Health and Safety to Minimise Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk

2147 words (9 pages) Essay

27th Nov 2017 Health Reference this

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RECOMMENDATIONS

Introduction

This chapter is concerned with recommendations which can be put forward in order to eliminate or minimize risk of musculoskeletal disorders arising from ergonomic and other hazards. The hierarchy of controls will be considered for putting forward the recommendations.

Hierarchy of hazard control

The hierarchy of hazard control is a system which provides various hazard control methods, ranging from the most effective to the least effective methods. The hierarchy of hazard control is as follows:

HOC.png

Elimination

Elimination is the best way to control a hazard as the danger associated with it is completely removed from the workplace but in most cases it is not possible.

Substitution

The second most effective way of controlling hazards is by substitution which diminishes the hazards associated with a task, activity or process to some extent and new hazards can be introduced but it will have a less harmful effect on the workers.

Engineering controls

Engineering controls involves the use of physical barriers to prevent interaction between the workers and the hazards by redesigning of the process, job or activity.

Administrative controls

Administrative controls are concerned with changes in the policies and procedures of the organization. These include:

  • Job rotation
  • Redesigning of task, activity or process
  • Implementation of safe operating procedures
  • Training, instruction and information.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The least effective way of controlling hazards is by the use of PPE. Here the workers are provided with PPE’s such as earmuffs, visors, respiratory mask to prevent exposure to the hazard. It is considered the least effective as:

  • The hazard is still present
  • If the worker has worn it improperly, he/she is exposed to the hazard
  • They can create hazards sometimes as they interfere with movement.

Recommendations for the fourdepartments

Recommendations to the problems identified in the four departments in the factory that is cutting, assembly and finishing will be provided. The recommendations for these four departments will not be the same but there are some recommendations which are applicable to all of them, which are as follows:

Job rotation

Job rotation falls in the administrative methods for controlling hazards. Job rotation involves rotating the employees from different jobs, especially those who uses the same group of muscle repeatedly and in which the workers adopt poor postures.

Micro breaks

Micro breaks, as their name suggests are small breaks which can range from 30 seconds to two minutes which the worker can take after working continuously for 30 minutes while either standing or sitting. These breaks are important as it enables the musculoskeletal system of the worker to rest, thereby reducing the risk of developing MSDs, especially if the tasks involves repetitive movements, awkward postures and goes on for long period of time.

Training in good handling and lifting techniques

Good handling and lifting techniques are essential as it reduces the risk of developing MSDS. This is achieved when the worker adopts the techniques. Training is essential and it should include:

  • What are the risk factors and how to recognize them,
  • How to safely lift and handle the loads.

Good lifting techniques

  • Before lifting

The lift should be plan. It should be seen if the path for the lifting operation is clear and if not, the worker should remove the obstructions.

  • Adopting a stable posture

It is essential to maintain balance and the feet of the worker should be apart with one of his/her leg a bit forward.

  • Getting a good hold

The load should be as close as possible to the body whenever it is feasible.

  • Starting in a good posture

The worker should bend slightly at the start of the lift.

  • Avoid flexing the back more when lifting

The worker should not straighten his/her legs before raising the load.

  • Keeping the load close to the waist

The load should be kept as long as possible close to the body.

  • Avoiding twisting of the back and leaning sideways

The shoulders should face the same direction of the hips and they should be at the same level.

  • Keeping the head up

After the load has been secured, the worker should look ahead and not down.

  • Smooth movement

In order to keep control and minimize risk of injury, jerking and snatching of the load should be avoided.

  • Avoid lifting loads that are too heavy

Workers should always safely lift the loads within their capacity and help from a coworker can be used to safely lift a heavy load.

  • Adjusting the load after it has been put down

It is important to put the load down first then move it in the correct position.

liftingdiagram.jpg

Medical surveillance

Medical surveillance should be carried out as it allows for the early detections of conditions which can have adverse effects on the health of the workers.

Ventilation

Cutting department

Recommendations for the problems which have been identified in the cutting department concerning the equipment or task, activities or processes are as follows:

Loading the spreading machine

Here training in good lifting and manual handling techniques are necessary as it will teach the workers how to properly lift the fabrics onto the floor level to place it onto the spreading machine to avoid risk of injuries. The other solutions could be:

  • Reduce the weight of the fabric being lifted and,
  • Have a minimum of two people to lift the fabrics.

Spreading the fabric

Spreading of the fabric should be done by at least two workers, who are facing each other at the opposite end of the tables. This minimizes adoption of awkward postures and long reaches. Also workers should be encouraged to take micro breaks.

Cutting the fabric

  • The spreading table should be set at a good working height so as to improve back and shoulder posture which will result in the worker adopting a better posture.
  • Replace the handle of the electric cutter or the cutter itself if possible, with an adjustable handle so as to improve wrist posture.
  • The fabric should not be cut from only 1 side of the table; it should be cut from both sides of the table so as to avoid long reaches.
  • Micro breaks should be taken.

Sorting the cut pieces

  • Avoid overfilling of the baskets.
  • Use of smaller baskets to facilitate lifting and handling.
  • Have two persons to carry the baskets if they are heavy
  • Training in good lifting techniques.

Assembly department

Recommendations for the problems which have been identified in the assembly department concerning the equipment or task, activities or processes are as follows:

Supply and removal of clothes

  • Smaller boxes should be placed at an adequate height to allow easy grips.
  • The tables on which the materials are placed should be of the same height of the sewing table.
  • The tables should be large enough to contain the clothes and they should be stable.

Sewing table

  • Height

The sewing table should be adjustable so that the workers can adjust the height at their elbow level, which is the most adequate.

Size and shape

The larger tables can be tailored to make them smaller in order to allow delivery and supply of materials easier. Also for small tables, an addition can be placed on it so as to augment its size. Raised edges can also be placed on the table to prevent materials from falling.

  • Angle

Tilting the table by 100 t0 250 towards the operator can improve visibility and prevents the worker to adopt poor neck posture.

Chair

As it was found out during the study, the chairs are not good enough. Chairs with the following features should be bought:

  • Adjustability – The seat height should be adjustable
  • Seat height – this should be easily adjustable and it should be able to be adjusted to the height of the operator who will be using it.
  • Seat width and depth – it should be wide and deep enough so that the users are comfortable and the seat should suit the shortest and tallest users
  • Seat material – There should be enough padding of the material on the seat and back of the chair so that it is comfortable for the user to sit for long period of times.
  • Backrest –It should support the back and lower back and it should be adjustable in angle and height.
  • Arm rest – it should be of adequate size such that it is large enough to support the lower arms but small enough so that they do not interfere with the position of the chair.

Foot pedals

The foot pedals should be modified so that they are at the same angle and position to allow good posture.

Hand tools

Hand tools such as scissors of different and adequate size should be provided.

Work organization

The sewing machine operators could be given the freedom to go and pick up the pieces of materials that they need to work on.

Pressing department

Recommendations for the problems which have been identified in the pressing department concerning the equipment or task, activities or processes are as follows:

  • Working height

The working height should be adjustable as an appropriate height enables the worker to work with his/ her back in an upright position and their shoulders relaxed.

  • Floor surface

Anti-fatigue mats should be placed everywhere in the pressing department area.

  • Foot pedals

The foot pedals should be close or even with the floor.

Finishing department

Recommendations for the problems which have been identified in the finishing department concerning the equipment or task, activities or processes are as follows:

Chair

As it was found out during the study, the chairs are not good enough. Chairs with the following features should be bought:

  • Adjustability – The seat height should be adjustable
  • Seat height – this should be easily adjustable and it should be able to be adjusted to the height of the operator who will be using it.
  • Seat width and depth – it should be wide and deep enough so that the users are comfortable and the seat should suit the shortest and tallest users
  • Seat material – There should be enough padding of the material on the seat and back of the chair so that it is comfortable for the user to sit for long period of times.
  • Backrest –It should support the back and lower back and it should be adjustable in angle and height.
  • Arm rest – it should be of adequate size such that it is large enough to support the lower arms but small enough so that they do not interfere with the position of the chair.

chairmod.jpg

Accessories

Foot rests that are adjustable should be provided to the workers

Input and output

Training for workers in good lifting techniques to avoid risk of injury.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Introduction

This chapter is concerned with recommendations which can be put forward in order to eliminate or minimize risk of musculoskeletal disorders arising from ergonomic and other hazards. The hierarchy of controls will be considered for putting forward the recommendations.

Hierarchy of hazard control

The hierarchy of hazard control is a system which provides various hazard control methods, ranging from the most effective to the least effective methods. The hierarchy of hazard control is as follows:

HOC.png

Elimination

Elimination is the best way to control a hazard as the danger associated with it is completely removed from the workplace but in most cases it is not possible.

Substitution

The second most effective way of controlling hazards is by substitution which diminishes the hazards associated with a task, activity or process to some extent and new hazards can be introduced but it will have a less harmful effect on the workers.

Engineering controls

Engineering controls involves the use of physical barriers to prevent interaction between the workers and the hazards by redesigning of the process, job or activity.

Administrative controls

Administrative controls are concerned with changes in the policies and procedures of the organization. These include:

  • Job rotation
  • Redesigning of task, activity or process
  • Implementation of safe operating procedures
  • Training, instruction and information.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The least effective way of controlling hazards is by the use of PPE. Here the workers are provided with PPE’s such as earmuffs, visors, respiratory mask to prevent exposure to the hazard. It is considered the least effective as:

  • The hazard is still present
  • If the worker has worn it improperly, he/she is exposed to the hazard
  • They can create hazards sometimes as they interfere with movement.

Recommendations for the fourdepartments

Recommendations to the problems identified in the four departments in the factory that is cutting, assembly and finishing will be provided. The recommendations for these four departments will not be the same but there are some recommendations which are applicable to all of them, which are as follows:

Job rotation

Job rotation falls in the administrative methods for controlling hazards. Job rotation involves rotating the employees from different jobs, especially those who uses the same group of muscle repeatedly and in which the workers adopt poor postures.

Micro breaks

Micro breaks, as their name suggests are small breaks which can range from 30 seconds to two minutes which the worker can take after working continuously for 30 minutes while either standing or sitting. These breaks are important as it enables the musculoskeletal system of the worker to rest, thereby reducing the risk of developing MSDs, especially if the tasks involves repetitive movements, awkward postures and goes on for long period of time.

Training in good handling and lifting techniques

Good handling and lifting techniques are essential as it reduces the risk of developing MSDS. This is achieved when the worker adopts the techniques. Training is essential and it should include:

  • What are the risk factors and how to recognize them,
  • How to safely lift and handle the loads.

Good lifting techniques

  • Before lifting

The lift should be plan. It should be seen if the path for the lifting operation is clear and if not, the worker should remove the obstructions.

  • Adopting a stable posture

It is essential to maintain balance and the feet of the worker should be apart with one of his/her leg a bit forward.

  • Getting a good hold

The load should be as close as possible to the body whenever it is feasible.

  • Starting in a good posture

The worker should bend slightly at the start of the lift.

  • Avoid flexing the back more when lifting

The worker should not straighten his/her legs before raising the load.

  • Keeping the load close to the waist

The load should be kept as long as possible close to the body.

  • Avoiding twisting of the back and leaning sideways

The shoulders should face the same direction of the hips and they should be at the same level.

  • Keeping the head up

After the load has been secured, the worker should look ahead and not down.

  • Smooth movement

In order to keep control and minimize risk of injury, jerking and snatching of the load should be avoided.

  • Avoid lifting loads that are too heavy

Workers should always safely lift the loads within their capacity and help from a coworker can be used to safely lift a heavy load.

  • Adjusting the load after it has been put down

It is important to put the load down first then move it in the correct position.

liftingdiagram.jpg

Medical surveillance

Medical surveillance should be carried out as it allows for the early detections of conditions which can have adverse effects on the health of the workers.

Ventilation

Cutting department

Recommendations for the problems which have been identified in the cutting department concerning the equipment or task, activities or processes are as follows:

Loading the spreading machine

Here training in good lifting and manual handling techniques are necessary as it will teach the workers how to properly lift the fabrics onto the floor level to place it onto the spreading machine to avoid risk of injuries. The other solutions could be:

  • Reduce the weight of the fabric being lifted and,
  • Have a minimum of two people to lift the fabrics.

Spreading the fabric

Spreading of the fabric should be done by at least two workers, who are facing each other at the opposite end of the tables. This minimizes adoption of awkward postures and long reaches. Also workers should be encouraged to take micro breaks.

Cutting the fabric

  • The spreading table should be set at a good working height so as to improve back and shoulder posture which will result in the worker adopting a better posture.
  • Replace the handle of the electric cutter or the cutter itself if possible, with an adjustable handle so as to improve wrist posture.
  • The fabric should not be cut from only 1 side of the table; it should be cut from both sides of the table so as to avoid long reaches.
  • Micro breaks should be taken.

Sorting the cut pieces

  • Avoid overfilling of the baskets.
  • Use of smaller baskets to facilitate lifting and handling.
  • Have two persons to carry the baskets if they are heavy
  • Training in good lifting techniques.

Assembly department

Recommendations for the problems which have been identified in the assembly department concerning the equipment or task, activities or processes are as follows:

Supply and removal of clothes

  • Smaller boxes should be placed at an adequate height to allow easy grips.
  • The tables on which the materials are placed should be of the same height of the sewing table.
  • The tables should be large enough to contain the clothes and they should be stable.

Sewing table

  • Height

The sewing table should be adjustable so that the workers can adjust the height at their elbow level, which is the most adequate.

Size and shape

The larger tables can be tailored to make them smaller in order to allow delivery and supply of materials easier. Also for small tables, an addition can be placed on it so as to augment its size. Raised edges can also be placed on the table to prevent materials from falling.

  • Angle

Tilting the table by 100 t0 250 towards the operator can improve visibility and prevents the worker to adopt poor neck posture.

Chair

As it was found out during the study, the chairs are not good enough. Chairs with the following features should be bought:

  • Adjustability – The seat height should be adjustable
  • Seat height – this should be easily adjustable and it should be able to be adjusted to the height of the operator who will be using it.
  • Seat width and depth – it should be wide and deep enough so that the users are comfortable and the seat should suit the shortest and tallest users
  • Seat material – There should be enough padding of the material on the seat and back of the chair so that it is comfortable for the user to sit for long period of times.
  • Backrest –It should support the back and lower back and it should be adjustable in angle and height.
  • Arm rest – it should be of adequate size such that it is large enough to support the lower arms but small enough so that they do not interfere with the position of the chair.

Foot pedals

The foot pedals should be modified so that they are at the same angle and position to allow good posture.

Hand tools

Hand tools such as scissors of different and adequate size should be provided.

Work organization

The sewing machine operators could be given the freedom to go and pick up the pieces of materials that they need to work on.

Pressing department

Recommendations for the problems which have been identified in the pressing department concerning the equipment or task, activities or processes are as follows:

  • Working height

The working height should be adjustable as an appropriate height enables the worker to work with his/ her back in an upright position and their shoulders relaxed.

  • Floor surface

Anti-fatigue mats should be placed everywhere in the pressing department area.

  • Foot pedals

The foot pedals should be close or even with the floor.

Finishing department

Recommendations for the problems which have been identified in the finishing department concerning the equipment or task, activities or processes are as follows:

Chair

As it was found out during the study, the chairs are not good enough. Chairs with the following features should be bought:

  • Adjustability – The seat height should be adjustable
  • Seat height – this should be easily adjustable and it should be able to be adjusted to the height of the operator who will be using it.
  • Seat width and depth – it should be wide and deep enough so that the users are comfortable and the seat should suit the shortest and tallest users
  • Seat material – There should be enough padding of the material on the seat and back of the chair so that it is comfortable for the user to sit for long period of times.
  • Backrest –It should support the back and lower back and it should be adjustable in angle and height.
  • Arm rest – it should be of adequate size such that it is large enough to support the lower arms but small enough so that they do not interfere with the position of the chair.

chairmod.jpg

Accessories

Foot rests that are adjustable should be provided to the workers

Input and output

Training for workers in good lifting techniques to avoid risk of injury.

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