Efficient Plant May 2018 - 34

Answers to questions
facing today's reliability
& maintenance
professionals

department | on the floor

Trades Q
People Need A
Ergonomics,
Too
Dr. Klaus M. Blache
Univ. of Tennessee Reliability
& Maintainability Center
(RMC)

Based in Knoxville, Klaus M. Blache is director
of the Reliability & Maintainability Center
at the Univ. of Tennessee, and a research
professor in the College of Engineering.
Contact him at kblache@utk.edu.

34

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

How does ergonomics
apply to trades?

Ergonomics (human factors) is
made up of two Greek words, ergon (to work) and nomos (law). OSHA
(Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, Washington, osha.
gov) defines ergonomics as the study
of work.
More specifically, ergonomics is the
science of designing the job to fit the
worker, rather than physically forcing
the worker's body to fit the job. From
all of that comes the oft-used phrase
"work smarter, not harder."
Much of the manufacturingoriented ergonomics research and
resulting information has been applied
to production operators. That's because
associated problems are observable,
identifiable, and predictable due to the
repetitive nature of their work.
Ergonomics, though, is just as important for trades personnel because of
situations they constantly encounter.
Examples include:
 The static loads that result from
holding something in place for a long
time during installation is a significant
stressor.
 The emergency nature of trades
work may not promulgate the best
ergonomic practices, even though all
safety practices are followed.
 The unpredictable nature of repair
and replacement frequently forces
awkward postures and hand-wrist
positions.
 Tools and harnesses, in combination with often-tight workspaces,

lead to awkward body postures and
movement, such as more twisting,
sustained holding, and unbalanced
lifting positions.
 Safety helmets and glasses, hearing
protection, arc-flash suits and gloves,
and other personal-protection equipment, although necessary, interfere
with performing needed tasks. Factors
include grip strength, perception,
reaction time, motion limitation, and
visibility.
 Poor accessibility, lack of proper visual displays/error proofing needs are
different for skilled trades who need to
maintain machinery and equipment
that is typically not designed and/or
installed for maintainability.
 The impact of ergonomics also
increases with multiple shifts and long
work hours.

AGE IS A FACTOR
As another popular phrase states,
"with age comes wisdom." Unfortunately, that's where the good news
stops. Everything else declines with
age. As years pass, we humans deal
with a loss of muscle fibers and
strength, range of motion, aerobic capacity, eyesight, grip strength, cardiac
output, nervous-system capability, and
mental processing.
Most of these functions decline at a
steady rate until about age 50, at which
point the rate of deterioration usually increases. Workers aged 50 to 60
need two to three times more light (to
maintain visual acuity) than a younger
worker. Since people are living longer
and many working longer, understand-

MAY 2018


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant May 2018

Editorial
Implementations
Six Steps That Cut Costs
Educating Work-REady Students
Revisiting Benefits Of A CMMS
Lube Safety Comes In Threes
SAP: What Does This SAP Error Mean?
Are Your Electrical Workers Qualified?
Is Your Site Susceptible To Cyber Threats?
Pinpoint Funny Motor-Ground Currents
Properly Select Pressure-Relief Valves
On The Floor
Solution Focus
Products
Index
Showcase
Seeking Reliability
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Cover1
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Cover2
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 1
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 2
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 3
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 4
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 5
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Editorial
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 7
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Implementations
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 9
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Six Steps That Cut Costs
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 11
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 12
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 13
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 14
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 15
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Educating Work-REady Students
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 19
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 20
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 17
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 18
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 19
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 20
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 21
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Revisiting Benefits Of A CMMS
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 23
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 24
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 25
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Lube Safety Comes In Threes
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 27
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 28
Efficient Plant May 2018 - SAP: What Does This SAP Error Mean?
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Are Your Electrical Workers Qualified?
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Is Your Site Susceptible To Cyber Threats?
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Pinpoint Funny Motor-Ground Currents
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Properly Select Pressure-Relief Valves
Efficient Plant May 2018 - On The Floor
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 35
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Solution Focus
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 37
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 38
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 39
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Products
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 41
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 42
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 43
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 44
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 45
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Index
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Showcase
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Seeking Reliability
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Cover3
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Cover4
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