This incident reminds me of a series of articles in JCHAS by EHS staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory related to the ergonomic and other challenges of glovebox use. See, for example,
Rotator cuff strength balance in glovebox workers
Gloveboxes are essential to the pharmaceutical, semi-conductor, nuclear, and biochemical industries. While gloveboxes serve as effective containment systems, they are often difficult to work in and present a number of ergonomic hazards. One such hazard is injury to the rotator cuff, a group of tendons and muscles in the shoulder, connecting the upper arm to the shoulder blade. Rotator cuff integrity is critical to shoulder health. This study compared the rotator cuff muscle strength ratios of glovebox workers to the healthy norm. Descriptive statistics were collected using a short questionnaire. Handheld dynamometry was used to quantify the ratio of forces produced for shoulder internal and external rotation. Results showed this population to have shoulder strength ratios significantly different from the healthy norm. Strength ratios were found to be a sound predictor of symptom incidence. The deviation from the normal ratio demonstrates the need for solutions designed to re!
duce the workload on the rotator cuff musculature in order to improve health and safety. Assessment of strength ratios can be used to screen for risk of symptom development. This increases technical knowledge and augments operational safety.
I also suspect that fume hoods create similar ergonomic challenges for people who use them for long stretches of time.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org
Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas
Previous post | Top of Page | Next post