The Solution to Ergonomic Hazards at Workstation
Ergonomics is a science which aims at making the job, tools and the workstation area fit for the worker. Laboratory settings are associated with ergonomic hazards; however, there are several ways you can protect yourself from these hazards. For your health’s sake, you are required to take action as soon as possible to avoid being too late. Injuries due to poor ergonomics can be prevented if you follow the ideas in this article which are simple and easy to implement. The risk of developing trauma injuries is higher in laboratory personnel as a result of their daily tasks. Examples of cumulative trauma injuries are aches and pains, loss of grip strength, numbness and stiffness. Lifting tasks, extremes of temperature, body postures and repetitive performance of tasks are a few examples of ergonomic risk factors in the laboratory.
An indication of a serious problem is when the symptoms are continuous; however, symptoms that go away within a day are associated with fatigue. Seek medical attention whenever you witness persistent symptoms as that is advisable. It is easier to treat cumulative trauma during the early stages of development. When a person fails to seek medical care, these symptoms can lead to serious injuries that are difficult to treat. Whenever the blood flow is restricted, muscles and joints stressed and the nerves pinched, this injury starts to develop gradually. Another type of health risk is for laboratory technicians is standing for long hours while working in lab hoods and biological safety cabinets.
You can overcome these health risks and ensure you are working in a safe environment by following various precautions. Pipetting is one common ergonomic strain in the laboratory that involves repetitive movements and awkward posture of the arms, shoulders and wrist. You need to take a rest after every thirty minutes of pipetting to help control ergonomic strains. Rotate these tasks with other technicians if they are intense for you. The required equipment and samples should be kept within your reach and make use of adjustable chairs. It is recommended to spend no more than five hours during microscopy. Keep the microscope at an angle where you can look comfortably without straining.
A common economic hazard in many laboratory settings is lifting of equipment. You are required to make use of a ladder to reach overhead shelves and overcome the stress that comes with overhead lifting. To protect yourself from ergonomic stress, you are required to keep heavy objects on the lower shelves to reduce tasks associated with lifting. You are advised to wear comfortable shoes if you are going to stand for a long duration at your workstation. At your workstation, make use of an adjustable ergonomic chair when you seat and that is recommended.