Ergonomic approach to modifying microscope design for increased comfort: a case study
This paper describes the approach used and the results of selected measures obtained from an ergonomic analysis of microscopes and associated workstations in a medical laboratory. The configuration of current microscopes and workstations in this lab caused a great deal of neck, back, forearm, and wrist discomfort or pain for workers who use microscopes to screen microslides for cancer and infectious conditions an average of 6 - 8 hours per day. Modifications to workstations and microscopes were developed and are being introduced within the Cytopathology Screening Laboratory at Duke University Medical Center. Prior to developing modifications to the microscopes and workstations, surveys of body part discomfort and anthropometric data were used to identify areas of concern. It is believed that users will be more comfortable and injury and error rates will decrease as a result of making modifications that allow users to utilize neutral body postures while using microscopes.