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6/22/2017 » 6/25/2017
2017 OSAP Annual Conference

Ergonomics Issue Toolkit


Background| Resources| Articles




Ergonomics looks at what kind of work you do, what tools you use and your whole job environment. The aim is to find the best fit between you and your job conditions. Examples of ergonomic changes to your work might include:

  • Adjusting the position of your computer keyboard to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Being sure that the height of your desk chair allows your feet to rest flat on floor
  • Learning the right way to lift heavy objects to prevent back injuries
  • Using handle coatings or special gloves to suppress vibrations from power tools

No matter what the job is, the goal is to make sure that you are safe, comfortable, and less prone to work-related injuries. (Source: National Library of Medicine)

In dentistry, a specialOSHA and ADA alliance focuses on fostering a culture of prevention and promoting safe and healthful working conditions for dental employees while sharing technical knowledge in the area of ergonomics.





Safety and Health Topics Ergonomics

OSHA has a four-pronged comprehensive approach to ergonomics designed to quickly and effectively address musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace.
Computer Workstations eTool Millions of people work with computers every day. This eTool illustrates simple, inexpensive principles that will help you create a safe and comfortable computer workstation.

NIOSH Safety and Health Topic
Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Includes general information on a variety of ergonomically related areas.
General information from the US National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus.
Musculoskeletal Disorders and Ergonomics in Dentistry: An Introduction A PowerPoint presentation from the US Air Force Dental Investigation Service.
Ergonomics for Dental Students
Published by the Office of Student Affairs of the American Dental Association.

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Mechanical exposure among general practice dentists in Sweden and possible implications of rationalisation
The results highlight the significance of integrating ergonomic issues into the rationalisation process in dentistry in addition to ordinary workstation and tool design improvements performed by ergonomists.
Ergonomic guidelines to prevent pain and extend your career In this RDH UOR lecture, we focused on ergonomic positioning strategies for both the patient and the hygienist, as well as proper selection and adjustment of ergonomic equipment. Following are some positioning "gems" from the lecture to help you work more productively and comfortably.
University of Maryland Dental School Stepping Up Ergonomics Instruction In response to a high prevalence of neck and back pain among working dentists and dental hygienists, the dean of the University of Maryland Dental School Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent, has launched an initiative to bring renewed attention to ergonomics into dental education.
Office ergonomics: Your how-to guide A comfortable work space can help you feel your best at work — maybe even boost productivity. Give your work space a makeover with this visual guide to office ergonomics.
Little Things Can Make a Big Difference In this article on dental ergonomic products, we will delve into the smaller world of interventions.

Ergonomic Guidelines for Selecting Patient
Chairs and Delivery Systems

The dental patient chair can greatly impact operator posture and must allow close positioning for the dentist. Poorly designed models can cause a forward leaning posture and excessive forward reaching with the arms. On the other hand, delivery systems impact the operator's body mechanics and can result in movement dysfunction, shoulder joint, or low back problems.
Magnification in Dentistry: How Ergonomic Features Impact Your Health The ergonomic advantages of magnification are increasingly being recognized as an important reason to invest in them.
Operator Stools: How Selection and Adjustment Impact Your Health From an ergonomic standpoint, the operator stool is the most important chair in your treatment room. The ergonomic features on a stool and how you adjust them can profoundly influence your musculoskeletal health.
Loupes: Better Ergonomics and Better Vision Loupes first began to appear on the dental scene in the 1980s and are now a routine purchase for dental and dental hygiene students as part of their "instrument package
Seating, Positioning, and Lighting Keep your body injury-free with these cornerstones of ergonomics.
Posture Perfect Noting harmful chair side postures through assessment and observation and making necessary adjustments can make the difference in maintaining a healthy career in dental hygiene.
Magnification for the Dental Hygienist Magnification for the Dental Hygienist. Magnification lenses used in dentistry have improved significantly in the past decade. During the mid-1980s, veteran dentists were still wearing the single-lens, flip-down loupes, featuring tiny opera like glasses protruding at an angle from a fixed metal bar.
Proper Grasp Grasp is one of the first techniques taught in preclinical education. Revisiting grasp may seem odd to experienced practitioners, yet it has a vital effect on instrumentation and ergonomics. Neither skill nor experience can compensate for improper grasp.
Making the Principles of Ergonomics Work for you Making the Principles of Ergonomics Work for You Preventive strategies can keep practice pain-free and ensure a long career in clinical dental hygiene.
Gearing Up for Ergonomic Practice Gearing Up for Ergonomic Practice. Musculoskeletal disorders are an important consideration for dental professionals as they can cut short a fulfilling career. In the United States alone, the annual cost of musculoskeletal disorders is between $45 and $54 billion.
Let ergonomics and true four-handed dentistry help you

The clinical dynamics of four-handed dentistry include the process of a skilled operator and assistant working together in a safe, stress-free, productive ergonomic environment. In the hands of a skilled dental team, this combination ensures stress reduction, increased productivity, maximum organization, improved efficiency, and increased profit.

Ergonomics ... How does dentistry fit you? Dentists are at high risk for musculoskeletal disorders due to the nature of their work. The key to preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders is ergonomics — the science of fitting the work environment to the worker.

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