At Giordano Ergonomics Consulting LLC we create highly specialized on-site ergonomics workplace assessments to evaluate all risk factors and create a safe productive environment for your employees. These assessments evaluate repetition, force, duration, mechanical pressure and environmental conditions that could influence and increase the risks related to the industrial or corporate work force.
Each assessment is highly individualized to create truly unique implementations to create the highest level of proficiency in your business by addressing the needs of your employees.
How Can Applied Ergonomics Eliminate Risk?
Applied Ergonomics is a tool to assist with reducing or eliminating injury risk for your employees. In addition to preventing injury costs, effective ergonomic solutions should provide production and quality benefits.
When evaluating an ergonomic intervention, consider the hidden cost of injuries, as well as medical and compensation costs. Hidden cost can be in the form of loss in earnings power, lost time by fellow employees, loss of efficiency due to break up of a team, lost time by supervision, the cost of breaking in a new employee, damage to tools and equipment, down-time for damaged equipment, damaged product, loss of production, reduced customer satisfaction and the overhead costs while work was disrupted.
On-Site ergonomic assessments evaluate ergonomic risks factors including awkward postures of the upper body and extremities [head, neck, shoulders, and arms] as well as awkward postures of the lower extremities. These assessments evacuate repetition, force, duration, mechanical pressure, environmental conditions related to heat and cold. Workplace conditions that influence the presence and magnitude of the risk factors on musculoskeletal disorders. The identification of ergonomic hazards is based on ergonomics risk factors – conditions of a job process, work station, or work method that contributes to the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. Not all risk factors will be present in every job task with the potential for musculoskeletal disorder.
For some jobs, the problem is obvious and the solution is readily accomplished. For other jobs, the problem is multifactorial and the causes are inter-related and require more detailed quantitative assessment.
Engineering controls should be used, when feasible, to “design out” the hazard. Properly applied administrative and work practice controls can be used to reduce exposure while engineering controls are considered, or when engineering controls are not feasible. Engineering controls are the preferred method of control, since they reduce or eliminate the hazard at the source and are considered long-term solutions.
Some ENGINEERING CONTROLS could include alternatives such as:
Task Design Factors
- Reduce unnecessary steps
- Reduce duration of the task
- Reduce handing frequency
- Optimize pace of the task
- Broaden scope of the task
- Eliminate or combine steps in the process
Part/Load Design Factors:
- Optimize weight of load/part
- Reduce size of the load
- Ensure stability of the load
- Optimize load/part coupling
- Re-design the part
- Change characteristics of the part
Work Station Design Factors:
- Keep objects between shoulder and knuckle height (general rule)
- Optimize work heights
- Minimize travel distances
- Place items within reach envelop
- Eliminate unnecessary handling
- Choose proper container for task
- Optimize equipment/material layout
- Reduce static work postures
- Optimize work station symmetry
- Provide part holding/positioning fixtures
- Provide adjustability
Equipment & Tool Design Factors
- Balance/support tools used
- Optimize tools controls
- Optimize equipment heights and visibility
- Minimize segmental & whole-body vibration
- Provide fatigue-reducing equipment
- Incorporate proximity or low-pressure activation controls (hand tools and equipment)
- Correctly incorporate In-line and pistol grip style hand tools
- Use power vs. manual hand tools
- Reduce/eliminate manual tool use through mechanization and automation
Some ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL MEASURES could include
Defined: as education, policies or work practices used to prevent or control exposure to ergonomic stressors.
- Job Rotation – which could reduce employee’s overall exposure levels, but also increases the number of employees exposed
- Job Enlargement – can reduce the frequency of risk factors
- Scheduling of Rest Breaks – to allow recovery time/prevent or offset fatigue, as well as reduce duration
- Reviewing and balancing production rates and production positions for frequency, pace and duration risk factors.
- Training & Education regarding ergonomic principles, good body mechanics and the health benefits of ergonomic interventions.
- Medical Management – maintaining contact with injured workers during disability, and bringing them back to work as soon as feasible
- Performing job analyses to identify a list of light duty jobs to assist with implementing a return to work policy.
- Monitoring trends with regards to accidents/injuries within your OSHA logs, First Aid Logs, Accident investigation Forms, “Near miss” accident reporting and Workers compensation claims.