Glass Vial Buffing

Removing silver marks off glass vials using a Dremel polishing tool.

Associated with vibration exposure from the Dremel tool. People who perform the task frequently complain of pain in their dominant hand, wrist, forearm and neck area. Tasks involve multiple ergonomic risk factors such as neck flexion, sustained non-neutral postures, repetition/duration, and hand grip force (which is exacerbated by vibration).

Add a coating to the guide rails inside the sterilizer so that the glass vials no longer acquire silver-colored marks when they are slide down the assembly line against the metal. The coatings that can withstand high temperature environment are polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK).


Evaluation of Intervention

  • Pros
  • The guide rail coating reduces the number of vials to buff manually
  • Relief from vibration and forceful exertions
  • Cons
  • Difficulty implementing change to the sterilization process
  • Does not alter posture when cleaning vial

Semi-Quantitative Evaluation of Intervention

  • Reduction of Identified Risk Factor
  • No New Risk Factors Introduced
  • Productivity not Reduced
  • Low Cost
  • Total
  • 3/5
  • 5/5
  • 4/5
  • 5/5
  • 17/20

Other Possible Interventions

  • Chemical/ultrasonic cleaning
  • Dremel tool support
  • Redesigned tool
  • Redesigned workstation

Submitted by Keyna Chow and Meredith Gajda