We are stepping slightly outside of our normal “storage expert” lane for this month’s Expert Series™ to talk about the importance ergonomic workspaces. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Labor Review, hospital workers have a “higher incidence of injury and illness – 6.0 cases per 100 full-time workers – than employees working in other industries traditionally considered dangerous, such as manufacturing and construction.” This is can lead to poor job satisfaction, being short-staffed, and costly claims.
Sterile Processing employees spend hours at a time searching for supplies and standing, bent over Decontamination Sinks and Workstations. Implementing ergonomic solutions can help to prevent short term or permanent back, shoulder, and neck pain.
When storing supplies, you can use a mix of flat, pull-out, and slanted shelves so that you don’t need to get down too low or reach too high for the supplies you need. Everything is within reach and fully visible.
Leveraging height adjustable decontamination sinks and workstations can help to reduce SPD Staff discomfort and injuries by allowing each staff member to set the workspace to the appropriate height, preventing unnecessary hunching and reaching. Height Adjustable Workstations can even give SPD Staff the opportunity to sit while working, taking some of the stress off their legs and backs.
Lastly, set up Workstation and Decontamination Sink work areas in a way that commonly used items are within reach without having to overextend and reaching overhead. Additionally, use overhead lighting and adjustable magnifiers to avoid squinting or hunching when inspecting instruments.