Care for the working environment to prevent the semicircular lipoatrophy
March 23, 2010
The semicircular lipoatrophy is a rare occupational disease of emerging and uncertain origin, which it usually occurs in offices and mostly affects young women. He is a skin condition that manifests through a depression in the fatty tissue of thigh, and sometimes also of the forearms.
The first documented cases appeared in Belgium in 1995. In 2007 he had much impact in Spain when the Natural Gas Company was forced to evict 160 workers at its new headquarters in Barcelona. New cases in different buildings of offices of Madrid and Barcelona, including the emblematic Torre Agbar in Barcelona were detected throughout the year.
In 95% of cases the lipoatrophy is reversible, and the fatty tissue regenerates spontaneously after missing the triggering cause. But 5% of cases may appear small complications, especially previous illnesses.
Electrostatic discharge, possible cause
Today the cause of the disease is still unknown, but it seems clearly connected with the new working environments, as is typical of administrative positions in Office buildings.
One of the most common hypothesis is that its origin is related to the typical electrostatic discharge of these modern working environments, manifested with the classic 'calambrazos' to play metal elements. The fact that the area affected by the disease is always locate above the knees, in areas of the legs which are under the table and close to the electrical wiring, suggest that there is a relationship with the electrostatic discharge through the desktop.
The objective of the project led by Biplax is to define optimal conditions of work in offices that can prevent the onset of the lipoatrophy, defining specifications for the different materials incorporated in these environments, such as the conditions of the various products for interior designas well as its installation conditions and environmental quality criteria.
The most novel aspects of the work include the definition of methods of testing and threshold values, the incorporation of new requirements to the development of products and their interaction with the working environments, or the establishment of new parameters for indoor environmental quality. This is, ultimately, control the conditions of the working environments and develop advanced products that contribute to the occupational safety at work of the offices.
The work plan envisages various phases that will culminate in 2011 with the development and validation of two prototypes of Chair and technical ground, as well as a redefinition of protocols to future outbreaks of semicircular lipoatrophy. You will also seek to clarify the relationship of the disease with variables such as the ergonomics of the workplace, electromagnetic fields and static electricity, as well as the indoor environmental quality in Office buildings.
Prevention of injuries for sedentary work
Biplax furniture industries, S.A. is among the top companies Spain Office seating manufacturers. The presence of its products on five continents supports its foreign vocation, at the time that has meant for his bet determined in design and r & d + I. The company has an important laboratory for research and development in which their products are subjected to all kinds of trials.
Created in 1964, the firm headquartered in Durango (Biscay) has managed to position in its sector as one of the most advanced in considering ergonomics and the quality of their products. In fact, Biplax wheelchairs have highest certificates of qualification by the Valencia Biomechanics Institute (IBV), the center of most prestigious r & d of the State in this matter.
With its commitment to preventing injuries arising from sedentary work, Biplax is also distinguished by having achieved the certification of its environmental management system of the process of design and development of products involving the incorporation of ecological criteria in designing all of its products. Just two dozen companies in all Spain have this certificate, and the Basque company has been a pioneer in its sector.