In 2001, a project to identify the underlying factors contributing to the development of ergonomic injuries to pipetters and to reduce the factors attributed to the design of the pipette was undertaken by VistaLab Technologies.
The project involved:
- On-site investigation of pipetting operations at hospitals, clinics, and R&D facilities
- A review of published studies of pipetters
- An examination of injury statistics among pipetters
- An examination of the design of pipettes and the pipetting workstations
An evaluation of the ergonomic pipette design at the time revealed that each of the major manufacturers produced an axial grip pipette. The ergonomic focus appeared to be limited to the plunger effort levels and grip contouring. Unfortunately, all of the axial design pipettes failed to address the fundamental issue of working posture, in particular, the stresses to the upper extremity beyond the hand itself.
Ergonomic testing was conducted using five 200 μl pipettes to determine the overall effect of each product on the key ergonomic factors. Even though the study and results are from 2001, the pipetting stressers and key ergonomic design factors remain the same today.
Key ergonomics factors were measured using the following techniques:
- Muscle effort associated with the use of each device
- Dynamic postural requirements of pipetting
- Surveys of user comfort & preference
- Anthropometric measurement of test subjects
Click here to see the study report summary of the key findings.
See how the findings in this study were incorporated to make what we have today, the Ovation® Ergonomic Pipette