Reducing ergonomic risks to the solid waste employee
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Presentation Transcript

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This material was produced under grant number 46 CO-HT05 from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, U. S. Department of Labor. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U. S. Government.”

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Workforce Demographics

  • Age

  • Size

  • Stature

  • Gender

  • Ethnicity

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Why Do You Need Ergonomics

  • Classroom demonstration

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Work Zones

  • Green Zone

  • Yellow Zone

  • Red Zone

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Anthropometric Exercise5th and 95th Percentile

3 Volunteers

Different Statures and


Up Front

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For Whom Do We Design

  • Extreme

  • Range

  • Average

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Anthropometric Measurements(U.S. Adults 19-60)

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Law of the 90°s

Classroom demonstration

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Picture Perfect

  • FEET flat on floor

  • KNEES bent at about a right angle

  • THIGHS roughly parallel to the floor with knees slightly higher than hips

  • HIPS bent at a right angle

  • BACK supported by the seat back

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Picture Perfect

  • HEAD tilted slightly forward

  • SHOULDERS in a relaxed position

  • UPPER ARMS hanging loosely at the side

  • ELBOWS bent at roughly a right angle

  • FOREARMS parallel to the floor

  • WRISTS straight – not bent either vertically or horizontally

  • FINGERS cascading downward to a position just above the keyboard

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“Picture Perfect” WorkstationDesign(

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“Picture Perfect”

  • FEET flat on floor

  • KNEES bent at about a

    right angle

  • THIGHS roughly parallel to the floor with knees slightly higher than hips

  • HIPS bent at a right angle

  • BACK supported by the seat back

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“Picture Perfect”

  • HEAD tilted slightly forward

  • SHOULDERS in a relaxed


  • UPPER ARMS hanging loosely at the side

  • ELBOWS bent at roughly a right angle

  • FOREARMS parallel to the floor

  • WRISTS straight - not bent either vertically or horizontally

  • FINGERS cascading downward to a position just above the keyboard

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OSHA’s Form 300

Log of Work-Related injuries and illnesses

Click on the eResource link

for Form Review

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What Do You Look For on the OSHA Log?

  • 3 years of logs

  • Determine sprain/strain injuries

  • Determine body part

  • Group by job description

  • Determine root cause

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Questions To Ask Yourself

  • What percentage did you arrive at?

  • Do you know the cost?

  • What can you predict about the future?

  • How can you fix it

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Risk Factors

  • Duration

  • Force

  • Repetition

  • Awkward Posture

  • Static Posture

  • Vibration

  • Temperature Extremes

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Other Contributing Factors

  • Work/Rest Cycles

  • Job Energy Demands

  • Work Pace

  • Work Schedules

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How do you minimize these?

  • Equipment design

  • Equipment retrofit

  • Administrative controls

  • Person

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Common Body Injuries

  • Neck/Back

  • Shoulder

  • Elbow/Hands

  • Knees/Feet

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Neck Pain

  • Tight feeling in the neck on movement

  • Discomfort/pain when turning head or lifting arm

  • Head feels heavy and hard to hold up

  • Headaches

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Back Pain

  • Pain in lumbar area

  • Pain in one or both hips

  • Pain radiating into leg, calf, ankle, foot Following nerve placement

  • Pain may be accompanied with numbness and tingling

  • Weakness in dorsiflexion of the foot

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Pain, numbness and tingling in thumb, index, middle and half of ring fingers

  • Above symptoms increase at night

  • Shooting pain from hand up the arm

  • Loss of grip strength

  • Sense of swelling or fullness of fingers and hand

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Rotator Cuff Injury

  • Pain in the front and the side of the shoulder increase at night

  • Decrease abduction and forward extension of the arm

  • Sensation of “locking” of the joint when raising the arm

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  • Pain at the site of tendon insertion

  • Increased skin temperature at the site

  • Observable fluid increase as swelling

  • Sense of tightness in the area

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Knee Injuries

  • Torn ligament/cartilage

  • Dislocated kneecap

  • Pain and swelling in the joint

  • Limited motion

  • Pain and swelling in the lower leg

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Focus on Employees

  • Joint Flexibility

  • Strength/Endurance

  • Stretching/Exercise Program

  • Abdominal/Hamstring

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Focus on Employees

  • Aging Factors

  • Wellness Awareness

  • Physically Fit

  • Nutrition

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Focus on Employees

  • Functional Capacity

  • Body Part Discomfort Survey

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Body Discomfort Survey

Click on the eResource link

for Form Review

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What Is the Step-by-Step Procedure of a Job?

  • Observe the job

  • Interview the person performing the job

  • Break the job into various actions

  • Describe the actions

  • Measure and quantify risk factors

  • Identify conditions contributing to the risk factors

  • Verify the analysis of the job with the worker

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Observe the Job

  • What are the physical work activities?

  • Break the job into various actions

  • Describe the actions

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Examples of Physical Work Activities

  • Exerting considerable physical effort to complete a motion

  • Doing the same motion over and over again

  • Performing motions constantly without shout pauses or breaks in between

  • Maintaining same position or posture while performing tasks

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Examples of Physical Work Activities

  • Sitting for a long time

  • Using hand and power tools

  • Using hands or body as clamp to hold object while performing tasks

  • Moving heavy objects

  • Bending or twisting during manual handling

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Examples of Work Conditions

  • Performing tasks that involve long reaches

  • Working surfaces are too high or too low

  • Maintaining the same position or posture while performing tasks

  • Vibrating working surfaces, machinery or vehicles

  • Workstation edges or objects press hard into muscles or tendons

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Examples of Work Conditions

  • Gloves are bulky, too large or too small

  • Objects or people are heavy

  • Horizontal reach is long

  • Vertical reach is below knees or above shoulders

  • Object is slippery or has no handles

  • Floor surfaces are uneven, slippery or sloped

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What Are the Ergonomic Risk Factors?

  • Repetition

  • Force

  • Duration

  • Vibration

  • Temperature

  • Posture

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Upper Back

Lower Back





What Body Part is Effected?

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Identify Potential Solutions

  • Training

  • Engineering

  • Task Modifications

  • Task Rotation

  • Physical Fitness

  • Posture Awareness

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Assigning Priorities to Potential Solutions

  • Ease of Implementation

  • Look for Productivity Increases

  • Productivity Increases

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Assigning Priorities to Potential Solutions

Cost Benefit Analysis

  • Injury & Accident Cost Analysis

  • Productivity Losses

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Implementing Potential Solutions

  • Get Management Buy-in

  • Emphasize Program is for Employees

  • Solicit Employee Opinions

  • Recognize Change is Difficult

    • Cultural Issues

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Implementing Potential Solutions

  • Develop a Reasonable Schedule

  • Continue Awareness & Analysis

  • Measure & Evaluate Solutions

  • Evaluation of Program - Time Periods

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Performance Measurement

  • Activity Based Performance

    o     # of Job Analysis Performed

    o     # of People Trained

  • Outcome Based Analysis

    • Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR)

    • Body Discomfort Survey

    • Employee Morale

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Outcome Based Measures

  • Rates of MSDs per system

  • Rates of injuries per body part

  • Days of lost time

  • Days of lost time per system

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Evaluation Scheduling Criteria

  • Compare Information Quarterly

    o     Severity of Injuries

    o     Changes in operations/equipment

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Management & Leadership

  • Emphasis on Ergonomic Improvements

  • Review Employee Work Behavior

  • Create a Caring Culture

  • Strive for Improvement

  • Accept Change

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Build Management Support

  • Reduce Costs & Increase Productivity

  • Develop an Action Plan

    • Define the “ergonomics team”

    • Responsibilities

    • Authority

    • Due Dates

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Establish Priorities

  • Review Injury & Illness Data

  • Review Discomfort Surveys

  • Review Job Analysis

  • Review Low Cost-High Impact Solutions

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Define Teams

  • Use Change Agents – Natural Leaders

  • Include Management Leaders

  • Include an Outsider for a “fresh look”

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Be Realistic

  • Develop ‘Down to Earth’ Solutions

  • Set Reasonable Goals

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Management Support

  • Provide Feedback on Progress

    o     Employee Morale

    o     Employee Initiatives

  • Develop Dialogue with others

    o     Talk to Vendors

    • Talk to Healthcare Providers

    • Talk to Customers

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Keep up to Date

  • Websites - OSHA

  • Professional & Trade Magazines

  • Books

  • Professional Associations - NSWMA

  • Conferences

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The General Duty Clause

Provide a safe & healthful working

environment for our employees

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Wrap Up

  • Review Injury & Illness History

  • List Risk Factors

  • Develop Potential Solutions

  • Establish Solution Priorities

  • Establish Solution Measurement Effectiveness

For more information about ergonomics and the solid waste industry contact l.jpg

David Biderman

National Solid Wastes Management Association

4301 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20008


[email protected]

NSWMA’s ergonomics website:

This website also includes a 2 hour internet-based

ergonomics training program.