I found an excellent ergonomics handbook specifically targeted for the needle trades produced by our Canadian neighbors at UNITE, the Institute for Work & Health and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers. As I mentioned in my book, many shops have terrible lighting, the tables are too low; they’re awful. Anyway, this handbook is a great resource to use when designing the set up of your shop. The strategies are practical, inexpensive, simple and appropriate -no high tech solutions are required. For example, when I tell people that I once toured the cutting room of the largest uniform manufacturer in the US, they weren’t technologically advanced, they were using a razor blade taped to the end of stick to cut the ends of the lay from the bolt. In this ergonomic handbook, you’ll see why this practice is actually recommended (pg 21)! Technology doesn’t need to be high tech or expensive, it only needs to be appropriate.
The Ergonomic Handbook for the Clothing Industry (pdf) should reside on every visitor’s hard drive. It’s also useful if you’re not sure what many pieces of equipment or tools look like. With ample photography, the handbook is a great survey of typical industry infrastructure.