Have you ever come home from work with a sore back, stiff neck, pain in your shoulders, pain or stiffness in your wrist or hands, or aching feet from standing for long periods? Most of us have experienced these aches and pains and may think little of them. However, if allowed to continue, these minor conditions can become severe, leading to chronic pain, lost work time, and even debilitation. We need to take the aches and pains that occur at work seriously and start doing all we can to prevent them. The main purpose of this session is to help trainees prevent injuries by practicing sound ergonomics in the workplace. By the end of the course, trainees will be able to:
- Identify the risk factors that may lead to musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.
- Understand the basic principles of safer work through sound ergonomics.
- Apply ergonomic principles in laboratory operations and all aspects of your work.
Why “Ergonomics for the Laboratory” Matters:
Both work-related and non-work-related conditions can either individually, or by interacting with each other, give rise to musculoskeletal disorders. The factors that create a risk include:
- Repetitive motion
- An uncomfortable or awkward working position
- Poor or static posture
- Bending or twisting
- Exerting force
- Working too long without a break
- And, even factors such as excessive heat, cold, vibrations, or inadequate lighting
To prevent injuries, ergonomics considers three factors: the work environment, work processes and operations, and the behaviors of workers in performing their jobs. Ergonomics is a rapidly growing field because the knowledge it gives us is key to reducing some of the most common and persistent injuries and conditions in any workplace.
The main points from this training session on Ergonomics for the Laboratory include:
- First, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can have a serious impact on our lives, but they also can be prevented.
- Ergonomics is a study of the right way for human beings to interact with their work processes and environment and focuses on prevention of MSDs.
- Remember, too, that making your work area ergonomically sound is essential to preventing injury and ensuring your good health.
- Finally, make sure you recognize the ergonomic dimensions of every job you are assigned and take the steps necessary to ensure safety.