Q 1: Ergonomic Risk Factors and supporting Evidence
A number of ergonomic risk factors come as result of work benches with sharp edges. Firstly, they pose a threat of the effect of the forces of compression on the workers’ bodies. The flow of blood can be interfered with due to the fact that the workers spend a considerable duration of time leaning on the bench. There is also the possibility of inflicting injuries on the body. Minor and serious cuts can be as a result of the sharp bench.
Q2: Hand-arm Vibrations and the long-term Issues on Employees
Hand-arm Vibration refers to a specific type of occupational hazard that occurs as a result of vibration of machinery that is transferred from things held in hand to the hands and arms. Some of the possible long-term effects if the vibration sources are not rectified include aches and pains, loss of grip and strength, impassiveness, paling of the fingers due to cold, bone cysts in fingers and wrists as well as problems in the sensory nerves.
Q3: Suggestions on the mode of protection against Work-related musculoskeletal disorders and Supporting Evidence
The use of pneumatic impact wrenches results to a number of ergonomic hazards. Foremost, the machineries function through vibration which may inflict harm on the employees if not carefully. Some of the ergonomic risks as a result of the machinery vibration include nerve problems and numbness, musculoskeletal disorders among others. (Stack, Autenrieth, and Ostrom, 2016) Other ergonomic dangers linked to pneumatic impact wrench include being exposed to dust, hand injuries and also electrical injuries due to electrocution if the device is defective.
Some of the measures I would undertake as part of the ergonomics team in order to protect employees from musculoskeletal disorders include making sure that the maintenance of pneumatic impact wrenches is done at all times to reduce the duration of exposure to vibrating surfaces. Moreover, I would ensure that all employees are equipped with protective gear such as gloves to avert hand injury. Furthermore, ensuring that all the employees are well trained on proper handling procedures of the pneumatic impact wrenches and the measures they would undertake in case of injury. Another measure would also to include a policy in which employees work in shifts so as to reduce the risk of injuries. The lengthy exposure to machinery vibration may result to health-related complications.
Q4: Potential Solutions for an employee experiencing back pain
Personnel that devote most of their time executing their functions in seated positions are likely to suffer from neck and back pains. A common practice amongst employees is they tend to rest their elbows on the table or workbenches and as a result, the arm tissues are exposed to pressure that may result in damaging of the nerves and also causing enormous discomposure. In order to resolve the issue related to pressure, small pads can be placed to prevent direct contact between the arm and the surface. The workplace should also be planned in a way that everything is within reach. It is suggested that the work envelope should be in a radius of 50cm from the midpoint of the workspace (Stack, Ostrom, and Wilhelmsen, 2016). This will assist in preventing unnecessary stretching of the arms. The structure of the chairs should be planned with the aim of offering comfort, with the height being adjustable so as to be within the reach of the bench or the table to prevent straining of the back. Musculoskeletal pains and nerve complications are as a result of excessive stretching and exerting pressure on the back tissues which is majorly as a result of poorly designed chairs. The suggested resolutions would aid in reduction of the risks that are related to such a work setting.
Stack, T., Autenrieth, D., & Ostrom, L. (2016). Firing of a cannon: psychophysical evaluation of ergonomic hazards. In Advances in Physical Ergonomics and Human Factors (pp. 583-593). Springer, Cham.
Stack, T., Ostrom, L. T., & Wilhelmsen, C. A. (2016). Occupational ergonomics: a practical approach. John Wiley & Sons.