We often hear the term “ergonomics” applied to things like desk chairs or keyboards, but we don’t put a lot of thought into what ergonomics truly entail. Put simply, ergonomics refers to the interaction between products or processes and the individuals who actually use them.
With this in mind, it’s easy for the team at our calibration laboratory to see why desk chairs and typing position are commonly tied with ergonomics; both of these are closely tied with vocations, and understandably have a large impact on the people who use them.
Many of us are familiar with workplace injuries that are tied to repeated movements or extended use, such as spinal problems from poor seating or carpal tunnel from poor posture while typing. The risk of injury in the workplace isn’t exclusive to office and labor jobs, though; we run similar risks right here in our labs!
Similar to injuries from prolonged typing with improper form, those who routinely use pipettes are exposed to the danger of problems in the fingers, hands, and forearms if they are pipetting incorrectly. Fortunately, our pipette calibration experts are intimately acquainted with today’s pipettes and how to reduce the strain that can come with regular usage.
While pipetting, it’s important to provide strength while reducing stress on the muscles. This can be achieved by holding pipettes properly and applying pressure in a natural way. This can often be achieved by thinking of the way you hold your hand during a handshake; this keeps the forearm and wrist in a natural position, and the elbow closer to the trunk to avoid flaring it out and creating unnecessary strain.
It’s also important to remain conscious of your grip on work items, including pipettes. Over time, your grip may become more like a clenched fist. Staying aware can allow you to relax your grip and reduce stress, only applying the necessary pressure. This is also easier when using pipettes with larger, contoured buttons or plungers that allow for an easier distribution of pressure.
To ensure that your team is using pipettes properly to reduce workplace injuries, we suggest reviewing the basics of pipette ergonomics with them. To ensure that your pipettes themselves are doing their job properly, we suggest contacting the Atlantic Scale Company team at (973) 661-7090 to schedule a consultation today!