This is an installment of the Workplace Ergonomics 101 series.
Ergonomics at work can seem like a complicated (and almost impossible) discipline for safety mangers to take on. After all, you already wear so many hats and there is only so much time in the day.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this resource list so you can get the ball rolling without getting too frustrated.
So what is ergonomics? What are the benefits? How do you get started? How can you get the management support and resources you need to create a successful process?
The questions go on and on, and we’re about to answer a lot of them, with a little help from some friends …
What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics: What is it?
Oklahoma State University
OKU offers the definition of ergonomics, from the original Greek meaning to the practical application of ergonomics and human factors in use today.
Ergonomics & Human Factors
For a complete definition, history, applications and methods of ergonomics and human factors, check out the Ergonomics page on Wikipedia.
The Discipline of Ergonomics
International Ergonomics Association
This page from the International Ergonomics Association provides the approved definitions and domains of the specialization of ergonomics approved in 2000.
Ergonomics & Human Factors
Health & Safety Executive
For more on the basics of ergonomics, this page from the Health & Safety Executive offers an introduction to ergonomics, case studies, recent articles and a few resources to get you started.
Benefits of Workplace Ergonomics
The Advantages of Ergonomics
This PDF file summarizes the many benefits of ergonomics as well some of the barriers you may encounter when getting your ergonomics process off the ground. This article is well worth the read.
Examples of Costs and Benefits of Ergonomics
Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
This PDF file summarizes 250 case studies the Washington Department of Labor & Industries studies to determine the benefits of ergonomics. What did they find? There are numerous benefits to workplace ergonomics programs.
This article from HR BLR contends that there are additional benefits of ergonomics beyond reducing musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. Ergonomics also impacts production and quality. Improvements in these two high-impact areas will most definitely help you make the case for an ergonomics process at your facility.
5 Proven Benefits of Workplace Ergonomics
In this article, we lay out five of the proven benefits of ergonomics and provide the research and sources behind them. Need to get more support for ergonomics? Read this article to help you make your case.
Ergonomics Improvement Process
A Systematic Approach to an Ergonomics Improvement Process
This post is the first in a series that details our ergonomics improvement process from start to finish. It’s a great starter guide to understanding a practical and cost-effective ergonomics improvement process.
Ergonomics delivers safer, less costly and more productive work environments. This is especially true when ergonomics is viewed as a process and aligned with continuous improvement efforts. How do we know? A benchmarking study conducted by Humantech offers best practices of companies with a high-performing ergonomics process.
Conducting Ergonomic Assessments
Recommended Ergonomic Assessment Tools
Wondering what ergonomic assessment tools you should be using? Wonder no more – this post will explain what tools we use for clients every day.
Seven Steps to Conduct a Workplace Ergonomics Assessment
Facility Safety Management
Facility Safety Management provides seven steps to conducting an ergonomic assessment. Remember: workstations that are designed well for people deliver a better product, better productivity and a healthier, safer workforce.
Step-by-Step Guides to Ergonomic Assessment Tools
This link points to page on our website where you can download step-by-step guides to our recommended ergonomic assessment tools. If you’re unsure of where to get started with ergonomic assessments, these resources will help you tremendously.
Cost-Effective Ergonomic Improvements
How to Cost-Justify Ergonomic Improvements
Interested in a step-by-step guide to cost-justifying ergonomic improvements? This is it. Also included in this post is a must-have cost justification calculator.
This slide deck demonstrates the ROI of ergonomic improvements through regulatory compliance, health & safety performance and production & quality improvements.
The Economics and Cost Justification of Ergonomics
Colorado State University
This is an in-depth study on the costs and benefits of ergonomics. The conclusion? “Managers need to be able to economically justify any investment in terms of its concrete benefits to the organization’s ability to be competitive in the market.”
Ergonomics is a science, but it isn’t rocket science and it should be realistic and cost-effective. This article from EHS Today is a great primer on practical, high-impact ergonomics.
Two major factors necessary for the success of your ergonomics training process is to involve everyone in ergonomics training and education and to keep in mind your overall health and safety goals when planning your training content. This post on the Ergonomics Plus blog further elaborates these key points.
Need sample ergonomics training content? Here are a few ergonomics training PowerPoint files from HR BLR.
Key Elements in Ergonomics Training
Training is critical to the success of your ergonomics process. It’s important to enable everyone in your organization to be successful with respect to their roles and responsibilities to the ergonomics and MSD prevention process. Training ensures this.
Proactive Ergonomics: Ergonomic Design
Proactive Ergonomics: Design with Ergonomics in Mind
The most cost-effective approach to ergonomics is to establish a robust proactive program. Keeping ergonomics in mind during the design and planning of new work processes will save you both time and money in the long run.
A comprehensive process will include both reactive and proactive approaches to ergonomics. This article explains the reactive, proactive and advanced stages of an ergonomics process.
Office Ergonomics Checklist
Possibly the greatest oversight with regard to computer technology is the way our human bodies interact with the equipment. Download our free office ergonomics checklist to help your office employees’ combat fatigue and discomfort.
Back pain is one of the most common workplace-related injuries. Spine Health offers tips on reducing back pain in the workplace.
Office Ergonomics: Practical Solution for a Safer Workplace
Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
This 73-page PDF file is a comprehensive guide to office ergonomics from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Learn about worksite analysis, implementing solutions, training and education, evaluation and technical information regarding office ergonomics.
Ergonomics Success Stories
Schneider Electric Receives Green Cross for Safety Medal Award
Schneider Electric CEO Chris Curtis offers his insights on the important of safety culture and safety performance. Here is an excerpt, “Safety leadership means we’re doing everything possible to ensure our people come to work and leave work without injury. It’s a leadership imperative, in my opinion – to continually show our people, in our words and actions, that their safety is our No. 1 priority.”
This article on ErgoWeb tells the story of how a man named Keith Osborne overcame the initial skepticism of ergonomics to develop a successful and sustainable ergonomics improvement process.
How Juno Lighting Group Reduced OSHA Recordable Injuries by 93%
This case study illustrates how a comprehensive MSD prevention process that included ergonomics results in a dramatic improvement in health & safety metrics as well as significant cost reductions and a corresponding return on investment (ROI) on Ergonomics Plus services.
This page contains a compilation of ergonomics success stories from a broad range of industries and situations.
How Square D Reduced MSD-Related Cases by 91%
This is another Ergonomics Plus case study detailing impressive OHS results and a return on investment (ROI) on comprehensive ergonomics, injury prevention and wellness services.
Ergonomics Resources from OSHA, NIOSH
OSHA’s guidelines for Ergonomics at Work. Learn more about ergonomics, why it’s important, what comprises MSD risk reduction and more.
Learn about OSHA’s guidelines and enforcement policies. From OSHA administrator John Henshaw: “Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are serious injuries, and we are committed to reducing the pain and suffering that occur from workplace injuries. This comprehensive plan is the best approach to achieve immediate results.”
This page on the CDC website includes links to scientific evidence from epidemiologic research, ergonomics programs and interventions, evaluating risk factors for lifting tasks and more.
Learn the basics elements of a workplace program aimed at preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at work.
This PDF booklet from NIOSH provides tips and guidelines to improve manual material handling in your workplace.
Helpful Ergonomics Tools & Resources
In an effort to help companies prevent injuries and improve productivity in the workplace, we’ve made many of our ergonomics and MSD prevention tools publicly available at absolutely no charge.
Here are the download links. We hope you can put these resources to good use:
- Ergonomic Improvement Process Flowchart
- Step by Step Guides to our Recommended Ergonomic Assessment Tools
- Employee Ergonomics Survey
- Office Ergonomics Checklist
- The Ultimate Guide to MSD Prevention
If you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking it out to the end of the post. I know there is an overwhelming amount of information here – you might consider bookmarking this page for future reference. Hope it helps!
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