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A dimension of health and safety at work place

Flow of presentation

Introduction ergonomics
Informing about ergonomics stress area Characteristics of MSD MSD symptoms 3 necessity for ergonomics

How it can be avoided

Role of HR

Facts about ergonomics

The average person working at a keyboard can perform 50,000 to 200,000 keystrokes a day Overexertion, falls & RMI are the most common cause of workplace injury An average of 125,000 back injuries due to improper lifting each year.

Muscles overuse results in tiny tears in the muscles and

scarring; these contribute to inflammation and muscle stiffness

Confused with medical terminologies?

Derived from two Greek words:

Nomos meaning natural laws

Ergon meaning work Hence, ergonomists study human capabilities in relationship to work demands Ergonomics is the science of fitting jobs to people

Essentially, ergonomics is the relationship between the

worker and the job and focuses on the design of work areas to enhance job performance


Ergonomics is the scientific study of human work. Ergonomic principles adapt work to a specific person by

designing tasks & tools or equipment to fit the individual to

prevent injuries to the musculoskeletal system.

As early as 18th century doctors noted that workers who required

to maintain body positions for long periods of time developed

musculoskeletal problems. Within last 20 years research has clearly established connections

between certain job tasks and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injuries) or

MSD (musculoskeletal disorders ) Ergonomics can help prevent injuries and limit secondary injuries as well as accommodate individuals with various disabilities, including those with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)




Characteristics of MSDs
Occur from a single event or many small injuries

Take weeks, months, or years to develop

Produce no symptoms in early stages, but show symptoms after injury has occurred

Contributing causes may occur at home

and at work Same MSD may differ in severity from person to person doing a

similar task

Repetitive and/or prolonged activities Awkward postures/positions for an extended time Static postures Vibration High/low Temperatures for an extended

Forceful exertions

Forceful Exertions
Inflammation of tendons,
nerves, joints

Contributing factors
Type of grip Weight of object Body posture

Type and duration of the


Awkward Postures
Stress on muscles
and tendons Contributing factors Reaching overhead Force the body must maintain to hold the position Holding fixed positions (static loading) Lifting while twisting, reaching, or turning

Contact Stress
Pressing against or
grabbing a hard object
puts pressure on nerves, tendons,

and blood vessels

Contributing factors
Repetition Duration of contact Grip strength required

Affects tendons, muscles,
joints, nerves Contributing factors Prolonged grip Restricts blood supply to hands and fingers Tools without vibration dampening device Poor power tool maintenance

Risk Factor Repetitive Motion

Stress on muscles and tendons Contributing factors
Duration and speed of repetitious movement Number of muscles involved Required force

Raising and lowering the arm

over and over again

MSD Symptoms
Back and neck shooting pain, stiffness Shoulderspain, stiffness, loss of mobility Arms and legs shooting pains, numbness Elbow and knee joints pain, swelling, stiffness, soreness

MSD Symptoms (cont.)

Hands and wrists swelling, numbness, loss of strength Fingersjerking movements, or loss of strength, mobility, and feeling Thumbspain at the base Feet and toes numbness, tingling, stiffness, burning sensation

Risk Factors That Lead to MSDs

Repetitive motions
Forceful exertions Awkward postures

Contact stress (pressure points)


Necessity of ergonomics
1. Work activities should permit worker to adopt several different healthy and safe postures. 2. Muscle forces should be done by the largest appropriate

muscle groups available

3. Work activities s/b performed with joints at about midpoint of their ROM (esp. head,trunk,UE)

How it can be avoided

Prevent is the first necessity. a) Warm up & stretch before activities that are repetitive, static or prolonged


Take frequent breaks from ANY sustained posture every 2030 minutes

c) d)

Respect pain-

positions or stop painful activity

Recognize early signs of inflammatory process, & tx early

Maintain Neutral Posture

a) Maintain erect position of back & neck w/ shoulders relaxed b) Position equipment & work directly in front of and close to

your major tasks

c) d) Keep upper arms close to the body, elbows 90-100 degrees Keep feet flat on floor, upper body weight resting on sits bones

Benefit of Ergonomic Hazard Identification

Improved safety and health in the workplace

Improved employee morale and job satisfaction

Improved productivity Improved quality of work Improved competitiveness in the marketplace Reduced probability of accidents and errors

Reduced absenteeism and employee turnover

Reduced medical and workers' compensation costs associated with cumulative trauma disorders

Role of HR
HR department should conduct training program for employees and should provide ergonomics education to their employees. The work station design should meet the requirements of ergonomics The job design should be appropriate and should ensure job rotation for employees having monotonous job. There should be medical check ups at regular intervals HR should ensure that every individual is in compliance with the ergonomics policies and work practice. Medical portals should be created so that any individual who wants additional information about ergonomic or medical management can serve himself. They should be counseled if the employees face any problem regarding their health and safety due to their work.

Correct & Incorrect Techniques



Evaluating the ergonomics practices

HR should evaluate the departments whether they are following the ergonomics standards or not. Audit should be carried for evaluating the ergonomics

It should be identified that which department needs the ergonomics training. Knowledge of each individual should be checked for whether they have understood the effects of ergonomics.