Efficient Plant October 2021 - 32

column | safety insights
Address O
Ergonomics
To Keep
Workers
Healthy
Ryan Dobbins
CSP, PMP, CHST, CIT, CUSP
NE OF THE more difficult
injury types for safety professionals
and industry leaders to
anticipate and prevent in the workplace
is musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).
These types of injuries affect muscles,
joints, tendons, and ligaments and can be
generally viewed as sprains and strains.
Since all individuals have varying degrees
of physical fitness, hazards that cause MSDs
are difficult to consistently identify and
mitigate. Moreover, these types of disorders
can expose employees to increased risk of
aggravating pre-existing injuries. One of
the best ways to avoid and prevent MSDs in
the workplace is to implement ergonomics
programs through processes and standardized
procedures.
In short, ergonomics is the scientific
Key causes of musculoskeletal disorders that
reduce productivity and cause worker downtime
are repetitive motions, handling heavy loads,
awkward positions, and excessive standing.
discipline of fitting the workplace to the
worker. This means all workstations, tools,
and equipment should be designed or
modified to help the worker avoid MSD
risk factors. Some common risk factors
include:
repetitive motions
lifting, pushing, or pulling heavy loads
awkward body positioning, such as
leaning, kneeling, squatting, reaching
excessive standing, sitting, or working
with poor posture.
Implementing an effective ergonomics
Ryan Dobbins is a Safety Services Manager
at Safety Management Group, Columbus,
OH (safetymanagementgroup.com). He is a
Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Project
Management Professional (PMP), Construction
Health & Safety Technician (CHST), Certified
Instructional Trainer (CIT), and Certified Utility
Safety Professional (CUSP). Contact him at
RyanDobbins@safetymanagementgroup.com.
32 | EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM
program can prevent MSDs and similar
injuries through early recognition and
reporting and, more important, by proactively
conducting ergonomic risk assessments
of your workplace and workstations.
Each workstation evaluation should focus
on three key elements: force, frequency,
and posture. The assessment should determine
the following, at minimum:
work positions and postures of workers
during routine tasks
how often a posture, action, or motion
is performed during routine tasks
the level of required effort exerted and
duration of routine tasks.
After potential risk factors are identified,
they can be mitigated using common
methods of controlling any work-related
hazard. The workstation should first
be redesigned or modified to eliminate
the hazards identified. If modifications
cannot be made, work practices should be
implemented to avoid the hazard, such as
proper lifting techniques, routine breaks,
stretching exercises, and work rotation.
As a final barrier to protect workers from
ergonomic-related hazards, providing
personal protective equipment may be
useful, such as knee pads, gripping gloves
or footwear, or thermal gloves.
It's important to recognize that ergonomic-related
hazards don't only exist at a
work establishment; they can also exist at
remote or home workstations. In the past
two years, many workers were required
to work from home due to pandemicrelated
hazards. Since this introduced new
working conditions, they may not have had
adequate workstations and were exposed
to ergonomic-related hazards. Remote
or at-home workstations should also be
assessed to identify hazards and prevent
potential ergonomic-related injuries.
Although the ergonomic-related
hazards, or MSDs are not often recognized
or considered as much as other common
industry hazards and injuries, they can
be just as serious and place strain on your
organization's safety and health program.
To be most prepared, it's important to
proactively conduct ergonomic assessments
at your workstations to identify
and mitigate hazards while encouraging
a reporting culture to identify potential
MSDs early so they can be properly treated
or avoided. EP
OCTOBER 2021

Efficient Plant October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant October 2021

Efficient Plant October 2021 - Cover1
Efficient Plant October 2021 - Cover2
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 1
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 2
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 3
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 4
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 5
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 6
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 7
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 8
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 9
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 10
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 11
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 12
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 13
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 14
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 15
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 16
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 17
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 18
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 19
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 20
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 21
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 22
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 23
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 24
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 25
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 26
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 27
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 28
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Efficient Plant October 2021 - 30
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 31
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 32
Efficient Plant October 2021 - Cover3
Efficient Plant October 2021 - Cover4
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