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Laboratory Ergonomic Stressors

Pipetting

Biological Safety Cabinets/Fumehoods

Microscopy

Laboratory Workbenches

Microtomy

Pipetting

This laboratory procedure is highly repetitive and involves a variety of risk factors. Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD) or MSDs may occur when a laboratory worker pipettes for two hours a day or longer on a continuous basis.

Associated Risk Factors:

Preventive Measures:

Work Smart, eliminate/reduce the impact of laboratory ergonomic stressors.

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Biological Safety Cabinets/Fumehoods

Working in Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC's) or fumehoods requires laboratory personnel to assume a variety of awkward postures due to limited work access, which restrict arm movement, and therefore significantly increase the amount of stress on joints of the upper limbs, neck, and back.

Associated Risk Factors:

Preventive Measures:

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Microscopy

Operating a microscope for long hours puts much strain on the neck, shoulders, eyes, lower back, and arms/wrists.

Associated Risk Factors:

Preventive Measures:

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Laboratory Workbenches

When used inappropriately, laboratory workbenches can expose researchers to a variety of hazardous conditions or ergonomic risk factors depending on the laboratory procedure being used. Most workbenches at the University are of fixed heights and cannot be modified (raised or lowered). In general they are the same height and were designed for light to slightly heavy work. Using a laboratory workbench as a computer workstation is an example of inappropriate use, since it forces the worker to assume a variety of awkward postures and may increase the likelihood of acquiring MSD.

Preventive Measures:

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Microtomy

Manual rotary microtome use in histology laboratories requires performing many repetitive functions. In the course of one day, a laboratory technologist may use between 40 and 50 cassettes or blocks a day, hence turning the microtome wheel for at least a 1000 time. This is not only repetitive work, but turning microtome's wheel also requires force or forceful exertion. Other repetitive microtome-related functions such as replacement of specimens and use of trimming wheel increase the probability of acquiring MSD.

Preventive Measures:

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