Laboratory Ergonomics Stress and How To Overcome It
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 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. 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.
An indication of a serious problem is when the symptoms are continuous; however, symptoms that go away within a day are associated with fatigue. If you are experiencing continuous symptoms, you are advised to seek medical attention. Cumulative trauma injuries are treated with ease during their early stages. These symptoms can result to serious injuries that become difficult to treat if a person fails to seek medical care on time. 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.
To ensure that you work in a safe and comfortable environment, you ought to follow several precautions. Repetitive procedures and awkward postures of parts of the body are among the strains encountered during pipetting. You need to take a rest after every thirty minutes of pipetting to help control ergonomic strains. Make sure to interchange these tasks with other technicians if the tasks are too many. 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. Keep the microscope at an angle where you can look comfortably without straining.
A common economic hazard in many laboratory settings is lifting of equipment. You are required to make use of a ladder to reach overhead shelves and overcome 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. 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.