Ergonomics at wsu tc
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ERGONOMICS at WSU-TC. Completion of this unit fulfills required WSU-TC safety training for: Ergonomics Lifting Slips, trips and falls. Lezlie Couch EH&S- WSU-TC. What is “Ergonomics”?. Ergonomics is the scientific study of human work.

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Ergonomics at wsu tc l.jpg
ERGONOMICS at WSU-TC

Completion of this unit fulfills required WSU-TC safety training for:

Ergonomics

Lifting

Slips, trips and falls

Lezlie Couch

EH&S- WSU-TC


What is ergonomics l.jpg
What is “Ergonomics”?

Ergonomics is the scientific study of human work.

Ergonomic principals adapt work to a specific person by designing tasks & tools or equipment to fit the individual to prevent injuries to the musculoskeletal system.


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YOU JUST FEEL BETTER!

What are the benefits of ergonomics?

  • Reduction of work-related injuries

  • Increased worker productivity

  • Increased work quality

  • Reduced absenteeism

  • Increased morale

  • Ergonomics provides a win-win situation…..on and off the job


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What are the risks of ignoring ergonomic principles?

  • An “MSD” is an illness or injury that affects one or more parts of the musculoskeletal system

    • Bones

    • Muscles

    • Tendons

    • Ligaments

    • Cartilage

    • Nerves

    • Blood vessels

  • Other common terms for “MSDs”are:

    • Cumulative trauma disorder (CTD’s)

    • Repetitive strain injures (RSI’s)

    • Repetitive motion injuries (RMI’s)

      When not diagnosed and treated these can cause inconvenience permanent pain and disability.

MSD

MusculoSkeletal Disorders


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Loss of strength

Discomfort

Aching

Numbness

Pain

Swelling

Reduced range of motion

Fatigue

Tingling

Stiffness

SYMPTOMS of MSDs


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What are MSD’S?

  • MSD’s are injuries caused by sustained exposure to stressors or repetitive motion.

  • They may affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, circulation, or nerves.

  • Some well-known MSD’s are:

    • Carpel tunnel syndrome

    • Guyner’s syndrome

    • Trigger finger

    • Tennis elbow

CONTINUE


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OUCH!

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROMEOne of the best known MSDs

The median nerve does not work properly due to pressure on the nerve as it runs through an opening called the carpel tunnel

Numbness is usually first symptom.

Pain & tingling, can go up the arm to the shoulder and neck, causing waking to pain in middle of night


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OUCH!

GUYON’S CANAL SYNDROMESimilar to carpel tunnel

Guyon’s affects the ulnar nerve as it passes through the Guyon canal in the wrist; this is similar to carpal tunnel, but involves a different nerve.

Unlike carpel tunnel, Guyon’s affects the little and ring fingers.

Can be in conjunction with carpal tunnel


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CLICK!

OUCH!

TRIGGER FINGER

Trigger finger affects the ability of tendons to slip back and forth. The tendon and/or ligament thicken and a nodule forms

This can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, lacerations of tendon, gripping power tools, long hours of grasping steering wheel, or birth defects

Symptoms are pain and

a funny clicking sensation


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OUCH!

TENNIS ELBOW

Overuse or misuse of the forearm muscles can cause tendonitis, or a painful inflammation of the tendons connecting these muscles to bone.

This condition is brought

on or aggravated by poor leverage

causing an uneven distribution

of force on a few muscles.

This may be when working,

or during certain leisure activities,

such as sports and gardening.

Symptom are severe pain.


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ARE MSD’S PREVENTABLE?

  • They are preventable and reversible

    ….. if identified early.

  • The treatment depends on the stage of MSD.

  • If the condition cannot be reversed, treatment can turn into a pain management situation.

    The individual plays a large role in preventing MSD’s.


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Am I at risk for a MSD?

  • Do you

  • …perform frequent repetitive motions?

  • …bend at the waist or twist when lifting objects?

  • …lift push or pull objects throughout the day?

  • …sometimes use the wrong tool for the job?

  • …grasp tools with your fingers?

  • …forget to take breaks while working?

  • …feel like you are under stress?

  • …have to stretch to reach your work?

  • …forget to adjust your work area to fit your task?

  • The more you answered “yes”, the greater your risk.


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RISK FACTORS which can lead to MSDs (Stressors)

  • Awkward posture

  • Static loading or sustained exertion

  • Contact stress

  • Force

  • Vibration

  • Repetition of same motion for several hours/day

  • Length of tasks without breaks

  • Insufficient rest time

  • Psychosocial stress

These STRESSORS can be influenced by

  • Organizational or administrative precautions

  • Environmental conditions

  • Individual work routine and habits

Most MSDs are the result of combined risk factors


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Reducing RISK FACTORS for MSDs

  • The purpose of ergonomic training is to help you reduce or eliminate the stresses that can lead to MSDs

  • Your body is designed to do work. When it works in positions or postures in which it is designed to deal with physical stress, there is no problem, but when it is forced to perform under unnatural situations or for abnormal periods of time, injuries can occur.

  • Almost all of the ergonomic stresses at work can be decreased by using the right equipment in the right position so that the body can perform in the right posture.


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Review your Work Area

  • You spend most of your day in your work area.

  • You don’t want your work area to contribute to ergonomic problems

  • Ergonomic Rule #1

Work Comfortably!

If most of your work is done in an office continue

If most of your work is done outside of an office continue


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Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeUse a good CHAIR

Backrest is provides good lower back support

Arms adjustable

Front edge of seat pan curves down

Seat pan adjustable horizontally and tilts

Height adjustable

On rollers

Five feet for base-most stable


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Raise the monitor if you have to look down at it

Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeMONITOR HEIGHT

  • The position of your head and neck is very important

  • Place computer monitors

    directly in front of you

  • The right height is person

    dependent- usually the top

    of the screen at eye level

    (or slightly below for those who

    wear bifocals)

  • The screen should be at least an arms length away

    (If you can’t see at that distance, get special computer glasses)


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Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeKEYBOARD STYLES

A variety of styles are available.

Choose one that is comfortable for you.


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Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeKEYBOARD HOLDER

Keyboard holders should

  • Tilt

  • Provide wrist rests (rest palms not wrist)

  • Provide space for a mouse


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Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeMOUSE HOLDERS

Mouse trays or mouse holders can bring a mouse to a better position


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Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeMOUSE STYLES

Choose a style comfortable for your hand and fingers


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Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeWORK PLACEMENT

  • Position equipment so that your body is in a comfortable and natural position most of the time while you are working.

  • Don’t place things so you have to reach, twist or bend continually

  • Place work at monitor height or place in path of monitor

  • Listen to your body. If you cannot focus or often feel tired or uncomfortable, you are probably not working in a good position.

  • See what you can do to make your work more comfortable for you.

Disclaimer:Wait a minute! Though this position may look comfortable, it is NOT a comfortable position to work in.

Imagine how your back would feel after typing a few pages in this position!

Do not equate comfortable leisure positions with comfortable work positions!


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Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeEveryone needs a relaxed, neutral position

DO WHAT’S COMFORTABLE FOR YOUR BODY!

Monitor at or below eye level

Wrists straight

Back supported

Forearms supported

Forearms and thighs parallel to the floor

Feet flat on the floor


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Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeMOUSE POSITION

NO!

  • Mouse should be close to the keyboard and the same height or slightly higher

  • Locate the mouse to avoid reaching


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Many people need to spend a lot of time on the phone, and must often do other tasks at the same time

This creates a lot of stress

for neck and shoulder muscles

Consider a head set if you spend a lot of time on the phone, especially if you do other tasks at the same time

Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placePhone PLACEMENT

Should be different for right and left handers

You should not have to twist and reach across your body

every time you answer the phone.


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Office Ergonomics must often do other tasks at the same time- The right equipment, the right placeDocument PLACEMENT

Place documents so that you don’t need to bend your head to read while you keyboard

Consider getting a document holder


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORSEnvironmental conditions

Environmental conditions can influence ergonomic stress.

  • Lighting

  • Noise

  • Temperature

    ….even at a computer station!


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Ideal is 35-50 foot candles must often do other tasks at the same time

Ergonomic STRESSORS

LIGHTING & MONITOR GLARE

  • Lighting should be indirect and adequate

  • Not too much light,

    or it may cause a glare,

    headaches and eye

    fatigue

  • If there is a glare on your eyes as you work, use glare screens on computers, or adjustable blinds at windows


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Office Ergonomics must often do other tasks at the same time- The right equipment, the right placeGLARE SCREENS


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COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME must often do other tasks at the same timecan be prevented

Accommodate your eyes

  • Use computer eyewear when appropriate

  • Placement of reference material

    and monitor distance should be

    comfortable for your eyes

Prevent constant glare

  • Keep monitor clean

  • Use:

    • indirect lighting

    • non-reflective walls and furniture

    • anti-glare screens

Exercise your eyes

  • Periodically focus on object 20 feet away

  • Blink eyes rapidly if they feel dry


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

Noise can be a STRESSOR

  • If your office is near a noise source, close your door, or wear ear plugs

  • Besides causing ear damage, constant noise can create extra muscle tension in the body causing fatigue and making it easier for ergonomic injuries to occur.


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

Temperature

  • People are more prone to ergonomic injuries in cold environments. Muscles and other tissues are more tense, because of decreased circulation.

  • Dress appropriately

  • Do some warm up exercises, such as stretching your hands, to loosen your finger muscles before keyboarding.


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

FORCE can be a stressor

  • A task can require a moderate amount of force to be applied to very small muscles

  • Examples:

    • Dragging and dropping with the mouse

    • Gripping the sides of the mouse or phone tightly

    • Pounding on the keyboard

    • Grasping thick file folders

    • Stapling or stamping

    • Opening 3-ring binder

    • Lifting heavy manuals with one hand


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

MECHANICAL CONTACT STRESS

A hard or sharp surface or object pressing into the soft tissues, the tendons, nerves and blood vessels.

  • Examples:

    • Resting wrists on the desk edge while typing or using mouse

    • Leaning elbows on hard chair or armrests or work surfaces

    • Sitting in chair that places pressure on the backs of the thighs


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

VIBRATION causes stress

  • Hand-arm vibration (hand power tools)

  • Whole body vibration (driving rough off roads)

  • Even if these do not occur in your work environment, what about home activities?

CONTINUE


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Workplace Ergonomics must often do other tasks at the same time


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Office Ergonomics must often do other tasks at the same time- The right equipment, the right placeWORK PLACEMENT

  • Position equipment so that your body is in a comfortable and natural position most of the time while you are working.

  • Don’t place things so you have to reach, twist or bend continually

  • Place work at monitor height or place in path of monitor

  • Listen to your body. If you cannot focus or often feel tired or uncomfortable, you are probably not working in a good position.

  • See what you can do to make your work more comfortable for you.

Disclaimer:Wait a minute! Though this position may look comfortable, it is NOT a comfortable position to work in.

Imagine how your back would feel after typing a few pages in this position!

Do not equate comfortable leisure positions with comfortable work positions!


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORSEnvironmental conditions

Environmental conditions can influence ergonomic stress.

  • Lighting

  • Noise

  • Temperature


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

EYE STRAIN can be prevented

Accommodate and exercise your eyes

When working on a computer

  • Use computer eyewear when appropriate

  • Placement of reference material

    and monitor distance should be

    comfortable for your eyes

    When doing work at close range

  • Periodically focus on object 20 feet away

  • Blink eyes rapidly if they feel dry

When driving for long periods of time

  • Periodically focus on object 5 feet away

  • Blink eyes rapidly if they feel dry


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

Noise can be a STRESSOR

  • If you work near a constant noise source, such as generators or fans, close your door, or wear ear plugs.

  • Besides causing ear damage, constant noise can create extra muscle tension in the body causing fatigue and making it easier for ergonomic injuries to occur.


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

Noise can be a STRESSOR

  • If you use equipment which makes loud noise, wear ear plugs. EH&S can help you find some which are comfortable and appropriate

  • Use of most power equipment, machinery, lawn mowers, and blowers should require ear plugs.

x


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

Temperature

  • People are more prone to ergonomic injuries in cold environments because circulation is slowed down and muscles and other tissues are more tense.

  • Dress appropriately

  • Do warm up exercises such as stretching before you begin work.


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

FORCE can be a stressor

  • A task can require a moderate amount of force to be applied to very small muscles

  • Examples:

    • Pushing the same button over

    • Gripping the sides of the phone tightly

    • Pounding a hammer using your wrist muscles

    • Grasping a screwdriver with only a couple of fingers

    • Lifting heavy items with one hand


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

MECHANICAL CONTACT STRESS

A hard or sharp surface or object pressing into the soft tissues, the tendons, nerves and blood vessels.

  • Examples:

    • Leaning elbows on hard chair or armrests or work surfaces

    • Sitting on a seat that places pressure on the backs of the thighs


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

VIBRATION causes stress

  • Hand-arm vibration (hand power tools)

  • Whole body vibration (driving rough off roads)

  • If you don’t encounter these at work, what about home activities?


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

HOME-OFFICE CONNECTION

  • What happens off the job may influence stress, discomfort, or pain during the workday and vise-versa.The two are intertwined.

  • Hobbies and recreational activities (golf, sewing, gardening, etc.) may cause repetitive motion injuries, which may then be complicated on the job.


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

Psycosocial Stress

Any interactions, job tasks or personal problems which cause psychological or social stress cause increased muscle tension, which can make injury more likely. Be aware of these additional stresses and compensate for them by taking extra breaks and being especially careful when under extra pressure.


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Ergonomic must often do other tasks at the same timeSTRESSORS

INDIVIDUAL STRESSORS

  • People face different stresses and have different abilities to cope.

  • Employees vary in physical condition.

  • Some individuals are also dealing with chronic illnesses or disabilities

We don’t live in a vacuum, life stresses can adversely effect the wellness of an individual and contribute to ergonomic stressors.


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

Individual work routine and habit

Fortunately,

most STRESSORS can be minimized or eliminated

by individual habits

and work routine.

The solution to most ergonomic problems is to work comfortably and avoid a few common ergonomic pitfalls.


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

Avoid REPETITION

Performing the same or similar motions repeatedly for extended periods without time for rest and recovery can lead to discomfort or trauma.

Examples:

  • Keyboarding, mousing, and 10-keying

  • Flipping through files & paperwork

  • Extended reading or writing

  • Punching or stapling

  • Pruning or clipping

  • Painting

  • Hammering


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

AVOID LONG DURATION OF SAME TASK

  • The length of time spent at a task without breaks, shifts in position, or stretches is more important than the actual task.

  • The longer the uninterrupted duration of a task, the more potential for discomfort or injury

Our bodies are designed to do work. But the result on the body of doing a repetitive task for 2 hours verses 6 hours straight is very different.


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

STRETCHES & BREAKS

  • Static positions are your enemy!

  • Whenever you think of it, change position

  • Small frequent stretches go a long way in preventing MSD’s.


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Stretch Break must often do other tasks at the same time

  • WSU- TC has purchased this software for all faculty, staff, and students to use if they wish.

    To download this program, go tohttp://www.tricity.wsu.edu/ctc/Files/Stretchbreak.exe

    Choose 'Open' when prompted to do so.Press 'Ok' and 'Next' until the installation is finished.

  • Stretch Break (default) interrupts you every 30 minutes- suggests three varied stretches which take a total of 1 minute to complete. You cannot believe how much better you feel afterwards.

  • You can cancel the stretches as soon as they come on the screen, choose the amount of time you work before being interrupted ( between 10 minutes and 3 hours) and decide which of the many exercises you want to include, and how many you want to do at each break.

  • Such programs are one of the best preventions of ergonomic injuries at a computer workstation. Even if you choose not to do the exercises, you will be reminded to shift position, etc periodically so that your muscles do not become unduly stressed. Most computer related injuries occur because of projects which engage persons for a substantial length of time.


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

A FEW BREAK IDEAS

  • Organize tasks around built in breaks

  • Eye breaks - blink to moisten eyes every 5-10 minutes. Every 15 minutes or so look away from the screen to distant part of room.

  • Micro-breaks - between burst of activity rest the hands, neck and shoulders in a relaxed straight posture.

  • Rest breaks - every 30-60 minutes take a brief 5-minute break and engage in another activity.

  • Exercise breaks - every 1-2 hours do gentle stretching exercises


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

Avoid BAD POSTURES

Everyone has seen these….

Slouching over a computer

Propping a phone on shoulder

Bad postures are a primary cause of ergonomic injuries


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AWKWARD POSITIONS must often do other tasks at the same time

create

STRESS

Solutions

Avoid AWKARD POSITIONS

Awkward positions bend the joints in a way that

they are more likely to become injured.

Examples:

  • Reaching up and over

  • Slouching or leaning forward in the chair

  • Leaning forward or bending over work

  • Holding heavy items in position

  • Lifting, pushing pulling

  • Turning head side to side to view the monitor

  • Cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder

  • Typing with bent wrists


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STATIC POSITIONS must often do other tasks at the same time

create

STRESS

Solutions

Avoid SUSTAINED EXERTIONS

Static loading occurs when muscles must hold the body in a single position for a long period of time. Lack of movement reduces circulation and causes muscle tension

Examples:

  • Holding hands in place

  • Keeping the head still while reading

  • Sitting still for long periods of time

  • Sitting upright without back support


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

Lifting (Static Loading)

A large percentage of ergonomic injuries are due to improper lifting. Planning the lift before attempting it will prevent most injuries.

When evaluating a lifting task, consider:

  • The weight of the object

  • What position it must be lifted from and to

  • How many times you will need to lift it

  • If there will be twisting involved

  • If there is good footing, and if you can get a good grasp on the object


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

Lifting (Static Loading)

  • Use a step stool or platform to reach loads above your head

  • For bulky and oversized loads, get help or use mechanical aids

  • Get a good grip- use handles when available


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

Lifting (Static Loading)

  • Don’t pull

  • Push

  • Get twice the power

  • Reduce the risk of injury


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Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

Lifting (Static Loading)

  • Get a firm grip on what you are lifting and be sure you are on solid footing

  • Squat when lifting something from below the waist. Keep heels down and feet shoulder-width apart and turned out

  • Keep the load close to your body

  • Turn your whole body in the direction you want to move- avoid twisting when lifting

  • Keep your knees bent and lean in the direction of the movement

  • Let your legs and body weight do the work

  • Squat to set loads down


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Individualize Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

NO ONE SOLUTION FOR ALL

  • People come in all shapes and sizes- what works for one person may or may not work for another.

  • Ergonomics is a puzzle to be put together for each individual.

  • What works today may or may not work later. We all change due to time and other circumstances.


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Individualize Solutions must often do other tasks at the same time

Meet the Challenge!

  • Individuals must take responsibility for their own ergonomic problems.

  • Think about possible MSDs BEFORE you have discomfort!

  • Listen to your body: pay attention to those aches and pains!


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Identify your risk of ergonomic problems must often do other tasks at the same time

Meet the Challenge!

  • Identify types of ergonomic problems

    • Look at your daily work tasks

    • Identify one or more risk factors

    • Review & rethink your work activities/tasks (including those outside of work)

    • For a Free WORK STATION ASSESSMENT Contact your supervisor and Lezlie Couch

    • http://www.ehs.wsu.edu/ohs/ohs-ergo.htm

    • WSU ergonomic fact sheet


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Identify barriers to solving the problems must often do other tasks at the same time

Meet the Challenge!

  • Let supervisors know when there is a problem

  • Discuss concerns and possible solutions with your supervisor

  • Adjusting work schedules

  • Modifying job design

  • Rearranging task order

  • Changing task assignments

  • Consult a physician, if warranted


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Meet the Challenge! must often do other tasks at the same time

Identify approaches to overcoming the barriers

  • Recommend and/or implement solutions.

  • Try something and if it doesn’t feel comfortable, discontinue and try something else!

  • As time passes, try to notice if the problem has truly been eliminated.

  • Let your supervisor know how well the controls are working.


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Meet the Challenge! must often do other tasks at the same time

You Can Reduce Risk Greatly

REMEMBER!

  • Improve body posture and keep a safe body position

    • avoid awkward positions

    • use tools and equipmentcorrectly

  • Rearrange work area-

    • control your environment,

    • use the right equipment in the right position,

    • keep work within reach

  • Change work habits-

    • practice and use correct procedures,

    • avoid repetition and long duration of a single task

    • take frequent breaks

Apply ergonomic principals at home, too


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Meet the Challenge! must often do other tasks at the same time

Things YOU can do TODAY

  • Look up & away from your work frequently

  • Change your chair position occasionally

  • Take frequent mini breaks & include stretches/exercises

    (Use stretch break computer program)

  • Vary tasks and the daily order of tasks

Ergonomics is a Win-Win situation!


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SLIPS TRIPS FALLS must often do other tasks at the same time

Real slips, trips and falls are not funny.

At WSU-TC, more people are injured and more work time is lost by slips, trips, and falls, than by any other means.


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Slips, Trips and Falls must often do other tasks at the same time

  • Hazards that can lead to slips, trips and falls are often overlooked, even though they cause many injuries ranging from minor cuts and sprains to disabling injuries and even death.

  • Although slip, trip and fall hazards are easily created, they are also easy to correct.

  • Be aware of such hazards, and correct them quickly, before the next person becomes a victim!


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SLIP Hazards must often do other tasks at the same time

  • A slip occurs when there is too little friction or traction between footwear and a walking surface. Common causes of slips are:

  • Slippery floor surfaces

  • Liquid, moisture or ice on the floor,

  • Food, trash or other small objects

  • Oil or grease on the floor

  • Footwear without nonskid soles


Trip hazards l.jpg

Unsafe stairway conditions or use must often do other tasks at the same time

Electrical or telephone cords that cross passageways and aisles

Floor level changes or hidden steps that may not be obvious

Hazardous floor conditions such as protruding nails, holes or loose boards, loose carpet and rugs

Materials stored in passageways, aisles and stairways

Elevator cars that do not level off at the same height of the floor stopped at

Furniture that creates obstacles

Insufficient lighting for walking or working areas

Desk or file cabinet drawers left open, objects protruding into passageways and aisles

Trip Hazards

A trip occurs when a person’s foot contacts an object or drops to a lower level unexpectedly, and they are thrown off balance.

Some common causes of tripping are:


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Fall Hazards must often do other tasks at the same time

  • In addition to falls as a result of slips and trips, you may be injured if you fall from an elevation. Some causes of falls are:

  • Using makeshift items (boxes, buckets, chairs, etc ) to gain height

  • Not sitting on “4 square” of a chair

  • Carrying large or too many items that prevents seeing where you are going

  • Jumping from one level to another


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WITHOUT GOOD HOUSEKEEPING PRACTICES, must often do other tasks at the same time

ANY OTHER PREVENTIVE MEASURES (SUCH AS INSTALLING SPECIAL NO-SLIP FLOORING, EXPENSIVE SHOES OR TRAINING ON WALKING TECHNIQUES AND SAFE FALLING)

WILL NEVER BE FULLY EFFECTIVE.

Preventing Injuries with good housekeeping

Good housekeeping is one of the most important methods for preventing falls due to slips and trips

  • Clean up all spills immediately

  • Mark spills and wet areas

  • Mop or sweep debris from floors

  • Remove obstacles from walkways and always keep them free of clutter

  • Secure mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat

  • Always close file cabinets or storage drawers

  • Cover cables that cross walkways

  • Keep work areas and walkways well lit

  • Replace used light bulbs and faulty switches


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Walking on Slippery Surfaces must often do other tasks at the same time

  • Take small steps- shorter than your foot length- to keep your center of balance under you.

  • Walk with your toes pointed outward. This provides a wider, more stable base of support for maintaining balance.

  • Turn gradually- a sharp turn results in a sideways force that can cause loss of balance and a fall

  • Keep both hands free for balance rather than in your pockets.

  • Wear shoes with slip-resistant soles or studded shoe pullovers for walking on icy surfaces

  • Use sidewalks walkways that have been cleared of ice and snow.


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Using the Stairs must often do other tasks at the same time

  • Use the handrail from start to finish

  • Avoid carrying loads on the stairways- or only carry loads you can see over.

  • Keep your eyes on where you are going, and descend stairs slowly to keep your balance and identify tripping hazards.

  • Test potentially slippery stairs by tapping them with your foot.

  • Going up or down, keep weight on your back leg until your front foot is safety on the next step. This maintains your center of gravity.


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Most Slips and Trips can be Prevented

As part of the WSU organization, know what to look for and take action to reduce the risk and eliminate the hazards before someone is injured.

If you don’t, the result can be potentially serious injuries and costly lawsuits.


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In Conclusion… must often do other tasks at the same time

  • Take responsibility for the safety of your work area.

  • Report unsafe situations or conditions to

  • Facilities (Jerry Massey 2-7216 )or

  • EH&S (Lezlie Couch 2-7163)

  • Think Safety Act Safely

When you have completed this training on preventing injuries due to ergonomic problems and slips, trips and falls, you may return to review it, or you may proceed to take the review quiz. You must complete the quiz and submit it to receive credit for this training.

Click here if you want to go back to the beginning and review the training

Click here if you are ready to complete the 15 question quiz


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