Modern Machine Shop

MAY 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 77 of 179

MMS MAY 2018 76 ERGONOMICS AND HEALTH Standing Strong Faced with chronic pain, a machinist developed a system for relieving work-related strains on the body. In an industry that runs on techno- logical advancements, one aspect of machining has not advanced: the human body. While the machine tools have grown more efficient, the machinists who set up and run them have the same features they did 100 years ago. Chronic pain is—and perhaps has always been—a common problem among those who stand at machine tools and routinely move work in and out of them. Indeed, chronic pain affects more than 75 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Health. It is the leading cause of long-term disability, and in a manufacturing world struggling to fill job vacancies, it can end the careers of irreplaceable machinists. It can lead to depression, chemical dependency and a loss of vigor—yet we rarely discuss it. Many are willing to see pain as simply part of the job, but one Michigan machinist would not accept it as unavoidable. Instead, she engineered a solution that cured her own pain by improving on the basic experience of standing. Her invention provides a padded surface enabling the operator at the ELI PLASKETT | ASSISTANT EDITOR

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