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Ergonomics Evaluations

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Occupation Health Solutions follows a proven pathway to evaluate and address musculoskeletal concerns in an individual workplace. Here are our seven steps:
  1. Look for signs of a potential musculoskeletal problem in the workplace, such as frequent worker reports of aches and pains, or job tasks that require repetitive, forceful exertions.
  2. Show management commitment in addressing possible problems and encouraging worker involvement in problem-solving activities.
  3. Offer training to expand management and worker ability to evaluate potential musculoskeletal problems.
  4. Gather data to identify jobs or work conditions that are most problematic, using sources such as injury and illness logs, medical records, and job analyses.
  5. Identify effective controls for tasks that pose a risk of musculoskeletal injury and evaluate these approaches once they have been instituted to see if they have reduced or eliminated the problem.
  6. Establish health care management to emphasize the importance of early detection and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders for preventing impairment and disability.
  7. Minimize risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders when planning new work processes and operations; it is less costly to build good design into the workplace than to redesign or retrofit later.

As the program matures, it should become proactive.

Proactive Versus Reactive Approaches

The steps have offered a plan for identifying problems specifically, Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) and job risk factors linked to them and selecting and implementing measures for controlling them. In contrast, proactive approaches are geared to preventing these kinds of problems from developing in the first place.

Proactive ergonomics emphasize efforts at the design stage of work processes to recognize needs for avoiding risk factors that can lead to musculoskeletal problems. In effect, to design an operation that ensures proper selection and use of tools, job methods, workstation layouts and materials that impose no undue stress and strain on the worker.

Evaluating the Ergonomic Program

While bottom-line results are the most telling in terms of defining a successful program, interim measures allow the total development to be monitored. Excellent methods to assist progress would include:

  • Conduct following surveys to be compared with initial surveys
  • Note reductions in incidence rate of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Note reductions in severity rate of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Compare productivity, quality of products and/or services
  • Compare job turnover and/or absenteeism rates

Learn more about our team approach - employer and employee responsibilities for preventing WMSDs.