Looking for specific ergonomics and injury prevention guidance for your industry? Look no further. We’ve compiled an extensive library of industry-specific ergonomics and injury prevention guidelines on this page. (In fact, you might consider bookmarking this page for future reference.)
Establishing (or improving) your ergonomics and injury prevention process without a set of guidelines is like trying to find your way out of the woods without a compass.
It’s always a good idea to establish guidelines to provide direction for your process. As you set guidelines, it can be a useful exercise to find best practices in your industry. In fact, one of the most common questions I get asked on a weekly basis is if I know of any industry-specific guidelines/resources for ergonomics and injury prevention, so I thought I would put together a comprehensive guide to what I’ve found so far.
The resources below are compiled from various government agencies, organizations and industry associations. While there is no single, all-encompassing ergonomics standard, many organizations have been working to provide information, tools and guidelines to advance the practice of ergonomics in the workplace.
(Note: For more industry-specific guidelines and resources, see this page on the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries website and this page on the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation website. Another great source of information is the ergonomics homepage of the OSHA website. All of these resources were helpful in compiling this list.)
Table of Contents:
Following are the sections of content on this page. Scroll down the page to download resources along the way or click a link below to quickly move to each section.
Fruit Growing and Packing (L&I Demonstration Project
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors in Fruit Growing and Packing job tasks. The risk factors are identified and documented using the Caution Zone and Hazard Zone Checklists.
Ergonomics for Farm Workers (NIOSH Simple Solutions)
Farming is hard work. This booklet created by NIOSH offers ergonomics tips and early intervention strategies to reduce injuries in farm-related work.
Manual Handling in Agriculture
This page on the Health and Safety Executive website provides information on manual handling in the agriculture industry.
Ergonomics for Construction Workers (NIOSH Simple Solutions)
Created by NIOSH, this booklet is intended for construction workers, unions, supervisors, contractors, safety specialists, human resources managers-anyone with an interest in safe construction sites.
Reducing Sprains and Strains in Construction through Worker Participation
This is a manual provided by The Center for Construction Research and Training to guide contractors in using worker input to design a program for reducing strains and sprains on the job, and uses examples from scaffold erection.
Construction Industry Ergonomics Best Practices
Construction is an industry with a high rate of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This guide from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation provides ergonomics best practices for construction.
A Guide to Selecting Non-powered Hand Tools
This booklet is a joint effort between the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is designed to help you select or purchase the best available ergonomically designed non-powered hand tools.
Carpentry, Laborers, Rebar and Concrete Finishing
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors found in carpentry, laborers, rebar and concrete finishing.
Concrete Construction, LHSFNA Ergonomic Tip Sheets.
This resource from the Laborers Health and Safety Fund of North America provides handouts and tip sheets for construction and various trades. (Also includes Spanish versions!)
Electrical Contractors, OSHA eTool
This eTool provided by OSHA describes common hazards that electrical contractors may encounter and possible solutions for these hazards.
Framing, Carpet and Floor Installation
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors found in framing, carpet and floor installation.
Masonry, Stonework and Tile Setting
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors found in masonry, stonework and tile setting.
Wallboard Installation and Finishing
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors found in wallboard installation and finishing.
Any and all work environments require a person to interact with their surroundings. In a laboratory, good ergonomics is often sacrificed for experimental efficiency. These articles from UCLA Ergonomics discuss ergonomic topics related directly to the laboratory setting.
Laboratory Ergonomics Training Slides
This interactive training program from the University of California San Diego provides a practical approach for improving comfort in research environments.
UCLA Laboratory Ergonomics
This page on the UCLA website contains articles that discuss ergonomic topics related directly to laboratory settings.
Long Term Care
Nursing Homes OSHA eTool
Many nursing home tasks require considerable lifting and other strenuous physical labor. Historically the injury rate for workers in these facilities is double the injury rate for all full time workers in other occupations. This eTool from OSHA is designed to assist employers and employees in identifying and controlling the hazards associated with nursing homes and residential care facilities
Nursing Homes OSHA Guidelines
OSHA issued an ergonomics guideline for the nursing home industry on March 13, 2003. To develop the guidelines OSHA reviewed existing ergonomics practices and programs, State OSHA programs, as well as available scientific information. OSHA also met with stakeholders to gather information on the ergonomic problems present in the nursing home environment and the practices that have been used successfully in the industry.
Safe Lifting and Movement of Nursing Home Residents
This guide from OSHA is intended for nursing home owners, administrators, nurse managers, safety and health professionals, and workers who are interested in establishing a safe resident lifting program.
Resident Handling: A Practical Guide
This guide from Interior Health provides practical, step-by-step guidance for handling residents and includes an archive of helpful pictures.
Extended Care, Ergonomics Best Practices
This guide from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation provides ergonomics best practices for extended care facility.
Residential Care (L&I Demonstration Project)
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors found in residential care.
Sonography Industry Standards
These industry standards from The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography address the role of employees, employers, educators, medical facilities, and equipment manufacturers in reducing the incidence and impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on the workforce.
Manufacturing, Ergonomics Best Practices
This booklet from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation provides ergonomics best practices for manufacturing.
Manufacturing: Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries
This publication from WorkSafe BC was produced for workers and health and safety professionals as a guide in their daily work routines or for their inspections on the jobsite. They may also refer to or use the information contained in this document to assist them in carrying out their occupational health and safety roles and responsibilities.
Manufacturing Industry, Manual Handling
This guide from WorkSafe New Zealand gives specific advice and well-illustrated examples of how manual handling injuries can be avoided in the manufacturing industry.
Clothing Industry Ergonomic Handbook
Research shows that sewing machine operators face a substantially higher risk of muscle pain and injury than workers in other jobs. Studies also show that the frequency of persistent neck and shoulder injuries increases with years of employment. This handbook from the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, the Institute for Work & Health, and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, Inc, provides ergonomics information for the clothing industry.
Apparel and Footwear Ergonomics Manual Volume 1
This is an introductory ergonomics manual for the apparel and footwear industries from the American Apparel and Footwear Association.
Apparel and Footwear Ergonomics Manual Volume 2
Volume 2 provides a guide to implementing an ergonomics process.
Sewing, OSHA eTool
Workers involved in sewing activities, such as manufacturing garments, shoes, and airplane or car upholstery, may be at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Sewing-related injuries have been documented in the areas of sewing stations, performing fine work or scissor work, and material handling, among others. This eTool from OSHA provides example ergonomics solutions specific to sewing.
Textiles Industry, Manual Handling
This guide from the Health and Safety Executive is aimed at manufacturers and workers in the textile industry, including warehouse and delivery staff. It highlights some common problems with manual handling and suggests possible solutions.
Food Processing, Ergonomics in Action
Ergonomics in Action: A Guide to Best Practices for the Food-Processing Industry from Cal/OSHA Consultation Service, Research and Education Unit, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, California Department of Industrial Relations was written to give management, “front-line” supervisors, and facility/maintenance personnel general guidance on how to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Meat, Poultry and Seafood Processing Guidelines
A guide to the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the meat, poultry and fish processing industries from WorkSafe New Zealand.
Poultry Processing OSHA eTool
This eTool from OSHA provides common ergonomic risk factors and control methods for the poultry processing industry.
Ergonomics Program Management Guidelines for Meatpacking Plants
This comprehensive document from OSHA gives ergonomics program guidelines for Meatpacking Plants.
Red Meat Industry, Manual Handling
This resource from WorkSafe Victoria provides practical guidance on a range of risk control solutions currently used at workplaces in Victoria. WorkSafe encourages everyone involved in the red meat processing industry to read this publication and take action to implement solutions to control risk wherever reasonably practicable.
Furniture Manufacturing Voluntary Ergonomics Guideline
Many companies in the furniture manufacturing industry have made a substantial effort to reduce work-related injuries due to heavy lifting, repetitive motion, awkward and static work postures, vibration, and other recognized ergonomic stressors. The results achieved by these companies demonstrate that there are effective, affordable ways to protect furniture industry employees from injury while maintaining or, in many cases increasing productivity, quality and employee morale. The Voluntary Ergonomics Guideline for the Furniture Manufacturing Industry is designed to guide furniture manufacturers through the process of developing an effective ergonomics program.
Ergonomics Best Practices for Plastics Manufacturing
This resource by the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation provides best practices for plastics manufacturing.
Ergonomics in the Pharmaceutical Industry
This resource page from the Health and Safety Executive website provides a wealth of information and resources for the pharmaceutical industry.
Printing Industry OSHA eTool
Workers involved in printing processes may be at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) from workplace activities which force them to work outside their physical capacities (i.e., lifting an item that is too heavy, or lifting too often, or working in awkward body postures). MSDs are a serious problem as they can increase the number of employee lost work days, increase insurance costs, increase training and staffing costs, and reduce operation efficiency and quality. Changes which allow employees to work within their physical limits reduce the number errors, sick days, and injuries and enable employees to be more productive and produce a higher quality product. Ergonomic improvements are often simple and obvious, but even if they require significant effort they generally justify the resources spent. Good ergonomics is good business. This eTool from OSHA is a product of the OSHA and Graphics Arts Coalition Alliance.
Shipyards Ergonomics Solutions
Due to the high injury and illness rates in the ship building, ship repair, and ship dismantling industries, a research study was undertaken to better understand the relationship between these high rates as noted in the OSHA 200 logs, and the associated job risk factors. Once this association was better understood, effective ergonomic intervention strategies, in the form of best industrial practices, were developed to reduce these injuries and illnesses. The purpose of this page on the OSHA website is to present effective ergonomic solutions from various shipyards that have been implemented to address specific ergonomic concerns; many examples are from Japan.
Shipyard Guidelines (OSHA)
This document from OSHA provides ergonomics and injury prevention guidelines for shipyards.
Lumber Handling in Sawmills
This manual is a working tool developed through the cooperation of labor, business and the Department of Labor and Industries. It was created to help mill operators, supervisors, and workers find risk factors within sawmill jobs that are known to cause MSDs. It will also help mills reduce worker exposure once these risk factors have been found.
Offices and Computer Workstations
OSHA Computer Workstation Ergonomics eTool
Millions of people work with computers every day. This eTool from OSHA illustrates simple, inexpensive principles that will help you create a safe and comfortable computer workstation. There is no single “correct” posture or arrangement of components that will fit everyone. However, there are basic design goals, some of which are shown in the accompanying figure, to consider when setting up a computer workstation or performing computer-related tasks.
Office Ergonomics Interactive Guide
This course provided by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry is an interactive guide for adjusting your computer workstation and mobile computer.
Ergonomics Guidelines for Arranging a Computer Workstation
Creating a good ergonomic working arrangement is important to protecting your health. The following 10 steps from the Cornell University Ergonomics Web are a brief summary of those things that most Ergonomists agree are important. If you follow the 10 steps they should help you to improve your working arrangement.
Office Ergonomics Resources
This page on the Ergonomics Plus website is a massive list of additional office ergonomics resources and guidelines.
Ergonomics Best Practices for Public Employers
This guide provided by the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation provides a set of ergonomics best practices for public employers.
Automotive Workshop Safety
Manual handling injuries are the most common type of injury occurring in automotive workshops. The injuries occur from handling heavy or awkward objects, heavy lifting, and prolonged or sustained work in awkward postures. This guide from WorkSafe Victoria is a guide to automotive workshop safety.
Working Safer and Easier for Janitors, Custodians and Housekeepers
This booklet published by California Department of Industrial Relations provides guidelines for working safer and easier for janitors, custodians and housekeepers.
Safe Work Practices for Custodians
The purpose of this guide from WorkSafe BC is to show ways of making custodial work safer and easier so that the risks of sprain and strain injuries are reduced.
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors and control methods in the landscaping industry.
Manual Handling in the Printing Industry
This page on the Health and Safety Executive website provides a host of resources for manual handling in the printing industry.
Transportation and Warehousing
Customer Service Agents
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors and control methods for customer service agents.
Baggage Handling OSHA eTool
This eTool from OSHA was developed as part of the OSHA-Airlines Industry and National Safety Council’s International Air Transport Section Alliance. This tool describes many of the common hazards associated with the baggage handling process as well as providing possible solutions that are ranked according to their feasibility to the operations.
The manual handling of baggage and cargo onto and off aircraft presents a risk of manual handling injury to the ground handlers involved in these tasks. This page on the Health and Safety Executive website provides resources and case studies for reducing ergonomic risk in baggage handling.
Manual Handling in Airports
This document from the Health and Safety Authority provides best material handling practices for airport personnel.
Trucking and Warehousing
Road Transport: Eliminating Manual Handling Injuries
This comprehensive report by WorkSafe Victoria provides a set of guidelines and recommendations for eliminating manual handling injuries in road transport.
Utilities (L&I Demonstration Project)
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors and control methods for utilities.
Solid Waste and Recycling
Solid Waste and Recycling (L&I Demonstration Project
This demonstration project by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries illustrates common ergonomic risk factors and control methods in solid waste and recycling.
OSHA’s Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores provide practical recommendations to help grocery store employers and employees reduce the number and severity of injuries in their workplaces.
This page on the U.S. Department of Labor website describes example ergonomic hazards and solutions with an emphasis on Traditional Order Picking, which accounts for a large number of musculoskeletal disorders.
This eTool from OSHA describes ergonomic hazards and possible solutions for workers in the Beverage Delivery Industry.
Soft Drink Beverage Delivery Industry
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted an ergonomic study to investigate, identify, and reduce risk factors that may cause musculoskeletal disease and injury in the soft drink beverage delivery industry.
A WorkSafe inspection program carried out at 64 liquor retailers identified manual handling as the most common hazard in the workplace. Employees were at most risk of a manual handling injury when moving and processing stock such as cartons of liquor.
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