Ergonomics to Help Mitigate Hand Tool Fatigue and Injury
Aviation maintenance technicians who work with fine tools for prolonged periods are prone to various repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis. Any recurring motion over a long duration can lead to fatigue and stress injuries, ultimately taking a toll on the body.
Aviation maintenance technicians often make persistent and precise movements in a time-sensitive environment that can cause pain and fatigue, which, if unnoticed, often leads to injury in the long run, compromising worker safety and work quality.
A U.S. Bureau of Labor report states that 17.3% of occupational injuries include pain, tendonitis, and injury due to repetitive movement. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also gives an overview of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as carpal tunnel syndrome, one of the most frequently reported causes of restricted work time.
Ergonomically designed tools are a critical first step in the aviation maintenance landscape to mitigate operator trauma and reduce financial repercussions concerning injuries.
The ergonomic design for optimal performance is driven by extensive research, including but not limited to balance, proportions, frequency of use, and potential adaptability to individual users.
Another critical factor that governs worker safety when using ergonomic tools is electrostatic discharge (ESD). ESD occurs when one object transfers its charge to the other, which is in contact. While it may be difficult to perceive, ESD can cause significant trauma over time to technicians as well as damage sensitive equipment. Ultimately, the ergonomic tool must assist the user in executing precise movements in small spaces while causing minimal fatigue and low interference in performance.
While continuous research certainly provides the foundation to perfect tools and equipment, an aviation technician's years of experience are integral in determining how ergonomic a tool can be in real-time applications. Employees who understand ergonomics can make the most of new developments, creating a workplace conducive to safety.
Brookfield Aviation International recognises the industry's demand for a skilled and ever-developing workforce that continually adapts to innovations in the aviation landscape. Brookfield has a long-established record of supplying the very best engineering and maintenance personnel to airlines, MROs and private operators in the industry.
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