Disparities between industrial and surgical ergonomics.Work. 2012; 41 Suppl 1:4669-72.WORK
A surgeon's work environment and working conditions are often harsher than those of an industrial worker. Accepted principles and regulations of ergonomics in manufacturing are largely ignored or absent in the medical/surgical domain. Examples include poor surgical tool handle design, awkward and stressful surgical postures, and prolonged standing without breaks and without a foot mat. In these and other areas, there are documented "best practices" for industrial hygiene and ergonomics that are not yet widely accepted for surgery. There is support in the literature for innovations in surgical ergonomics, yet adoption is not widespread. In the absence of these ergonomic principles, surgical repetitive strain injuries in minimally invasive surgery are reaching epidemic levels. As ergonomists, it falls upon us to understand why current solutions have not been widely adopted within this domain, and to derive solutions to the unique challenges of surgery.