Ergonomic Pipette Research
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Ergonomic Pipette Research

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  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • Tell story of VistaLab’s investigation of pipetting with traditionally-designed devices.
  • The result of our work, a totally new design platform for pipetting was created. Explain structural elements
  • Explain operational elements
  • To come: appropriate ergonomic performance data and discussion of physical differences between pipetting with Ovation and competitive axial designed pipettes.
  • All this Theory can be tested with modern measurement tools. We performed a study on volunteers to see the results of our new design compared to conventional axial designs. We compared Ovation to four popular Axial pipettes, including two models marketed as “ergonomic” designs. The testing measured the actual muscle activity and postural geometry (twisting etc) used in the pipetting activity and compared this to accepted norms.
  • . Data and other CTS MSD generally require the most extensive recovery time. In 1996, CTS cases resulted in the highest median number of days away from work for any injury or illness: 25 days for CTS compared to 5 days for all injuries and illnesses combined. That year, more than 57% of lost-workday CTS cases involved more than 20 days away from work, and more than 42% of all lost-workday CTS cases involved more than 30 days away from work. For example, the average per case costs for carpal tunnel syndrome cases are $8,070, which is more than double the $4,000 average per case costs for all other injuries *OSHA STD
  • To come: appropriate ergonomic performance data and discussion of physical differences between pipetting with Ovation and competitive axial designed pipettes.

Ergonomic Pipette Research Ergonomic Pipette Research Presentation Transcript

  • REDUCING THE RISK OF REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES DUE TO PIPETTING Richard Scordato VistaLab Technologies, Inc.
  • Topics
    • Background
    • Pipetting Ergonomics
    • A New Ergonomic Pipette Design
    • Pipette Evaluations
    • Questions
  • Is Pipetting Really an Ergonomic Risk?
  • Hire an Ergonomist! Kevin Costello Dennis Mitchel
  • What is Ergonomics?
    • Ergonomics is the science of work. The goal of ergonomics is to remove barriers to quality, productivity and human performance by fitting products, tasks and environment to people
  • On a National Basis……
    • Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are the single largest job-related injury and illness problem in the United States
    • WMSDs account for 34% of all reported illnesses and injuries, totaling 626,000 days away from work
    • U.S. employers are currently paying in excess of $15 billion per year in workers compensation costs for WMSDs and associated expenses
      • -Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), November 14, 2000
  • The Ergonomics Literature
    • Swedish Laboratory Workers 1 - 44% reported hand problems - 58% reported shoulder problems - 44% reported neck problems
    • U.S. Pipetting Study 2 - Significant increases in hand & elbow injuries among pipette users
    • National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health 3 - “a biomechanical hazard exists from exposure to pipetting operations . . .” 1. MG Bjorksten et al, 1994; 2. G. David, P. Buckle, 1996; 3. NIOSH 1995
    Injuries Attributed to Pipetting
  • Injuries Attributed to Pipetting
    • VistaLab Survey
      • 45% report at least occasional pain or discomfort while pipetting
  • Pipetting is the #1 cause of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s) in the laboratory
    • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
    • Tendinitis
    • Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
    • Trigger Finger
    • Tension Neck Syndrome
    • Others
  • Injuries are Widespread
    • Not just older Lab Workers
    • Not just thumb and hand – Shoulder, neck, elbow and back
    • Women more than men
  • Why does Pipetting Increase the Risk of Injury?
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  • General Ergonomic Risk Factors Vibration Personal Repetition Environment Posture Contact Stress Force Risk Factors
  • Report: “An Ergonomic Disaster”
    • Pain: hands, wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck
    • Considerable reaching resulting in repetitive upper arm flexion & abduction
    • Unsupported arm and static muscle loading of the shoulder
    • Cramped work space , especially under hoods
    • Considerable amount of neck flexion
    • Handling multiple objects
  • Report: “An Ergonomic Disaster”
    • Pain: hands, wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck
    • Excessive finger flexor muscle during aspirating and dispensing
    • Excessive force associated with tip attachment
    • Pain /discomfort associated w/ tip attachment & tip eject effort levels
    • The tip of the thumb is used almost exclusively
  • Axial Pipettes
    • Design is over 40 years old
    • Simplest & cheapest way to make a pipette
    • The science of ergonomics was unknown when invented
  • Key Ergonomic Issues with Axial-Design Pipettes
    • Pipette length requires user’s arm to be at an excessive height
    • Narrow body shape requires a tight fist grip during use
    • Excessive wrist flexion and arm supination required
    • Excessive forces are required
  • Key Ergonomic Issues with Axial-Design Pipettes
    • Poor tip fit
    • High tipping & tip ejection forces
    • High plunger forces
    • Awkward volume adjustment
    • Shape not fitted to the hand
  • Ergonomist’s Conclusion:
    • Modification of the axial design does not meet the objectives
    • A totally new design was needed
  • What Makes a Pipette Ergonomic?
  • General Ergonomic Risk Factors Vibration Personal Repetition Environment Posture Contact Stress Force Risk Factors
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  • A Totally New Design Platform for Pipetting
    • Non-axial structure
    • Contoured shape
    • Freestanding
    • Adjustable hook
    • Large contoured plunger
    • Large functional buttons
  • The Ovation Design
    • Positive tip acquisition
    • Actuated tip removal
    • Low plunger forces
    • Electronic Volume Selection
    • Volume Presets
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  • Posture Comparison Traditional pipettes Ovation “ Clenched Fist” Increases stress, reducing available hand strength and diminishing productivity Loose, Relaxed Increases available strength in hand, improving endurance and productivity during pipetting
  • Posture Comparison Traditional pipettes Ovation Elevated, “Winged Elbow” Arm/hand elevation exceeding 12” causes stress to the neck and shoulder Close to work surface Arm elevation remains low, minimizing stress to elbow, shoulder and neck
  • Posture Comparison Over-rotated Rotation exceeds 90º, causing stress to the wrist, hand and elbow. Arm Supinated Neutral, Relaxed Wrist remains in a neutral range of motion throughout all pipetting operations. Arm pronated Traditional pipettes Ovation
  • Reference: Rempel D, Bach J, Gordon L, Yuen S. Effects of Forearm Pronation/Supination on Carpal Tunnel Pressure. Journal of Hand Surgery 1998; 23A:38-42 . . . To Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Awkward Posture is the Leading Contributor . . .
  • Ergonomic Performance Carpal Tunnel Pressure 45 degrees pronation 0 degrees (vertical) 45 degrees supination Reference: Rempel D, Bach J, Gordon L, Yuen S. Effects of Forearm Pronation/Supination on Carpal Tunnel Pressure. Journal of Hand Surgery 1998; 23A:38-42 17 mmHg 27 mmHg 39 mmHg
  • Ovation Evaluations
    • ETC Ergonomist’s testing
    • NIOSH
    • Duke University
    • Customer Feedback
  • Ergonomic Testing EMG (electromyogram) testing as used to measure the activity of muscle groups used during pipetting. Electrogoniometry is used to measure posture.
  • Example: Forces required by different pipettes to discard tips Recommended limit 15% MVC 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 OP Flexor Extensor Ovation A B C D Pipette %MVC (at full strength) Source: Ergonomic Technologies Corporation, Syosset, New York What Does This Mean When Pipetting?
  • Example: uninterrupted full cycle measurement of wrist extension and flexion Average Extension Average Flexion Ovation A B C D Pipette Degree of wrist flexion and extension Recommended Limit Recommended Limit Source: Ergonomic Technologies Corporation, Syosset, New York What Does This Mean When Pipetting?
  • Example: arm flexion and extension during aspiration Recommended limit Recommended limit 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 Max Flexion Max Extension Ovation A B C D Pipette Degree of arm flexion and extension Source: Ergonomic Technologies Corporation, Syosset, New York What Does This Mean When Pipetting?
  • Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Re-designed Pipette for Reducing the Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Disorders Ming-Lun (Jack) Lu, Ph.D. Sunil Sudhakaran, M.S. AEP March 24, 2005 National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH)
  • Objective
    • To determine whether the re-designed pipette (i.e. ergonomic intervention) significantly reduces the MSD physical risk factors associated with pipetting
  • Data Collection
    • Thumb and total finger forces using 19 FlexiForce TM sensors
    • Outcome variables:
      • Thumb force: force data of 2 sensors
      • Total finger force: sum of force data of all 19 sensors
  • Data Collection (cont.)
    • Wrist posture and forearm rotation using a twin axis electrogoniometer and a torsiometer
    • Outcome variables:
      • Wrist ulnar/radial deviation
      • Wrist flexion/extension
      • Forearm pronation/supination
    Electrogoniometer
  • Data Collection (cont.)
    • Shoulder elevation using video data analyzed with Multimedia Video Task Analysis TM software
      • Outcome variable: shoulder elevation greater than 45 °
  • Thumb Force Different letters indicate a significant difference (p<0.05)
  • Total Finger Force Different letters indicate a significant difference (p<0.05)
  • Wrist Deviation Different letters indicate a significant difference (p<0.05)
  • Shoulder Elevation Greater than 45 ° Different letters indicate a significant difference (p<0.05)
  • NIOSH Conclusion
    • The re-designed, low force pipette showed a significant reduction in the most important MSD risk factors for pipetting, as compared to two other traditional axial-design pipettes
  • A Comparison of Traditional and Alternative Pipettes: Comfort and Preference Tamara James, MA, CPE Ergonomics Director Duke University & Health System Durham, North Carolina USA
  • Duke Study Summary
    • “ Overwhelming preference for Ovation in terms of ‘Comfort’”
    • “ Strong preference for Ovation in terms of ‘Accuracy’ and ‘General Use Throughout Workday’”
  • Cap Opener
    • Study led to solution addressing specific productivity issue Cap Opener
  • VistaLab Surveys
    • Random Sample of Customers
    • Did you have pain or discomfort while pipetting?
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  • Conclusions
    • Ovation Design Uniquely Addresses Pipette Ergonomics
    • NIOSH Study Supports Reduction of MSD Risk
    • Duke Study Shows Greater Comfort and Preference
    • Ovation Users Report Reduction in Pain and Discomfort
  • Pipette Ergonomics Focus Group Questions?