Assignment Instructions – Ergonomics Hazard Assessment
Perform an ergonomics hazard assessment on a workstation of your choice. What are the potential stressors of that workstation? What are the potential ergonomic risks and hazards? What type of injury could they cause? Explain each hazard in detail.
Sample Answer – Computer Workstation Ergonomics Hazard Assessment
The selected workstation is a computer workstation. Potential stressors in a computer workstation include the seat, the table, lighting, and the surrounding environment. Computer workstations are normally characterized by long sitting hours, continuous wrist and fingers joints movement. Poor sitting position, seats and tables of inappropriate height or that so not match the users’ body can results to various health hazards including backache, neck stress, and wrists aches among other problems. Other environmental factors that include lighting and surrounding noise can also influence users’ vision and hearing ability (Oregon, n.d).
Computer workstation involves a number of activities and routines that can subject the users to a various ergonomic related health hazards. Ergonomic illnesses and injuries are hard to diagnose and thus, they can cause extensive damage to the workers. Some of the ergonomic hazards presented in a computer workstation involve the sitting position. Sitting in a tall chair were the feet cannot rest flat on the ground, inability to sit with the thighs lying parallel to the ground or sitting with a small downward angle to the knees from the hips or with front seat pan edge presses into the knee back can cause backaches or swelling of the legs. Having a space between the back rest and spine and failure of the chair lumber to support the lumber spine curves are some of the postures which can subject workers in computer workstation to backaches and swelling of legs (IHSA, n.d.).
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Another possible hazard is the wrist pain which can be caused by insufficient forearm support when using the mouse or the keyboard. One can also experience shoulder problems if armrest is too high or too low or even too wide. Keyboard or input device hazard are also common, mostly affecting the shoulders and the wrist. The wrist experience hazard during deviation when using input devices, when reaching to front or side using any input device, or when forearms are not parallel to the floor or by tensing shoulders during input device use or when wrist not flat. Too little or too much light can also be hazardous to the eyes of the computer work stations (Oregon, n.d). Monitor position can influence head and neck position and also the body asymmetry. This is likely to happen when the user is multitasking for instance using the phone and the computer at the same time. Noise caused by most desktop computers especially those working in a communal office can also cause heading or rigging ears. All these are possible hazard in a computer workstation (IHSA, n.d.).
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Types of injuries and illnesses
Inadequate or slouching chair support might result to sore back. Improper seating position can also result to backache, neck ache and hands muscles pain due to inappropriate stretching of these muscles. Sore hand, shoulders, arms and wrist can also be initiated by improper sitting position. Other possible injuries include numbness in the feet and legs mostly for poor or restricted blood flow in the legs (NSC, 2003). The computer monitor might not be bright enough, too bright or incorrectly positioned. The reflection or glare on the monitor might be distracting unknowingly causing headaches and eyestrain. Individuals working in a computer workstation are subject to various shoulder, neck, legs and hands injuries mostly due to poor siting position, not having the right chair or table or failure to adjust the table and the chair to fit individual physical needs (Oregon, n.d).
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