Thanks, Kelly. I think I looked at this but it didn't recommend a limit. Did find the DOD Design Criteria Standards MIL-STD 1472F which lists force recommendations for thumb operated push buttons: 2.8 N (10 oz.) minimum, 23 N (80 oz.) maximum (for males). Here's a link to the document for anyone that might need it:
Department of Defense Design Criteria Standards; MIL-STD 1472F http://www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen/Documents/acquisition/MILSTD1472F.pdf
Susan L. Murphey BS, RDMS, RDCS, CECD
Thanks for posting this. I could also ramble on forever on this topic, but I’ll try to keep it relatively short and just include my contact info if the writer would like to chat more on the subject.
As you know, I’ve been working specifically in healthcare ergonomics for the past 10 years. Tamara is spot on with her overview of the ergonomic challenges in healthcare. Safe patient handling has received a lot of attention recently, as it should. The issues of patient lifting and positioning affect a large population of caregivers. But there are so many other areas in healthcare with WRMSD risks just as significant.
I’ve worked with numerous ultrasound departments with injury rates in excess of eighty percent. Laboratory, food services, interventional radiology, mammography and surgical services are just a few of the many underserved areas in need of healthcare ergonomics. Currently I’m working with an Environmental Services department that has the highest number of injury claims for their facility, even though they only represent 3% of the total workforce. As with Pam’s group, the largest risk in this group is related to handling soiled linen.
In terms of medical devices and equipment, I would say the response has been slow by manufacturers to incorporate ergonomics into their product development. In my opinion, this is largely due to the fact that those making the buying decisions don’t recognize the need for ergonomic features to protect their staff from injury. Until ergonomics becomes part of the buying decision, manufacturers will be slow to embrace it in the design of their medical devices and equipment. Think of what a difference we could make if every capital equipment purchase had to be evaluated for ergonomic benefit!
In industries such as medical sonography, where attention has been drawn to the issues of work-related injury, manufacturers have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and make design changes. I would say most of the OEMs I’ve worked with in product design for ultrasound related equipment have been driven to make design changes by the marketability of equipment with ergonomic features. This was directly the result of attention being drawn to the issue of WRMSD among sonographers. Similarly, we’ve seen an influx of SPH equipment on the market since the introduction of SPH legislation.
Alas, we still find ourselves surfing the net looking for some random product we can modify to suit our needs in those underserved areas of healthcare ergonomics. Thanks for drawing attention to this issue.
Susan Murphey, Essential Ergonomics