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Ergonomics eTool: Solutions for Electrical Contractors
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Contact Stress or Contact Trauma: Soreness and injury due to rubbing or impingement upon the body of an employee by a tool or work surface.

Coupling: see Handholds

Cumulative Trauma: Injuries that occur from repeated exposure to certain stresses, such as vibration, twisting, or strenuous lifting.

Environmental factors: Factors like excess heat, cold, and insufficient lighting that can add difficulty to jobs.

Handholds: Also known as Coupling. Handholds describe the way materials are handled, including handles on buckets or slots on the sides of boxes. Good handholds are designed to accommodate larger hands and to not have thin, sharp edges.

HAVS: Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome. This disorder happens as a result of prolonged exposure to vibration, specifically to the hands and forearms while using vibrating tools. Symptoms of HAVS include numbness, tingling, and loss of nerve sensitivity.

Housekeeping: This word describes the conditions of the work space, in terms of orderliness and cleanliness. Good housekeeping is essential to a safe work site.

IEC: Independent Electrical Contractors.

MSD: Musculoskeletal Disorder. These disorders are the most common result of poor ergonomic environments.

Neutral posture: When joints are not bent and the spine is aligned and not twisted. Working in neutral postures is preferable to working while twisting the back or bending the wrists.

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Power Zone: The ideal zone for lifting where the arms and back have maximum leverage. The power zone is close to the front of the body, between mid-thigh and mid-chest height. See the Ergonomic Principles Index for an illustration of the power zone.

Staging: The way materials and tools are placed on the job site. Good staging includes arranging materials so they can be accessed in the power zone, keeping heavier materials off the floor, and placing materials as close to work spaces as possible, so less manual lifting and carrying will be required.

Static posture: When one posture is held for a long time. Doing so may result in fatigue and even injury over time.

Task Rotation: Switching employees between different tasks. This discourages cumulative trauma by allowing muscle groups to rest. For example, a two-man team might switch between bending and cutting conduit and installing the modified conduit every fifteen minutes or so.

Transport Devices: A generic term for items such as hand carts, pallet jacks, utility carts, and other devices.

WAGO Connectors: A series of modular connector devices that don't require tools. Wire is pushed in the holes of the connector and stays in place by pressure.


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