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Ergonomics Awareness Training

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1 Ergonomics Awareness Training
Navy Ergonomics Program Ergonomics Awareness Training Cathy Rothwell, PE Ergonomic Program Manager Mindy Smith, MEng, AEP Ergonomic Technical Support - East Coast Theresa Stack, MS, AEP Ergonomic Technical Support- West Coast

2 What is Ergonomics? er·go·nom·ics \, ûrg-go-'näm-iks
‘Ergonomics’ is derived from two Greek words Ergon meaning work and Nomos meaning principles or laws Ergonomics = The Science of Work Ergonomics is not a new science, although the term has become more common lately. The phrase was first coined in 1857. are aliases for WMSDs?

3 What is Ergonomics? er·go·nom·ics \, ûrg-go-'näm-iks
Common Definitions “Ergonomics is essentially fitting the workplace to the worker. The better the fit the higher the level of safety and worker efficiency.” Fitting the Task to the Human ~ Grandjean 1990 “Ergonomics removes barriers to quality, productivity and human performance by fitting products, tasks, and environments to people.” are aliases for WMSDs?

4 What are the consequences of poor Ergonomics?
Why are we hearing about ergonomics now? Are there new hazards at work? No! Consequences of poor workplace design were first documented in the 17th century. Have you ever heard of these? Historic Occupational Disorders - house-maid’s knee, washer woman’s thumb, writer’s cramp, data-processing disease, clergyman’s knee, nun’s bursitis, weaver’s bottom, dustman’s shoulder, tailor’s ankle are aliases for WMSDs?

5 Do these historic occupational disorders still exist? Yes!
They are part of a broad category of injuries and disorders called Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). MSDs are not usually caused by acute trauma, but occur slowly over time due to repetitive injuries to the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage) and nervous system MSDs can happen to anyone from office workers and industrial employees to athletes and hobbyists

6 Do these historic occupational disorders still exist? Yes!
Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are MSDs that are caused or made worse by work methods and environment. They occur when the physical capabilities of the worker do not match the physical requirements of the job Common MSDs: Tendonitis, Epicondylitis (Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow), Bursitis, Trigger Finger, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Back Strain are aliases for WMSDs?

7 What are aliases for WMSDs?
Work-related MSDs go by many other names: Repetitive Strain or Stress Injury (RSI) Repetitive Motion Injury (RMI) Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) Overuse Syndrome Activity-related Pain Syndrome Ergonomics can help prevent MSDs that are caused or aggravated by working conditions are aliases for WMSDs?

8 What characteristics of your job put you at risk for MSDs?
Prolonged, repeated or extreme exposure to multiple WMSD risk factors can cause damage to a worker’s body. Risk Factors include: Excessive Force Vibration Compression Inadequate Recovery Repetition Awkward Postures Static Postures Cold Temperatures are aliases for WMSDs?

9 Repetition = Performing the same motion or group of motions excessively.
Examples of Repetition Repeating the same motion every few seconds or repeating a cycle of motions involving the same body parts more than twice per minute for more than 2 consecutive hours in a row Using a tool or an input device, such as a keyboard in a steady manner for more than 4 hours total in a work day Excessive repetition of movements can irritate tendons and increase pressure on nerves The first risk factor is repetition which is are aliases for WMSDs?

10 Awkward Postures = Postures outside of neutral.
Neutral is the optimal position of each joint that provides the most strength and control Before: Lab technician tilts his neck forward to view the screen into a non-neutral posture. He also bends over resting on his forearms to write on the documents. Ergonomic Improvement: Sailor easily views the screen from a neutral posture. The workstation adjusts to accommodate different working heights and users. When standing, work should be about elbow height. Awkward or unsupported postures that stretch physical limits, can compress nerves and irritate tendons are aliases for WMSDs?

11 Awkward Postures = Postures outside of neutral.
Examples of Awkward Postures: Repeatedly raising or working with the hand(s) above the head or the elbow(s) above the shoulder(s) for more than 2 hours per day Kneeling or squatting for more than 2 hours total per day Working with the back, neck or wrist bent or twisted for more then 2 hours per day Sitting with feet unsupported are aliases for WMSDs?

12 Neutral Posture for Computer Use
Position the monitor about an arm’s length away directly in front of you. The top of the screen no higher than eye level (Unless the user wears bi-focal glasses) Adjust the seat height so upper arms hang vertically, elbows bent about 90 degrees, shoulders relaxed and wrists fairly straight Use a document holder close to the monitor rather than laying papers flat Adjust the back rest to provide firm support to the small of the back Mouse should be next to keyboard both at a height equivalent to the user’s seated elbow height Knees comfortably bent with feet resting on the floor. If the chair is raised so the keyboard height equals elbow height, use a footrest . are aliases for WMSDs?

13 Static Postures = Holding the same position or using the same muscles for extended periods of time
Static postures, or positions that a worker must hold for long periods of time, can restrict blood flow and damage muscles Before: Mechanic maintains a static posture holding arms and hands elevated while repairing aircraft Ergonomic Improvement: Creeper supports mechanic and brings him closer to the task are aliases for WMSDs?

14 Cold Temperatures Working in environments below 68 degrees can cause nerve damage. Working in cold temperatures can adversely affect a worker’s coordination and manual dexterity and cause a worker to use more force than is required to perform a task

15 Force = A strong physical exertion
Exertion = the tension produced by muscles and transmitted through tendons Before: Three sailors climb on refuse bin to dump laundry cart full of waste. They risk back strain and lacerations while tipping cart over to empty it. Excessive muscle tension can contract muscles to their maximum capability which can lead to fatigue and possible damage to the muscles and other tissues. Ergonomic Improvement: One worker easily dumps waste in half the time. are aliases for WMSDs?

16 Force = A strong physical exertion
Examples of forceful exertions: Lifting: more then 75 pounds at any one time; more then 55 pounds more than 10 times per day; more then 25 pounds from a height below the knees, above the shoulders, or at arms length more than 25 times per day. Pushing / pulling with more than 20 pounds of initial force for more than 2 hours per day Pinching (pencil type grip) an unsupported object weighing 2 or more pounds per hand for more than 2 hours per day Gripping an unsupported object weighing 10 pounds or more per hand for more than 2 hours per day are aliases for WMSDs?

17 Vibration - Single Point
Hand and Arm exposure results from vibrating objects such as power tools. Examples of vibrating tools Using vibrating tools or equipment that typically have high vibration levels for more then 30 minutes a day (chain saws, jack hammers, percussive tools, riveting or chipping hammers). Using tools or equipment that typically have moderate vibration levels for more then 2 hours total per day (jig saws, grinders or sanders). Before: Sailor is exposed to vibration above ACGIH TLV guidelines Ergonomic Improvement: Lower vibration tool reduces vibration to safe levels are aliases for WMSDs?

18 Vibration - Whole Body Whole Body exposure to vibration results from vehicles such as forklifts, cranes, trucks, buses subways and aircraft. High or prolonged exposure to whole body vibration can affect the skeletal muscles and cause low- back pain are aliases for WMSDs?

19 Compression = soft tissue is compressed between the bone and a hard or sharp object
Compression, from grasping or contacting edges like tool handles, can concentrate force on small areas of the body, reduce blood flow and nerve transmission and damage tendons and tendon sheaths Before: Worker rests his wrists on the sharp tray edges. His wrist is extended into a non-neutral posture. Ergonomic Improvement: Worker rests her wrists and forearms on a padded surface. Wrist and forearms are in a neutral position. are aliases for WMSDs?

20 Compression = soft tissue is compressed between the bone and a hard or sharp object
Compression, from grasping or contacting edges like tool handles, can concentrate force on small areas of the body, reduce blood flow and nerve transmission and damage tendons and tendon sheaths Before: Tool handles are small and angular requiring the worker to grasp tightly against sharp edges Ergonomic Improvement: Tool handle is formed to fit the worker’s hand which requires less grip strength or force and a more user-friendly tool are aliases for WMSDs?

21 Can Other Factors Contribute to MSDs?
Not all ergonomic risk factors are physical, some are related to the work environment. Stress on the job, peer pressure, boredom, conflicts with co-workers and supervisors, deadlines, and even a lack of control over what you do can contribute to (but not cause) MSDs

22 Can Personal Factors Contribute to MSDs?
Some people are at greater risk of developing MSDs due to personal factors Age and Gender Hobbies Previous Injuries Physical Condition Medical conditions (diabetes and arthritis) Obesity Medications Smoking Fatigue are aliases for WMSDs?

23 What are MSD Signs and Symptoms?
Painful aching joints, muscles Pain, tingling or numbness Fingers or toes turning white Shooting or stabbing pains Swelling or inflammation Stiffness or difficulty moving Burning sensation Pain during the night are aliases for WMSDs?

24 What should you do if you experience a MSD Sign or Symptom?
If you experience signs or symptoms of MSDs, report it to a supervisor, industrial hygienist or safety professional If pain or discomfort does not go away when you leave work or interferes with you carrying out normal activities, see an occupational health physician are aliases for WMSDs?

25 How do you Avoid MSDs? Work Smarter, Not Harder!
Work in neutral postures Reduce excessive force & repetition Keep everything in easy reach and at proper heights Keep warm Minimize static unsupported postures and pressure points Use proper lifting techniques and lift aides Ask for assistance with difficult tasks Take micro-breaks (stand, stretch, change tasks) Maintain a comfortable environment are aliases for WMSDs?

26 What can ergonomics do for you?
The anticipated benefits of good workplace design Improved health and safety by reducing work-related injuries and disorders Improved comfort, morale and job satisfaction Improved productivity and reduced workers’ compensation costs and employee turnover are aliases for WMSDs? Before Improved

27 Where to go for more information
NAVFAC web site – contains ergonomic tools, resources, guides, training and awareness material (Select - Program Categories - Ergonomics) NAVOSH website- Contains success stories of ergonomic interventions throughout the Navy DoD Ergonomic Working Group - Contains Guide to Setting up an Ergonomics Program and many other tools NIOSH- order many free ergonomic documents including Elements of Ergonomics Programs and Cumulative Trauma Disorders in the Workplace Navy Policy G Chapter 23 – Ergonomic Program are aliases for WMSDs?

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