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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. You can avoid ergonomic hazards which are prevalent in laboratories by using several ways. You are advised to take actions today for the purpose of your health and you do not have to wait until you are too late. The ideas in this article are easy and simple to implement and by applying them, you can prevent injuries caused by poor ergonomics. Researchers at a laboratory setting are at risk of developing trauma injuries as a result of their daily tasks. The types of injuries associated with cumulative trauma are stiffness, numbness, loss of grip, pains and aches, among others. Some of the common ergonomic risk factors in the laboratory are a repetitive performance of tasks, awkward body posture, extremes of temperature, and force applied while working such as lifting and pushing.
Persistent symptoms indicate a serious problem while symptoms that go away are associated with fatigue. Seek medical attention whenever you witness persistent symptoms as that is advisable. Cumulative trauma injuries are treated with ease during their early stages. When a person fails to seek medical care, these symptoms can lead to serious injuries that are difficult to treat. Injuries occur when there are stresses in muscles and joints and this type of injury develops slowly over time. 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. To control these types of ergonomic strain, you are advised to take a rest after every thirty minutes of pipetting. If the tasks are intense, make sure to rotate these tasks with other technicians. Furthermore, keep samples and equipment within your reach and make use of an adjustable chair. It is recommended to spend no more than five hours during microscopy. The microscope should be kept at an elevated angle at which you can look directly and without straining.
A common economic hazard in many laboratory settings is lifting of equipment. To reach overhead shelves, you are required to use a ladder so as to avoid 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. When seated at your workplace, it is recommended that you make use of an adjustable and comfortable chair.