Ergonomics done right.®
September 26th, 2014

Q&A from Prevention Through Design Webinar

Thank you to those of you who attended our “Prevention Through Ergonomic Design” webinar this week. Here are the responses to the questions that we did not get to during the live event.

Q: ­What is the weight at which tools need to be counter-balanced?­

A: Six-pound tools that are used frequently and 10-pound tools that are used infrequently should be on a tool balancer.

Q: ­In regards to arbor presses, would it be better to have the handle centered such that the operator pushes and pulls instead of just pulling one side of the handle?­

A: Pushing and pulling in different directions can be effective.  One of the largest risk factors present is the awkward shoulder and elbow posture when activating the handle.  This can be minimized by mechanizing the press or lowering the handle.

Q: ­Please speak to task rotation. When does it make sense, and when is it just masking the problem?

A: Job rotation is not an engineering control and should not be the first option.  It may makes sense when correcting the root cause of the problem is not technically or financially feasible.  Job rotation should be done using objective data to ensure that the job rotation scheme minimizes overall exposure to employees.

Q: ­Can you please show the 10 principles of ergonomic design again?

1. Do not design for average

2. Design for adjustability

3. Design for extremes

4. Design for functional anthropometry

5. Reduce reach distance

6. Design for neutral postures

7. Design for two-handed use

8. Design in powered equipment

9. Design out frequency where possible

10. Design for maintenance/access