Human factors and ergonometric Essay
Human factors and ergonometric
Injuries and as well as illnesses are usual things in the workplace and back injuries is said to be about 20% of it. Around 20 to 50 billion dollars are also estimated to be lost because of back injuries per year. Due to the seriousness of the problem and its economic costs, companies are implementing different ways such as the use of back belts in order to reduce if not totally eliminate back injury cases.
Today, most workers are depending on back belts, also known as back support in order to protect themselves from back injuries that may happen in the workplace. There had been some claims that the use of back belts reduces the force on the spine and increase intra-abdominal pressure that counters the force exerted on the spine. It is also said that back belts also stiffen the spine and restrict bending motion.
It also helps in reminding the wearer to lift properly and thus, reduces injuries specifically back injuries in the workplace. However, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and health or NIOSH, these claims lack scientific support and the validity and truthfulness of these claims cannot be proven. Studies done by the NIOSH also asserts that the difference in back injury incidence between those who use back belts and those who do not have no statistical significance.
NIOSH also added that the strongest risk factor is the history of back injury and that the rate of having back injury of those who have history of having back injury is almost twice as the rate of workers without back injury history. Results of the study also shows that through comparing the injury claims and as well as self-reported cases failed to show any significant difference that is associated with the use of back belts even for employees who does the most strenuous type of jobs. Thus, NIOSH does recommend the use of back belts in order to reduce the cases of back injuries in the workplace.
Still, although the use of back belts lack scientific evidences that it lessen the cases or the risk of having back injuries there is also no concreter evidence that will totally prove that using back belt have no effect in the performance and safety of the workers and so I will still recommend the use of back belts in the work place to reduce such cases. It would be better than using nothing at all and it may also improve the performance of the workers because they will that the company does care for their needs and safety. In order to guard the safety of the workers against back injuries any gadget is not enough.
The best way to really reduce if not totally get away with back injuries is through ergonomics program that will help the workers not just to ensure their safety but as well to maximize their capabilities. Such program may include the assessment of all work activities. This is to make sure the every task in the company can be done without exceeding the worker’s physical capabilities. It is also important to provide a surveillance program that will identify any musculoskeletal problems that are potentially work related cases.
Knowing those problems that may occur in the workplace will help the workers to really be cautious in certain types of works wherein the problems may originate. A medical management program is also needed as well as to monitor the workers condition and health to ensure that the workers are in good condition and to prevent not just back injury cases but other injuries and illnesses as well. Preventing the case before it is even able to develop is still the best way to eliminate such cases.
Another important step that must be taken is to have a comprehensive training for all workers regarding lifting mechanics and as well techniques not just to be able to do the job better but also to do the job in a safely manner. This is not just for those who are newly hired by the company but also for those who had been working in the company for a long time. The proper ways and techniques especially in lifting are very important to prevent cases of back injuries. The use of back may not have sufficient scientific basis for its effectiveness is reducing back injury cases but there is also no concrete evidence that will disprove the claims.
Also, using back belts may not just help the company regarding the issue of back injuries but it may be able to help the company in other ways. Through the use of back belts and right practice, the cases of back injuries in the work place can surely be avoided.
References CCOHS. (10, November 2005). Back belt. Retrieved January 11, 2008 from http://www. ccohs. ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/back_blt. html NIOSH. (10, June 1997). Back belts do they prevent injury? Retrieved January 11, 2008 from http://www. cdc. gov/Niosh/backbelt. html NIOSH. (February 2001). Back belts. Retrieved January 11, 2008 from http://www. cdc. gov/niosh/backfs. html.