There are such things as wheel lifting bars which provide leverage for lifting wheels. If he is always lifting in the same location, same vehicle, he could make a little ramp at the right height, and then just roll it up the ramp.
After making several suggestions and getting her a Contour rollermouse, THEN I find out she has a problem with tremors in her hands. The tremors were not evident when I evaluated, and I guess I never asked the right question. I recommended she see a doctor about the tremors. She doesn't want to go to doctor because she doesn't think the tremors and elbow pain are related. A quick google search shows several medical conditions with tremors and elbow pain. I can only recommend, I cannot force her to a doctor!
Thank you for your response. I was thinking along those lines. I wish there was clear guidance on mousing – amount of pronation etc. Suggesting a different mouse sort of sounds like guess to me. And then why one mouse over another?
Maybe you should approach a university that teaches biomechanics to see if they can do biomechanical comparison of several types of fry baskets. Sounds like an interesting study!
I have done some work in this industry and indeed, have seen several problems in using the fry baskets. I don’t know of any specific studies on this topic, but some models of fryers are better than others. Some baskets have to flipped over to empty, while others have a bottom that unlatches to empty. Many times, workers lift 2 baskets at once.
As an avid cyclist, I would tell you an emphatic "It depends". What type of biking – cruising, road racing, mountain biking, etc, and the size and sex of the person. As a woman, I recommend the Terry line of bike seats. I have one on each of my three bikes.
Seats are relatively inexpensive. Go to a local bike shop, and try a few before you buy.
I have seen this before. If levelling the floor is an option, that is the best. Otherwise, you have hit on some of the other options. Also consider, reorienting the desk so the tilt causes less problems. If the tilt is sideways, then put her desk perpindicular to the tilt so she is rolling towards her workstation as opposed to away. A mat just beneath her chair to increase the friction was not acceptable?
Does the book cover the weight of the french fry baskets and the usual method of lifting and dumping them? That can be hard on the elbows and forearms. What about the inaccessibility of the milkshake machines that usually are loaded from the top? This usually requires an above-shoulder reach, or using a stepstool.
I have read that some companies (Hewlett-Packard for one) have a policy where those who work offsite must read and agree to the guidelines. The recommendations include ergonomic guidelines such as chair, desk, keyboard, mouse, table height. Also included are frequency of breaks. I have not seen the document or policy – anyone have a copy?
Just as a follow-up to this topic;
Every year, I volunteer at my kid’s elementary school (k-6) as part of a Health Fair. The kids come with their teacher and class to the gym where there are about 10 stations on different health topics. This year, there were sections on cardiac health, lung health, literacy, fire safety, animal health, emergency services, mental health. My booth is on ergonomics. This year, I kept it very simple and talked about posture. I had a model of a spine and we talked about standing posture. Then, we did a few stretches and posture excercises. I had about 5 to 10 minutes with each class. For Grade 6 only, I hooked up one student to a biofeedback device to show trap. muscle activity when mousing. In our state, all Grade 7 students get a laptop computer. My demo showed a lot of shoulder activity when the mouse is used with a long reach, and a high reach.
In previous years, I did the biofeedback monitor for all classes, but I don’t think the younger grades got much out of it.
I notice the younger kids love the stretches but starting in about grade 4 (age 10) they get a little self-conscious and have to be prodded into participating.
Ergohead, do you remember who makes the cart you described? I am working with a nursing home on laundry issues. They pull carts (as described in the original question) that carry 700+ pounds of soiled laundry. I searched around for alternative carts but didn’t see anything that impressed me. I am going to recommend a motorized puller, but the client may balk at the cost and the clumsiness of those things. I am intrigued by the cart you describe.
Well said Philip! But it is not always so clear cut. How do we determine causality when we have one system of healthcare during work hours(worker’s comp) and another for the rest of the day (private health insurance)? Employers resent footing the bill for a cumalitive trauma injury when the person has poor health habits or hobbies that may increase risks for cumulative trauma.
For instance, a data-entry employee with pain in hands who relaxes by knitting or playing videogames. Who is responsible? I tell employers it is their responsibility to provide a safe workplace.
We need to encourage personal AND employer responsibility.
Thanks for your reply. You are correct in that we want to reduce/eliminate the musculoskeletal stress associated with this task. We want to use the appropriate ergo analysis tools to help us make the case. So getting the numbers right is important. If we get the numbers right, then hopefully we can measure the effectiveness of any suggested solutions.
Part of this problem is how we communicate to our clients. Giving them a LI or CLI is good, but it many do not understand what it means. Recommended weight limits may be easier to understand for non-ergonomists.
Thank you for the article references.
Chan J, Janowitz I, Lashuay N, Stern A, Fong K, Harrison R. Preventing musculoskeletal disorders in garment workers: preliminary results regarding ergonomics risk factors and proposed interventions among sewing machine operators in the San Francisco Bay Area. Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2002;17:247-253.
This article has some good recommendations on chairs for sewing machine operators: seat pan length less than 19″ so that leg has unobstructed use of thigh to promote ankle flexion. Need good lumbar support.
I will keep digging. If I come up with more info, I will post.
I posted a similar question a few weeks ago, and got one response:
“This is a comment that comes up fairly often in my practice. I recommend telephone headsets to minimize awkward posture of neck and shoulder as a way to crunch the phone between ear and shoulder. Many comment that when they are using a telephone headset, others cannot tell they are on the phone and begin speaking to the headset user. I worked with one busy medical office that deals mostly with elderly patients. The patients interrupt the administrative staff who are trying to schedule patients over the phone. The admin staff insist they cannot wear headsets because of the constant interruptions from the elderly patients who fail to recognize that they are the telephone.
Do they make telephone headsets with bright lights or some other indicator that they are in use? I have seen one model that has a tiny light by the ear, but it hardly alerts the world that the telephone headset is in use.
Waterboro ME, USA
And the response:
Check out companies like ‘Hello Direct’ (www.hellodirect.com) that sell accessories for headsets. Their catalog has devices that let others know when someone is on a call. Some of these may be compatible with your current headsets.
Philip Jacobs, MS, CSP, CPE
Jacobs Consulting, Ltd.