Ergonomics Assessment For The Workplace
Disclaimer
•
This training material presents very important information.
•
Your organization must do an evaluation of all exposures,
applicable codes and regulations, and establish proper controls,
training, and protective measures to effectively control exposures
and assure compliance.
•
This program is neither a determination that the conditions and
practices of your organization are safe nor a warranty that reliance
upon this program will prevent accidents and losses or satisfy
local, state or federal regulations.
•
All procedures and training, whether required by law or not,
should be implemented and reviewed by safety and risk
management professionals, and legal counsel to ensure that all
local, state and federal requirements are satisfied.
Course Outline – Ergonomics For The Workplace
1. What Is Ergonomics?
2. Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)
3. Types of WMSD Injuries
4. WMSDs Are Caused By…
5. What Factors Contribute to WMSDs?
6. Ergonomic Safety Programs
7. Evaluation and Analysis
8. Applying Ergonomic Controls
9. Administrative Controls
10. Work Practice Controls
11. Summary
What Is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the science of fitting
jobs to people:
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Ergonomics uses knowledge of physical
abilities, limitations, and human
characteristics that apply to job design,
and “Anthropometrics,” or the study of
human body measurement.
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Workstations and tasks are then
designed around the knowledge of those
physical abilities and characteristics.
What Is Ergonomics?
• Old method: The worker had to fit
the workstation.
• Ergonomic Method: We fit the
workstation to the worker.
Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)
Impact of WMSDs:
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Work related musculoskeletal disorders or “WMSDs” can occur
from ergonomically-related stressors.
Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)
What are WMSDs?
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Musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are
injuries to soft body tissues such as:
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Muscles
Nerves
Tendons
Ligaments
Joints
Cartilage
Bursa
Spinal discs
Types of WMSD Injuries
Types/symptoms of WMSD
injuries include:
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Cumulative disorders, e.g.,
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Fatigue
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Eye strain or blurriness
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Headache
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Strains and sprains
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Soreness and/or pain
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Connective tissue disorders
Types of WMSD Injuries
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by compression to the median
nerve within the carpal tunnel (wrist). The carpal tunnel is located in that
area where a watchband would normally be worn.
Types of WMSD Injuries
Tendonitis and Tenosynovitis:
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Tendonitis is characterized by an inflammation of the tendons. The tendons
in the wrists are covered with lubricating sheaths.
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Tenosynovitis is characterized by an inflammation of sheaths covering the
tendons.
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Tendonitis and Tenosynovitis can occur when the demands of the task
exceed the physical capabilities of the body.
Types of WMSD Injuries
Muscle Strains:
• Muscle strains and pulls are the
most common injuries in the
workplace.
– Contrary to popular belief,
muscle strains and pulls are not
always the result of lifting
heavy objects.
– Lifting below the knee and
above the shoulder, as well as
twisting while lifting, can
increase the chance of a back
injury 400-500%.
Types of WMSD Injuries
Hidden lifting task:
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Many stressful working positions are considered "hidden lifting
tasks.”
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A hidden lifting task occurs when no object is being lifted other than
the weight of one’s own body, such as the torso when flexed
forward, or the arms fully extended.
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As the torso and arms move farther away from the center of the
body, more force is applied to the back, and the person experiences
greater back-related strain.
WMSDs Are Caused By…
Overexertion and/or excessive extension:
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Climbing
Bending
Crawling
Reaching
Repetition
Vibration
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Twisting
Exposure to hard and/or
abrupt contact points
Grip size
Force of grip
Force/Weight
Improper body positions
WMSDs Are Caused By…
Causes and remedies:
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Continuous and repetitive motions:
– Use lightweight, balanced and sharpened tools to minimize force
requirements.
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Static body positioning:
– Use things such as magnifiers and proper chair adjustments to
eliminate the need for awkward body positioning.
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Grasping small instruments:
– Reduce force exertion and maintain the hand and wrist in a neutral
position.
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Prolonged use of vibrating hand tools:
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Use vibration dampening devices to minimize exposure.
Improper lifting techniques:
–
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Use proper lifting techniques.
What Factors Contribute to WMSDs?
WMSDs are medical conditions:
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They develop gradually over a period of time.
They do not typically result from a single, instantaneous event.
What Factors Contribute to WMSDs?
Factors that contribute to elbow injuries:
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Sharp or hard contact points and
repeated bumping or resting against
these points.
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Elbows that are held outstretched
and far from the body.
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Repetitious extending or retracting.
What Factors Contribute to WMSDs?
Factors that contribute to elbow injuries (continued):
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Overexertion of the elbow, due to holding too much weight or
holding things far away from the body.
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Grip type – something slippery requires a stronger or more awkward
grip, which can, in turn, hurt the elbow.
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Static or awkwardly-leaning posture.
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Awkward lifting angles with arm extension.
What Factors Contribute to WMSDs?
Video display terminal (VDT) workstation risk factors:
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Hard contact surfaces.
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Glare in the room.
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Wrong desk, monitor, or keyboard height.
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Improper chair adjustments.
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Poor housekeeping.
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Poor posture.
What Factors Contribute to WMSDs?
Other risk factors
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Off-work activities
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Sleeping
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Diet/physical fitness
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Pregnancy
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Personal physiology/genetics
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Acute injuries
Ergonomic Safety Program
Goals of an Ergonomic Safety Program:
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Increase awareness of the risk factors.
Improve efficiency and productivity.
Decrease defects and musculoskeletal disorders, and the severity of each.
Reduced insurance costs.
Reduced absenteeism due to injury.
Increase comfort
Decrease risk factors
Ergonomic Safety Program
Why implement the program?
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Improves efficiency and morale.
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Increases production capability.
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Reduces workplace injuries.
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Lowers worker compensation costs.
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Reduces absenteeism.
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Improved work quality.
Ergonomic
ErgonomicSafety
SafetyPrograms
Program
Accident triangle:
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Ergonomic risk factors are at the
bottom of the “accident triangle.”
The amount of serious injuries
can be an indicator of how
numerous the risk factors are.
To prevent injuries, reduce the
number of ergo risk factors!
1
Permanent
Disability
10 Time Loss
100 Injuries
1000 Sore Workers
10,000 Ergo Risk Factors
Ergonomic
ErgonomicSafety
SafetyPrograms
Program
Developing a written Ergonomic Safety Program:
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Develop an ergonomics team to assist in identifying caution
jobs/tasks, risk factors.
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Develop physical demands by task to assure capability of staff
to perform duties.
Ergonomic
ErgonomicSafety
SafetyPrograms
Program
Elements of a successful Ergonomic Safety Program:
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Management leadership
Employee participation
Hazard identification
– Discomfort survey
– Screening assessment
– Application assessment tool (e.g., NIOSH Lifting Equation)
Hazard information
Medical management
Program evaluation
Record keeping
Evaluation and Analysis
Objectives:
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Define caution zone jobs and
ergonomic risk factors and discuss
how they affect the worker.
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Review body parts and discuss the
risk factors that affect each one.
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Review and practice workstation
assessment using the caution zone
job approach.
Evaluation and Analysis
Use checklists to identify risk factors:
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Identify “caution zone jobs” by performing:
– General risk analysis
– Task analysis
– Workstation evaluation
• Knowing the risk factors leads to the selection
and implementation of proper controls.
Evaluation and Analysis
Use a checklist to evaluate:
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Lifting
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Leaning
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Vibration
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Work stations
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Chairs
Evaluation and Analysis
Step 1 – Is the task a “Caution Zone Job?”
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Does job qualify as a “caution zone job?”
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A “caution zone job” is a job or task where an employee’s typical
work includes any pre-determined physical risk factors such as:
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Duration of exposure
Force requirements (weight)
Posture
Repetition
Injury data
Other
Evaluation and Analysis
Step 2 – Risk factor reduction:
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Use a risk factor identification form to identify
all high risk factors including any other
possible risk factors.
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Identify control approaches for reduction of
risk factors.
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Get input from the people doing the work.
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Follow up to see that controls are effective.
Applying Ergonomic Controls
• Engineering controls:
− Method of controlling exposure by modifying the source of exposure.
• Administrative controls:
− Controlling exposure by job rotation, work assignment and time
periods.
• Work practice controls:
− Applied work procedures that limit the exposure.
Applying Ergonomic Controls
In your daily routine:
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Ergonomics principles can be applied to the worker’s experiences in
the workplace:
− Tools and instruments
− Workstations
− Work practices
Applying Ergonomic Controls
Tools and instrument design:
• To reduce force exertion and maintain hands/wrists in neutral
posture, one should look at the tools in regard to:
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Overall shape/size
Handle shape/size
Weight
Balance
Maneuverability
Ease of operation
Ease of maintenance
Grip (hand to tool coupling)
Applying Ergonomic Controls
• Under and over lighted areas
cause:
− Headaches
− Improper body positions
− Muscle strains
− Fatigue
− Eye strain
− Glare
− Shadows
• Poorly lighted areas:
– Can contribute to trip and fall
hazards.
Applying Ergonomic Controls
Magnification systems:
To improve neck posture and provide clearer
vision consider these factors:
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Working distance
Depth of field
Declination angle
Convergence angle
Magnification factor
Lighting needs
Applying Ergonomic Controls
Operator chair:
• Assure it promotes mobility, access, and accommodates
different body sizes.
• The chair should be stable and have five legged base with
casters.
• Look for:
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Lumbar support
Hands-free seat height adjustment
Adjustable foot rests
Adjustable, wrap-around body support
Seamless upholstery
Applying Ergonomic Controls
Posture and positioning:
• Avoid static and/or awkward postures.
• Good strategies:
− Routinely alternate between standing and sitting.
− Alternate tasks.
− Take scheduled breaks.
− Micro breaks (stand up, walk around, move)
Applying Ergonomic Controls
A helpful example:
• Clinic case study - Naval Station Rota Spain:
− A periodic industrial hygiene survey was completed.
− Lab techs mentioned chronic back, shoulder, and neck discomfort
and pain from working at a non-adjustable bench in obviously
stressful static postures.
− Also, there was no forearm support nor bench edge padding.
Applying Ergonomic Controls
A helpful example (continued):
• Post intervention improvements:
− Offered by Kavo ergonomic lab benches.
− Providing ample forearm support and work-piece support centering
prosthesis directly below technician which optimizes vertical alignment
of the spine, neck, and head.
− Lab techs affirm increased comfort and decrease in back, shoulder, and
neck discomfort.
Applying Ergonomic Controls
A helpful example (continued):
• Lab technicians now work in optimized ergonomic posture.
• In addition to forearm supports and central work-piece support, the table also
has much improved overhead lighting, a magnifying lens and a drill speed
control operated by the tech’s right knee.
Applying Ergonomic Controls
It’s important to establish proper:
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Desk height
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Keyboard height/angle
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Monitor height/angle
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Chair adjustments (height/tilt/lumbar)
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Foot and leg space
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Angles
Applying
Adjustment
Ergonomic
Controls
Controls
Chair and desk adjustments:
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Chair adjustments:
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Tilt lock
Lumbar height
Lumbar depth
Chair height
Seat pan tilt
Desk adjustments:
– Drawer configuration
– CPU placement
– Height
Applying
Adjustment
Ergonomic
Controls
Controls
Establish softeners and other ergonomic devices, such as:
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Keyboard drawer
Wrist rest
Mouse wrist rest
Alternative mouse
Lumbar cushion
Seat pan extender
Monitor stand
Document holders
Task lighting
Administrative
Adjustment Controls
Controls
Administrative controls include:
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Rotating body parts.
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Employee job rotation.
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Job task enlargement.
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Adjustment of the work pace.
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Redesigning work methods.
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Doing alternative tasks.
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Taking rest breaks and doing stretching exercises.
Work
Adjustment
PracticeControls
Controls
Work practice controls include:
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Good work techniques and
procedures.
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A conditioning period.
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Training on lifting techniques and
workstation set-up.
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Observation, coaching and
resources.
Summary – Ergonomics Assessment For The Workplace
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WMSDs: Disorders such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, tendonitis, and
muscle strains can develop over time and impact the health and career
longevity of people in many different industries.
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Ergonomics: Implementing and following proper principles will help
mitigate the effects of things like overextension, repetitive motion,
static body position and prolonged use of vibrating hand tools.
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Ergonomic program: Managers and employees must buy in and
support the program so that hazards will be identified and corrective
measures taken.
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Engineering, administrative and work practice controls:
− Workstation layout, both patient and operator chairs, tool design,
magnification systems, syringe type etc.
− Work methods, task management and physical discipline.
Ergonomics Assessment For The Workplace
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Ergonomics Assessment for the Workplace Training