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Work equipment (such as desks, chairs, machinery and personal protective equipment (PPE) still tends to be designed for the average-sized male worker and takes les s account of the ergonomic needs of women. Because of this, the use of work equipment designed for men can increase women’s work injury rates. If work equipment is not the correct design, or is set up wrongly this can lead to poor working posture, leading to an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Hand tools and workstation heights are often uncomfortable for workers who are smaller or taller and larger than the ‘standard’ worker. For instance, the average woman has a hand length about 2cm shorter than a man’s, so tools such as pliers can have too thick a grip, inappropriate placement and loss of functionality.

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