Industrial Ergonomic Tips
Ergonomics Industrial is the study of adapting job tasks in an industrial environment to human abilities and natural body movements.This typically means the study of manufacturing, engineering and construction type of workplace and job tasks. See Definition of Ergonomics.
Applying Ergonomics When Using Industrial Equipment
Lifting - The Art of Lifting
Lifting is a common activity in the industrial workplace. Lifting with proper posture is important, industrial ergonomic specialists say. They caution anyone who does serious lifting in a job to:
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- Realize that is strenuous and requires proper training of technique.
- Remember to warm up your muscles before lifting.
- Lifting should come from your leg muscles instead of your back muscles (which leads to back injuries like lower back pain).
- When lifting, get close to the load as much as possible - this gets the pressure off your back.
- Squat in an upright position when you lift things up.
- Tighten your stomach muscles to protect your spine when lifting.
- Use your legs to "push" off the floor to lift that load.
- Do not twist from your upper torso when changing direction - turn your whole body.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help with a load.
Whole Body, Hand, Arm Vibrations
Do you work in an environment where you body is subject to vibrations? This could mean sitting, standing, or lying on a vibrating surface.
If you experience any blurred vision, drowsiness (despite proper rest), lower back pain, insomnia, headaches, upset stomach please see your occupational safety and health specialist or a doctor.
Here is what industrial ergonomic specialists have to say:
- Refrain from using tools emitting vibrations. Ask for power tools with anti-vibration properties.
- If you can reduce the amount of vibrations of a tool for example lubricating it, applying more handle coatings etc.
- Wear vibration attenuation gloves
The Proper Hand Posture Using Tools
- Maintain straight wrists. Avoid unnatural bending or rotating wrists.
- Look out for bent-handle tools.
- Preferably your tools should have a compressible gripping coating over its handles.
- If you use a particular tool a lot, you will tend to be engaged in repetitive trigger finger actions. If so, try to mix up your tasks a bit to prevent static muscles injury.
- Wear gloves that fit. Loose grip reduce grip strength and pose other safety hazards. Tight fitting gloves are uncomfortable and adds pressure.
See also the Ergonomics Case Study in Industrial Ergonomics.
References: Article adapted and modified from Occupational Safety and Health Specialist.
Go back to Define Ergonomics.