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Laboratory
Ergonomics Stressors

Microscopy

Operating a microscope for long hours puts much strain on the neck, shoulders, eyes, lower back, and arms/wrists.


Associated Risk Factors
:

  • Awkward and static posture of the lower back.
  • Lack of adequate leg and knee clearance under worktable.
  • Working with elbows winged.
  • Pinch grip when adjusting binocular eyepiece.
  • Wrist and palm contact pressure in the carpal tunnel area.
  • High repetition.
  • Eyestrain and fatigue.
  • Awkward and static posture of the neck and head.
Preventive Measures:
  • Do not work with elbows winged.   Keep elbows close to sides, below 45 degree angle.
  • Make sure to work with wrists in (straight) neutral position.
  • Avoid forearm and wrist contact pressure. Pad sharp edges with foam, or pad wrists and forearms to reduce pressure.
  • Make sure leg and knee clearance under workbench is adequate.
  • Always assume proper sitting position,
  • Ensure proper lower back and thigh support.
  • Ensure that feet are flat on floor or supported by footrest
  • Use only adjustable chair or stool with built-in foot and forearm rest
  • Avoid raising shoulders and bending neck while looking through microscope's eyepiece.
  • Adjust microscope eyepiece's height to allow head and neck proper (upright) neutral posture.
  • Position microscope as close as possible towards you to ensure upright head position.
  • Use or purchase extended eye tube and/or variable height adapter to achieve proper neck and head position.
  • prevent repetition, and alter prolonged awkward posture.   Take adequate small breaks, or perform other job tasks that require less repetition, rest your eyes, neck, and shoulders.
  • Use video display terminal when appropriate to view sample, and reduce eye and neck strain.
  • Make sure scopes remain clean all the time, and lighting is of proper intensity
 
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