Ergonomic Risk Factor 5: DYNAMIC FACTORS

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This is the fifth risk factor we will be discussing in our Ergonomic Biomechanical Risk Factor series – DYNAMIC FACTORS.

There has been a surge in the research into the effects of dynamic factors. Tissues have an inherent capacity to regain their resting dimensions following stretching. The dynamic factors that influence the capacity include:

  • The speed (velocity) at which the movement is applied
  • The rate the movement increases or decreases (acceleration)
  • The duration of the movement
  • The direction of the movement (rotational, linear, angular)
  • Force applied

There have been numerous research studies that prove that a job task that involves a high level of acceleration to maximal lifting effort is frequently the cause of lower back injury. Similarly movements of a high velocity completed at the wrist cause a significant increase in pressure within the carpal tunnel that is slow to dissipate on rest. This increased pressure has been linked to carpal tunnel syndrome.

In order to minimise the impact of dynamic factors the worker should be mindful of the movements they are completing. More specifically:

  • Movements at high speed
  • Rotational movements
  • Movements that change speed quickly – either accelerate up or down rapidly

These movements should be limited as much as possible to reduce the exposure of the worker to the risk.

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