September 21, 2023

Ergonomics helps health, productivity

June is National Safety Month and in honor of our occupational safety and health students and graduates, we would like to remind all of the importance of keeping your workplace and workspace safe. One of the important areas of workplace safety is ergonomics.

Ergonomics involves designing equipment and devices to fit a person to aid them in the goals of health and productivity, particularly on the job. It’s about learning how to work smarter and preventing conditions such as overexertion. The following is some advice from the National Safety Council.

Ergonomic conditions are disorders of the soft tissues, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs.

These conditions are often caused by factors such as:

  • Overexertion while lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching
  • Repetitive motions
  • Working in awkward positions
  • Sitting or standing too long in one position
  • Using excessive force
  • Vibration
  • Resting on sharp corners or edges
  • Temperature extremes

Remember, these can occur from activities at work, such as working on an assembly line, using heavy equipment or typing on a computer. They also can result from activities at home like playing video games, helping someone move, participating in hobbies such as sewing or through home repair projects.

Ergonomic conditions are best dealt with when they are caught early.
Common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  •  Tingling
  • Tenderness
  • Clicking
  • Loss of grip strength

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to see your physician or an occupational physician as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pain.

Source: National Safety Council