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Repetitive Motion Syndrome

I am interested in knowing whether any book treatment staff in your
institutions have developed repetitive motion syndrome or other similar
maladies as a result of their repair work.  Eg lifting books from shelves
in holding areas incorrectly causing shoulder pain or shoulder and neck
pain from standing over the bench while doing the work or wrist problems
due to the angle at which tools are held for long periods of time.  (Part
of the cause of some of these problems is the height of the person in
relation to a stationary height of the workbench, especially when standing.
 Most of our staff do not use the stools we provide but prefer to stand for
much of their work.)  We have had two cases of it in our lab over the past
two years and I wonder whether the staff of other conservation programs
have had similar experiences.  Certainly it is not something I would have
associated with book repair until recently.  For our folks who have
developed the symptoms we have made all necessary accommodations so that
they can continue working with reduced pain and increased comfort.

I welcome your observations.  Thank you.

Robert Milevski
Robert J. Milevski
Preservation Librarian
Princeton University Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544
(609) 258-5591
Fax:  (609) 258-4105
Email:  milevski@phoenix.princeton.edu

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