What is an Ergonomic assessment?

What is an Ergonomic assessment?

June 16, 2022

Ergonomics is the science of designing and arranging physical and environmental systems to maximize human comfort, health, and efficiency. The goal of ergonomics is to minimize the risk of injury or discomfort caused by repetitive tasks, awkward postures, and uncomfortable working conditions.

Ergonomics covers a wide range of areas including workspaces, tools, furniture, and machines. This field of study takes into account the physical, cognitive, and social interactions between people and their environment. Some areas where ergonomics can be applied include office workstations, manufacturing processes, transportation systems, consumer products, and healthcare facilities.

Ergonomics aims to improve worker productivity and satisfaction by minimizing the physical strain caused by repetitive, uncomfortable or awkward work positions. This can result in fewer missed workdays due to injuries, higher job satisfaction, and improved overall work performance.

Examples of ergonomic design principles in the workplace include:

– Adjusting the height and angle of computer monitors to reduce eye fatigue and neck strain

– Providing ergonomic chairs with adjustable backrests, armrests, and seat heights to promote a comfortable and healthy sitting posture

– Providing tools and equipment with ergonomic grips and handles to reduce strain on the hands and wrists

– Using anti-fatigue mats in workplaces where workers stand for long periods, to reduce pressure on the feet and lower back

In summary, ergonomics is the science of designing and shaping the workplace and living environments to make them safe, comfortable, and productive for individuals, improving their physical and mental well-being.

An ergonomic assessment is a method used to evaluate the physical requirements of a job and its impact on workers’ comfort, health, and productivity. The assessment takes into account the design of the task, the worker’s posture and movements, and the work environment. The goal of an ergonomic assessment is to identify and solve problems that may cause discomfort, fatigue, or injury to workers.

An ergonomic assessment usually involves three steps:

1. Identification of potential hazards: This involves observing the worker’s posture, movements, and tools used while performing the job. Potential hazards that may cause discomfort, injury, or fatigue to the worker are identified.

2. Evaluation of risk factors: Once potential hazards are identified, an evaluation is carried out to determine the level of risk they pose to the worker. Factors such as the duration, frequency, and intensity of the tasks are considered.

3. Implementation of corrective measures: Based on the identified hazards and evaluation of risks, corrective measures are implemented to eliminate or reduce the risks. These measures can include modifications of the work environment, job design, or tools used to perform the task.

Ergonomic assessments can be carried out for different types of jobs, from desk jobs to warehouse work, manufacturing operations, and healthcare services. They are often conducted by health and safety professionals, industrial hygienists, occupational therapists, or other qualified professionals.

Performing ergonomic assessments can provide several benefits. By improving the design of the workspace and task, it can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive strain injuries, and other physical discomforts, thereby increasing productivity and promoting a healthier work environment.

Dr. Hillebrand has received his Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist work for levels 1, 2, and 3 as well as his Advanced Office Ergonomic Assessment Specialist coursework. He has completed assessments for over 15 years in multiple workplace settings.

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