How to prevent Laboratory ergonomic Hazards
Making the job, equipment and working area fit for the worker is a science called ergonomics. There are several ways you can protect yourself from ergonomic hazards which are common in laboratory. You do not have to wait until it is too late but take action today for your healths’ sake. 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. Numbness, loss of grip, aches, stiffness and pain are good examples of ergonomic injuries. Risk factors in the laboratory include awkward body posture, lifting and pushing and undertaking repetitive tasks.
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. These symptoms can result to serious injuries that become difficult to treat if a person fails to seek medical care on time. This type of injury develops gradually and occurs when joints and muscles are stressed, the nerves pinched and blood flow restricted. Laboratory workers are likely to stand for long durations and this can lead to health risks.
You can overcome these health risks and ensure you are working in a safe environment by following various precautions. In the laboratory, pipetting is a common ergonomic strain associated with awkward movements of the body and repetitive tasks. You need to take a rest after every thirty minutes of pipetting to help control ergonomic strains. If the tasks are intense, make sure to rotate these tasks with other technicians. The required equipment and samples should be kept within your reach and make use of adjustable chairs. During microscopy, you are advised not to spend more than five hours and ensure to keep your spine neutral. To prevent straining, keep the microscope at an angle where you can see clearly and comfortably.
In most laboratory settings, overhead lifting of equipment is a common ergonomic hazard. To avoid the stress that comes with overhead lifting, make use of a ladder to reach overhead shelves. To protect yourself from ergonomic stress, you are required to keep heavy objects on the lower shelves to reduce tasks associated with lifting. If you do stand for long at your workstation, you are advised to wear comfortable shoes. It is recommended to use a highly adjustable chair when you are seated at the workstation.