SOLErgonomyHandbook

solpalvelut

SOL Ergonomy

Handbook


2 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Contents

SOL Ergonomy Handbook ......................................................................3

Good posture and lifting ........................................................................5

Cleaning towel and mop wiper for surfaces as tools ..............6

Mop wiper (for surfaces) for horizontal

and vertical surfaces as a tool .............................................................8

Mop wiper as a tool ..................................................................................10

Furniture mop as a tool ..........................................................................12

Scrubber drier as a tool ...........................................................................13

Vacuum cleaner as a tool ......................................................................14

Cleaning a toilet seat ...............................................................................15

Making beds .................................................................................................16

Emptying waste bins ...............................................................................18

Lifting technique ........................................................................................20

Lifting a heavy load ...................................................................................21

Street broom, rubbish grabbers, rubbish deposit,

rake and blower as tools ........................................................................22

Guarding and security operations by car and on foot ............25

Guard’s surveillance work .....................................................................26

Lifting heavy loads in a laundry ..........................................................28

Lifting light loads in a laundry ............................................................29

Lifting rolled up rugs ................................................................................30

Lifting laundry bags ..................................................................................32

Lifting loads above shoulder level .....................................................33

Vertical steaming and ironing ............................................................34

Rolling of textiles .......................................................................................36

Editorial Board

Irma Repo Terveystalo, Tiina Lehtola-Ruuska and

Merja Oljakka SOL Palvelut and Raisa Örn SOL Pesulapalvelut.

In the photographs:

Tiina Lehtola-Ruuska, Raisa Örn and Miklas Suokas.

www.sol.fi


3

SOL Ergonomy Handbook

THE PURPOSE of the SOL Life wellbeing at work

programme is to ensure the occupational safety,

work fitness and well-being at work of every SOL

employee. At SOL, we want to provide comprehensive

orientation for our personnel.

Ergonomic and safe working is an important

part of a successful orientation in order to ensure

that the employees know how to use the tools,

machines, detergents and auxiliary equipment in

an appropriate and safe way.

Ergonomics and correct ergonomic methods

help us prevent sickness absences that are often

caused by strain injuries of the musculoskeletal

system or insufficient recovery.

SOL Ergonomy Handbook gives you great tips

in occupational safety, work fitness and wellbeing

at work.

The handbook views ergonomic actions first

and foremost as preventative occupational

health and safety work. Machines, devices and

equipment that are as highly suitable as possible

for human use reduce the risk of accidents and

health hazards at work when the employee uses

them properly. The central themes of ergonomics

include correct work positions and movements,

lifting and carrying technique, grips on tools and

movements promoting the body’s recovery.

body’s recovery more efficient during the working

day.

Work movements and ways of working are

learnt on the job. Similar work movement may

be repeated thousands of times during one day.

That is why learning the correct work movements,

work positions and ways of using tools is

crucial.

Successful orientation and learning the work

movements is important especially in the beginning

of your career, but also during it. It takes

time to get rid of old ways of working and habits.

Purpose and objective of the handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to give you instructions

for your work. When you comply with

these instructions, you can reduce the stress on

your body and make recovery more efficient.

The objective is that you train and learn how to

use the guided ways of working and make your

Take care of

your recovery

and you will

cope better.

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4 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Learn one new way of working at a time, take

time to train and learn new things.

Recovery and well-being

Take care of your recovery and you will cope

better. Have breaks, eat and sleep sufficiently.

Find a sport you like and exercise.

For instance, if you walk a lot in your work,

make your recovery more efficient by swimming.

If you sit for many hours, go for a walk. If you feel

like your muscular strength is not sufficient, do

exercises at home or at the gym to improve your

muscular strength.

Good physical fitness, including stamina

or the fitness of your cardiovascular system,

muscular endurance, mobility, balance and

coordination, create the foundation for a healthy

body. Unfortunately physical well-being cannot

be stored, which means it has to be maintained

continuously.

Occupational health services will provide you

with exercises suitable just for you and your

profession.

Set the pace for your working day

Set the pace for your working day and exercise

during your breaks. You can do them in the lift or

when changing work tasks, for instance.

Brisk and light exercises invigorate muscle

groups that have been strained by work. More

efficient circulation in tissues takes blood rich in

oxygen to muscles, replenishes muscles’ energy

reserves and removes waste products at the

same time. This means your recovery will be

more efficient.

In addition to good circulation, also regular

meals and snacks promote the recovery, creation

and strengthening of tissues. Eat at regular intervals

of around 3 hours. You need regular energy

intake in your work to have the energy to do it.

Make sure you sleep enough. Most people

should get 7–8 hours of sleep every night.

Rest is a significant factor for the well-being

of your mind and your body. When resting, your

body recovers and seeks a new balance after the

day’s strain.. •

Most people

should get

7–8 hours of

sleep every

night.

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5

Good posture

= body’s central position

Neck

Lifting technique = keep your back

straight, bend forward from the hips

Shoulder

Body

leans

forward

Maintain a

natural curve in

your lower back

Hip bends

Elbow

Thoracic spine

Curve in your

lower back

Knee

bends

Forearm

Hip

Golfer’s lifting technique = extend

one leg back

Maintain a

natural curve in

your lower back

Knee

Extend

one leg

back

Ankle

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6 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Cleaning towel and

mop wiper for surfaces

as tools

The strength for using cleaning towels and mop wipers (for

surfaces) comes from your legs. Avoid reaching and wide

movements of the shoulder joint! Avoid a working position in

which your arm is far away from your body!

Recommended way of working:

• increase the reach of your arm by getting close to the object

• brace your other hand against the surface, the edge of the sink,

toilet seat’s water tank or wall

• keep your wrists in a central position,

neck and back in good posture

• wipe the surface with both your left and right hand

• use a mop wiper (for surfaces) always when it is possible

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7

Recovering exercise:

• good posture

• lift your shoulders up and back – relax, repeat 5–10 times

• circulation in deltoid muscles becomes more efficient

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8 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Mop wiper (for surfaces)

for horizontal and vertical

surfaces as a tool

The strength for the movements comes from your legs. Your arms

and hands guide the movements of the mop. The work movement

runs from top down. It’s easy to reach an object with a mop wiper,

which means that your shoulder joints and shoulders are under

less strain than when wiping with a towel.

Recommended way of working:

• maintain good posture

• use the strength in your legs to move the tool

• at lower levels, work with your side to the vertical surface

and in upper levels, face the surface

• keep your wrists, neck and back in a central position

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9

Recovering exercise:

• good posture i

• press your hands towards the floor – you will feel

a stretch in your pectoral muscles

Take time for

the exercising

and learn one

new way of

working at

a time.

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10 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Mop wiper as a tool

The strength for the mop’s movements comes from your

legs. Your arms and hands guide the movements of the mop.

The upper hand holds the mop lightly. Vary your mopping

movements: this way you can divide the strain more evenly

on your entire body. Pushing the mop is the lightest way of

working.

Recommended way of working:

• keep your back straight and do the movements of the mop

using the strength in your legs – by walking

• keep your arms and hands close to your body, the lower hand

guides the mop together with the legs and the upper hand

gently follows the mop’s movements

• keep your eyes forward

• sit down when it is possible, you can mop

under surfaces when sitting down

• use a small scrubbing towel for stain removal

– scrub with your foot

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11

Recovering exercise:

• hand and little finger are against the wall

– you can feel the stretch in your biceps

• place the mop’s shaft behind your back and pull your lower hand slightly

upwards – you can feel the stretch in your shoulder, repeat 5 times

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12 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Furniture mop

as a tool

It’s easy to reach objects with a furniture

mop, which means that your arms, neck

and shoulders are under less strain than

when wiping with a towel.

Recommended way

of working:

• good posture

• extend your entire body when looking up

• use the strength in your legs

to move the tool

• keep your arms and hands close

to your body

Recovering exercise:

• hand and little finger are against the wall

– you can feel the stretch in your biceps

• place the mop’s shaft behind your back and pull your lower hand slightly

upwards – you can feel the stretch in your shoulder, repeat 5 times

www.sol.fi


13

Scrubber drier

as a tool

The strength for steering and pushing the

cleaning machine comes from your legs.

Hold the steering handles in a light grip.

Make sure that the machine works as it

should and that the wheels and steering

equipment are in order!

Recommended way

of working:

• good posture – walk with your back

straight

• adjust the steering handles so that your

shoulders are relaxedt

• keep your eyes forward, avoid tilting

your head to the side

• turn the machine by using the strength

in your legs

Recovering exercise:

• lean to the wall and extend your leg back – you can feel

a stretch in your calf

• shake your arms until they’re relaxed

Set the pace for

your working

day and exercise

during your

breaks. .

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14 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Vacuum cleaner

as a tool

The strength for the vacuuming movements

comes from your legs. Avoid a strong tearing

movement backwards with your arm! Use the

adjustable shaft. Ensure that the nozzle is intact

and that it slides on the floor with as little

friction as possible!

Recommended way

of working:

• keep your back straight and vacuum by combining

the movement in your arms, hands and legs

• there is a small backward movement in the

shoulder and your arms and hands are close to

your body

• keep your eyes forward, avoid continuous

extreme stooped position in your neck

• use the golfer’s technique when vacuuming

from underneath surfaces

• decrease the strain on your back

– brace your hand against surfaces

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15

Cleaning a toilet seat

Work downwards from up. Use a toilet brush

with a long stem.

Lower yourself using your legs: squat down or

use the golfer’s technique. Support your back’s

position straight – bend only at the hips and

knees

Recommended way

of working:

• brace your other hand against the surface,

the edge of the sink, the water tank or wall

• keep your wrists in a central position, neck

and back in good posture

• wipe the surface with both your left

and right hand

• use the golfer’s technique – your back will

remain in a good position

Recovering exercise:

• put your fists against the small of

your back as support

• bend your back calmly backwards,

repeat 3–10 times

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16 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Making beds

When making beds, burden your legs. Keep your back straight.

In reaching work phases, you the golfer’s lifting technique.

Learn the golfer’s technique with both legs. Plan the work

order so that working around the bed is smooth. Place the

supplies so that you can put on the pillow cases sitting down.

This gives a moment of rest and recovery to your back and legs.

The recommended way of working

with the undersheet

• use your legs, keep your back straight

• in tight spaces, use the wall for support

• in phases that require reaching, use the golfer’s technique

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Recommended way of working

when handling the duvet cover:

• use your legs, keep your back straight

• roll the duvet inside the duvet cover

• keep your arms below shoulder level

Recovering exercise:

• put your fists against the small of your back as support

• bend your back calmly backwards, repeat 3–10 times

• sit down, rest one hand on your thigh and extend your

spine – twist your thoracic spine and lift your arm to the side,

repeat 5–10 times

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18 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Emptying waste bins

Use the lifting technique or the golfer’s technique!

The golfer’s lifting technique is a good way of saving your

back, when you have to bend down repeatedly.

Learn the golfer’s technique with both legs.

Plan your work so that you can avoid lifting things

repeatedly.

Recommended way of working::

• keep your back straight

• squat down, use the golfer’s lifting technique

or sit down

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Recovering exercise:

• put your fists against the small of your back as support

• bend your back calmly backwards, repeat 3–10 times

• stretch the muscles in your fingers and wrists

Learn

the golfer’s

technique

with both

legs.

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20 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Lifting technique

The strength for moving a load comes

from your legs and core

Recommended way

of working:

• plan where you will lift and

place the load

• go close to the load and plant your feet

firmly, keeping them apart

• keep your back straight (keep a natural

curve in your lower back) and perform

the lifting/lowering with your legs

• move with the load only when you are up

• with a light load, use the golfer’s technique,

extend one leg back

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Lifting a heavy load

The strength for the lifting comes from

your legs and core

Recommended way

of working:

• plan the lift

• go close to the load

• take a firm position with your feet

• bend your body forward from your hips,

keep your back straight

• do the lifting with your legs

• moving the load up or down or horizontally

is done with your legs

• move a heavy load with another person

Recovering exercise:

• put your fists against the small of your

back as support

• bend your back calmly backwards,

repeat 3–10 times

www.sol.fi


22 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Street broom, rubbish

grabbers, rubbish deposit,

rake and blower as tools

Choose tools that are the correct height for you. The shaft of

the rubbish deposit must be long enough for you to work with a

straight back.

Recommended way of working:

• work with your arms and hands close to your body

• take a few steps and get close to the object

• take turns sweeping with your right and left hand

• leaning forwards starts from your hip joints

• pick the rubbish to the deposit with the grabbers – keep

your arm and hand close to your body

• take a few steps and get close to the object

• when you use a blower, turn your side towards the area to be

cleaned and support your arms on your body – this way your

arms will have a good support

• leaning forwards starts from your hip joints

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Recovering exercise:

• lean your arm against a wall, turn your body – you can feel the stretch in your pectoral muscles

• bending your wrists, extending and flexing them

• you can feel the stretches in your forearms and fingers

• put the shaft of the broom on your shoulders, keep your knees a little bent and hips facing

forward, turn your thoracic spine, keep your feet legs and hips in place, the rotational motion

will relax your back

• take a wide underhand grip of the shaft of the broom and take your arms straight behind your

head or shoulders

• do the same exercise with an overhand grip

• repeat the motion 5 times

• you can feel the stretch widely in your arms and it will increase the mobility of your shoulders

Brisk exercise

during breaks

recover your

muscles during

the working day.

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24 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Recovering exercise::

• take a hold of the broom’s shaft

• twist your arm (right arm in the figure) from in front of your chest down next to your body

– the grip on the broom’s shaft remains throughout the motion

• the other hand’s grip on the shaft is gentle (left hand in the figure) and the broom’s shaft slides

and twists against the hand

• you can feel the stretch in the forearm and wrist

• take a hold of the broom’s shaft

• the upper hand (right in the figure)

pulls the upper hand down

• you can feel the stretch in the

shoulder of the lower hand

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25

Guarding and

security operations

by car and on foot

Recommended way

of working:

• place your hands on the wheel and the

upper edge of the door for support – this

decreases the strain on the support leg and

prevents slipping

• the knee and foot of the support leg are

pointed in the same direction – this will

reduce any twisting motion in the knee

• adjust the car seat – support the curve in

your lower back well

• carry the briefcase close to your body – keep

your wrist in the central position

• tsupport the position of your back well –

avoid the body tilting to the side of the

briefcase

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26 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Guard’s

surveillance work

Recommended way of working:

• work in the office (control room) both standing up

and sitting down

• adjust the back support to the natural curve of your

lower back and tilt the backrest backwards a little bit

• use the neckrest

• sit/stand close by – use the desk for supporting your hands

• keep your weight on your both legs when standing up

• when standing up, a flexible rug increases the work of

the muscles in your legs

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Recovering exercise:

• put your fists against the small of your back as support

• bend your back calmly backwards, repeat 3–10 times

• lean to the wall and extend your leg back or support the ball of your foot against a tyre

– you can feel a stretch in your calf

Eat every three hours.

You need a regular

energy boost

in your work.

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28 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

LIFTING TECHNIQUE IN A LAUNDRY:

Lifting heavy loads

in a laundry

The strength for moving a load comes from

your legs and core.

Recommended way

of working:

• plan where you will lift and place the load

• go close to the load and plant your feet

firmly, keeping them apart

• keep your back straight (keep a natural

curve in your lower back) – perform the

lifting/lowering with your legs

• move with the load only when you are up

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Recovering exercise:

• put your fists against the small of your

back as support

• bend your back calmly backwards,

repeat 3–10 times

Lifting light loads

Recommended way

of working:

• when moving a light load, use the golfer’s

technique – extend one leg back

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30 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Lifting rolled up rugs

The strength for moving a load comes from your legs and core.

Move rolled up rugs close to the rug shelf. This decreases the time

of carrying the load.

Recommended way of working:

• plant your feet firmly on the ground, keeping them apart

• take the rolled up rug close to your body

• lift and turn the rolled up rug against the side of the roller cage

• keep your back straight (keep a natural curve in your lower back)

• carry the rolled up rug with two hands close to your body

• move with the rolled up rug only when you are up

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Recovering exercise:

• put your fists against the small of your back as support

• bend your back calmly backwards, repeat 3–10 times

Practising and

training is definitely

worth the effort.

You can repeat one

movement several

times during

a working day.

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32 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Lifting laundry bags

The strength for moving a load comes from your legs

and core

Recommended way

of working:

• plan where you will lift and place the load

• plant your feet firmly on the ground,

keeping them apart

• brace your other hand against

the side of the roller cage

• pull the bag close to you or the edge of

the roller cage

• lift the bag so that it is close to your body

• keep your back straight

(keep a natural curve in your lower back)

• carry the bag with two hands close to your body

• move with the load only when you are up

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33

Lifting loads

above shoulder level

The strength for the lifting comes from your

legs and core.

Recommended way

of working:

• take a firm walking position with your feet

• take the objects and coat hangers with

two hands and find a good support from

your body

• lift with two hands

• keep your brachiums close to your body

Recovering exercise:

• hand and little finger are against the wall – you can feel the stretch in your bicep

• good posture

• take your shoulders up and back – relax, repeat 5–10 times

• circulation in deltoid muscles becomes more efficient

www.sol.fi


34 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Vertical steaming

and ironing

Steam as much as you can on the ironing board

and in the cupboard. This puts less strain on

your arms and shoulders.

Recommended way of working:

• adjust working height

• brachium is below the horizontal level

and wrist is straight

• keep your arms and hands close to your body

• when steaming the lower parts of a coat,

squat down

• steam as much as you can on the ironing

board and in the cupboard – this puts less

strain on your arms and shoulders

Move and transport objects

in cages with wheels.

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Recovering exercise:

• hand and little finger are against the wall

– you can feel the stretch in your biceps

• lstretch the muscles in your fingers and wrists

www.sol.fi


36 SOL ERGONOMY HANDBOOK

Rolling of textiles

It’s recommended to sit down when doing this

phase of work – your legs will have some time

to recover.

Recommended way

of working:

• sit on the edge of the seat – this improves

your reach

• keep your arms and hands close to your

body and your shoulders relaxed

• fold long textiles standing up

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37

Recovering exercise:

• good posture

• take your shoulders up and back – relax, repeat 5–10 times

• circulation in deltoid muscles becomes more efficient

www.sol.fi

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