What Happens During An Ergonomic Assessment

An ergonomic assessment is a process of evaluating a person’s work environment to identify potential ergonomic risks. The assessment involves observing the person working, assessing their posture and movements, and asking questions about any discomfort or pain they may be experiencing. Based on the findings, recommendations can be made to improve the ergonomics of the workstation and reduce the risk of ergonomic injuries.

There are many different types of ergonomic assessments, but they all share some common elements. First, a trained ergonomist will observe the worker in their natural environment. This allows the ergonomist to see how the worker interacts with their surroundings and identify any potential risks. Next, the ergonomist will interview the worker to get a better understanding of their work habits and any concerns they may have. Finally, the ergonomist will review the data collected and make recommendations for improving the ergonomics of the work environment.

Ergonomic assessments can be used to identify a variety of risks, including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), ergonomic hazards, and ergonomic stressors. MSDs are injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, or joints that can be caused by repetitive motions, awkward postures, or excessive force. Common MSDs include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and low back pain. Ergonomic hazards are conditions in the workplace that can lead to MSDs. These hazards can be physical (e.g., poor lighting or ventilation), chemical (e.g., exposure to harmful substances), or ergonomic (e.g., repetitive motions). Ergonomic stressors are conditions that can increase the risk of MSDs, even if they do not directly cause them. Stressors can be physical (e.g., cold temperatures), chemical (e.g., noise), or ergonomic (e.g., poor ergonomics).

An ergonomics assessment can help identify these risks and recommend solutions to reduce or eliminate them. By improving the ergonomics of the workplace, employers can decrease the incidence of MSDs, improve worker productivity, and reduce workers’ compensation costs.