Ted Schaar freelance business writer


Excerpt from an
ergonomics manual
for Bristol-Myers Squibb


The human body is a marvelous machine with a wealth of capabilities. From the fine movements focusing a microscope requires to the force needed to carry a load properly, our bodies allow us to perform a nearly endless variety of tasks.

Naturally, like any machine, the human body has limitations and is susceptible to wear and tear. Whether swinging a golf club, sitting at a desk, walking down a hall, or loading product containers into a hopper, our muscles, tendons, blood vessels, bones, and other structures are at work, physically stressed to some extent, and subject to fatigue.

For about 150 years, the science of ergonomics has studied how the body moves and works as a means of designing tasks in ways that maximize physical effectiveness while minimizing fatigue, stress, and the possibility of physical harm.

The stress the body experiences on the job is related to the amount of force exerted in performing a task; the position or posture used (some postures are far more stressful than others); the duration of the task; and how often the task is repeated...

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