Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Selecting Healthy Hand Tools

A good article about the selection and use of hand tools ...

"Ergonomics often is described as matching human capabilities (physical, psychological, physiological and biomechanical) to the demands of a specific task. When there is a mismatch in some of these requirements, one of the consequences may be the development of musculoskeletal injuries.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), also called cumulative trauma disorders or repetitive stress injuries, are injuries that occur over a period of time due to repeated exposure to risk factors. Examples of MSDs include tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries, thoracic outlet syndrome, ganglion cysts and De Quervains.

Common occupational risk factors for the development of an MSD are the application of excessive force, high repetition, awkward postures, long task durations and static loading of the muscles. The level of injury risk depends on both the frequency and severity of risk factors present in a task. The risk-injury relationship often is described as an exponential relationship. Using ergonomics principles to reduce job risk factors not only decreases the injury risk but often increases the efficiency and quality of a job and improves the overall productivity.

Hand tools are an extension of one's hands. In a manufacturing or small assembly setting, MSD risk factors are significantly influenced by the type of hand tools selected. This article will review some important factors to consider when selecting hand tools."   continued ...   (Via Occupational Hazards)

Ergonomic Trowel - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

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