An ergonomics process for the care and use of research animals
Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Journal, 44(1), 3-12. doi: 10.1093/ilar.44.1.3
Personnel who work with laboratory animals incur potential occupational health risks that can lead to the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Demanding manual tasks may also result in increased errors, worker fatigue, poor human performance, and decreased productivity. Studies have shown that a comprehensive ergonomics program that utilizes a systematic risk management approach can reduce the likelihood of exposure to musculoskeletal disorder risk factors and remove barriers to human performance. Research has characterized the risk factors of musculoskeletal disorder exposure in terms of force, frequency, posture, and muscle exertion. Ergonomic risk factors for typical animal handling tasks and work areas are identified, and a method is suggested for prioritizing interventions using interrelated data indicators. An initial review of potential control measures is offered to improve the health, safety, and effectiveness of people involved in the care and use of research animals.