Task Prior to Abatement (Description)
Workers had to work at an improperly conceived television workstation. The workplace consisted of the television station’s electronic equipment, two styluses and computer monitors which were installed in a fixed console with no leg room. One stylus was fixed to the console and the other one rested on a portable typewriter table. To draw, the worker had to reach behind his trunk while turning his head in the opposite direction to view the monitor. Workers had to bend forward to reach the computer keypads on the console because of the lack of leg room. Moreover, workers had to type with their wrists in a flexed position, because the keypad height was significantly above elbow level when seated. There was no opportunity to replace the console because it required a complete shut down of the station.
Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)
An employee developed a chronic shoulder strain with radiating pain in the dominant hand.
Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)
Twisting, extended reach, and bending forward were required to perform the tasks.
Worker had to perform the task with his wrists in flexed position.
Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)
- The computer keypad was recessed into the top of the console and raised slightly in back to let the worker keep his wrists straight.
- Cutting part of the bottom lip of the console to increase knee space.
- Providing a tractor seat style chair that facilitated sitting in a ten degree forward tilt to better reach the keypad.
- Attaching a hinged platform to the back of the console.
Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)
- All workers that perform the tasks now have reduced exposure to shoulder strains.
- Eliminating the need of valuable employee replacement.
Ergonomic Solution (Cost)
Total cost of workplace modification was about $ 1700.
Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)
Eliminating the medical case of chronic shoulder strain.
By workplace modifications, there was no need for employee retraining nor would the employee have met the criteria for difficult-to-reemploy.
Caine, P., and Caine, H., 1995, Ergonomics as a Workers’ Compensation Claims Management Tool, Advances in Industrial Ergonomics and Safety VII.