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Workplace Ergonomics


Women outnumber men 3:1 in sustaining Carpel Tunnel Syndrome ... from power tools can place stress on the tissues of the fingers, hands, and arms ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Workplace Ergonomics

Workplace Ergonomics
  • Matching The Workplace
  • With The Employee

What Will Be Covered
  • What is Ergonomics?
  • Ergonomic statistics
  • Benefits of an Ergonomic System
  • Ergonomic related injuries and illnesses
  • Causes of Ergonomic related injuries and

What Will Be Covered?
  • Identifying Ergonomic Risk Factors
  • Office Ergonomics
  • Industrial Ergonomics
  • Control Strategies to minimize risk
  • What you can do to prevent injury or illness

What Is Ergonomics?
  • Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace
    conditions and job demands to the capabilities of
  • Ergonomic principles are used to improve the
    fit between the employee and the workplace
  • A practical approach to Ergonomics considers the
    match between the person, the equipment they use,
    the processes, and the work environment
  • A persons capabilities, physical attributes, and
    work habits must be recognized to improve
    ergonomic factors in the workplace

Ergonomic Statistics
  • 90 of all office workers use a computer
  • In 1999, work related musculoskeletal disorders
    reached 285,000 cases
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome comprises 18 of all
    workplace illnesses and injuries
  • Women outnumber men 31 in sustaining Carpel
    Tunnel Syndrome
  • WMSDs account for 2.5 billion in direct costs
    and another 110 billion in indirect costs

Benefits of an Ergonomic Program
  • Decreased injuries, illnesses, and Workers Comp
  • Increased efficiency at work
  • Increased physical well being
  • Decreased absenteeism and turnover
  • Increase in employee morale

Ergonomic Related Injuries and Illnesses
  • May be called
  • CTDs (cumulative trauma disorders)
  • RSIs (repetitive stress injuries)
  • RMIs ( repetitive motion injuries)
  • Which are all considered MSDs
  • MSDs can affect muscles, joints, bones and
    spinal disks

Common Types of MSDs
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Neck and/or back injuries
  • Strains and/or Sprains
  • Bursitis
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger

Risk Factors and Causes of MSDs
  • Repetitive activities
  • Static force
  • Awkward posture
  • Static posture
  • Contact stress
  • Temperature extremes
  • Vibration
  • Psycho Social (stress caused by others)

Identifying Risk Factors
  • Risk factors are conditions or circumstances that
    increase the chances of developing a MSD
  • The likelihood of developing an injury is
    dependent on the frequency and duration of
  • Both occupational and personal risk factors can
    affect an individuals well being at home or at

  • Occurs when the same or approximately the same
    movements are performed frequently
  • Repetition can also occur when different tasks
    are performed that have the same movements
  • Injury may result from repetition when the
    tissues do not have adequate time to recover

  • Force is the amount of physical effort required
    to do a task or maintain control of tools or
  • A pinch grip produces 3-5 times more force on
    tendons in the wrist than a grip with the whole
  • With excessive force, the muscles are contracting
    much harder than normal, this can lead to stress
    on the muscles, tendons, and joints

Awkward Posture
  • This is a deviation from the neutral body
  • A neutral body position is the safest and most
    efficient position in which to do work
  • Awkward body posture puts stress on muscles,
    tendons and joints

Static Posture
  • Static posture occurs when one position is held
    for a prolonged period
  • The muscles will become fatigued from a lack of
    blood flow during this time
  • This fatigue can lead to discomfort and even
    injury of illness

Contact Stress
  • Contact stress is caused by any sharp or hard
    object putting localized pressure on a part of
    the body
  • Contact stress will irritate local tissues and
    interfere with blood circulation and nerve

Temperature Extremes
  • Environmental conditions such as extreme heat or
    cold can produce stress on tissues
  • Extreme cold constricts blood vessels and reduces
    sensitivity and coordination of body parts
  • Excessive heat can result in increased fatigue
    and heat stress

  • Exposure to vibration can occur while using power
    tools or while driving equipment
  • Vibration from power tools can place stress on
    the tissues of the fingers, hands, and arms
  • Whole body vibration from driving puts stress on
    the spinal cord, vertebra, and disks

Psycho-Social Issues
  • Stress, boredom, job dissatisfaction, and anxiety
    can contribute to the possibility of developing
  • Psycho-social issues can create increased muscle
    tension and reduce awareness of work technique
    and work pride

Office Ergonomics
  • By applying ergonomic principles to the office
    setting, risk factors are minimized, productivity
    is increased, and overall workplace quality is
  • The work station must be adjusted to promote a
    neutral position while a person works
  • When adjusting a workstation, keep in mind that
    all of the equipment interacts. Making one
    adjustment may alter another.

Correct The Environment
  • Check the lighting, noise, and temperature
  • Check work pace and stress levels
  • Check length of work times
  • Check work processes

Improve Posture And Habits
  • Modify to correct hand and wrist motions
  • Improve neck and back postures
  • Consider personal preferences, allow if not

Industrial Ergonomics(Outside The Office)
  • Ergonomic principles outside the office also work
    should be developed and implemented
  • Proper lifting and carrying should be stressed
  • Tool quality and care should be a high priority
  • Injury/illness prevention work practices should
    be developed and stressed for each task

Arrange The Work Area
  • Consider and evaluate the base of support for
    each duty
  • Arrange reach areas to best support the majority
    of work to be done
  • Place materials and equipment with availability
    and efficiency in mind

Choose Appropriate Tools
  • Ensure at least good quality tools are provided
    for each task
  • Be sure the tools match the task
  • When fit is to be considered, assure tools fit
    the user
  • Immediately repair or replace damaged or broken

Correct The Environment
  • Adjust lighting, reduce noise, adjust temperature
  • Provide PPE for each hazard
  • Adjust work pace to appropriate levels
  • Review and revise work processes as needed

Improve Work Techniques and Habits
  • Train employees on appropriate postures
  • Adjust furniture to best fit the employee when in
    a working position
  • Dont allow habits to dictate impending injury or

Control Strategies
  • Develop and implement control strategies to
    increase quality and efficiency
  • Base control strategies on identified risk
  • Review frequently, maybe daily and adjust as

Engineering Controls
  • Appropriate initial design of the work station or
    work area
  • Improving the design of existing work area or
  • Providing necessary equipment and accessories
  • Adjusting the work station layout and equipment

Administrative Controls
  • Training employees in work methods
  • Varying or rotating work tasks
  • Limiting extended work hours
  • Providing and requiring mini-breaks

Personal Protective Equipment
  • PPE acts as a barrier between a person and a
  • PPE is only appropriate in situations when
    engineering controls cannot be implemented
  • Back belts and other braces not considered PPE.
    Should not be used in place of correct work

Injury/Illness Prevention
  • Develop and implement an Ergonomics program
  • Take proper breaks
  • Maintain adequate level of health and fitness
  • Be aware of activities away from work and how
    these activities affect work

Results Of Proper Ergonomics
  • Employees work smarter, not harder
  • Quality, comfort and safety make employees more
    productive and happy
  • Affected employee attitude is contagious
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