Public Utilities, Transportation Industries, and Telecommunications are generally classified as similar type of industries. For all these industries combined, statistics show that 220,600 Injury/Illnesses resulted in lost time in 1997, of which “Overexertion” accounted for 66,800, Lifting related injuries were 37,600, and 5002 were due to Repetitive Motion.
The tasks in these industries involve high degree of technical skill (encompassing electrical, mechanical and civil engineering fields), with highly intelligent workers. Majority of the work is performed alone or in small groups of 2 or 3. Many of the tasks are self paced operations with a high degree of task variation. Travel time between sites can be used as an opportunity for recovery; hence there is less risk of repetition induced injuries.
However, the jobs generally expose the worker to the elements such as rain, snow, wind, humidity, heat and cold, and there is a lack of consistent workplace design factors which leads to unpredictable working environments. Clothes and personal protective equipment can adversely affect movement, comfort and strength, and there can be periodic episodes of heavy physical effort.
ETC has had extensive experience in solving ergonomics issues in the operations of public utility organizations and has conducted formal training for engineering at the Edison Electric Institute, the Gas Institute, Midwest Energy Association.
Recent Project Experience
ETC has developed the corporate wide ergonomics process for Constellation Energy which includes; providing ergonomic audits/risk assessments, developing solutions and training employees for the nuclear and fossil fuel plants.
ETC has developed a SPA process for the Eastern Fleet Region which includes ergonomic audits/risk assessments, developing solutions and training employees for the facilities. The SPA process is now mandatory for 2008 for corporate wide ergonomics.