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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Ergonomics for Healthcare Personnel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Scenario #2

Joe has worked in the ICU for 10 years. He will retire next week and Sara will fill his position. One of the tasks that Joe routinely performed was managing the storage room for the ICU. However, Sara realizes that she cannot safely lift the large and heavy storage containers and place them on the top shelves.
An employee's stature and lifting capabilities are important variables in a physical task. Since the employee cannot physically change, other solutions must be considered. This situation is easily resolved by changing the size of the container in use.
Ergonomic solution
The ICU will begin using smaller storage containers that can be easily lifted by all members of the staff. The ICU will also acquire a cart or hand truck for other heavy items. This scenario demonstrates that a change in staff may require ergonomic action to prevent injury.