Army Dental Clinic, Fort Leonard Wood DENTAC Ergonomic Evaluation

PURPOSE

To identify risk factors associated with occupational cumulative trauma disorders (CTD), in particular carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), in the Fort Leonard Wood DENTAC work force and to provide recommendations to reduce these risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS

Occupational hazards exist at the Fort Leonard Wood Dental Clinic based on the following factors:

  • The presence of causative risk factors associated with CTS (wrists held in flexion/extension, ulnar/radial deviation for prolonged periods of time).
  • Sustained, awkward working postures (neck and back in flexion).
  • A cumulative trauma injury in more workers than expected.
  • A high percentage of dental assistants-expanded function receiving hand/wrist treatment.
  • A high percentage of workers experiencing symptoms of a CTD.
  • A high percentage of workers complaining of five or more CTS symptoms.
  • Workers diagnosed as having some predisposition to CTS-related medical conditions.
  • Poor condition of the equipment (lack of right-handed dental chairs, instruments not properly sharpened, a high mechanical force needed to hold instruments in place).

RECOMMENDATIONS

Reduce the physical job demands of the Fort Leonard Wood Dental Clinic worker by accomplishing the following:

  • Expand the workers' job functions to include duties other than patient treatment, and/or distribute the job functions among the workers to guard against one or a small number of employees performing the majority of the stressful tasks.
  • Institute training classes that teach dental personnel methods to prevent CTD.
  • Properly maintain and upgrade dental tools and furniture.
  • Increase awareness of CTS occupational and associative hazards.
  • Provide treatments when CTS symptoms appear.
  • Provide medical monitoring.

For more information about USACHPPM computer workstation assessments, contact services@ergoworkinggroup.org

Last Modified: 29 August 2011 at 12:42