Why Is Ergonomics Important in Pipetting?

Pipetting is one of the most common tasks performed in a laboratory on a daily basis. Studies show that more than 40% of lab professionals suffer from pipetting-caused disorders. In addition to causing discomfort to the user, the hand and arm injuries reduce the working ability and thus the accuracy, precision and reliability of the results.

By becoming aware of your personal ergonomic risk factors and eliminating them, you can reduce your risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) while pipetting.

Proper Liquid Handling Tool Selection

One way to minimize ergonomic risks is to use proper tools for your job. Here are some things to look for, when selecting an ergonomic pipette:

  • Choose a pipette with low force to actuate
  • The pipette should be comfortable to hold and light weight
  • The finger hook should provide proper support to minimize grip force
  • The pipette should be suitable for both right and left hand use
  • Tips should be easy and light to attach and eject
  • Choose a multichannel pipette to minimize repetition

When pipetting tasks are repetitive, your exposure to awkward postures and applied forces can increase your risk of injury. To mitigate this risk, it is smart to use a multichannel model, when possible and an electronic pipette as opposed to a mechanical model. The hand and finger force required to perform the tasks with an electronic pipette is minimal – similar to operating your cell phone or remote control.

Sartorius Focuses on User’s Well-being

At Sartorius we focus on ergonomics, user-friendliness, high accuracy and efficiency, when developing tools for pipetting. Our developers aim to design pipettes which cause as little strain on the user’s hand as possible yet ensuring highest accuracy and precision. The forces you need for operating and holding Sartorius pipettes are very low. The handles are designed to fit for various hand sizes and for different holding positions, to ensure the most comfortable grip for both right and left-handed users. Their sophisticated and compact design makes Sartorius pipettes to feel a natural extension of the arm and reduces the stress leading to injuries like RSI (repetitive strain injury).

  • Our electronic pipettes, Picus and eLINE , reduce strain by featuring extremely light pipetting forces and electronic tip ejection. These are your most ergonomic choices.
  • The mechanical pipettes, Mline and Proline Plus , are amongst the lightest pipettes available on the market. The light plunger movement and Optiload feature with spring loaded tip cones enable tip mounting and ejection with a low force, especially on multichannel models.
  • Sartorius pipette tips are available in racks that are easy to open with one hand. They are compatible with the Optiload feature for light tip loading and ejection.

* M.G. Björkstén, B. Almby, E. S. Jansson: Hand and shoulder ailments among laboratory technicians using modern plunger-operated pipettes. Applied Ergonomics 1994 25(2) 88-94.

Mitigate the Ergonomic Risk Factors to Enjoy Your Work

Three ways to ease your pipetting work and minimize the related risks:

  • Choose the most suitable pipette for your personal need
  • Set up your workstation to support a neutral posture
  • Take a break after every 20 minutes of pipetting