Workplace ergonomics is getting a lot of nationwide attention in response to a sharp increase in incidents of repetitive-strain injuries resulting in musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Occupational diseases often mean repeated surgery, intractable pain, inability to work, time off for the affected employee and, ultimately, higher costs for the employer.
Below are four steps a company can take to address this growing problem.
Review tasks for risk factors: The first step to correcting problems is to understand the key workplace ergonomic risk factors, and review work tasks in your operation to see which ones apply. This can make a tremendous difference, since occupational safety professionals estimate that reducing physical stresses could eliminate as much as half the serious injuries that happen each year.
Control risk factors with engineering and administrative controls, and personal equipment, where it is effective: Engineering controls to improve ergonomic risks may include changing the way parts and materials are transported, or changing the process to reduce how workers are exposed to risk factors.
Understand how to make the work space work ergonomically: With any task, selecting the proper tool is crucial. The key is to understand the work process and employee’s safety needs. After identifying the likely risk factors in an operation, develop a safer work environment by carefully selecting the tools and work stations workers will use.
Use work station design principles to improve ergonomics: The following strategies typically yield safe work environments: make the work station adjustable, locate materials to reduce twisting, avoid static loads and fixed work postures, set the work surface to the particular task, provide adjustable chairs, allow workers to alternate between standing and sitting, support the limbs, use gravity, design for proper movements, consider computer monitors, provide simple dials and displays, and consider overall environmental conditions.
A project starts with whatever technology is available at the time, so if it's the latest and greatest at the time, it's not exactly out of date. As I said, LEAP came out after they'd already started. And obviously, they don't think it's better than Kinect, at least for their project. Lots of people would agree with them: it depends on the project, and is often simply a matter of preference.
Ann next-gen system. Why start a project with out of date equipment. Isn't LEAP supposed to be so much better than the kinect? If they aren't even done with it why use old tech? It'll be out of date before it's launched.
Is that what those things are for Ann? I've seen a number of people using those bands, but I could never figure out what they were used for...and didn't want to seem that nosy by asking. I'll have to keep that in mind.
At CES 2012 and 2013 I saw a log of those reclining chairs with monitors suspended around them. You lay back like a dentist’s operating chair. Is that good? It seems like it take all the strain off the body, while at the same time making it weak. Reminds me of the chair the “genius” programmer from the movie “Grandma’s Boy” sat in.
Thanks, Cadman-LT. That makes more sense. Regarding the article, the motion-capture tape was used initially for testing the software's accuracy in controlling a virtual robot, as the article states. The next-gen system will use Kinect to control an autonomous robot.
A customer who was thermal printing strip steel had a problem: When the strip's speed increased, the thermo printer would catch fire. When he set a flame to a piece of the strip, he couldn't get it to burn. What was the problem?
Engineers are well positioned to be the leaders for innovation in this new age of machines. Human-centered design enables us to manage the vast amounts of information and the power of technology in solving the world’s problems.