The Ergonomic Journey - ErgoFit Consulting's Blog

 

lab arm support  

Ergo & Laboratory Workers

Laboratory workers are at high risk for overuse injuries due to the nature of their work which often involves repetitive motions, static postures, awkward postures, high grip or pinch forces and neck flexion. 

Using equipment such as microtomes, pipettes, biosafety cabinets (BSC) and microscopes are all common places we see laboratory workers experiencing discomfort. When ergonomic principals are adopted in the laboratory (ideally when designing a space), we can greatly reduce, or eliminate several of these risk factors.

So how do we reduce their ergonomic risk factors when performing laboratory work?

 

Tonya P 

Written December 2017

by Tonya LaFranchi, MOST, OTR/L

ErgoFit Consulting, Inc.

 
  • Using a chair with forward seat pan tilt to reduce forward reaching to the BSC, microscope or lab bench

  • Elevate work when standing to reduce neck flexion

  • Use height adjustable BSCs to accommodate 90% of the work force

  • Support your arms whenever possible to reduce strain on the upper back and shoulders

  • Use electric pipettes or multi-channel pipettes to reduce force and repetition requirements of the thumb

  • Use anti-fatigue matting or shoe inserts to reduce strain and fatigue in the legs and back if standing for prolonged periods of time

  • Use tools and gloves that are the right size for your hand

  • Reduce static postures and take micro breaks every 20 minutes to change postures and increase blood flow and circulation

  • Place media bottles on their side when using serological pipettes

Want to learn more?  Check out our training and assessment options specific to laboratories and the people working in them.  By adopting and accepting positive change in work practices, laboratory design and/or equipment purchasing, you will see an increase in productivity, a reduction in ergonomic risk factors and increase in employee morale!  Let us know how we can help you today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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© ErgoFit® Consulting, Inc. and ErgoFitConsulting.com, 2001-2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner and/or author(s) is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author(s) and ErgoFit® Consulting, Inc / ErgoFitConsulting.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.