Home A long weekend’s nap… Ergonomics Done Right®

Written by: Kent Hatcher on May 23rd, 2008

HammockAs we go into this long weekend, many of us are hoping to enjoy the luxury of doing nothing, perhaps even find some time to get a little extra sleep. Sleep, or lack of it, can be a serious drain on productivity in the workplace and often presents a real safety risk according to an article at Usernomics.com.

One of the outcomes of developing WMSDs may be pain and discomfort experienced outside of work, specifically when trying to sleep. WMSDs have a continuum of hassle, discomfort then pain. Many times pain is addressed through anti-inflammatories or pain killers prescribed by health care providers. This only provides a temporary solution to the discomfort and pain, but is it addressing the root cause?

Unfortunately, health care providers do not often work closely with workplace personnel who better understand job demands. If the job a person is performing consists of awkward postures, high forces, repetitive tasks, or phyiscal stressors, these may be root causes to the pain and discomfort. Using tools like Phyical Demands Analysis or Descriptions can help health care providers determine whether specific workplace tasks may be contributing to pain and discomfort. Even better are risk assessments that determine whether workplace tasks are outside of population capabilities. Manual material handling, exposure to vibration, etc. should be assessed to see if the tasks exceed the capabilities of the work population. In turn, these high risk tasks can be controlled through engineering and workplace improvements. Which ultimately is addressing the root cause of the issue and will prevent pain and discomfort over the long run. And then maybe, just maybe, we can get the sleep we all deserve!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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