Monday, July 25, 2011

Ergonomic Safety & Microscopes: Unitron Offers a Solution

Image credit: Ergonomics, Integrated Safety Management,
Berkeley Lab.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), "Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population." Studies have demonstrated that ergonomically challenged workstations can lead to medical problems and contribute to loss production and related costs. Improperly equipped workstations can interfere with the powers of concentration. Sitting for many hours motionless at a workstation can put a strain on the human body—especially the eyes and muscular skeletal system.

"Common examples of ergonomic risk factors are found in jobs requiring repetitive, forceful, or prolonged exertions of the hands; frequent or heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects; and prolonged awkward postures," says OSHA. The precision work found, for example, in microscopy-related tasks requires rapid and small muscle contractions, coordination in muscle movements, concentration, and visual inspection. The body stresses at these types of workstations are caused by the user’s body positioning and the nature of the work. Studies show that a hunched position at a microscope can cause muscle cramps in the neck and back and related disorders to the spine. If a microscope user’s head position has to be matched to the viewing height of the microscope, the resulting discomfort may lead to medical problems as well as a decrease in productivity. To achieve a comfortable head position the viewing height should be compatible with the user’s body.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says, "The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks." One company that has accomplished that goal is UNITRON®. In creating their Ergonomic Z10 Series Stereo Microscopes, UNITRON has provided microscope users with a tool to create a safer workstation environment. The Ergonomic Head Stereo minimizes body strain on microscope users by:
  • Creating a relaxed sitting posture (over a long period the back muscles are used less)
  • Allowing for a relaxed, slightly inclined backwards position (pressure on disks are minimized)
  • Ensuring a natural posture position of the user’s back, arms, and legs
  • Providing an angle of observation in the preferred range between 30-45°

For more information about Unitron's ergonomic stereo microscopes and other ergonomic workstation solutions visit's Unitron Ergonomic Z10 Series Stereo Microscopes page or call our helpful experts at 800-966-6020.

The Q Source Resource expresses our gratitude to Heston Singh, Business Development Manager for UNITRON, for the writing and research he contributed to this article.