Working in laboratory hoods or biological safety cabinets (BSC's) promotes awkward postures due to limited knee and thigh clearance, the position of the viewing window and the placement of work tools inside. Restricted arm movement increases stress on joints of the upper limbs, neck, and back. The following suggestions may help eliminate ergonomic risk factors while working at hoods or BSC’s.
To reduce awkward postures:
- Remove false fronts and supplies from under the work area to get closer.
- Position the materials in hoods and BSC’s as close as possible to avoid extended reaching.
- Place equipment on appropriate turntables for easy retrieval.
- Use low-profile tubes, containers and waste bins to position your arms closer to your body.
- Adjust your chair and sit back in the seat using the backrest.
- Use anti-fatigue mats when standing for long periods of time.
- Use foot rests and foot rings for leg support.
- Keep your line of sight unobstructed when working in the hoods or BSC’s.
- Take frequent stretch breaks and rotate your tasks as much as possible.
To reduce contact stress:
- Place padding underneath your forearms and elbows.
- Apply closed cell foam padding to the front edge of the hood or BSC without interfering with the airflow.
To reduce eyestrain:
- Keep viewing window of hoods and BSC’s clean.
- Uses diffuse lighting to limit glare.