2 October 2019, 15:01
Around six months ago, Engcon received a cry for help from Örjan Nordin, an excavator operator at EAG Entreprenad. Örjan told us he suffered such pain in his wrists that he had to take sick leave. But by June 2019, Örjan had returned to full-time work thanks to Engcon's ergonomic MIG2 levers.
Örjan had read about Engcon’s ergonomic levers, and wondered if they were well designed enough to provide the support he needed to avoid pain while operating excavators again. EAG's management decided they would give them a try. The old grips were removed and a pair of ergonomic MIG2 levers from Engcon were installed in Örjan's excavator.
“I could barely believe it , after a couple of months operating with the MIG2 levers I had no pain at all in my wrists,” says Örjan when we meet him at a road construction site in eastern Jämtland.
Örjan tells us that before replacing the levers he suffered constant pain and had to use strong painkillers; his fingers were so swollen that a ring had to be cut off. Things got so serious that he had to use special wrist supports for a while. When Örjan returned from sick leave, he could not go back to his excavator, but had to switch to driving wheel loaders, where he did not need to move his wrists quite so much.
“I really missed the excavator, so when I asked my boss if we could try Engcon's grips I got a positive response right away, which I’m very happy about now,” says Örjan, who has operated excavators for more than 25 years.
The choice of joysticks for new excavators was an easy one
In addition to proportional tiltrotator control, Örjan has added wheel control to his MIG2 grips and he has special praise for the wrist support on the side. They mean he does not have to grasp the joysticks so hard to perform outward movements.
In the spring of 2019, when Örjan began operating a new excavator, there was no question about which joysticks to install in the machine. “Once again, the MIG2 grips showed how good they are. There was a gap between my old machine and the arrival of the new one, so I had to drive one of the company’s other machines in the meantime. I developed problems with my wrists right away. If I didn’t have MIG2 grips on my machine, then I probably wouldn’t be able to operate an excavator any more” says Örjan.
Ergonomics for a better operator environment
"Ergonomics and comfort are important considerations for avoiding repetitive strain injuries. Occupations that involve repetitive, monotonous movements all day long are naturally in the risk zone. I'm really pleased that Engcon focuses on ergonomics when developing various tools. As an ergonomist, I think Engcon's focus on improving the excavator operator's day-to-day working environment is a very good policy," says Johan Brännström, physiotherapist/ergonomist and operations director at Hälsorum. He continues:
"Engcon's MIG2 levers pay particular attention to repetitive strain injuries and similar wrist stresses, which are major risk factors in the development of occupational injuries. A good working environment and good tools are essential for continuing in an occupation throughout working life and for reducing the risk of pain and other ill-health.
MIG2 in brief:
MIG2 is Engcon’s ergonomic grip for excavators. In addition to the advanced design, the grips include a wrist support that makes outward movements easier. A grip can be equipped with up to 3 stepless rollers to control a tiltrotator or other functions such as boom swing or VA boom. It’s also possible to connect forward and reverse control for wheel and track control and up to 7 on/off buttons. The MIG2 is designed primarily for use with Engcon's DC2 proportional control system.