How Your Personal Protective Equipment Could Use Ergonomics
The first question you might ask is, “What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?” PPE are items that are worn or used to minimize exposure to hazards that could cause injuries and illnesses in the workplace. A business relies on PPE to keep its workers safe and keep them out of harm’s way. It is obvious that industrial business owners don’t want their workers hurt. They also don’t want to be sued. Because of this, PPE is important to any business for its success and its workers.
Personal Protective Equipment is a form of ergonomics. And for those who don’t know what ergonomics is, “it is the process of designing and arranging workplaces, products, and systems so that they fit the people who use them.” This term can be stretched to incorporate processes needed to keep workers safe and healthy as well.
What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is a form of science that relies on research conducted by other forms of scientific practices, such as engineering, physiology, and psychology. By using these categories of science, we can have a greater understanding of the most efficient way to make workplaces function successfully. By using science to determine what is the most comfortable and safe way to conduct day-to-day business, we have greater opportunities to run industries that have worker, owner, and customer satisfaction.
Many of the questions about ergonomics is how and where they are applied to certain businesses. More importantly, there is a curiosity where the different fields of science can be used to help ergonomics make workplaces better. In this blog, we will discuss the forms of scientific methodologies that are used in ergonomics, and PPE.
Anthropometry is the study of body sizes, shapes, and diversity within populations. A business owner must assume that no two workers are the same. Because of this, adjustments in equipment, protective clothing, and even break rooms have to be designed with height and weight averages considered. Without Anthropometry, all personal protective equipment, such as safety jackets for construction, protective suits and gloves, and even breathing apparatuses would be the same size.
Biomechanics is the study of muscles, levers, forces, and strength. Without biomechanics, we would not have industry at all. For example, without the study of forces, how could we learn to pull oil from the ground, or build — anything? Since the beginning of man, we have been developing our understanding of biomechanics in the physical labor we complete. Biomechanics can be applied when a worker picks up (or tries to pick up) a piece of equipment. It takes biomechanics to understand how much weight a worker can support before bodily damage could occur. Using our understanding of the human capacity for strength, we have been able to innovate mechanisms that allow us to perform industrial work without using brute force. Equipment such as tractors, cranes, hammers, etc. are all methods to help industry without harming the health of workers.
Environmental physics is the study of the natural world and how it affects workers. These natural factors include but are not limited to:
- Temperature (cold and heat)
All of these factors are not dangerous in small amounts. However, in harsh amounts the human body can be extremely affected. For example, too loud of a noise can turn workers deaf, and too much light can result in retina damage, or even blind them. There are also syndromes that can occur from too much vibration or radiation. Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) occurs when the body is exposed to repeated vibration without proper protective gear.
There are many branches of psychology, however when it comes to ergonomics, two are especially useful. Applied psychology refers to the study of learning, errors, and differences. Specifically, this vein of psychology is predominantly centered around how to effectively teach people the process of a workplace. And, if a mistake is made, how a workers could best rectify the problem. This can come in handy if there has been an accident, or if there is a process that is complex and you want to teach it effectively. When it comes to industry, processes can be complex and come with high-stakes. Because of this, you want to make sure that your business implements a good learning strategy in order to restrict mistakes in the future. Training is key to a successful business, especially one the could risk lives.
Social psychology refers to the study of communication and behavior, in this case, within a work environment. This form of psychology is important because it taps into the science behind human thoughts and communication. Much of industry, and any workplace, revolves around the constant and clear communication among workers. However, this communication can also be directed from business owner to worker as well. Any form of communication completed within a business is social psychology in action. How you perceive information from others, interpret it, and complete the task they ask for, is all dependant on the level of communication being conducted. So, social psychology in ergonomics is incredibly important, because it places emphasis on communication between workers and business owners. Due to the importance of communication within a business, especially industry, companies have formulated inventions to make communication faster and easier than ever.
Titan Zone Control
At Titan Zone Control, we use ergonomics to produce personal protective equipment for industrial work. Because labor intensive jobs can be dangerous, our protective equipment has been fashioned to fit any industrial business, as well as their workers. With the help of ergonomics, and a better understanding of these scientific methodologies, equipment corporations can learn better, more efficient ways to make workers safer while on the job.