Friday Five – 3/3/17

The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors.  For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product.

Dr. Caitlin McGee, M.S., PT, DPT is a physical therapist with an interest in orthopedics and ergonomics for e-athletes.  She posted an ergonomic review of a prototype of the Smash Box controller.

This article covers 5 common injuries that potentially affect gamers.  Even though it is a couple of years old, it is still applicable today.  Keep in mind that gamers can be going home and playing for several hours on a daily basis – issues that they have from poor ergonomics in their home gaming set-up can be carried over to their workspace.

The original Hermann Miller Aeron chair wasn’t built for office workers.  The designers were working from input from senior citizens who listed needs such as cool temperatures,  easy on the joints, and easy to get up from or sit down on.  This article covers how these chairs ended up in offices across the world.

As always, it seems what is old becomes new again.  This article about kneeling chairs and back pain recently popped up in one of my Google Alerts for ergonomics.  I remember back in the late 1980s having one of these kneeling chairs in our house when I was a kid.

Boston Dynamics keeps building their amazing robots.  Their latest robot, Handle, is able to maneuver for distances of up to 15 miles, carry loads up to 100 pounds, navigate stairs with ease, and leap up to 4 feet vertically.  Could these be in warehouse environments in the near future?  The creations of Boston Dynamics always make me wonder how long it will be before Skynet becomes self-aware.

 

 

 

Friday Five – 2/24/17

The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors.  For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product.

This week’s Friday Five is going to be focused on healthcare providers.

Surgery is a physically demanding task for the surgical team.  Being that surgeons are people too, they come to work with some of the same nagging aches and pains that all of have.  This study by Susan Hallbeck et al. looked at the impact of surgeons taking small breaks to stretch and exercise during surgeries longer than 2.5 hours or more than 4 hours of cumulative surgery during an op day.  Participating surgeons noted a significant reduction in shoulder pain and felt that the microbreaks were not distracting to surgical performance.

In relation to the above mentioned paper, researchers in Italy looked at the postures and positions related to surgical performance.  For those in the realm of ergonomics, it is no surprise that the ability to control the height of the surgical table reduces the risk of musculoskeletal complaints.

Researchers looked at the human factors involved in performance of nursing tasks and developed a methodology that increased direct patient contact time which resulted in a reduction in missing medicines which caused a decrease in lost time in tracking down medications.  It’s important to look at the way we do things and determine what makes our jobs easier and what tasks take away from being able to perform our primary functions.

The last two papers today involve Neal Wiggerman from Hill-Rom.  The first paper looks at the impact of the placement of brake pedals and hand controls on hospital beds and the required forces to manipulate the bed.

The second paper looks at the impact of powered drive units of bariatric beds for pushing, pulling, maneuvering into elevators, controlling ramp descents, and stopping when compared to non-powered bariatric beds.  The powered units demonstrate significant impacts across the spectrum.   It was nice to see the inclusion of controlling the descent on ramps.  We have performed on-site measurements in several hospitals and this is an area that is often forgotten as many hospitals don’t have significant ramps.  However, when we were measuring demands for patient transporters at a hospital in Philadelphia, the hospital was comprised of several buildings purchased at different times on a hilly property.  As the hospital acquired the buildings, connecting ramps were built as none of the buildings had floors at corresponding heights.  Due to the ramps, pushing and pulling forces in this hospital had a 25% greater requirement than in similar hospitals with no intra-floor ramps.

 

 

 

 

Friday Five – 2/17/17

Friday Five – 2/2/17 – NJ Ergonomics Blog

The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors.  For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product.

We are now about a month in to the new administration.  Tom Muskin at Safety and Health Magazine takes a look at what might be coming down the pike with changes at OSHA.  Two interesting points are that President Trump is the first president with experience as a business person dealing with OSHA and that we may see a shift from shaming the companies who are found to be in violation to a climate of trying to assist companies to not be in violation.  There are some interesting pros and cons to that shift.

It’s still winter time out but this research paper by Rameez Rameezdeen and Abbas Elmualin in the January 2017 issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health takes a look at construction site injuries during heat waves.  One of the interesting points is that new workers (less than 1 year in job) and workers over 55 years old have higher injury rates during heat waves.   This is a good time to start planning for the heat of summer and checking protocols for dealing with employee hydration and other heat related protocols.

As was mentioned in this week’s What Not To Do Wednesday, the military becomes a great place to learn lessons.  In addition to accident reviews, they do an amazing amount of research to understand current problems so that they are no longer problems in the future.  This paper by AM Kelley et al in the February 2017 issue of Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance looks at the issue of helicopter aircrews and back pain through the lens of age, gender, airframe, and more.  Only by looking at current complaints can we reduce future complaints.

This might make for one of the more interesting projects for an engineering lab.  Carolyn Summerich, PhD of Ohio State University looked at ergonomics issues affecting tattoo artists.  Not surprisingly, there are some potential musculoskeletal issues lurking in this industry.

In France, a 105 year old man not only set a record a one hour cycling record but also helped to prove that physical performance and ability can be improved at any age.  Dr. Veronique Billat and her colleagues at University of Evry-Val d’Essonne in France followed Robert Marchand’s performance and provided him with a workout program that he followed for two years (from age 103 to age 105).  In testing, they found his VO2 improved 13% and was comparable to that of a 50 year old.  This is something that is going to be revisited in the future on this site.

 

 

Friday Five – 2/2/17

The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors.  For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product.

A lot of money and time has been put into exoskeletons for assisting soldiers, laborers, and individuals who have had strokes or spinal cord injuries.  This is an area that I plan on revisiting in future posts.  For now, a company called suitX has introduced a modular line of exoskeletons for assisting with specific work related tasks and body parts.

Whenever there is a change of administrations, regardless of whether there is a change in party, there are revisions to previous rules and regulations.  This National Law Review piece takes a quick look at areas of potential changes at OSHA.

Becker’s Healthcare Review has five great tips for designing an intergenerational workspace in hospital settings.

Not so much ergonomics but a question of productivity and efficiency on the Monday after the Super Bowl.  Kraft Foods is suggesting the day after should be a holiday  with an anticipated 16.5 million workers may call out sick to recover from festivities the day before.  This is an interesting question when talking about presenteeism vs. absenteeism.  How much work is actually lost with people discussing the game and the commercials when they come to work the next day?

When I was taking a tour of our local police department with my son’s Cub Scout den, my son asked the officer who gave the tour about a poster in the squad room.  The poster had a police cruiser that had been in an accident and had a slogan reminding officers that car accidents cause more line of duty deaths than some of the other more media noticed causes.  I found this article with 5 real world tips that police officers can use to make their vehicle safer for today’s tour of duty.

 

 

Friday Five – 1/27/17

The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors.  For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product.

This article by NHL defenseman Bryce Salvador discusses the changes in both behaviors and attitudes that he had to make following a concussion after being hit in the head with a puck at 90 miles per hour.

Steven Dubner of Freakonomics and Freakonomics radio did a two episode series on the economics of sleep.  It covers a lot of interesting areas that are impacted by the amount and quality of sleep.  While it’s broad in scope, it isn’t a deep dive into all of  the areas.  There’s some brief discussion of safety and productivity/efficiency.  Episode 1 provides an introduction to the issues of sleep and overall economics and Episode 2 looks a little bit more into timing of sleep and quality with a quick discussion with Heather Schofield who is doing some interesting research into the affect of sleep on data entry jobs.

Sometimes job training needs to start before you get the job.  The Kessler Foundation has awarded a grant to the University of Michigan to look at virtual reality based training modules to help youth with disabilities become more confident with their actions when interviewing for a job.  (As a quick disclosure, I used to work for the Kessler Foundation within their research division a long time ago).

Researchers in Canada are beginning to dig deeper into a fairly large set of data on construction workers to determine the differences between injury rates between unionized and non-unionized construction workers.

Besides the science that goes into the ballistic properties of bullet proof vests, there is a lot of ergonomics that goes into determining which vests work better at allowing personnel to be able to accurately and effectively perform job tasks.  Issues looked at include heat generation/dissipation, performance in obstacle courses, and more. Employees and end users should look to make sure that the issued vests are able to suitably perform all aspects of the job.

 

 

Friday Five

The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors.  For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided without commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a give product.

Ergonomic recycling containers – the lids are open to all sides allowing for easier access to deposit recyclables

American Airlines flight staff seem to be having health issues since their new uniforms were put into service.

Ergonomic mice and keyboards aren’t only for data entry – it can be the difference between winning and losing for gamers.

There are a lot of options for ergonomic keyboards.  This site reviews 10 of them.

While there have been reductions in sprains, strains, and other MSDs in many occupations, construction workers still have high rates of MSDs.