Investigators have recommended a variety of remedies and suggest the facility representatives meet collectively to share best practices.
Managers of three eyeglass manufacturing facilities in Minnesota requested health hazard evaluations due to ergonomic concerns and MSDs among their employees. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health spent several days visiting the facilities before developing the suggested solutions.
"By designing work areas to have a working height of 27 inches to 62 inches and rotating employees to different job tasks after every break, managers can reduce the risk of work-related MSDs," according to the evaluation. "Training employees to recognize and avoid risk factors that can lead to musculoskeletal problems and encouraging employees to report work-related musculoskeletal discomfort can also reduce employees' risk of injury."
In the particular facilities, workers in the surfacing and finishing departments were at particular risk for developing shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand, and finger MSDs. Their rates of injuries and illnesses were higher than those of comparable facilities throughout the country, the evaluators said.
We found preferred practices at each of the facilities, the evaluators said. If these facilities met collectively to share best practices and ideas, then some hazards could be reduced or eliminated. Ergonomics programs have been shown to be cost effective, and ergonomic improvements may result in increased productivity and higher product quality. Promoting employee involvement in these efforts can enhance job satisfaction and increases problem-solving capabilities.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
February 4, 2013
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