Anesthesiologists have recently become more aware of aspects of the occupation that may be detrimental to one’s health. In 1999, Stephen Jackson, M.D., warned about stresses on anesthesiologists and the rise in disability claims within the profession. This article will explore a few of the physical hazards present in the anesthesia workplace today.

The scientific specialty known as ergonomics was introduced as an academic discipline 50 years ago. It is described as the practice of designing equipment, tasks and the workplace to match the physical capabilities of the worker to prevent injuries. Health care workers have high rates of occupational injuries, greater than construction or manufacturing workers.

Anesthesiologists face many ergonomic challenges in their workplace that, in part, account for a perceived increase in physical workload, hazardous conditions and disability. Prominent among these are the complexities imposed...

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