How to prevent Laboratory ergonomic Hazards
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. For your health’s sake, you are required to take action as soon as possible to avoid being too late. Injuries due to poor ergonomics can be prevented if you follow the ideas in this article which are simple and easy to implement. 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. Risk factors in the laboratory include awkward body posture, lifting and pushing and undertaking repetitive tasks.
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. There are serious injuries which emerge when a person ignores these symptoms and it becomes difficult to treat such a condition. Whenever the blood flow is restricted, muscles and joints stressed and the nerves pinched, this injury starts to develop gradually. 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. 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. 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. To avoid the stress that comes with overhead lifting, make use of a ladder to reach overhead shelves. In addition, normalize placing heavy objects on lower shelves to reduce lifting tasks and by these, you can protect yourself from ergonomic hazards. If you do stand for long at your workstation, you are advised to wear comfortable shoes. When seated at your workplace, it is recommended that you make use of an adjustable and comfortable chair.