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Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
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  • in reply to: Ergonomics for new mothers #42032

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    Thanks Dave. I work for a worker’s compensation insurance company, but I have never had to evaluate a daycare center. It was just my own personal interest in the topic. The one place that had the changing table ramp has since removed it. I don’t know why – it seemed like such a great idea.

    My little ones are now 9 and 7 – thankfully, the nappy days are over! Still, I have to occasionally lift these guys e.g. they fall asleep on the couch, and I REALLY don’t want to wake them, or 45-lb son skins his knee. But I try to practice what I preach, so I rarely lift them.

    Best,

    – Maureen

    in reply to: Ergonomics for new mothers #42029

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    Back when I was working on my master’s degree, I wrote a paper on applying the NIOSH Lifting Guide to baby handling. At the time, I had a 4 month old baby so it was a subject near and dear to my heart. Baby-handling violates some of the assumptions of the NIOSH Lifting Guide such as stable load, and good coupling, but still it was an interesting excercise. For lifting a baby into a car seat (asymetric lift and high horizontal factor), the limit was around 16 pounds. I think lifting a baby out of a crib (high vertical factor) the limit was around 22 pounds. Fortunately, repetition levels are low. I think something could be done about the design of car seats. And as soon as able, train the little ones to do some of the work themselves – have them climb up and in (with guidance) and then the adult secures the straps.

    In one daycare, I saw a little ramp onto changing tables where the toddler climbs up. This reduces the lifting of toddlers of the daycare workers. . Of course, this introduces the risk factor of the toddler falling off the ramp.

    – Maureen

    in reply to: Harvard Study Redux #42027

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    I have read it! I think it does a good job of waffling on the subject. It claims there is no correlation between computer use and incidence of CTS, but then it goes on to give recommendations on how to reduce chance of CTS when using a computer. It gives the standard recommendations – keyboard and mouse positioned correctly, take plenty of breaks, etc. etc.

    It refers to the study by Andersen et al, 2003 “Computer Use and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a 1-Year Follow-up Study” as published in JAMA, Vol 289, No. 22. And Stevens et al, 2001 “The Frequency of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Computer Users at a Medical Facility”, Neurology. These studies are tough reads! My interpretation is that incidence of CTS among computer users is roughly the same as the general population, and that the best predictors for developing CTS are prior accidents, other medical conditions, smoking and mouse-use > 25 hours per week.

    As Ergonomists, how do we apply this information? I guess we continue to emphasize personal health habits, and we focus on mouse use.

    Importantly, what about the roughly 30% of people who report symptoms in the hands and wrists but clinically do not have CTS? By focusing on CTS, are we losing sight of bigger problems?

    – Maureen

    in reply to: Is electronic slavery really necessary? #41869

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    This is a fun topic!

    I want to comment on “work-life” balance and technology. I think work-life balance has been an issue since the beginning of time! Hunter-gatherers either had lots of leisure and then intense effort at hunting, or the constant work of gathering. Agricultural life had a rhythm – often dictated by the seasons. New technologies have often (always?) changed these balances, and are often followed by curmudgeonly comments about the good ‘ol days. 9-to-5, weekends and commuting were all enabled by technology. The Industrial Revolution led to more jobs being away from the home for men and some women. Newer technology is allowing us to bring the work back home again. So new upheavals due to technology.

    I sit here and type at my computer while the kids play in the other room, and the yeast-bread is rising. What a mix!

    – Maureen

    in reply to: Repetitive Arm Movements #41792

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    I did a quick search in google and can not find an example of the Ansi z-365 worksheet. I have one but it is copyright of my employer so I cannot share it. I thought it was in the public domain, but I guess since the standard was never implemented, the forms have been removed from the internet. Sorry to give you false hopes!

    – Maureen

    in reply to: Vibration and infants #41785

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    Thanks for your response. I don’t doubt that vibration is beneficial for an immature nervous system, I was just wondering if it has consequences for circulation and/or other injuries. My children were not colicky by definition but I noticed that they would easily fall asleep when driving in the car. That vibration was certainly relaxing and comforting to them. And what parent hasn’t paced the floor bouncing the baby gently up and down to try to settle it down?

    I just wish I had a better answer than “duh, I don’t know” to the woman who asked me about the safety of vibration for babies. It is good to hear that your daughter is a happy healthy young adult!

    in reply to: Repetitive Arm Movements #41780

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    The old ansi z365 worksheets give good guidance on this topic. Basically, you determine hourly rate for movements then plug ’em into the form, and determine scores for upper body segments. For example, if shoulder abduction of 45-degrees, at hourly rate of 90 to 150, for over four hours, while applying minimal force, would score about a 4 where the cut-off is a 5. So that would be an acceptable task, in itself. The hard part is when you look at all the body parts. The ansi-z365 is quite tedious to work with, but it can help prioritize problem areas.

    Hope this helps

    Maureen Anderson, M.Sc, CPE

    in reply to: Can training in lifting techniques be made effective? #41779

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    Anectdotal observation for what it is worth. I do some training in the area of manual material handling. Today, I was at a hospital where I done similar training a year ago. According to the safety manager, injuries after my last training session decreased 25% for a few months, but slowly crept up again, so that a year later, the injury rate is the same.

    So, my training seems to have short-term benefits but no long-term benefits. Maybe our training plans need to include refresher material every three months.

    – Maureen Anderson, M.Sc, CPE

    Maine, USA

    in reply to: OT – Anybody Take Extended Leave from Work? #38280

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    Sorry for the acronyms! CPE stands for Certified Professional Ergonomist. It is a professional designation awarded through the Board of Certified Professional Ergonomist (BCPE). Check out their website for more info: http://www.bcpe.org/

    in reply to: OT – Anybody Take Extended Leave from Work? #38277

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    I resigned from my previous job when my daughter was born. I wanted to finish up my master’s degree, and then wanted to find part time work. I subcontracted to an worker’s comp insurance company to do ergo evaluations. I also worked on getting my CPE. In my case, I am the only CPE in my area which has allowed me to be choosy.

    My recommendation is to start networking now, and ask about subcontracting or project work. Find out who the other CPE’s are in your area, and find out if there is a niche that needs filling.

    My youngest child is now in kindergarten so I will soon be able to take on more work. But I admit, I LOVE my current job, and I like the flexibility. This has been the best thing for me.

    Good luck and keep me posted on your progress.

    – Maureen in Maine.

    in reply to: Ergonomic Coursework #38110

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    Yes, textbooks were expensive but sometimes I could get them used. The worst was when we were required to purchase statistical software @$300. Ouch!

    Distance education programs are not for everyone. I convinced a guy from work to take a course, and he confessed at the end of the semester that he had 40 tapes he needed to watch on one weekend. Procrastination doesn’t work!

    If you are not working towards a degree, perhaps you can find less expensive options. I cannot remember if U-Idaho has an “audit” option where you can view the tapes, but not take exams or get a grade. Usually, such an option is cheaper.

    in reply to: Ergonomic Coursework #38108

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    It took me 6 years to get my master’s degree. I worked full-time and took one class a semeter ….until kids came along. Then I stayed home to take care of the kids and took one class per semester except for the semester I was due to have my second child. They wouldn’t cut me any slack for birth of child. I still would have to finish the semester on time, no exceptions. So I skipped that semester (good thing ’cause I had a c-section).

    They were easy to deal with in some ways and difficult in other ways. They are very rigid on their rules. But when you are working at a distance, I can see why they are that way! For exams, you need to have a person act as proctor. They are very strict about who can proctor exams. When working, I had someone in the HR dept as my proctor. When I was home with kids, my local librarian acted as proctor.

    I had to take a few deficiency courses before I was accepted in the program (sensation and perception, cognitive psychology).

    I thought the biomechanics class was great. Some classes were disappointing (Human Factors 2 I thought would be much better and it turned out to be rather dull and dry)

    in reply to: Ergonomic Coursework #38105

    ErgoMaine
    Participant

    I got my master’s degree in Human Factors at U-Idaho through the Engineering Outreach program. They mailed videotapes to me, I watched and returned them. It follows the regular semester calendar except 2-weeks behind. You have to be very organized, but it is a wonderful program! I liked the low-tech format (videotapes) rather than live on-line. This way, I could watch a lecture at 5:00 a.m. before the kids woke up or at 11:00 p.m. when the house was quiet.

    Obviously, some classes are better than others. Some teachers are better than others. Here is the url: http://www.outreach.uidaho.edu/eo/

    Good luck!

    – Maureen

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
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