You are hereRisk Sharing / Safety / Safety Corner / Ergonomics for Road Crews, Law Enforcement & Firefighters

Ergonomics for Road Crews, Law Enforcement & Firefighters

Ergonomics is not just for office and computer stations.  Service departments can also design safe and comfortable work areas and work habits.

Road departments are turning in reports of carpal tunnel problems.  High vibration levels in heavy equipment, repeated impact of power tools, and repetitive material handling can injure wrists and hands.  Recently an employee from Yellowstone County Road Department was diagnosed with severe carpal tunnel injury.  The doctor elected physical therapy before considering surgery.  After three months of therapy, stretching exercises and using impact mitts, the employee was back to work full-time, driving the road grader.

In law enforcement departments, musculoskeletal injuries have been reported as a result of using force to detain suspects.  A non-lethal alternative, electronic stun guns, temporarily disables violent suspects.  This use reduced deputy injury rates by 80% in one Florida county.

Firefighters need fast access to equipment in fire trucks, which may be awkward to reach (power saws, took kits, first aid supplies, jaws of life, etc.).  New fire trucks come with pullout shelves within the storage compartments.  The shelves provide access to both sides of the equipment for safer lifting.