Laboratory Ergonomics Stress and How To Overcome It
Making the job, equipment and working area fit for the worker is a science called ergonomics. There are several ways you can protect yourself from ergonomic hazards which are common in laboratory. For your health’s sake, you are required to take action as soon as possible to avoid being 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. Researchers at a laboratory setting are at risk of developing trauma injuries as a result of their daily tasks. The types of injuries associated with cumulative trauma are stiffness, numbness, loss of grip, pains and aches, among others. Risk factors in the laboratory include awkward body posture, lifting and pushing and undertaking repetitive tasks.
Symptoms associated with fatigue are likely to go away while continuous symptoms indicate a serious problem. You are advised to seek medical services when you witness continuous symptoms. During their early stages, cumulative trauma are easy to treat. When a person fails to seek medical care, these symptoms can lead to serious injuries that are difficult to treat. 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.
You can overcome these health risks and ensure you are working in a safe environment by following various precautions. Repetitive procedures and awkward postures of parts of the body are among the strains encountered during pipetting. After every thirty minutes of pipetting, you should take a rest to prevent ergonomic strains. Rotate these tasks with other technicians if they are intense for you. The required equipment and samples should be kept within your reach and make use of adjustable chairs. Make sure to keep your spine straight during microscopy and it is advisable to avoid spending more than five hours a day doing microscopy. To prevent straining, keep the microscope at an angle where you can see clearly and comfortably.
In most laboratory settings, overhead lifting of equipment is a common ergonomic hazard. To avoid the stress that comes with overhead lifting, make use of a ladder to reach overhead shelves. 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. If you do stand for long at your workstation, you are advised to wear comfortable shoes. At your workstation, make use of an adjustable ergonomic chair when you seat and that is recommended.