What is ergonomics...and why is it important?
Ergonomics is the science of fitting jobs to people. It focuses on designing workstations, tools, and work tasks for safety, efficiency, and comfort. Effective ergonomic design reduces discomfort and injuries and increases job satisfaction and productivity. Ergonomic intervention will help employees stay at work or return to work and reduce lost days.
What are common job injuries that can be reduced with good ergonomics?
Injuries affecting muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, and discs can be reduced or eliminated with ergonomics. These injuries are frequently called Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs), Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs), and Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs).
What are the common ergonomic risk factors?
- Awkward body postures: Maintaining an awkward, unsupported, or fixed posture such as bending, reaching, or twisting for prolonged periods.
- Excessive repetition: Doing the same motions over and over again.
- Excessive force: Physical exertion or pressure on any part of the body while lifting, pushing, pulling, or gripping a tool.
- Contact stress: Pressure by tools, edges, or hard surfaces on soft tissues of the body. The palms and elbows are often at high risk.
- Vibration: Using vibrating or impact tools and equipment.
The Excel Ergonomics Program includes a range of services to help departments prevent MSD's and comply with federal and state standards.
- Computer ergonomics training for individual employees or for the entire department
- Back safety and body mechanics training
- Training for non-computer environments, such as jobs involving tool use or lifting
- Ergonomic worksite evaluations
- Computer workstation evaluations
- Providing clients with observed risks and corrective recommendations
- Post-injury worksite evaluation for injured or disabled employees