You are currently viewing Just Breathe: Preventing Hernias on the Job
  • Post last modified:November 23, 2020
  • Post category:Insurance

As a leader in the parcel insurance delivery industry, we know first hand that the number of hernias we see in our industry is nothing to shake a stick at. A hernia is a serious medical condition that needs to be avoided at all costs so that our employees don’t suffer. Preventing hernias is a simple matter of understanding how and why they occur, and as we all know, knowledge is power. Let’s talk about everything you need to know about hernias so we can keep you and your team safe on the job.

What is a hernia?

“A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall.” – Healthline

Generally speaking, a hernia is caused by the combination of strain and muscle weakness and can develop over various periods or amounts of time. Strain can be caused by the person themselves, whether they are pushing themselves too hard or, for instance, trying to lift a package that is too heavy. Muscle weakness can be triggered by multiple things, but some more common causes include constant coughing, damage from a surgery or a past injury, or even age.

Image showing the different types of hernias and where they are on the body.

Ways To Prevent Hernias

There are a few key practices that you can easily implement into your package handling routines that will help prevent hernias over time.

These include:

  • Always warm-up: Whether you’re lifting a heavy package or doing a strenuous exercise, always be sure to warm up with something a little lighter, or stretch the muscle groups you will be using. Stretching will help prepare all of your muscle groups and reduce the potential for not only hernias but other various muscle tears or sprains that can occur.
  • Slow Progression: When it comes to lifting, exercising, or anything else that causes strain, it’s best to build up your workout in a progression. Start slow, then ease on overtime.
  • Don’t overkill: If you feel like you may not be able to lift a package or move something on your own, then it’s probably best that you don’t. If you overshoot your limits, you’ll suffer the consequences. It’s always better to ask for help or utilize a hand truck or dolly.
  • Breathe: While performing any strenuous activity, you should breathe fully with your belly, exhaling when you have to apply force.  You should feel your stomach expand when you breathe in, and contract when you release. This is sometimes called deep-belly breathing.
Image of icons that represent ways to avoid a hernia.

Further Preparation

When it comes to keeping your team safe, regulatory safety training meetings or simple reminders on how to prevent injuries can make a world of difference. Within the Paradiso Insurance and Parcel Safety Program, we send our customers weekly safety material to help aid in this process.

A few other tips we can give specifically on hernia prevention is to:

  • Avoid smoking 
  • Try to maintain a healthy body weight 
  • Ensure that you are having healthy, regular bowel movements. 

Injury prevention is only half the battle when it comes to staying prepared though. If you want to make sure you are covered before it’s too late, give our parcel insurance team a call at 860-453-0116 or click here to send us a message.