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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome costs a lot of Money



Slide 1: COMPUTER ERGONOMICS • US. NAVAL HOSPITAL ROTA SPAIN • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE DEPT. • Revised March 2006

Slide 2: COURSE OBJECTIVES • Understand the definition of ergonomics • Understand Primary Causes of Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs). • Understand ways to prevent CTDs • Learn about PC workstation accessories to reduce computer work stress • Basic exercises to reduce / relieve ergo- stress.

Slide 3: DEFINITION • ERGONOMICS is a way to work smarter--not harder by designing of tools, equipment, work stations and tasks to fit the job to the worker--NOT the worker to the job: – Layout / type of controls & displays – Lighting & Temperature – Process (Heights, reaches, weights)

Slide 4: WHY WORRY ? • Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) declined from 784,100 to 582,300 annual lost workday cases from 1992 to 1997(OSHA) thanks to workplace ergonomic programs • Minimum $120 to 240 billion total costs / year & average $29 K / case compensation claim cost • More lost workdays for RSIs (ave. = 30 days for a Carpal Tunnel injury)

Slide 5: MSD INJURY DATA • ~600,000 MSDs require time off from work. • Older, out-of-shape workers much more vulnerable. • Women suffer more ergonomic injuries due: – to having jobs requiring more heavy lifting, repetitive tasks and awkward postures – 70% of Carpal Tunnel – 62% of Tendonitis

Slide 6: CAR COST IS (PARTIALLY)--A PAIN IN THE BACK !! • According to Dr. E.W. Simmons, president of the American Back Society, medical costs related to back injury can add up to $3000 to the price of every car made in Detroit !!

Slide 7: CTD INJURY FACTORS • Lesions to tendons of the neck, back, shoulders, arms, wrists or hands • Primary causes: – Repetitive movements over long periods of time – Awkward postures – Use of excessive forces

Slide 8: CTD RISK CONTROL: POSTURE • NEUTRAL & COMFORTABLE: – Wrists straight – Shoulders relaxed with elbows close to body – head / shoulders & back in vertical alignment – Frequent breaks when bent postures can’t be avoided

Slide 9: ERGONOMIC ALIGNMENT

Slide 10: CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME • Occurs with repetitive motion of hands & wrists--especially with high force levels. • Incidence up to 15% in certain industries. • A “natural” keyboard and good wrist support can help most PC users avoid problems • GOOD NEWS: Have dropped over 30% since 1992--which most attribute to strong workplace ergonomics programs

Slide 11: CTD RISK CONTROL: REPETITION • Use automatic tools for repetitive tasks (screw and bolt tightening) • Eliminate unnecessary tasks / movements by redesigning maintenance procedures and workstations • Take short, frequent breaks • Alternate tasks and processes to use different muscle groups

Slide 12: ERGONOMICS SUMMARY • Good ergonomic design of tools, processes and furniture DOES improve personnel comfort, health, morale, productivity and readiness. • Individual effort as part of a workshop team is the greatest means of identifying / improving workplace ergonomic issues. • It’s critical to seek prompt medical aid for symptoms of ergonomic stress / CTDs

Slide 13: Computer Ergonomics • Routine PC user defined as spending 20 hours or more per week working at a computer. • Studies of PC users have not shown a risk of eye damage...although fatigue very possible. • NIOSH studies have not indicated a radiation hazard nor pregnancy risk from PC usage. • Workers using bi/tri-focal glasses before beginning PC use may need special purpose glasses for computer work.

Slide 14: “NATURAL” KEYBOARDS • Three types: Fixed split, Adjustable split & “Sculptured” • Awkward wrist postures minimized with 15 to 25 horizontal degree key split AND 8 to 66 degree vertical incline. • Key Layout Design Changes Have: – increased comfort (81% of users) – improved postures – reduced muscle activity – lowered carpal tunnel pressure in lab settings • Unfortunately obtained oftentimes to alleviate an injury after-the-fact

Slide 15: WRIST RESTS • No medical evidence that they reduce RSI injuries...As they work for some, but not for others • Usage Guidelines: – Buy rest that is even with top of keyboard – Material should be “medium-soft” (foam--gel mix) so foam doesn’t break down. AVOID hard plastic types – DON’T leave wrists on rest...which compresses carpal tunnel. Palm rest instead. – Changing typing habits more critical than wrist support – MOST APPROPRIATELY USED TO REST HANDS DURING PAUSE IN TYPING • LEARN TO TYPE CORRECTLY WITH “FLOATING WRISTS” FIRST!!!

Slide 16: Ergonomic chairs • Adjustable back height • Adjustable arm rests • Required by OPNAV 5100 Safety Instruction • **Chair on left NOT ergonomically designed

Slide 17: Alternative Pointing Devices • Track-balls • “Scrolling” Mouse

Slide 18: Other Ergonomic PC Accessories • Height-adjustable articulating keyboard tray • **Basic units start at $20, and occasionally stocked in the NEX Depot or Sight & Sound stores for $19.99 !

Slide 19: UNSAT PC Work Station “Design”

Slide 20: UNSAT PC Work Station “Design”

Slide 21: MODEL COMPUTER WORKSTATION • --Keyboard trays WITH wrist support. • --Split \"Natural\" keyboards to facilitate neutral wrist angle • --Fully adjustable ergonomic chair • --Document holder to minimize head / eye & neck movements • --Corner desk units to position monitor directly in front of employee • --Foot rest where requested. • --Re-organization of

Slide 22: Questions ??... Contact Data • NAVHOSP Rota IH Dept. (x2783 / 2315) • Dave Hiipakka: email:dwhiipakka@rota.med.navy.mil • Kevin Dyrdahl (2315): ksdyrdahl@rota.med.navy.mil • COMNAVACTS Ergonomics Team: – ergoteam@navsta.rota.navy.mil
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