A Brief Rundown of
Laboratory Ergonomics Stress and How To Overcome It
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 do not have to wait until it is too late but take action today for your healths’ sake. You can prevent injuries caused by poor ergonomics if you apply the tips in this article which are simple 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. 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. You are advised to seek medical services when you witness continuous symptoms. It is easier to treat cumulative trauma during the early stages of development. 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. While working in a biosafety cabinet and lab hoods, the technician is likely to stand for a long duration and this is another type of health risk.
There are several precautions to follow to overcome these risks and ensure that you are working in a comfortable and safe environment. 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. 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 reach overhead shelves, you are required to use a ladder so as to avoid the stress that comes with overhead lifting. Ensure that you keep heavy types of equipment or tools on lower shelves to minimize lifting tasks and by this, you can protect yourself from ergonomic stress. 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.