Friday Five – 6/9/17

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 or research paper.
These links were generated during a PubMed search on the terms: ergonomics workplace and ergonomics musculoskeletal

Love et al.  look into the ergonomic issues associated with home health care workers and what can be done to reduce the risk of injury.

Ceshi et al. examine the impact of exhaustion, workplace demands, and workplace resources affect decision making and the subsequent impact on performance.

Pandalia et al.  investigate usage of a Composite Lifting Index to assess risk of low back pain in material handling tasks.

Chen et al. looked at the psychophysical limits on lifting a weighted box between younger and older female workers.  Women between the ages of 50 and 63 years old chose weights that were approximately 24% less than the younger co-hort (between 20 and 32 years old).

Antonucci et al. examined the effect of drill bit wear on vibration and task performance.  Drill bit wear creates an increase in the vibration of the drill and increases time to complete task performance.  Antonucci et al. recommend instituting drill bit replacement protocls for when drill bits become worn.

 

 

Friday Five – 4/28/17

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 or research paper.

These links were generated during a PubMed search on the terms: applied ergonomics

Lee et al. investigated the position of two different wearable sensor systems on the posture of construction workers while performing assigned tasks in a laboratory.  As those who have worked with motion capture devices know, placement of these sensors is everything in terms of collected data.

He et al. look at using Google Glass to monitor eye blinking in drivers to determine signs of drowsiness.  Distracted driving is something that we’ve hit upon in other posts.  Technology such as this may be able to go along way in helping drivers to recognize when they are too fatigued to drive safely.

Schmidt et al. investigated a different way of dealing with fatigue during long drives through the use of a cooling device to help improve alertness.

Armstrong et al. reviewed the impact of two paramedic services transitioning to a powered stretcher to help reduce injuries related to patient transport.  This appears to be a cost-effective solution with a reduction in injuries during patient transport.

Hlavenka et al. investigated the effect of neck posture during lifting tasks on both lumbar spine posture and activation of trunk musculature.  They indicate that a retracted neck posture may help to lower the risk of pain and injury during lifting tasks.

 

What Not To Do Wednesday – 2/1/17

worker trying to kick wood into a chipper in an unsafe and unprotected way (how not to use a wood chipper)
BBW345 worker trying to kick wood into a chipper in an unsafe and unprotected way (how not to use a wood chipper)

It seems like it should be a “no brainer” to not use your feet to help push things into machines that shred materials, but it happens.  Approximately 50% of those injured when using a wood chipper are sucked feet first into the machine.  The Bureau of Labor and Statistics tracks injuries and fatalities for many occupations.  Statistics for the last several years indicate about 100-130 non-fatal injuries occur while operating wood chippers with fatalities typically in the 5 to 10 per year range.

Wood chipper injuries can be reduced with some simple rules:

  • When you are working to clear a clogged chute, make sure that the machine if fully shutdown before opening the machine up.  A worker in Maine was fatally injured when he attempted to open a chipper before it was fully shut down.
  • Make sure to operate chippers in teams of at least two individuals.  These team members should be close enough to monitor each other, in the event that the machine needs to be shutdown.
  • Load smaller pieces on top of larger pieces – or use larger branches to push the shorter branches through the hopper.
  • Put twigs and other small branches directly into the truck instead of running them through the chipper.
  • Stand to the sides (specifically the side with the shutoff controls) of the hopper when feeding materials rather than in front of the hopper.

 

What Not To Do Wednesday

The internet is full of lots of information.  Some helpful, some esoteric, some entertaining…but, in that portion that is questionably entertaining, there is still some useful information.

What Not To Do Wednesday’s are going to be an opportunity to share some of those viral videos, images, and stories that despite the craziness still have some lessons to be learned.

This week’s video has gone viral since it hit the webs at the beginning of the week.  Nobody wants a nest of stinging insects near their garage.  There are many different options available at your local hardware store to get rid of these annoying houses for the scary, stinging insects.  There are even professional exterminators who excel at doing this safely.

We do not recommend using the solution seen in this video.

There’s many reasons that this is a bad idea:

  • While this gentleman is taking his own well-being in his own hands, he is putting the person who filmed him at risk for aggressive yellow jackets that may escape his grip.
  • This is a prime example of less than best practices when using a ladder.  In both reaching for the nest as well as when he shows the crushed nest, he leans well outside of his base of support – in fact, you can see the ladder shaking multiple times during this video.
  • He makes an aggressive movement in reaching for the nest which could have resulted in a fall.
  • His barehands put his hands at risk for stinging injuries.

It shouldn’t have to be said, but don’t try this at home or work.

The Entymology Department at the University of Kentucky provides a comprehensive list of strategies for dealing with different types of stinging insects and their hives.  Interestingly, they mention that yellow jackets can become very aggressive when disturbed and that sometimes a professional is the best person to handle this situation.

What Not To Do Wednesday will be a regular feature on this blog going forward.  I hope that it will become both an educational tool for those that read the blog as well as a resource for those of you who provide safety lectures when you need to illustrate a point.