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Ergonomics for Paraprofessionals

Ergonomics for paraprofessionals safety talk

Paraprofessionals can be especially vulnerable to musculoskeletal disorders due to the type of work they do. Kneeling to assist students and working in awkward postures as well as strains and sprains from assisting students can cause serious injury if not done carefully.

Safety tips for paraprofessionals in a regular classroom setting:

  • Store any heavy items at a mid-level accessible height
  • Sit with students or have them stand at regular table height to assist with work instead of bending over
  • Avoid carrying heavy loads and use carts whenever possible
  • Change sitting and standing positions throughout the day to reduce strain

Safety tips for paraprofessionals in a special education setting:

  • Use lifting aids such as gait belts to assist students with standing
  • Avoid carrying heavy equipment such as chairs and ask for assistance when needed
  • When moving or assisting a student with a move keep their weight close to your body
  • If changing clothing or diapers, avoid doing so on the ground; work to change at standing height
  • Get assistance when lifting someone who cannot help with supporting some of their weight


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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