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Safety Tips | Ergonomics | Workstations

Avoid ergo injuries in manufacturing

November 1, 2009

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Working in the manufacturing industry can put high levels of strain on the body. Exposure to vibration or being required to make repetitive motions can lead to significant wear and tear on the body. The resulting injuries are known as cumulative trauma disorders.

CTDs can include back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Reducing the risk of these begins by creating an ergonomic workstation. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation points to three main sources of concern in a typical manufacturing workstation:

  • Prolonged standing on hard surfaces, which reduces blood flow to the feet, legs and back, and can result in fatigue
  • Prolonged sitting in chairs without adequate padding or adjustability, which places contact stress on the legs and buttocks
  • Reaching into small parts bins or boxes that require the worker to flex the wrist repeatedly

To prevent these types of injuries, OBWC recommends the following:

  • Provide anti-fatigue floormats in areas where employees will be standing for long periods. The flooring should have beveled edges to prevent tripping.
  • Provide ergonomic chairs. These chairs should provide adequate lumbar support, armrests and padding. The chairs should be adjustable to accommodate a worker’s height and comfort level.
  • Because both prolonged sitting and standing can be stressful to the body, allow workers to alternate positions whenever possible.

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