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ERGONOMICS at WSU

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  1. ERGONOMICS at WSU Completion of this unit fulfills required WSU safety training for: Ergonomics Lifting Slips, trips and falls Lezlie Couch EH&S- WSU-TC

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Loss of strength Discomfort Aching Numbness Pain Swelling Reduced range of motion Fatigue Tingling Stiffness SYMPTOMS of MSDs

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeKEYBOARD STYLES A variety of styles are available. Choose one that is comfortable for you.

  19. 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

  20. Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeMOUSE HOLDERS Mouse trays or mouse holders can bring a mouse to a better position

  21. Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeMOUSE STYLES Choose a style comfortable for your hand and fingers

  22. 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!

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. Office Ergonomics- 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

  27. Ergonomic STRESSORSEnvironmental conditions Environmental conditions can influence ergonomic stress. • Lighting • Noise • Temperature ….even at a computer station!

  28. Ideal is 35-50 foot candles 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

  29. Office Ergonomics- The right equipment, the right placeGLARE SCREENS

  30. COMPUTER VISION SYNDROMEcan 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

  31. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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.

  32. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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.

  33. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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

  34. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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

  35. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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

  36. Workplace Ergonomics

  37. 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!

  38. Ergonomic STRESSORSEnvironmental conditions Environmental conditions can influence ergonomic stress. • Lighting • Noise • Temperature

  39. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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

  40. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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.

  41. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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

  42. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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.

  43. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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

  44. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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

  45. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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?

  46. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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.

  47. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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.

  48. Ergonomic STRESSORS 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.

  49. Solutions 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.

  50. Solutions 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