The Solution to Ergonomic Hazards at Workstation
Ergonomics is a science which aims at making the job, tools and the workstation area fit for the worker. You can avoid ergonomic hazards which are prevalent in laboratories by using several ways. You do not have to wait until it is too late but take action today for your healths’ sake. Injuries due to poor ergonomics can be prevented if you follow the ideas in this article which are simple and easy to implement. Due to their daily occupation, laboratory workers are at a high risk of developing trauma injuries. The types of injuries associated with cumulative trauma are stiffness, numbness, loss of grip, pains and aches, among others. Some of the common ergonomic risk factors in the laboratory are a repetitive performance of tasks, awkward body posture, extremes of temperature, and force applied while working such as lifting and pushing.
Persistent symptoms indicate a serious problem while symptoms that go away are associated with fatigue. If you are experiencing continuous symptoms, you are advised to seek medical attention. It is easier to treat cumulative trauma during the early stages of development. There are serious injuries which emerge when a person ignores these symptoms and it becomes difficult to treat such a condition. Whenever the blood flow is restricted, muscles and joints stressed and the nerves pinched, this injury starts to develop gradually. Another type of health risk is for laboratory technicians is standing for long hours while working in lab hoods and biological safety cabinets.
To ensure that you work in a safe and comfortable environment, you ought to follow several precautions. Repetitive procedures and awkward postures of parts of the body are among the strains encountered during pipetting. After every thirty minutes of pipetting, you should take a rest to prevent ergonomic strains. Make sure to interchange these tasks with other technicians if the tasks are too many. Furthermore, keep samples and equipment within your reach and make use of an adjustable chair. During microscopy, you are advised not to spend more than five hours and ensure to keep your spine neutral. To prevent straining, keep the microscope at an angle where you can see clearly and comfortably.
A common economic hazard in many laboratory settings is lifting of equipment. To avoid the stress that comes with overhead lifting, make use of a ladder to reach overhead shelves. In addition, normalize placing heavy objects on lower shelves to reduce lifting tasks and by these, you can protect yourself from ergonomic hazards. You are advised to wear comfortable shoes if you are going to stand for a long duration at your workstation. It is recommended to use a highly adjustable chair when you are seated at the workstation.