How to prevent Laboratory ergonomic Hazards
Making the job, equipment and working area fit for the worker is a science called ergonomics. 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. 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. You are advised to seek medical services when you witness continuous symptoms. During their early stages, cumulative trauma are easy to treat. There are serious injuries which emerge when a person ignores these symptoms and it becomes difficult to treat such a condition. 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. To control these types of ergonomic strain, you are advised to take a rest after every thirty minutes of pipetting. Make sure to interchange these tasks with other technicians if the tasks are too many. Make use of an adjustable ergonomic chair and keep samples and equipment within your reach. Make sure to keep your spine straight during microscopy and it is advisable to avoid spending more than five hours a day doing microscopy. The microscope should be kept at an elevated angle at which you can look directly and without straining.
In most laboratory settings, overhead lifting of equipment is a common ergonomic hazard. You are required to make use of a ladder to reach overhead shelves and overcome the stress that comes with overhead lifting. In addition, normalize placing heavy objects on lower shelves to reduce lifting tasks and by these, you can protect yourself from ergonomic hazards. If you do stand for long at your workstation, you are advised to wear comfortable shoes. At your workstation, make use of an adjustable ergonomic chair when you seat and that is recommended.