Presentation Objectives What is ergonomics? OSHA and ergonomics Different types of ergonomics Health problems associated with ergonomics Preventive Aspects Training and Services offered by EH&S
What is ergonomics Ergonomics makes sure that technological systems are made to fit human needs and abilities.
The Science Behind Ergonomics Ergonomics is a science focused on designing a job for the individual. In order to ensure that individuals have a job tailored to them a basic understanding in physiology, anatomy, and psychology is necessary
Physiology Work Physiology –Making sure that individuals are not taking part in tasks that exceed the energy requirements of the body. –Involved in setting standards for acceptable physical work rate and load. –Looks into the nutritional aspect of the individuals Environmental Physiology –Deals with the impact of physical working conditions and sets optimum requirements ThermalNoiseVibrationLighting
Anatomy Anatomy’s role deals with making sure that the best possible physical fit between people and the devices they use exist. Things taken into consideration: –Variation of human body sizes –Operation of the muscles and limbs –Working postures –Forces used during work and time workers are expected to exert them
Psychology Deals with human information processing and decision-making capabilities or the cognitive “fit” between people and their work. Topics involved include: –Sensory processes –Perception –Long-term memory –Short-term memory –Decision making
Texas department of health (TDH) follows standards set forth by OSHA. OSHA website dealing with ergonomics: –http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/ http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/ Website contents: –Ergonomic four-pronged ergonomic approach that addresses musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace –Ergonomic aspects that must be enforced –Outreach and assistance programs available through OSHA –National advisory committee board with tasks including identification of gaps in research to the application of ergonomics and ergonomic principles in the workplace.
Some Different Types of Ergonomics to Laboratory Ergonomics Office Ergonomics
Posture Tips Sit against the back of your chair. If you sit back and your feet dangle, lower the chair or adjust the foot ring or get a footrest. Try tilting the seat forward or use a seat wedge to work in a forward posture without leaning or jutting your head forward. Always try to work at a bench cut out. Cut outs can help you get close to your work while sitting against the back of your chair.
Posture Cont…. Don't jut your chin forward when working. Adjust the position of your work, the worksurface, or the chair to sit in an upright, supported position. Keep frequently used trays and supplies within close reach. If standing for long periods, use supportive shoes and cushioned mats.
Keep Hands and Arms Relaxed Keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows close to your sides when working. Avoid reaching out to use instruments and work materials. Maintain neutral or aligned wrist and arm postures when working. Sit close to your work area, keep objects close, and adjust your chair to match the height of the bench. Avoid repetitive or forceful twisting and turning motions (i.e. opening valves or adjusting microscopes). Make sure valves and knobs are clean and in good working order. Work with your wrist in a neutral or straight position as if you were shaking hands with someone.
Relax Hands and Arms Cont…. Use light pressure when performing tasks such as pipetting. Use electronic pipettes or light touch models whenever possible. Select equipment and tools that are the right size for your hand. Use padding and tubing to reduce pressure and force when working. For example, use rubber tubing on forceps to increase diameter and reduce pinch force. Soften sharp edges on work surfaces with padding. Use thin, flexible gloves that fit properly. Ill fitting and poorly designed gloves increase pinch and grip forces when working.
Avoidance of Static Positions Weight shift often when standing to work. Use cushioned floor mats if standing in one spot for long periods Alternate how you hold objects like forceps. Switch holding with the thumb and index finger, and the index and middle fingers to vary the task. Vary activities. Change your position and take breaks every 20 minutes to rest muscles to rest and increase blood flow and circulation.
Tips for Using a Microscope Use a chair that provides good back support. Sit close to your work surface. Remove false fronts and supplies from under the bench work area. Avoid leaning on hard edges. Pad forearms and edges. Keep elbows close by your sides. Work with wrists in straight, neutral positions. Adjust your chair, workbench, or microscope as needed to maintain an upright head position. Elevate, tilt or move the microsocpe close to the edge of the counter to avoid bending your neck. Use adjustable eye-pieces or mount your microscope on a 30° angle stand for easier viewing. Keep scopes repaired and clean. Spread microsope work throughout the day and between several people, if possible. Take breaks. Every 15 minutes, close your eyes or focus on something in the distance. Every 30-60 minutes, get up to stretch and move.
Tips for Using Pipette Sit supported against the backrest of your chair. Sit or stand close to your work at bench cut outs. Elevate your chair rather than reaching up to pipette. Hold the pipetter with a relaxed grip. Use minimal pressure while pipetting. Take a 1 to 2 minute break after every 20 minutes of pipetting.
Proper Pipetting Checklist Are electronic, light-touch, or latch mode pipettes available for intensive pipetting? Is the pipette designed for multiple finger use (instead of only the thumb)? Are trays, beakers and supplies placed within easy reach? Are your wrists in a straight or neutral position when working?
Laboratory Hood and Safety Cabinet Use Adjust your chair height and sit back in the seat using the backrest. Use footrests and foot rings for leg support. Avoid resting your forearms on hard edges. Position work supplies as close as possible. Place equipment on approved turntables for easy retrieval. Use diffused lighting to limit glare. Take short breaks to stretch muscles and relieve forearm and wrist pressure.
Proper Safety Cabinet and Hood Usage Checklist Are your arms relaxed when working in the fumehood? Are work supplies within easy reach in the cabinet? Are vials, tubes and receptacles as low profile as possible? Can you see your work without tilting your head and neck?
Office Ergonomics Components of office ergonomics: –Computers –Chairs –Telephones
Risks and Hazards Associated With Improper Computer Setup Backrest: –Poor back support and inappropriate postures may result from inadequate backrest size, material, positioning, or use. Working in these postures may lead to back pain and fatigue. Seat: –Using a chair with a seat that is too high may force you to work with your feet unsupported or encourage you to move forward in the chair to a point where your back is unsupported making it more difficult to maintain the S-shape of the spine. These awkward postures can lead to fatigue, restricted circulation, swelling, numbness, and pain. Armrest: –Armrests that are not adjustable, or those that have not been properly adjusted, may expose you to awkward postures or fail to provide adequate support. Base: –Chairs with four or fewer legs may provide inadequate support and are prone to tipping.
Proper Computer Setup Hands, wrists, and forearms must be straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor. Head is level, or bent slightly forward, forward facing, and balanced. Generally it is in-line with the torso. Shoulders are relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the body. Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees. Feet are fully supported by floor or footrest. Back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly. Thighs and hips are supported by a well-padded seat and generally parallel to the floor. Knees are about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.
Chair Setup “A chair that is well-designed and appropriately adjusted is an essential element of a safe and productive computer workstation.” OSHA What consists of a good chair: –One that provides necessary support to the back, legs, buttocks, and arms, while at the same time reducing exposure to awkward postures, contact stress, and forceful exertions. The following parts of the chair are important elements to consider in creating a safe and productive workstation: –Backrest –Seat –Armrest –Base
Solutions To Backrest Problems If the price of an ergonomic chair poses problems then look at some alternate solutions. If your current chair does not have a lumbar support, use a rolled up towel or a removable back support cushion to temporarily provide support and maintain the natural curve of the spine.
Solution to Armrest Problem If your armrests cannot be properly adjusted, or if they interfere with your workstation, remove them, or stop using them.
Solution to Base Problem Chairs should have a strong, five-legged base. Ensure that chairs have casters that are appropriate for the type of flooring at the workstation.
Proper Telephone Use Hazard: –Prolonged conversations with the phone pinched between your shoulder and head may cause stress and neck pain. Solution: –Use a "hands-free" head set if your job requires that you spend a significant amount of time on the phone. The use of a speaker phone may also help solve this problem, so long as the volume doesn’t interrupt the work of your coworkers.
Ergonomic Compliant Workstation Keyboard trays with wrist support Ergonomic Keyboard Fully adjustable ergonomic chair Document holder to minimize head, eye, and neck strain. Corner desk units to position monitor directly in front of employee. Foot rest if necessary. Materials within employee arm reach Ergonomic mouse
Other Factors Involved Back problems can be due to various other factors such as: –Depression, anxiety, frustration –Reinforcement –Stress –Anger –Fear –Lifestyle –Sleep patterns –Various other factors Due to the complexity of the human body as well as each individuals lifestyle, it is not a guarantee that anyone whom uses an ergonomic product such as a more ergonomically suited chair because they were experiencing back pain will no longer experience any back pain. Another aspect that must be taken into consideration is when the back pain begun as well as how long it has been going on for. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician about your health issues.
OSHA Checklist For Proper Working Posture (Y/N) 1. Head and neck to be upright, or in-line with the torso (not bent down/back). (Y/N) 1. Head and neck to be upright, or in-line with the torso (not bent down/back). (Y/N) 2. Head, neck, and trunk to face forward (not twisted). (Y/N) 2. Head, neck, and trunk to face forward (not twisted). (Y/N) 3. Trunk to be perpendicular to floor (may lean back into backrest but not forward). (Y/N) 3. Trunk to be perpendicular to floor (may lean back into backrest but not forward). (Y/N) 4. Shoulders and upper arms to be in-line with the torso, generally about perpendicular to the floor and relaxed (not elevated or stretched forward). (Y/N) 5. Upper arms and elbows to be close to the body (not extended outward). (Y/N) 6. Forearms, wrists, and hands to be straight and in-line (forearm at about 90 degrees to the upper arm). (Y/N) 7. Wrists and hands to be straight (not bent up/down or sideways toward the little finger). (Y/N) 7. Wrists and hands to be straight (not bent up/down or sideways toward the little finger). (Y/N) 8. Thighs to be parallel to the floor and the lower legs to be perpendicular to floor (thighs may be slightly elevated above knees). (Y/N) 9. Feet rest flat on the floor or are supported by a stable footrest.
Listen To Your Body Pay attention to the signals your body provides you. If a certain part of your body hurts examine your body position and try to figure out what might be causing the problem. If problems persist speak to your doctor.
Services by EH&S EH&S provide training twice a year Group discussions can be arranged with prior notification or appointment EH&S can help in the assessment of work station and provide recommendation EH&S may consider loaning ergonomic chairs for a week or two to assess if that helps (based on availability)
Need Further Assistance Contact Sandra Mitchell or Sridhar at X4111