ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Fatigue followed by headaches and neck aches are the most common problems encountered by microscopists. Backaches and stiff shoulders have also been reported.105

Body fatigue, headaches and neck aches can be reduced markedly with correct sitting posture41 and with short breaks every hour for exercises which help to increase circulation and relax muscles. Chairs should have mid-back support and adjustments which allow feet to rest comfortably on the ground. Arms, from the elbow, should be horizontal to the ground whilst rotating the focusing controls.

Eye fatigue and associated headaches are almost eliminated if the microscope oculars are individually matched to the eye characteristics of the user and the light intensity, through the microscope, matches the light intensity of the room in use.

Operators need to be supplied with a comfortable, adjustable chair for both height and back support, preferably with arm rests. When seated the operators feet should rest flat on the floor and their arms should be parallel with, and rest just on the surface upon which the microscope sits.

Some manufacturers of microscopes now supply binoculars that adjust to the operator for angle as well as eye width. These are preferred over the fixed angle binoculars.


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