Mechanical contact stress is the force applied to specific parts of an employee's body as they come in continual contact with an inflexible surface such as a tool, workstation, or machine while performing assigned tasks within the workplace, which puts these particular body areas under increasing levels of pressure, and results in a compression of bodily tissues.
Mechanical contact stress occurs when sensitive bodily tissues continually come in contact, whether through pressure or rubbing, with an inflexible surface while an employee performs assigned tasks within the workplace.
This can describe an internal process in the employee's body as blood vessels, nerves, or tendons are continually pressed or bent against hard surfaces such as tools, or an external process as parts of the employee’s body constantly rub against equipment or different aspects of a workstation.
Examples of this include the pressure applied
to hands by constant hammering, or the pressure applied to the lower
extremities by having to sit in a chair for prolonged periods without
sufficient space for one’s knees. Mechanical
contract stress can affect blood flow, nerve functioning, and the range of
motion of muscles and tendons.