A Systematic Approach to An Ergonomics Improvement Process
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth post in the Ergonomics At Work series.
An effective ergonomics improvement process requires a systematic approach for conducting ergonomic risk assessments for every job in the workplace.
Ergonomics Improvement Process: Step 1
The first step in this process is to develop a prioritized list of departments and jobs to evaluate. You are here.
This prioritized list should be developed by the ergonomics improvement team based on:
1) An initial facility tour and general ergonomic walkthrough audit. This facility tour will give the team a general sense of the job demands in each area and allow the team to become familiar (if not already) and knowledgeable about area operations, work practices, and potential MSD risk factors.
2) A review of injury and MSD history. Existing injury information from OSHA logs, safety and medical records, insurance, and other information sources should be reviewed to help identify trends and departments or jobs with risk factors that may be contributing to injuries.
3) Data and information collected from employee surveys. The real experts for identifying ergonomic risk factors and improvement opportunities are… (insert drum roll here)… the people who perform the job each and every day! Employee surveys are a great way to gain perspective on ergonomic risk in the workplace.
What questions should you ask in the survey? Here’s a very simple and brief employee survey that works well for us:
Ergonomics At Work
This post is part of a series on understanding ergonomics at work. An effective ergonomics process at your workplace makes work and life better for employees, and improves outcomes for the company as well.
You can read the first three posts here:
- Understanding Ergonomics At Work
- How to Recognize Ergonomic Risk Factors
- Ergonomic Considerations – Head to Toe
Next we will review some public domain (that’s code for “free”) assessment tools that you can use to objectively identify ergonomic risk factors. See you then!