Task Prior to Abatement (Description)
An ergonomic case study for nutrition services workers. Workers frequently squeezed a pistol – like grip food sprayer.
Workers had to move food tray carts (simultaneously pushing and pulling) from kitchen to patient areas.
Workers had to lift 20 pound racks of clean glasses.
Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)
2 medical cases of Carpal Tunnel surgery.
Increasing complaints of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Ergonomic Risk Factor (Force)
Workers had to lift 20 pound racks of clean glasses over the line and into a storage area.
Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)
Workers had to twist their backs to move the food tray carts.
Ergonomic Risk Factor (Repetition)
Workers had to squeeze a pistol-like grip food sprayer repetitively.
Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)
- An automatic suspended food sprayer was purchased.
- Food tray carts were fastened together with Velcro straps in order to keep workers from twisting.
- The two-foot section of the food tray line was cut into and hinged in order to eliminate the lift of 20 pound racks of clean glasses.
Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)
All workers that perform the tasks now have reduced exposure to CTDs.
Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)
- Reduction in loss-time work days.
- Reduction of workers complaints of CTDs.
Through the proactive approach of the in-house ergonomics programs an avenue for preventive measures has been introduced to the hospital.