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Ergonomics highlights safety conference.

Ergonomics, industry hygiene and foundry safety practices formed the program for On Third Foundry Safety Conference held recently by the AFS Environmental Affairs Dept. at its headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois.

The record number of 80 conference attendees indicates ft strong interest in foundry worker safety. Speakers discussed basic safety procedures ranging from responsibility, accountability and accident investigation to specific safe practices such as lockout/tagout, hazard communications and training.

The role of ergonomics was of special interest with safety personnel directing more of their efforts toward improving foundry work stations. While not new, ergonomics is receiving more attention as increasing evidence seems to indicate that the workplace is the cause of some medical problems.

Ergoriomics is the interrelationship between humans, work methods, tools, equipment and environmental elements such as, heal, light and sound. Ergonomics considers the capabilities and limitations of the human body in the design of tooling, equipment and individual work stations. It is a multi-disciplinary team effort that can improve safety, health, attendance, worker satisfaction, productivity and product quality.

Gordon Hill, ergonomics consultant and educator, explained that ergonomics makes jobs easier by fitting jobs to the people. He emphasized job documentation as a must in implementing ergonomic solutions.

The general characteristics of work, Hill said, that might cause physical harm to on worker are repeated, sustained or forceful exertions; stressful posture; mechanical stress; temperature extremes; and vibration. His include guidelines for reducing job-related stress: * workstation: height, reach, clearance,

sitting or standing option, material

handling; * handtools/equipment: bend the tool,

not the hands, correct tool shape for

use in either hand, use power tools

instead of muscles; * Parts/materials: factors include weight,

horizontal/vertical location at beginning

of lift, vertical travel distance,

frequency of lifting, duration of task; * environmental conditions: noise, light/

color, temperature extremes.
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Title Annotation:AFS Foundry Safety Conference
Author:Bex, Tom
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:Washington conference emphasizes foundry industry involvement.
Next Article:International meeting updates technology, stresses need to reach casting specifiers.

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