Environmental industry ergonomics: Quiz and resources

Life-long learning and continuing professional development (CPD) are the processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their practice.

There are many ways to address your CPD: formally, by attending courses, study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.

Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up to date with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting on what you have learned from the articles is not always easy.

These questions are designed to help you identify what you have learned from studying the article. They will also help you to clarify what you can apply in practice, what you did not understand, and what you need to explore further.

1 What is currently the most commercially viable renewable source of energy?

a) Coal

b) Gas

c) Wind

d) Wave

2 Where are wind farms most likely to be sited?

a) On mountains

b) In valleys

c) On small islands

d) Offshore

3 What ergonomic problems are encountered with the construction of wind turbine blades?

a) Lifting and carrying weights

b) Stretching and leaning while using tools

c) Slips and trips over curved surfaces

d) Working in a confined space

4 If sea conditions are bad, what is one safer solution to transferring operators safely from mast to boat?

a) Flexible walkways

b) Rigid walkways

c) Bosun’s chair

d) Extendable ladder

5 What is the main problem with working in the turbine houses?

a) Working at height

b) Working at sea

c) Working in a confined space

d) Working overhead

6 What do mast maintenance engineers need to be assessed as not suffering from?

a) Musculoskeletal disorders

b) Claustrophobia

c) Motion sickness

d) Agoraphobia

7 When would helicopters be used with masts?

a) For routine maintenance

b) For access to certain parts

c) When there is a need for specialist engineers

d) When there is an emergency rescue operation

8 What industries have similar health and safety problems to offshore wind turbines?

a) Coal

b) Offshore oil and gas

c) Manufacturing

d) Military

9 Which of the following is NOT one of Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) recommendations to prevent musculoskeletal disorders when collecting recyclables?

a) Smaller boxes

b) Small wheeled bins

c) Weekly rather than fortnightly collections

d) Fortnightly rather than weekly collections

10 How are operators positioned on a bed-weeder on organic farms?

a) Supine

b) Prone

c) Lateral

d) Upright


1. c – Considering the number of new jobs to be had in this industry, and the health risks identified throughout this article, consider the pre-employment health assessment necessary for new workers particularly in light of the new equality legislation.

2. d

3. b – Can you envisage any other health and safety issues that may arise with the manufacture and construction of these items?

4. a – Consider each of these suggestions and decide why the safest option is the flexible walkway.

5. d

6. c – Although any of these conditions could pose a problem for a mast worker at sea. This demonstrates why a risk assessment for work is necessary before employment so that only specific health and safety risks need be considered.

7. d

8. b

9. d – Visit the Health and Safety Executive’s website for more information (see resources list below) and to review the research undertaken in this area. How does this relate to you both as an employee and a citizen?

10. b – A lot is written and published about how much better organic food is for the consumer, but had you ever considered the problems for the farm workers? Undertake a search for more information on this topic. The HSE website is a good place to start.

Online resources on environmental ergonomics to help with your research and educational needs

www.thecrownestate.co.uk/offshore_wind_energy All the government information on the plans for offshore energy can be found here.

www.bwea.com/you/agric.html RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. In 2004, it expanded its mission to champion wave and tidal energy and use the association’s experience to guide these technologies along the same path to commercialisation. Its primary purpose is to promote the use of wind, wave and tidal power in and around the UK.

www.hse.gov.uk/waste/information.htm The HSE has a lot of guidance on this topic, which can be downloaded. From there, do a search for information on the health and safety issues of organic farming.

www.ergonomics.org.uk/ This is the Ergonomics Society website, which is an international organisation for professionals using knowledge of human abilities and limitations to design and build for comfort, efficiency, productivity and safety.

www.sway.no/index.php?page=165 Sway AS is a renewable energy company on course to revolutionise wind energy design, in particular for offshore installations.

www.businessgreen.com/ This website provides endless information and up-to-date news on green initiatives in business.

Comments are closed.