby contributing more to the training of those who work in these areas.
There is also the challenge of poorly designed equipment which causes the workers to use extra force while handling the devices. The individuals also adopt poor working posture as a result of what manner of work they are supposed to do in this industry. There are also not enough breaks between the schedules, and hence the workers do not find enough time to rest in between the tasks that they do from time to time. There are two categories of repetitive strain injury known as type 1 and type 2 repetitive strain injury (Jung, 2017). Type 1 RSI is usually a result of repetitive tasks.
However, some people perform repetitive tasks, but they do not suffer from repetitive strain injury. The type 2 repetitive strain injury results into feelings of pain but not necessarily with any inflammation or swelling around the area that is affected.
Examples of repetitive strain injuries
The first example of repetitive strain injury is commonly referred to as Bursitis which comes as a result of an inflamed bursa. The function of the bursar is that it acts as a cushion between the tendons, bones and the muscles. People who suffer from bursitis usually feel the pain in the areas where the inflammation has taken place. Bursitis can be observed among those people who are continuously engaged in repetitive activities where a lot of force is required. In the manufacturing company especially at the production point, there are a lot of things that are done which involve a series of effects. These activities result in the diminishing of the fluids in these regions, and the result is usually bursitis. In Goodman manufacturing industry, this kind of Repetitive Strain movement is observed among several employees who are reported to be experiencing a lot of pains around the areas where there are inflammations.
Diffuse RSI is a condition where the victim reports a series of cases of pain. However, on a close examination, it is discovered that there is nothing that can be seen to be the cause of the pain and these areas where the pain is felt are not affected at all. There are no observable inflammations in these areas at all. There are no physical pieces of evidence that there is something wrong that is taking place (Wong, 2017). Dupuytren’s contracture is another condition that seriously affects the hands and the fingers. This is a different hand deformity in which the tissue that ensures connectivity becomes tougher over and over again.
Another example of Repetitive Strain injury is one known as Epicondylitis which occurs due to strenuous overuse of the tendons where there is the joint between the bone and the muscles. Examples of this type of complication are Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow which are observable among the employees at Goodman manufacturing company in as much as there are not many people who suffer from this particular complication. The ganglion is the swellings which are filled with some fluid which usually firm at the top of the joints of the tendons, the wrists, and the hands as well as the feet.
Rotator cuff syndrome occurs as a result of carrying some items on the shoulder repetitively. It is the inflammation of the tendon muscles that are at the shoulder. Some employees in Goodman are subjected to the continuous carrying of some materials on the shoulder which results in this condition. In some cases, the sheath of the tendon becomes inflamed as a result of repetitive exposure to the strenuous activities over and over again and thereby resulting in a condition that is known as tenosynovitis. This effect is commonly felt by the inner lining of the tendon sheath more specifically.
The primary factors that are associated with this kind of injury are such as poor technique, poor posture as well as overuse. There are several other factors which people might not be aware of, but they equally contribute significantly to this kind of complications (Wong, 2017). In as much as these factors might not be the primary causes of these inflammations, yet they highly contribute to increased chances of acquiring this kind of complication. Such are the conditions that the industry would do well to avoid so that their employees are adequately protected from these complicated conditions.
Diagnosis and Prevention
Among the initial steps towards diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome is to fully evaluate the possible associations that exist between this condition and the job of the patients. The management of Goodman Manufacturing Company would do well to associate every complication of the employee to the kind of tasks that he or she performs in the company so that they can be helped accordingly either by changing these responsibilities or making the duties performed here more light (Agrawal, S., & Rajajeyakumar, 2018). In this way, the company would be enabled to treat employees who are already severely suffering from Repetitive Strain Injuries.
Naturally, RSI will heal, and the inflammations will cease to exist if the area that is affected is given enough rest as appropriate as possible. However, in the absence of such care, there are some cases of RSI that are known to have persisted for a very long time even for years. The remedies and the treatment mechanisms of Repetitive Strain Injuries are straightforward things of life that we should practice from time to time. These simple treatment mechanisms are such as rest, exercise, braces as well as massage. Goodman manufacturing company can employ these simple techniques and try them on their employees
The first remedy to Repetitive Strain Injury is to rest the area that is affected. The movement of the city which is changed is very significant. However, the change should be done with caution to avoid the stress to these joints. Inactivity for an extended period could result in atrophy and thereby increase the severity of this particular disorder (Rosety-Rodriguez, 2019). The routines for stretching can be introduced to aid in effectively reducing the hypertonic muscles while at the same time increasing the flexibility and the ability of these muscles.
Splinting could for some time mask the symptoms of this complication for some short time, yet before the real cause of the Injury is discovered and eliminated, the signs for this complication could come right back immediately after treatment. Squeezing and Gripping Devices could also be another remedy to this particular situation more appropriately. The company can also enforce the therapy of vitamin B6 to the employees as it is also another effective control mechanism. Inflammatory modifications could also be introduced to reduce the swelling in the affected areas while at the same time correcting the cause of dysfunction that is underlying.
Contrast Baths and Ultrasound can be used as remedies to this complications (Rosety-Rodriguez, 2019). Goodman Manufacturing Company could at the same time introduce extension exercise devices to the employees to correct some notions and also to treat the dysfunction.
In conclusion, Goodman manufacturing company subjects the employees and the workers there to a lot of repetitive tasks, and these have in not more than once resulted in Repetitive Strain Injury. These injuries are visible through some symptoms on the individuals that are affected. They more distinctly indicated by inflammations on the affected areas. These conditions are common and painful among the employees that are subjected to these repetitive and strenuous work conditions. It is therefore essential for the management to correctly understand the appropriate means through which this particular condition could be controlled more effectively. This understanding will come in the long run treat while at the same time diagnosing the recovery processes that are important and critical. It is very significant to choose the right partner while conducting the therapy on yourself. Goodman can employ the diagnosis and the treatment techniques on their employees to give them the best medical services and hence improve their labor force appropriately.
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