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1 LGC Shadow Title Master.pot
Workplace Ergonomics

2 Presentation Objectives participants will be able to...
Understand basic concepts of ergonomics Identify common musculoskeletal injury risks Learn strategies to decrease MSD injury risks Address questions on ergonomics and back safety

3 Ergonomics “Study of Work”
“The science of fitting the job to the worker” “ergo” = work “nomics” = study of

4 What are the physical demands of your job…
Have class participants name the physical demands of their jobs & list them on flip chart. Examples: sitting, reaching, driving, lifting, standing, typing, phone, computer work, filing, vibrating tools. Focus on participant jobs.

5 Job Risk Factors Working in awkward postures / positions
Prolonged sitting and standing Bending, reaching, stretching Driving for extended periods of time Heavy lifting Awkward lifting Lifting in combination with twisting Pushing, pulling, carrying Accidents, slips, trips, falls Vibration

6 Goals of Ergonomics Program… Reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders developed by workers when their jobs involve... Awkward postures Static positions Reaching Bending & Lifting Force Repetition Contact stress Vibration Again – ask participants to share the aspects of their jobs that involve these risks. U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration

7 What are MusculoSkeletal Disorders?
MSDs are injuries and illnesses that affect muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints or spinal discs. MSDs are problems that affect our musculoskeletal system. U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration

8 Common Body Parts Prone To Workplace MSDs
Back - Lower Neck and Upper Back Upper Extremities - Arms and Hands Lower Extremities - Legs and Feet These are the areas of our body that experience the most frequent problems.

9 Examples of MSDs Carpal tunnel Rotator cuff syndrome
Lateral epicondylitis - tennis elbow Low back pain Carpal tunnel = wrist problem, median nerve Rotator cuff syndrome = shoulder problem Epicondylitis = lateral/tennis elbow, medial/golfer’s elbow Low back pain – most common MSD injury Thoracic outlet syndrome – nerve problem, cervical spine/neck/shoulder region DeQuervains – thumb tendonitis

10 Musculoskeletal Disorders: Signs and Symptoms in general…
Numbness Burning sensation Tingling Pain Cramping Stiffness Decreased ROM Decreased grip and/or pinch strength Swelling Fatigue Loss of function ROM = “range of motion” French & Zecha, 2005

11 Musculoskeletal Disorders: How & Why?
Related to intensity of work Have biomechanical and physiological factors Can occur after weeks, months, years on job Can take weeks, months, years to resolve Have occupational and non occupational causes Non-occupational causes= activity we do outside of work, driving, sleeping, playing, household chores – theses all affect our body French & Zecha, 2005

12 Musculoskeletal Disorders: How & Why? listening to our body…
Disruption in balance between breakdown and recovery 1st sx….fatigue (of body part) 2nd sx…ache 3rd sx…pain Leading to loss of function This is the typical injury continuum French & Zecha, 2005

13 Adaptation vs. Injury the fork in the road…
Soft tissue remodels More strength More stability More endurance Discomfort decreases Injury Soft tissue breaks down Less strength Less stability Less tolerance for use Discomfort increases Adapt = this is what happens when we exercise! We rest, the body recovers, we gain strength. Injury occurs when we don’t listen to our bodies, we work through pain, do not get required rest and recovery. French & Zecha, 2005


15 Some Ergonomic Risk Factor Concerns
Part Two… Some Ergonomic Risk Factor Concerns

16 Introducing our 2nd focus area for today…
Back care Posture Contact stress Repetition Think of posture as “position” of joints. (ie: wrist posture, leg posture, etc.) Not just standing or sitting erect.

17 Posture check: reaching & bending it’s all connected and it’s all about physics…
Load & leverage 10# vs. 70# low back 15# vs. 45# head & neck Think about posture Forward head Sitting Reaching Demo!

18 It’s all Physics… leverage

19 Posture Think of posture in terms of joint position
Static and awkward postures lead to: Decreased movement Decreased circulation Increased stress and fatigue


21 Posture check Increased stress, decreased circulation…
Left diagram demonstrates awkward posture of elbow joint. This is example of “garden hose being bent…cutting off circulation to hands” Higher risk Lower risk

22 Posture check ask yourself…
Do you use a headset rather than cradling the telephone between your head and shoulder? If so, a hands-free headset may be appropriate.

23 Posture check ask yourself…
Are you sitting against the back of your chair while you work? Is your head/neck upright and centered over your shoulders when you look at the screen or documents? Are your shoulders relaxed when keying and using the mouse? Are your arms close by your sides when you use the keyboard or pointer?

24 Posture check ask yourself…
Are your elbows relaxed (100 degree angle) when using the keyboard or mouse? Are your wrists in a neutral position (aligned with your forearm) when keying or using the pointer? Are you avoiding awkward postures such as an extended finger or thumb when keying or using the mouse?

25 Equipment set-up example risk identification…
This is an example of a high-risk computer workstation set-up. Elbow and shoulder away from body, reaching increased strain on shoulder and wrist

26 Equipment set-up example risk identification…
This is an example of an ergonomic intervention to address the risk. Notice the more relaxed posture at shoulder, arm, wrist. Elbow and shoulder more relaxed and closer to body decreased strain on shoulder and wrist

27 Equipment set-up example risk identification…
Posture: keeping it straight! Forward placement of document holders and monitor prevents excessive turning and bending stress in neck, upper back and torso

28 A word on repetition Key issue is recovery time
- the time required for tissue to restore nutrition, replace cells, dissipate byproducts - rest breaks Some newer research demonstrates that repetition is significantly less of a problem vs. posture

29 A word on contact stress
At your workstation notice where your body comes into contact with objects… Where are your: Front & back of knees Elbows Wrists Back Behind Calves, feet, ankles


31 Workstation equipment use and set-up!
Part Three… Workstation equipment use and set-up!


33 Is my “ergonomic” potato chip really ergonomic?
To be ergonomic a design must… Fit the user Be easy to use Improve comfort Improve performance Improve health and safety Not just bells and whistles!

34 Computer workstation ergonomics
Chair Monitor Keyboard Mouse Document holders Lumbar pads/pillows Arm rests Glare Eye strain Footrests Wrists pads Keyboard trays Laptops Review VDT checklist Review Rhoda report & report example

35 Chair Basics Good lumbar (low back) support
Comfortable sitting for at least 2 hours Chair has 5 point base Adjustable arm rests (or none) Seat pan is comfortable Easily adjustable while sitting Appropriate height & depth of seat pan

36 Monitor issues and glare protect your eyes !
Eye-to-screen distance at least 18 inches Top of screen at eye level or slightly below Don’t stare…blink frequently to lubricate eyes Use blinds to control outside light Screen colors: dark letters on light background (IBM blue) Eye demo exercise (see highlighted handout) Eye strain Finger track Business card…screen height

37 Work technique ask yourself…
Do you avoid leaning on the wrist rest while keying and mousing? Are you using a light touch to key? Are you holding your mouse loosely with your hand and fingers in a relaxed position? Do you let go of the mouse when not using it? Do you take 20 second breaks after every 20 minutes of keying?

38 Work technique ask yourself…
Do you take eye breaks and look at a distance every 20 minutes? Do you blink while you look at the screen? Do you take stretch breaks throughout the day? Have you set up your work to encourage alternating sitting and standing throughout the day? Have you optimized your settings on your computer to make your work easier? (i.e. flicker rate, mouse speed, font size) Do you know how to adjust your keyboard tray and chair?

39 Laptops a few words… Risk Factors Risk Reduction Measures
External keyboards Docking stations Practice good posture on road Harder on eyes and neck Smaller screens Lower quality displays Lower viewing angle Harder on wrists on arms Narrow keyboard Awkward postures Ideally, laptops should be used in jobs that require portability and intermittent computer use. If used in sustained manner, they should at least have an external keyboard. Harder on back Carrying can strain back

40 Watch those deadlines! tension and stress - ask yourself…
                                      During deadlines, we tend to stare more at screen (less blinking dries out and strains eyes). We also tend to stay in one position which leads to decreased circulation and increased muscle strain.

41 Some final words Let’s think about it…

42 Back Safety & Ergonomics isn’t just a work thing! The big picture…

43 Ergonomics isn’t just a work thing
Ergonomics isn’t just a work thing! think “physics & leverage” working around home… Washing dishes, pots & pans Carrying and loading groceries Picking up and carrying kids Walking the dog Yard work Raking, shoveling, sweeping Lawn mowing, snow removal Wheel barrels

44 Ergonomics isn’t just a work thing! think of driving your car…
Elbow resting on door, center console Wrist over steering wheel Buttock and back pain Posture Nerve and tissue compression Position of legs while driving Muscle strain: hamstring tightness Decreased circulation Upper neck/back tension and pain Muscle strain:upper trapezius Stress reactions, trigger points Eye strain Glare Dehydration

45 Ergonomics isn’t just a work thing! think of sleeping in your bed…
For long periods of time: static and awkward positions, decreased circulation, increased compression! Neck posture Shoulder and arm posture Wrist posture Knee and hip posture Back posture

46 Ergonomics… there is no magic solution… we are all unique in certain ways
Age Gender Anthropometrics – Body Size & Shape Equipment accommodates 5th% female to 95th% male Skill Level General Health and Condition


48 Back Injury… From an Ergonomic View

49 Common Back Disorders General joint stiffness
Acute strains and sprains Degenerative disk disease Bulging disc Herniated disc Osteoarthritis

50 Anatomy Review… the spine
Bones Joints Discs Muscles and ligaments Nerves

51 Anatomy Review… the curves of the spine

52 Leading Causes of Back Problems
Poor Body Mechanics Stressful Living & Working Loss of Flexibility Loss of Strength

53 Another cause of back problems… accidents
It is also possible to injure your back due to accidents.

54 How do we take care of our back?
Body Mechanics Proper Lifting Techniques Exercise Stretching Improved postures

55 Body Mechanics General Rules:
“It’s not how much you lift or move, but the way you do it”! General Rules: Push vs. Pull Keep Work Within “Strike Zone” Keep Load Close To Body Use Abdominal Bracing Pivot with Feet - Avoid Twisting Team Work vs. Mule Work

56 Demo! Proper Lifting Technique Power Position: Wide base of support
Feet shoulder width apart Back straight Head and shoulders up Bend at hips and knees - NOT BACK! Keep load close to body Tighten stomach muscles Use leg, hip and buttock muscles Breathe out with lift Demo!


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