Office Ergonomics - Hortica

Office Ergonomics - Hortica

Ergonomics Review Topics to be covered General Information Risk Factors Musculoskeletal Disorders Reducing Ergonomic Hazards Specific Information Industrial Ergonomics Office Ergonomics

What is Ergonomics? The word comes from two Greek words, Ergon and Nomos Designing the job to fit the worker, not forcing the worker to fit the job Covers all aspects of a job, from physical stressors to environmental factors

Ergonomics- General The main focus of ergonomics is the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) Current workplace changes have resulted in an increase of MSDs Specific Risk Factors Awkward Postures Forceful Exertions

Repetitive Motions Duration Contact Stresses Vibrations Others MSDs- General Generally affect a worker's musculoskeletal system Includes the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons,

and other soft tissues in the back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and feet May also be referred to as Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs), Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs), or Repetitive Motion Injuries (RMIs) Common MSDs Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tendonitis Neck and Back Injuries Strains and Sprains

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Trigger Finger Symptoms of MSDs

pain, numbness, or tingling in hands or feet pain in wrists, shoulders, forearms, knees, neck, or back clumsy hands headaches or eye strain ringing in ears soreness or stiffness in joints or muscles stabbing or shooting pain in arms or legs swelling or inflammation in affected areas

redness or warmth in affected areas Reducing the Exposure Engineering Controls use automated devices to perform certain routine repetitive tasks maintain equipment to prevent malfunctions modify workstation design and layout to ensure proper posture choose tools that reduce musculoskeletal disorder risks through tool size and balance, handle size and

position, textured grips, minimal vibration characteristics, and power control. Reducing the Exposure Work Practice Controls Break up or vary job content to prevent muscle fatigue Use muscle stretch exercises Schedule more breaks to allow muscles to recover from repetitive stresses train workers on how to minimize the number and

extent of MSDs Reduce the Exposure Personal Protective Equipment May not be able to engineer out an ergonomic hazard or reduce it through changes in work practices Examples: knee pads, gloves Ergonomics- Specific Industrial Ergonomics

Back Safety Proper Tool Use Office Ergonomics Workstation Environment Work Process Back Disorders The most common MSD The lower back in very vulnerable to

injury Most back injuries are MSDs that result from the combined effect of many stresses and traumas Risk Factors NIOSH has identified five main risk factors for back injuries

heavy physical work lifting and forceful movements bending and twisting whole-body vibration static work postures Protect Your Back Minimize stress from materials handling review operations to eliminate unnecessary materials handling keep products on an as-needed basis instead of

stockpiling them for future use shorten the distances that materials must be moved or raised use mechanical devices and equipment (dollies, pallet jacks, power lifts, etc.) for assistance whenever possible Protect Your Back Follow proper lifting techniques lift with legs keep weight close to body and stand straight

pivot with the load (don't twist at the waist) Strengthen and stretch muscles poor physical condition and excessive body weight can greatly increase the risk of a back injury by stressing the lower back and increasing its curvature Strong abdominal muscles help to support the body and prevent back injuries Proper Tool Use Improper use and design of hand tools can

cause severe damage to the hand and arm Reduce your risk of injury by using these guidelines to select hand tools Know your job Look at your work space Improve your work posture

Know Your Job Before you select a tool, think about the job you will be doing Using a tool for something other than its intended purpose often damages the tool and could cause you pain, discomfort, or injury You reduce your chances of being injured when you select a tool that fits the job

Know Your Job- Common Examples Cutting, pinching, gripping Examples: pliers, snips, cutters Striking Example: hammers Driving Examples: screwdrivers, hand wrenches, nut drivers

Know your job Consider whether you need the tool to provide power or precision Select the tool with the correct handle diameter or grip span Power Tasks HANDLE DIAMETER for power tasks is 1 1/4 inches to 2 inches

OPEN GRIP SPAN for power tasks is not more than 3 1/2 inches CLOSED GRIP SPAN for power tasks is not less than 2 inches Precision Tasks HANDLE DIAMETER for precision tasks is 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch

OPEN GRIP SPAN for precision tasks is not more than 3 inches CLOSED GRIP SPAN for precision tasks is not less than 1 inch Look at your Workspace Awkward postures may cause you to use more force

Select a tool that can be used within the space available Example: if you work in a cramped area and high force is required, select a tool that is held with a power grip Pinch grip: Power grip:

Improve your Posture Awkward postures make more demands on your body The placement of the work piece may affect your shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, or back posture Whenever possible, choose a tool that requires the least continuous force and can be used without awkward postures

Improve your Posture- Example Avoid raising your shoulders and elbows. Relaxed shoulders and elbows are more comfortable and will make it easier to drive downward force If you are sitting: If you are standing: Overview of Office Ergonomics Workstation (chair, monitor &

document, keyboard, mouse) Environment (lighting, glare) Work Process Workstation- Chair A properly designed chair should provide appropriate support for the back, legs, buttocks, and arms The following items are critical to

employees who spend extended hours at the workstation 1. Seat position 2. Chair Height 3. Armrest Chair- Seat Position The seat and backrest of the chair should support a comfortable posture that allows frequent changing of the seating position

The seat pan should be padded and have a rounded waterfall edge which reduces contact stress with the back of the legs Chair- Height The chair should be height adjustable, especially in areas where they are shared by a number of employees The chair height is proper when the entire

sole of the foot can rest on the floor and the back of the knees are slightly higher than the seat of the chair Knees should be bent at about 90 degrees Chair- Armrest Armrests should be adjustable so they can be lowered to fit under work surfaces Armrests should support forearms while the employee performs tasks and should

not interfere with movement. Workstation- Monitor and Document Monitor and document placement is important in creating a comfortable workstation. Consider the following items in order to reduce awkward head and neck postures, fatigue and/or headaches:

1. Display 2. Source Document Position Monitor- Display The monitor should be kept directly in front of the user The topmost line of the screen should be no higher than the users eyes The preferred viewing distance is 18 to 24 inches. If there is not enough table depth to

accommodate this distance, install a keyboard extender or tray underneath the desk Monitor- Display (cont.) Viewing the monitor for long periods of time can cause eye fatigue and dryness Rest eyes periodically by focusing on an object at least 20 feet away Stop, look away, blink and/or stretch at

regular intervals Document- Source Position The screen and document holder should be close enough together so the operator can look from one to the other without excessive movement of the head, neck or back Workstation- Keyboard and

Mouse The proper position of the keyboard and mouse is essential in creating a comfortable workstation. Consideration of the following factors can help prevent musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis: 1. Height and Orientation 2. Placement 3. Design and Use

Keyboard and Mouse- Height and Orientation The keyboard and/or chair should be adjusted so the employees elbows hang comfortably at the side of the body Shoulders should be relaxed and the wrists should not be bent up or down or to either side The angle of the keyboard should also be

considered Keyboard and MousePlacement The keyboard should be placed directly in front of the user The mouse should be positioned at the operator's side with his or her arm close to the body The upper arm should not be elevated or extended while

using the mouse Keyboard and Mouse- Design and Use Wrists should not be bent sideways or up and down while keying Reduce bending of the wrists by moving the entire arm. A mouse pad or wrist rest can be used to help maintain straight wrists

Environment- Lighting Inappropriate lighting is a major factor in visual discomforts such as eyestrain, burning or itching eyes, headache, and blurred vision For optimal comfort, the following factors should be considered: Amount of light Contrast of light with environment

Lighting- Amount of Light Bright light on the display screen "washes out" images making it difficult for operators to clearly see the work Use light diffusers, desk/task lighting, or try removing middle bulbs of 4-bulb fluorescent light fixtures Lighting- Amount of Light (cont.)

Use blinds or drapes on windows to eliminate bright light You may want to reorient your workstation so that bright lights are not in your field of view Lighting- Contrast with Environment

To avoid high contrast between light and dark areas of the computer screen, work area, and surrounding areas use well distributed light Use light, matte colors on walls and ceilings in order to better reflect indirect lighting and reduce dark shadows and contrast. Environment- Glare

Glare on the viewing screen may cause eyestrain, headaches and fatigue. The worker may not be conscious of the irritation; however, over the course of a long day, it can cause problems. The following sources of light may cause glare: 1. Direct 2. Reflected Glare- Direct

Orient workstations so that light sources do not reflect on the screen Use blinds or drapes on windows to help reduce glare Clean the monitor frequently. A layer of dust can contribute to glare If nothing else works, you may try a glare screen that attaches to the monitor Glare- Reflected

To limit reflection from walls and work surfaces around the screen, these areas should be painted a medium color and have a non-reflective finish Tilt the monitor down slightly to prevent it from reflecting overhead light Work Process Even when the workstation design and environmental

factors are at their best, a worker can suffer discomfort and injuries from factors related to the work process. Prolonged and Repetitive Activities Inappropriate Production Requirements Excessive Overtime

Inadequate Medical Awareness Inadequate Training Prolonged and Repetitive Activities Although computer work may appear to require little exertion, repetitive movements can lead to pain or injury Workstations should be provided so employees can change working posture

Rest breaks Alternative job duties Inappropriate Production Requirements/ Overtime If standards are set too high, employees may work without taking breaks This may benefit your department in the short run, but the long term effects may lead to higher injury rates

Take Breaks!!! Inadequate Medical Awareness Symptoms of injuries should be reported as soon as they start to develop Consult with a medical specialist who has experience with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) Handout- Workstation Checklist

Use this checklist to analyze your workstation Working Safely By learning the basics of ergonomics and the signs of musculoskeletal disorders, you can help to protect your health and increase workplace safety

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