RE: Ergonomics

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From:"Greer, Bonnie" <Bonnie.Greer@STJUDE.ORG>
To:"''" <>,
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Open more than one block at embedding....isn`t that , asking for trouble?

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2000 11:35 AM
Subject: Re: Ergonomics

Subj:    RE: Ergonomics & the Histotech
Date:   4/7/00 12:21:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From:   JUDI.FORD@ROCHE.COM (Ford, Judi {Path~Palo Alto})

Hi Randi: 

 I have been a histotech for 13 years now.  When I first came onto this job
I was working in a lab with 10 people plus the supervisor.  Five years ago
the company cut our lab down to a total of three people, and then hired two
more.  We kept the same production as we had before the reduction of force
and then the physical problems began to occur.  Everyone in the lab works on
all aspects of histology in that we all trim tissues, embed, section etc.
Each of us have had some type of problem over the past five years.  I suffer
from shoulder, wrist and thumb pains and have been through physical therapy
a couple times.  Fortunately, we have had good support from our health
services, which began an ergonomic program onsite.  Here are some of the
changes we've made:

    1. Cut back the amount of work we do at one time and vary it so that
we don't do one task all day.
    2. We have had our model shop make/modify tools that would ease some
of the tasks; such as making wider handles for embedding tools(tool that we
use to press tissue down in the mold); a block scrapper that we use which
sits on the table rather than scraping blocks in our hands; a tool which
allows us to open multiple cassettes at one time at the embedder, etc.

    3. Take more frequent breaks and do stretches of various types.

    4.Changed to automatic machinery, such as microtomes, cassette
marker and slide markers. We've always had a coverslipping machine.

    Since we've made these changes our trips to health services have
decreased.  If I overdo a task the problems I have come back, so I'm
constantly reminding myself not to do it.  I hope this helps.

Judi Ford
Palo Alto, CA

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