There will always be risk factors associated with manufacturing work. The key is keeping risks at acceptable levels, and not exceeding those levels. Tool ergonomics is about controlling risk factors through innovative designs and materials.
Manufacturing industries rely on assembly tools like air-powered screwdrivers, nut runners and drills. These tools are a driving force in the assembly process, but they can also be the cause of undue pain for operators if ergonomics are not applied to the tool and how the tool is used.
Assembly tool manufacturers incorporate ergonomic qualities into their products to help relieve potential pain and stress for the workforce. Here is a list of ergonomic features to look for when purchasing tools:
- Low-torque reaction
- Use of neutral hand and wrist postures
- Soft-touch grip for comfort and reduced grip effort
- Low exertion
- Low vibration
- Low-trigger pressure
- Flexible tool suspension
- Accommodates for lightweight air hoses
- Low effort for reverse switch activation
- Easy to carry
Ergonomics at Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand develops tools with advanced ergonomic properties. The Ingersoll Rand Q2 Series tools have many ergonomic features such as a low trigger-pressure design, hand and finger comfort, soft-grip texture, reduced torque reaction and vibration and low power-to-weight ratio.
For example, the Q2 Screwdriver handle eliminates fatigue with an innovative egg shape that allows the tool to sit comfortably in the operator’s palm. The screwdriver meets The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration vibration guidelines for helping operators work comfortably through many hours of productivity.
Tool ergonomics ease your pain
Assembly tools are used continuously day in and day out. Without proper ergonomics the repetitive motion when using these tools can lead to fatigue, hand and arm stress and even injury. Tool ergonomics can improve worker productivity while minimizing medical costs and workers’ compensation claims.
It’s important to have a system for assessing the ergonomics of a product’s design. A well-defined ergonomics program helps to understand a product’s features, the benefits derived from those features, as well as how the benefits bring value to their specific applications.