Let’s talk about ergonomics. Ergonomics is the study of people in their workplaces and how to adapt tasks and to develop tools that reduce discomfort and injury to the worker.
For example, by making simple changes to repetitive tasks, you can prevent overuse injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome. Or, how by adjusting seating positions and posture can avoid strain on your back. And, how even by replacing certain equipment on the job site, like ladders, with alternative solutions you can reduce fatigue and strain.
In fact, JLG partnered with dorsaVi to evaluate fatigue of workers while using a ladder or scaffolding. The test used electromyography, or EMG, to measure muscle activity in workers showing how hard their muscles are working. The EMG measured activity on ladders compared to JLG® low-level access equipment.
The study discovered that workers using ladders had an EMG signal rating of 82, which is high, whereas using a JLG EcoLift™, it was only at 16. That's a big difference. That means you're less fatigued at lower risk for injury and more productive with a low-level access product.
For example, the study measured how muscular activity is affected when climbing up and down a podium ladder versus ascending to the work at height in a low-level access lift. The results showed very little, if any, strain on the subject when using the JLG EcoLift. When using the podium ladder, the subject’s arms, shoulders and knees were shown to be under strain.
The study also looked at the body’s activity during descent. Using a low-level access lift, no strain was observed, yet when the subject descended the podium ladder, the results showed that the subject’s knees and back where under strain.
The result of the study proves that it takes a lot of energy to climb up and down ladders, and that our muscles are constantly being strained by carrying materials on the ladder. And when fatigue sets in, slips, trips and falls may happen more frequently, leading to injury.
On the flip side, using alternative equipment solutions like low-level access lifts, can keep muscle strain to a minimum and allow you to work safely and be more productive.