Express. Average Cost per CTD Claim Before & After Ergonomic Typing. ▻ Manual materials handling . You can design a safer lifting environment by. It is intended as a basic text for a first course in Human Factors/Ergonomics .. handle? (Control-display compatibility is a useful design concept; see Chapter 13 . ERGONOMICS FOR THE Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker. Bent or curved handles; Extensions or add-ons; Headphones; Support .

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Make sure that all aspects of the new tool have been considered weight, size, etc. Grips that are larger than mm 4 in will be difficult for some users.

The crucial ergonomic principle in tool use and design — bend the tool, not the wrists — however correct and valuable does not always prevent discomfort and injuries when bent-handle tools are used indiscriminately, regardless of the layout of the work situation. OSH Answers Fact Sheets Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion.

With the exception of tools for precision work e. Avoid repetitive finger movements, or at least reduce their number. A longer trigger which allows the use of two or three fingers to activate them reduces discomfort and minimizes the risk for injury.

Search all fact sheets: Weight of the tool Ideally, a worker should be able to operate a tool with one hand. For example, textured rubber handles provide a good grip, reduce the effort needed to use the tool effectively, and prevent the tool from slipping out of the hand.

Hand Tool Ergonomics – Tool Design : OSH Answers

Search all fact sheets:. Tools above these recommendations should be supported with a counterbalance. Vibration The only effective way to reduce vibration in power tools is at the design stage. This fact makes tool selection most critical. The condition of tools is an important factor. Tool design weight, shape, fit to the user and the taskworkstation design size, shape and layoutand the way tasks are scheduled are all key factors in making hand tool use safe and risk-free.


One of the most effective ways in reducing injury risk associated with the use of manual hand tools is to replace them with power tools.

Minimize the amount of force needed to activate trigger devices on power tools. The recommended distance separating the handles is between mm 2.

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Tools with straight handles are for tasks where the force is exerted perpendicular to the straightened forearm and wrist, for instance, when the force must be applied vertically. Handles made of plastics or compound rubber are recommended. Avoid extreme and awkward joint positions. Blunt or handel tools such as scissors, cutters, saws, screwdriver tips, in fact any tools in a poor state of repair, not only compromise safety but also increase sometimes by a factor of ten the effort needed to use them.

The weight of the tool may depend on the use: Knowing the tasks and the layout of the workplace where they will be used is vital for selecting the right tools for any given job.

Tools with larger or smaller spans will reduce one’s maximum grip strength. It bandle extend across the entire breadth of the palm. Handle diameter recommendations vary. It is also important that the centre of gravity be aligned with the centre of the gripping hand. Always conduct a risk assessment before making any change.

Hand Tool Ergonomics – Tool Design

Tools with “bent” or angled handles or tools with pistol-grips are beneficial where the force is exerted in a straight line in the same direction as the straightened forearm and wrist, especially when the force must be applied horizontally see Figures 2, 3, 4. The weight of the tool may depend on the use:. For example, drills that are “front-heavy” will require effort especially in the wrist and forearm to hold in a usable position and should be avoided.


Avoid twisting hand and wrist motion by using power tools rather than hand tools. Avoid or limit vibration. When manual hand tools are used for tasks that require the frequent and repetitive use of force to perform a task or job, the risk of contracting an WMSD increases.

Crushing, gripping or cutting tools such as pliers or tongs are equipped with two handles. Reduce excessive gripping force or pressure. Keep in mind that the use of gloves requires longer tool handles.

The electrical and heat insulation properties of the handles are important for power hand tools. Select tools that do NOT require wrist flexion, extension or deviation. The belief that smaller tools should have smaller handles while larger tools have larger ones is debatable.

CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information. Add a badge to your website or intranet so your workers can quickly find answers to their health and safety questions. Handles around mm 5 in are generally recommended. Ideally, a worker should be able to operate a tool with one hand.

Figure 1 It is also important that the centre of gravity be aligned with the centre of the gripping hand. Sharp edges and contours can be covered with cushioned tape to minimize lacerations. To ensure a good grip on a handle, sufficient friction must exist between the hand and the handle.