How to prevent Laboratory ergonomic Hazards
Ergonomics is a science which aims at making the job, tools and the workstation area fit for the worker. There are several ways you can protect yourself from ergonomic hazards which are common in laboratory. 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. Due to their daily occupation, laboratory workers are at a high risk of developing trauma injuries. 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. 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. 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. Repetitive procedures and awkward postures of parts of the body are among the strains encountered during pipetting. 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. 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. You are required to make use of a ladder to reach overhead shelves and overcome 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. Comfortable shoes should be used if you are about to do a lot of standing at your workstation. It is recommended to use a highly adjustable chair when you are seated at the workstation.