Ergonomics at work and home

Poor ergonomic habits can lead to pain and disability whether at work or home. Ergonomic risk factors to avoid include repetition, force, awkward posture, static posture, contact stress, compression, and vibrations. A good ergonomics program has been shown to always be successful if the elements listed are included.

What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker to reduce risk factors for pain and injury.   

When the requirements of a job exceed the capacity of the worker, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) can occur. 

People who spend a lot of time driving, social networking, or gaming can also minimize risk factors for the development of musculoskeletal pain and disorders (MSDs).

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For Teachers and Students, Ergonomics Matters

The importance of teaching ergonomics young to aid in the development of good ergonomic habits and reduction of MSDs. Tips for student ergonomic safety, ergonomic safety for students with an after-school job, and ergonomic tips for teachers.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”   

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

 “. . .We highly encourage educational gifts that stimulate the mind, inspire creativity, and provoke thought.  Let’s thoughtfully give our children something they can keep with them forever.  Let’s give them the gift of knowledge.”  

Karla Hernandez Mats, President of the United Teachers of Dade County, who represents the rights of more than 25,000 education professionals

Teachers can aid students in developing good ergonomic habits

Teachers work hard to help kids succeed by providing the gift of knowledge that can last a lifetime.   Their hard work and dedication can take its toll on the body.  

Historically, by the time an individual begins to feel pain from poor ergonomics,  it is too late to do anything about it.  That is still true except in the case of teachers.   Most teachers are young enough to have been taught about ergonomics.

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A History of Seating in the Western World by Kim Gurr

“The study of history can sometimes fool us into the belief that societies progressively improve on what has come before, as our body of knowledge increases. It seems we do not march slowly forward to an ultimate solution in this regard, but rather we tend to reinvent and then forget.” Kim Gurr

“A History of Seating in the Western World” discusses seating beginning with ancient Egypt through the modern ergonomics professional. It is a research paper based on the Postgraduate Diploma in Ergonomics Research project performed by Kim Gurr under the supervision of Leon Straker, Physiotherapy, and Phillip Moore, Social Sciences, at the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia.  Unfortunately, Ms. Gurr died before finalizing her research.

Seating is Important for Ergonomics

Seating is an important issue for contemporary ergonomics. Its frequent use by humans and its association with musculoskeletal disorders are just some of the reasons for its importance.

Ancient History of Seating through the Modern History of Western Seating

To understand the place of seating in modern Western societies, it is useful to understand its history.

This paper presents an overview of the ancient history of seating and the modern history of Western seating with particular emphasis on the design influences over the past 5,000 year period.

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OSHA Record-keeping Requirements

This document explains how to complete OSHA Forms 300, 300-A, and 301 and when to keep a separate confidential list for “privacy concern” cases. It was written by John Loomos, Esq. formerly of ALPA and Eastern Air Lines. A 2018 Department of Labor Trade Release informed employers they must electronically submit information from Form 300, 300-A, and 301 to OSHA. Form 300-A, the Summary, must be posted no later than February 1 each year even if there are no injuries (it must be posted with zeros in the total lines) and provided to employees. The Government representatives authorized to receive records are listed. Any OSHA Survey or Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey must be promptly completed and returned.

OSHA Record-keeping Forms

The following document explaining how to fill out OSHA’s required record-keeping forms — 

  1. Form 300, the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses; 
  2. Form 300-A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses reported on Form 300; and 
  3. Form 301, the Injury and Illness Incident Report, 

— was written by John Loomos, Esq., in 2002.  

April 30, 2018, DOL Trade Release

According to a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Release dated April 30, 2018, notice was given that OSHA had taken action to correct an error made with regard to implementation of the final rule.  

OSHA determined that Section 18 (c) (7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and relevant OSHA regulations pertaining to State Plans, require all affected employers to submit injury and illness data in the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) Online Portal even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of their own state rule.  Employers must electronically submit information from the Form 300, Form 300A, and Form 301 to OSHA by July 1, 2018.  

The records kept on paper (prior to the 2018 requirement to submit electronically) must be kept for five years.

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Back Pain — Causes, Types, Categories, Risk Factors, Red Flags and Treatments 

“The spine affects and is affected by every movement your body makes. The way you stand, the way you sit, the way you move, the way you pick up and carry objects — all these things have the potential to help or hurt your back.”

Mary Pullig-Schatz, M.D., Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, TN

Who is at risk for back pain? 

Up to 75 percent of the population experience low back pain lasting more than one week at some point in their lives.  

Back pain in people 18-24

In a one year period, the estimate of people with an episode of back pain is about 17 percent.  Also the estimate of the people 18 to 24 years having back pain in a one year period is 13 percent.  

“The prevalence of back pain in the youngest group studied (18-24 years old) was 13 percent for females and males.”

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