Industrial Ergonomics Unit VI Assessment
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the term used to describe a damaged median nerve in someone’s wrist, usually caused from repeated compression. The median nerve is not heavily protected by ligament tissue due to limited space in the wrist area. This is mainly due to the wrist having so many tendons running through it. With little protection of the median nerve it can be easily damaged. Once damaged an individual will often feel a loss of strength in their hand. The main structures of the wrist are the transverse carpal ligament, carpal bones, finger flexor tendons, blood vessels, tendons, carpal tunnel, and the median nerve. Common jobs people develop carpal tunnel syndrome is maintenance, manufacturing, cleaning, finishing, and meat, poultry, or fish packing. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented by wearing gloves that fit properly, using tools that fit your hand comfortably, not exposing hands to cold temperatures for long periods, reduce tasks with low-frequency vibration, and try to perform tasks that require your wrist to be straight versus bent. Ways to identify carpal tunnel syndrome are by using the Allen’s test, which is performed by holding down the radial and ulnar artery in someone’s wrist and then having them clench their fist three times. This will force the blood out of their hand. When the arteries are released the blood and color should return back to the hand within seven seconds for a negative result. If blood flow or color take longer to return a positive result will be confirmed. The Tinel test is not as visual as it requires tapping along someone’s median nerve at the wrist, through their palm and up their forearm. If they feel tingling in their thumb or first three fingers it is a positive indicator, they have carpal tunnel syndrome.
In this scenario a box is on a table and it is empty, because the weight of the box is not what is important, how to move it safely without any ergonomic issues or injury is the focus. When attempting to lift the box you want to get it as close to you as you can. This prevents unnecessary strain and makes the box easier to carry. Your midsection will act as a support and aid in balancing the box. Next you want to take your hands and get them under each side of the box, do not bear hug the box. Having your hands under the sides not only helps balance the load, but also helps when it comes to place the box down. If you bear hug the box the only way to put it down is by basically dropping it and if you have your hands on the front corners you could possibly smash them when putting the box down. Now that we have a firm grip under the box the next step is to place it down on the floor. To do this you want your feet slightly spread apart to give yourself a wide base. When you begin to bend down do not bend straight over, instead start bending at your knees as if you were going to squat down. Keeping your back straight and knees bent will prevent any strain in your lower back. Now simply place one side of the box down on the ground at a time to prevent from smashing your fingers and stand up by straightening your knees and then lifting your torso.
I do not think there is any way to stop people from picking money up off the ground, but to stop people from bending over improperly I believe is possible. Something that helped me learn to use proper lifting technique was old age, my body told me what didn’t hurt as bad. Since we cannot make people old, we have to do the next best thing and that is to educate or enlighten them. If these people bend over every day without issue to pick stuff up what can you do to motivate them to change their ways before injury or old age. Teaching proper lifting technique is the first step and then enlightening them by showing them data on how many injuries occur from improper lifting. Sometimes numbers and data reach people better than just the safety persons word of mouth, especially if this data is broken down in age in gender. The more personal the data the more it has a chance of hitting home. Next thing to do is encourage people to make the right choice. This can be done through days off by hitting goals of no injury or by individual recognition of someone performing safe tasks. Another step would be to empower other individuals to stop unsafe work or to recognize people for safe work. Having everyone looking out for each other’s safety and health will help form team attitude.
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