Protecting Laboratory Personnel from Repetitive Strain Injury
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Responsible laboratory takes the health of its staff seriously; and pipetting has become an issue in laboratory health and safety. The sheer number of pipetting operations performed over time makes it a key culprit in the risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Electronic pipettes not only increase the number of samples processed, but they do so in such an ergonomic fashion that repetitive strain injuries are becoming a thing of the past. In fact, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health identified repetitive pipetting as the most common contributory factor with regard to developing RSI in the laboratory.
Who is Affected
A study concurs that pipetting poses the highest risk for getting RSI within a laboratory environment, stating that 44 percent of lab professionals suffer from disorders caused by pipetting. Pipetting for more than 300 hours per year (1.5 hr/day or roughly 6 hr/wk) exposes a worker to a fivefold risk of hand shoulder injuries. It is not unusual for a laboratory technician to perform up to 10,000 pipetting procedures per day, so using the wrong equipment can quickly lead to painful muscular tension and joint pain in the shoulder, lower arm, wrists or fingers.