Monday, October 15, 2012

Ouch! Ergonomics for (not just) library shelving

Hi, Rebecca here. I'm the person behind the blog for the SSD and will be occasionally blogging about library ergonomics, as it's something of a personal interest of mine.  I'm by no means an expert, so will be relying extensively on what I find on the web.

There is a really great guide of do's and don'ts for library shelving from the folks in Environmental Health & Radiation(!) Safety at the University of Pennsylvania.  It is a MS PowerPoint document.  If you don't have PowerPoint on your computer, you can look at it through Google Docs Viewer.

Did you know:
"Pinch grip strength is approximately 25% of the strength of using the whole hand, increasing the risk of wrist injury." After thinking about it, it makes sense that using your thumb and only 1/4 of your fingers would be 25% of your hand strength!

Remember to shift between using your right and left sides for shelving.  It can be difficult to get  used to using your non-dominant hand, but that has the added benefit of slowing you down (for a little while anyway) and decreasing your chance for injury even further.

There's a handy chart with the maximum weights for shelving tasks based on starting and ending points.  My only further question is how many items does that translate to?  Books are deceptively heavy.

When you don't lift with your knees, guess how much 10 pounds feels like in your back.  

So my questions to you, dear readers, are: what is your favorite alternative to the "pinch grip"?  What stretches do you use at work, if any?  Will you start stretching after reading this?  Do you know how much what you shelve weighs?

No comments:

Post a Comment