November – December 2017

CIS onsite Offers Many Services to Fit your Onsite Needs!

Does your company have Health and Wellness Fairs? If so, CIS onsite provides interactive educational booths that engage your employees.

CIS onsite wellness training, educating employees to reduce ergonomic exposures to their jobs. Contact us to find out which trainings fit your organization.

Onsite injury prevention services: CIS onsite hands on prevention/education reduces injures/costs/claims and keeps workers working!


For more information, call CIS onsite at 866-298-1312, or visit our website at

Laboratory Injury Prevention

The following lists include information that can be helpful in injury prevention. Over the coming months, we will be highlighting different settings and how basic concepts can be applied to prevent injury when performing the tasks associated with these settings. This article focuses on Laboratory work.

Preventive Measures and Controls


  • Use an electronic-operated or a latch-mode pipetter to replace manual plunger-operated pipettes. Both of these units reduce the need for excessive thumb force and repetition.
  • Use shorter pipettes and shorter waste receptacles for the used tips to reduce reaching.
  • Work at appropriate heights to minimize twisting of your neck and torso.
  • Avoid elevating your arms and elbows above your shoulder for lengthy periods to prevent static arm and shoulder strain.
  • Work with your arms close to your body to reduce the strain on your shoulders.
  • Avoid standing for extended periods of time. If standing is unavoidable, considering using anti-fatigue mats.
  • Limit periods of continuous pipetting. Change your activities or take short breaks.


  • Use a fully adjustable ergo-task chair or stool with built-in solid foot rest.
  • Adjust the eye pieces and angle of observation to prevent neck strain.
  • Keep your elbows close to your sides, below a 45-degree angle.
  • Work with your wrists in a straight position. Pad sharp edges with foam or pad your wrists and forearms to reduce pressure.
  • Avoid raising your shoulders and bending your neck while looking through the microscope’s eyepiece.
  • Check that you have sufficient knee and leg space.
  • Position the microscope as close to you as possible to ensure your head is in the upright position.
  • Prevent repetition and alter prolonged awkward posture. Change your activities or take short breaks.

Biosafety Cabinets and Lab Hoods

  • Position materials in laboratory hoods/biosafety cabinets as close as possible to avoid extended reaching. Perform work at least six inches back into the laboratory hood.
  • Use a fully adjustable ergo-task chair or stool with built-in solid foot rest.
  • Use an anti-fatigue mat if you will be standing for long periods of time while working in laboratory hoods/biosafety cabinets.
  • Make sure that lights in the laboratory hoods/biosafety cabinets are working properly.
  • Use proper sitting posture and positioning.
  • Take short breaks to relieve your forearms and wrist pressure caused by leaning on front edge of the laboratory hoods/biosafety cabinets.

Laboratory Workbenches

  • Use a fully adjustable ergo-task chair or stool with built-in solid footrest.
  • Use anti-fatigue mats if you will be standing for long periods of time while working at the laboratory workbench.
  • Remove drawers, supplies and other materials underneath workbenches to provide leg room.
  • Use a footrest if your feet do not rest comfortably on the floor.

Micro-Manipulation & Fine Motor Skills

  • Use plastic vials with fewer threads to reduce twisting motions during capping and uncapping lids.
  • Use small pieces of foam, similar to the type used on pencils and pens to prevent soreness on the fingertips, where fingers and forceps articulate. This will distribute the force out over a greater surface area and reduce the compressive forces on the soft tissue.
  • Practice using forceps between your thumb and middle fingers and try alternating between the two positions to reduce the use of your thumb extensors and flexors.
  • Tilt storage bins toward you to reduce wrist flexion while reaching for supplies.
  • Take short breaks and perform hand, wrist and forearm exercises.

Centrifuge Rotors

  • Use a team approach for lifting heavy centrifuge rotors.
  • Use a cart to transport the rotors.


Christmas Safety Tips

The holidays invite all sorts of fun activity, from lighting candles to hanging fresh greens and stringing lights. Here’s how to keep your house and family safe from fire and injury.

As you’re sprucing up your home this season, keep an eye out for these common holiday trip-ups, fire hazards, and other safety snafus.

  1. Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.
  2. Lights Out: Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.
  3. Fresh Is Best: Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Keep your Christmas tree watered and away from open candles.
  4. Timing Is Everything: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour.
  5. Check for the Certification Mark: When purchasing light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances, or carbon monoxide alarms, look for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA International, UL, or ELT to ensure that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.
  6. One and Done: Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.
  7. The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.
  8. Climbing Up: Using a ladder when you put up lights? Choose the correct ladder for the job and double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder complies with applicable standards.
  9. Keep the Gas Behind Glass: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.
  10. Sound the Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home — especially near sleeping areas.
  11. Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.
  12. Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.


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