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Research and development

Example problems and possible solutions

a person opening a bottle with a bottle top opener a lever being used to remove the top instead of a persons thumb


Simple ways to reduce upper limb strain include the use of bottle top openers as an effective alternative to the operator’s hand and a lever to remove the pumphead instead of the operator’s thumb.

 
a heavy container resting on a low trolley

Problem

Users had to lift heavy objects from a trolley at a low height.

a heavy container resting on a waist height trolley

Solution

The introduction of a height adjustable trolley allows objects to be slid onto and off the trolley to/from the workbench without lifting.

 
a person overstretching when installing a stirring paddle

Problem

The design required the user to overstretch their body and arms when installing the stirring paddle.

a modified paddle holder with a hole in the side for easy installation

Solution

The paddle holder was modified so that the paddle could be installed/removed from the side.

 
Person lifting a bottle from on top of a head height machine

Problem

5 litre solvent bottles were too high on top of the HPLC machine. They were awkward & heavy to lift from this height, especially for shorter users.

person lifting a bottle from chest height

Solution

Re-arranging the HPLC machine allowed for the solvents to be handled at a lower height. Smaller bottles were also introduced.

 
bottle on machine platform with hand on top of a bottle

Problem

The technicians must keep their palm on top of the bottle for 60 seconds whilst it is agitated. This can be repeated up to 25 times.

bottle in machine with lid on top

Solution

A bottle holder was designed with a detachable lid; this acted as an anchor preventing the bottle from rising out of the container.

 
person stretching to reach top shelf

Problem

Users were having to overstretch to reach chemicals; some could not reach the top shelf at all.

Person on stool reaching top shelf

Solution

As an interim solution a stool was provided. In the long term, the shelves should be re-arranged to place all items between waist and knee height.

Laboratory case studies

Updated 2012-10-24