Did you know…
- That 80 % of microscope operators experience job-related muscolosketal pain?
- That 20 % of microscope operators have missed work because of muscolosketal pain?
- Musculosketal Disorders (MSDs) are responsible for almost 30 % of all worker’s compensation costs in the US?
Or that MSDs are preventable?
According to the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the three largest factors in MSDs are
- Awkward postures
The issue is the setup
While microscope operators are not exposed to large forces, using a stereo microscope (or a simple magnifying lamp) often requires uncomfortable positions with repetitions movements. With a bended neck, shoulders rolled forward and back unsupported for long periods of time, headaches as well as back and shoulder pain are common at the end of the day for visual inspectors.
Small changes, huge impact
But implementing simple ergonomic improvements can have huge impacts. Also on the overall productivity. According to a case study, a business was able to reduce reported eyestrain by 36 percent, headaches by 45 percent and extremity fatigue by 28 percent – simply by swapping illuminated magnifiers out with a more ergonomic solution, such as a digital microscope.
More and more focus on ergonomics
Despite these statistics, many companies are still surprised by the gains that come from upgrading to a more ergonomically correct setup. Two companies that have benefited in more ways than they expected from going digital with their microscope solutions are MSL Circuits and Nordic Seed.
Case 1: MSL Circuits, France
MSL CIRCUITS, Europe’s leading subcontractors for the automotive industry and the only subcontractor in France providing high volume PCB manufacture, recently upgraded their magnifying lamps to digital microscopes and have seen great results.
While MSL CIRCUIT initially chose TAGARNO because of the userfriendly interface, they’ve been able to work more efficiently after introducing a visual inspection system designed to comply with ergonomic rules and principles for optimal comfort between workers and machines.
At this point, MSL Circuit has more than 20 ZAPs at their site south of Paris during a variety of tasks.
Case 2: Nordic Seed, Denmark
With employees having to take sick leave due to workrelated pain, Nordic Seed, a Danish seed lab with locations throughout Europe, decided to replace their magnifying lamps and stereo lights with a digital and ergonomically correct alternative.
After going digital, the employees have been able to alternate between sitting down and standing up to relieve some of the pain they used to experience by sitting in the same position the entire day. One employee in particular attributed the flexible setup as being the reason why she was able to return to work quicker than expected after a traffic accident.
Want to learn more about digital microscopy?
Here’s a selection of blogposts for you to read next.