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. 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. Researchers at a laboratory setting are at risk of developing trauma injuries as a result of their daily tasks. 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.
Symptoms associated with fatigue are likely to go away while continuous symptoms indicate a serious problem. Seek medical attention whenever you witness persistent symptoms as that is advisable. During their early stages, cumulative trauma are easy to treat. There are serious injuries which emerge when a person ignores these symptoms and it becomes difficult to treat such a condition. This type of injury develops gradually and occurs when joints and muscles are stressed, the nerves pinched and blood flow restricted. Another type of health risk is for laboratory technicians is standing for long hours while working in lab hoods and biological safety cabinets.
You can overcome these health risks and ensure you are working in a safe environment by following various precautions. In the laboratory, pipetting is a common ergonomic strain associated with awkward movements of the body and repetitive tasks. 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. Make sure to keep your spine straight during microscopy and it is advisable to avoid spending more than five hours a day doing microscopy. The microscope should be kept at an elevated angle at which you can look directly and without straining.
In most laboratory settings, overhead lifting of equipment is a common ergonomic hazard. To reach overhead shelves, you are required to use a ladder so as to avoid 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. When seated at your workplace, it is recommended that you make use of an adjustable and comfortable chair.