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Ergonomics. Industrial. Session Objectives. You will be able to: Understand the principles of ergonomics Recognize the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) Understand our program for identifying, reporting, and controlling MSDs

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Session Objectives

  • You will be able to:

    • Understand the principles of ergonomics

    • Recognize the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)

    • Understand our program for identifying, reporting, and controlling MSDs

    • Know how to protect yourself from MSD injuries and reduce your risk

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What Is Ergonomics?

  • Modify jobs to fit capabilities of people

  • Reduce MSDs

    • Repetitive reaching, forceful exertions, bending and lifting, or working with vibrating equipment

  • Engineering controls

  • Safe work practices

  • PPE

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Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Injuries

  • 1.8 million MSD injuries each year

  • 600,000 MSD injuries require time away from work

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OSHA Regulation of Ergonomics

  • General Duty Clause

  • Applies to unregulated hazards

    • Failure to keep a hazard-free workplace

    • Hazard recognized by employer or employer’s industry

    • Hazard could cause death or serious harm

    • Method existed to correct the hazard exists

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What Are MSDs?

  • Injuries to:

    • Muscles

    • Nerves

    • Tendons—tendinitis

    • Ligaments

    • Joints

    • Spinal discs

Image Credit: National Institutes of Health/NIAMS

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MSD Characteristics

  • Occur from a single event or many small injuries

  • Take weeks, months, or years to develop

  • Produce no symptoms in early stages, but show symptoms after permanent injury has occurred

  • Contributing causes may occur at home and at work

  • Same MSD may differ in severity from person to person doing a similar task

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General Signs of MSDs

  • Less strength for gripping

  • Less range of motion

  • Loss of muscle function

  • Inability to do everyday tasks

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MSD Symptoms

  • Back and neck— shooting pain, stiffness

  • Shoulders—pain, stiffness, loss of mobility

  • Arms and legs— shooting pains, numbness

  • Elbow and knee joints—pain, swelling, stiffness

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MSD Symptoms (cont.)

  • Hands and wrists— swelling, numb, loss of strength

  • Fingers—jerking movements, or loss of strength, mobility, and feeling

  • Thumbs—pain at the base

  • Feet and toes—numb, stiff, burning sensation

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Outward Signs of MSDs

  • Swelling or inflammation of joints

  • Vigorously shaking hands

  • Massaging hands, wrists, or arms

  • Cradling arms

  • Limping

  • Stiff back

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Common MSDs

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Low back pain

  • Eye strain

  • tendinitis

  • Trigger finger

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Common MSDs (cont.)

  • De Quervain’s disease—forceful grip

  • Carpet layer’s knee—contact trauma

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis— repetitive motion

  • Herniated disc— bending and twisting

  • Raynaud’s phenomenon—excess vibration

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Act on the Signs of MSD

  • Act immediately:

    • Report the problem

    • Seek medical attention

    • Early treatment and intervention can prevent permanent injury

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MSDs—Any Questions?

  • Any questions about MSDs?

  • Any questions about their signs and symptoms?

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Risk Factors that Lead to MSDs

  • Repetitive motions

  • Forceful exertions

  • Awkward postures

  • Contact stress (pressure points)

  • Vibrations

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Risk Factor—Repetitive Motion

  • Stress on muscles and tendons

  • Contributing factors

    • Duration and speed of repetitious movement

    • Number of musclesinvolved

    • Required force

  • Raising and lowering the arm over and over again

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Forceful Exertions

  • Inflammation of tendons, nerves, joints

  • Contributing factors

    • Type of grip

    • Weight of object

    • Body posture

    • Type and duration of the task

  • Repeatedly turning a screwdriver while pushing at the same time

Image Credit: OSHA

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Awkward Postures

  • Stress on muscles and tendons

  • Contributing factors

    • Reaching overhead

    • Force the body must maintain to hold the position

    • Holding fixed positions (static loading)

  • Lifting while twisting, reaching, or turning

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Contact Stress

  • Pressing against or grabbing a hard object puts pressure on nerves, tendons, and blood vessels

  • Contributing factors

    • Repetition

    • Duration of contact

    • Grip strength required

  • Wresting wrists on the keyboard while typing

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  • Affects tendons, muscles, joints, nerves

  • Contributing factors

    • Prolonged grip

    • Restricts blood supply to hands and fingers

    • Tools without vibration dampening device

    • Poor power tool maintenance

  • Prolonged use of a grinder

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MSDs Related to Risk Factors

  • DeQuervain’s Disease—forceful grip

  • Trigger Finger—contact stress

  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome—repetition

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome—posture

  • Raynaud’s Syndrome—vibration

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MSD Risk Factors

  • Any questions about risk factors?

  • MSD hazards?

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Ergonomics Management

  • Job assessment

  • MSD reporting and response system

  • Designated coordinator

  • MSD intervention and control system

  • Training

  • Encourage employee participation and reporting of MSDs

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Identifying and Controlling MSD Hazards

  • Determine whether MSD hazards exist and degree of risk

  • Devise a control strategy with your input

  • Implement control measures

  • Training

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Control Methods

  • Install engineering controls including workstation layout and proper tools

  • Institute work practice controls including neutral postures for performing tasks

  • Administrative controls including rescheduling to reduce frequency or duration of exposure to MSDs

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) to provide a protective barrier between worker and MSD

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How to Protect Yourself

  • Change positions often, take stretch breaks

  • Maintain neutral posture whenever possible

  • Eliminate or reduce MSD risk factors

  • Use material handling aids

  • Report MSD symptoms

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Report MSDs

  • Immediately report MSD signs and symptoms

  • Report MSD hazards

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MSD Prevention and Control

  • Any questions about the methods to manage, prevent, and control MSDs?

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Key Points to Remember

  • Recognize MSD signs and symptoms

  • Understand MSD hazards

  • Take steps to control MSD hazards

  • Report MSDs

  • Participate in the Ergonomics Program