Learning for life: ergonomics

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development are the processes
by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their practice.

There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through 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 and identifying
what you have learnt is not always easy. These questions are designed to help
you to identify what you have learnt from studying the article. They will also
help you to clarify what you can apply to practice, what you did not understand
and what you need to explore further.

1. People use laptop computers because they:

a) Are cheap and economical
b) Can retrieve e-mails
c) Have control over work schedules and locations
d) Have easy access to the Internet

2. People who use laptop computers for over an hour a day reported an
increase of pain in their:

a) Elbow
b) Back
c) Shoulder
d) Wrist

3. What ratio of RSI sufferers does the TUC suggest takes action?

a) 1:25
b) 1:10
c) 1:50
d) 1:100

4. One of the hardest concepts to educate users about is the demand made

a) Manual handling
b) Static loading
c) Working schedules
d) Postural assessment

5. Ergonomics are used to:

a) Prevent musculoskeletal injuries
b) Design modern working environments
c) Save money
d) Benefit industry

6. Employees must take care of their own health by

a) Providing a first aid box
b) Designing a safe system of work
c) Ensuring confidentiality of company files
d) Obeying health and safety legislation

7. Where did the 24-year-old woman commonly use her laptop?

a) At the dining table
b) At the dressing table
c) Sitting on the settee
d) At the kitchen table

8. What was the 24-year-old woman’s diagnosis?

a) de Quervain’s disease
b) Ganglion
c) Tenosynovitis
d) Carpel tunnel syndrome

9. What is the three-pronged approach?

a) Assess risk, develop policy, provide information and training
b) Develop policy, provide information and training, discipline non-compliance
c) Assess risk, develop policy, discipline non-compliance
d) Assess risk, provide information and training, discipline non-compliance

10. What does RULA, the quick guide to postural assessment stand for?

a) Risky Upper Limb Assessment
b) Right Upper Limb Assessment
c) Rapid Upper Limb Assessment
d) Regular Upper Limb Assessment


1. c) although most laptops will do b) and d) as well 2. a)
even so all the others are possible; 3. c); 4. b) spend some time
finding out more about "static loading"; 5. b) this is the
answer given in the text, but ergonomics will do all four. Spend some time
revising your knowledge of ergonomics; 6. c) this is the answer given in
the text but e) would be equally as correct; 7. a) all these places
would cause musculoskeletal problems, as they are not proper computer
workstations. Visit the HSE website and download "Working with VDUs"
if you do not have it already and revise your knowledge on VDU workstations; 8.
revise your knowledge of hand and wrist injuries and diseases; 9. a)
these are part of the Five Steps to Risk Assessment; 10.c) visit the
website mentioned in the text and carry out the assessment for yourself.

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