Lab Microscope

Task
Using a shared microscope in a sewage treatment plant laboratory

Problem
Workers of different heights need to share a microscope on a standard 36" height counter. Taller workers, such as this 5'10" chemist (above image) are in severe trunk flexion.

Intervention
The microscope was placed on a spring-loaded monitor lift appropriate for its weight (35 lbs.). The vertical range of this lift is 11 inches, allowing all the employees at the laboratory (from 5' 0" to 5'10" ) to maintain neutral postures while using the microscope

Cost
Estimated US $175

Evaluation of Intervention

  • Pros
  • Neck and back in Neutral posture
  • Easy adjustability from person to person
  • Cons
  • Cost of lift

Semi-Quantitative Evaluation of Intervention

  • Reduction of Identified Risk Factor
  • No New Risk Factors Introduced
  • Productivity not Reduced
  • Low Cost
  • Total
  • 5/5
  • 5/5
  • 5/5
  • 4/5
  • 19/20

Other Possible Interventions

  • Sit in a chair or high-chair to match the height of the microscope (inadequate legroom in this case)
  • Adjustable eye piece (very expensive)

Acknowledgements
Union Sanitary District, Union City, CA; Ira Janowitz - UC Ergonomics Program