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Shipboard Ergonomics

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Ergonomics is the study of the efficiency of people at work and applies to all kinds of work types from deck work to sitting at a computer. In a maritime environment, personal injuries occur in a matter of seconds. They can also develop over several years if repetitive tasks are not performed with proper technique. For this reason, we want to make sure each and every employee is properly trained in workplace safety and awareness. By studying ergonomics both short and long-term injury can be avoided. This creates a safe workplace and preserves employee health. In this program we will teach you how to take a proactive and mindful approach to your work to recognize, avoid, and mitigate workplace injuries. We'll see how your environment, both ashore and at sea, can affect your risk of injury. We'll look at how ergonomics can teach you how to position and move your body to reduce injury. The use of specialized tools can reduce strain and allow you to work easier, and we'll show you some available for everyday use. We'll see how the use of personal protective equipment can also reduce the risk of injury or harm. And if you are injured, we'll show you some tips to reduce the risk of more serious injury and how to shorten your recovery period. To be mindful is to understand yourself and your surroundings in the moment. It is the first step in avoiding risk and injury on the job. Before you begin your work, it's important to think about what is needed for the job. Questions you should ask might include: Will personnel need to be rotated or changed out to switch repetitive tasks or work in cramped locations? Do I have the correct tools and equipment to lessen the ergonomic impacts of the work evolution? What are some other possible ergonomic risks? And how can I prevent them? Working on seagoing vessels challenges us with difficult natural and engineered environments. For example, cold and wet weather can agitate musculoskeletal injuries so be sure to stay warm and dry. Keep in mind, the vessel in in constant motion and can move in extreme or unpredictable ways. Watch for pinch points and sharp edges. The structure of the vessel and some cramped work locations make taking breaks and changing body positions crucial to maintaining ergonomic safety. The ship's equipment and the tools you may be using can be vibrating. Make a separation between your body and the vibrating item during breaks. Some work areas will be located above your head. Make sure to access the work above your head with a ladder. Or if that is not practical, lower your hands, take a break, and shake them out to return proper blood flow. Proper lighting is an important part of maintaining ergonomic awareness. If the light is too bright or too dim, you may find yourself straining to see the work item or putting your body in positions to compensate for inadequate lighting. Lighting in regards to ergonomic body positions should be included in your pre-work planning and adjusted during the work evolution. Confined or enclosed spaces may increase your ergonomics hazards due to the construction and layout of these spaces. Difficult access, low lighting, extreme temperatures, residual product hazards, and cramped quarters should all be taken into consideration when assessing confined space ergonomic hazards. And remember, enclosed space entry must be approved by the captain and be properly ventilated. Another way to ensure safety is to avoid repetitive actions, working in awkward positions, or lifting excessive weight. Back, wrist, and hand injuries are the most common injuries in the industry. Luckily with the aid of a few ergonomic techniques, they are the easiest to prevent. The best way to avoid ergonomic injury is by practicing proper technique. Here are some simple ways to avoid injury. When gripping a tool or any object, avoid locking your hand muscles. Keep a firm and controlled grip, but a grip that is too tight will apply unnecessary stress to the small muscles and damage the nerves and tissue over time. Use three outside fingers when power is needed to grip and the thumb and forefinger for fine-tuning and adjustment. Avoid working too quickly. Making quick movements like twisting or turning magnifies your exposure to ergonomic hazards. Before lifting an object, plan your lift. Consider where you are going and how much energy you'll have to exert. The most important part of lifting a heavy object is using proper ergonomic technique. When lifting any object with or without help, be sure to hold the object close to your body and lift and lower under control. It is also important to keep a straight back and neck. Keeping your wrists straight and your elbows to your sides is considered a neutral posture. By adopting a neutral posture, you'll achieve better leverage. If the weight is low, lift with your leg muscles in order to prevent strain on your back. Also avoid holding a heavy object for too long. When muscle tissue is stressed by lifting an object, microtears develop in the muscle tissue. The healing of this tissue is what increases muscle mass and makes us stronger. But if too much tissue is what's torn at once, it can cause inflammation and pain rather than build strength. If an object weighs more than 50 pounds or is too heavy to lift, get help. Help can be another person, but it can also be a tool like a dolly or a lift. Many injuries are caused by hard physical labor, but some injuries develop as a consequence of bad back posture over the course of time. For example, mopping, sweeping, or other seemingly mild labor can affect your health if proper posture isn't maintained. Be sure to keep your back as straight as possible avoiding awkward angles with your wrists and elbows. Do not overreach or extend past your safe working zone. Remember not to grip too hard, and always wear proper footwear. Slouching at a desk or sitting for long periods is another culprit in causing long-term back injuries. When sitting, keep your hips rolled slightly forward, your back straight, and your shoulders relaxed. This will prevent disk injuries and hunched shoulders from developing in the future. Make sure you adjust your screen height to match your eye level. Maintaining a neutral wrist position while typing is as equally important as maintaining a neutral wrist position while lifting. Though office or other light duty labor may seem harmless, good posture is key to preserving long-term health. Using dollies, carts, and lifts is one of the best ways to avoid ergonomic injury. However, it is important to apply the same ergonomic basics to their use. When loading a hand cart of dolly, be sure to keep proper posture as you lift the object on and off the tool. Keep a straight neck and back. Keep your arms and the object close to your chest. Lift with your legs and avoid making any twisting movements. Aligning your body in the direction of the load, one foot in front of the other, will help in reducing the strain on your back and helps provide better balance in the direction of the force. PPE is an important safety tool for every job that you do. Specific PPE designed to prevent ergonomic injuries can be obtained onboard. Steel decks and other shipboard services are hard on muscles and bones. Back braces, knee, elbow, and shoulder pads are an easy way to stay comfortable on the job while preventing early musculoskeletal damage. At times, certain PPE may present additional ergonomic hazards like cramped muscles, awkward work angles, heat and condensation, or bad visibility. Be mindful of how this PPE will affect your job ergonomically. Preventing fatigue is extremely important in maintaining safety both in the short and long term. If you've worked too long or have overexerted yourself, take a break so you can come back refreshed and ready. Utilize your break to stretch out and hydrate. This will help blood flow and prevent headaches, cramps, and pains. Remember to take care of your body. It's the only tool used in every job and the one you'll live with the rest of your life. If you are injured, the first step is recognizing the type of injury and severity. Signs of injury include pain, swelling, and numbness. Numbness is sometimes difficult to identify as you may not be able to feel anything at the injury site. If you discover part of your body is numb, avoid pressing or agitating the tissue. Accompanied injuries can sometimes be worsened when probed out of curiosity. When you first identify a musculoskeletal injury, take immediate action. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, gentle stretching may bring relief. If gentle stretching does not alleviate the pain, apply ice to affected area. Make sure the ice is wrapped in a paper towel or cloth. This will allow the cold to reduce inflammation without damaging tissue through direct contact. If a joint has been twisted or pulled, elevate the affected limb in order to reduce stress on the joint and lessen swelling. No matter how severe, always report injuries to your supervisor. It is their responsibility to make sure you receive proper treatment. Furthermore, tracking and analyzing workplace injuries helps identify areas where safety needs to be increased. In this program we learned how to avoid long-term injuries by practicing mindfulness in the workplace to assess risk; how to prepare your work environment to maximize your effort while reducing risk and how cramped, confined, or exposed work spaces may pose a threat; how keeping good posture will help to avoid unnecessary strain; and how to plan your lifting or other tasks. If an object or package is too heavy, get help in the form of a coworker or a tool like a handcart or dolly. Always wear the proper personal protective equipment including gloves, respirators, and pads or other forms of protection. And if you are injured, how to identify the type of injury, how to treat it to prevent it from becoming worse, and that you should always report any injury or accident to your supervisor. With a mindful approach to your work, good ergonomic practices, and the use of safe working procedures you'll prevent injuries to yourself and end your watch or workday feeling better and happier.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: maritimetraining on Mar 27, 2017

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