Scooping out hard ice cream can constitute a workplace hazard, according to an Alberta tribunal that has ordered workersâ€™ compensation for a convenience-store employee with an injured shoulder.
Dr. Stephen Reed, an orthopedic surgeon, said the design of most ice-cream parlours makes for a much different activity than spooning out dessert on the counter at home.
â€śTheyâ€™re forced to do this basically at armâ€™s length, reaching into a large cabinet,â€ť said Dr. Reed. â€śItâ€™s basically poor ergonomics, and theyâ€™re doing it repetitively.â€ť
In fact, injury often results from seemingly innocuous tasks because of bad ergonomic design, he said. The solutions can be quite simple, Dr. Reed said, describing how he solved one patientâ€™s back problems by suggesting the worker stand on an elevated platform when lifting boxes repetitively. ...