Ergonomics Guide

Ergonomics is a multi-disciplinary science which emphasizes the importance of designing workstations (i.e. office furniture or industrial work areas and equipment) to fit the individual worker. The objective is to design out as many ergonomic hazards as possible in an effort to reduce cumulative trauma disorders. A properly arranged workstation can prevent injuries.

Summary of Requirements
The draft ergonomic protection standard emphasizes the following as key program components:
  • Top management commitment
  • Written program
  • Employee involvement
  • Program review/evaluation
The four elements of an effective program are:
  • Worksite analysis
  • Hazard prevention/control
  • Medical management
  • Training/education
Training
Employees in problem jobs and their supervisors shall receive ergonomic awareness and job specific training in:
  • Recognition of workplace risk factors and methods of control.
  • Identification of workplace risk factors and methods of control.
  • Importance of early reporting.
  • Employer's medical management procedures.
  • Reporting procedures and report distribution.
  • Corrective actions to be implemented and role of each individual involved and how to participate in the process.
  • How to procure ergonomic protection standard.
Reporting
Employees involved in conducting job analyses shall demonstrate competency in the following areas:
  • Identification of workplace risk factors and how they relate to the specific job.
  • Job analysis methodologies.
  • Implementation and evaluation of control measures.
  • Problem solving methodologies.
Inspections
The employer shall use the OSHA workplace risk factor checklist or a variation of to identify problem jobs.
Recordkeeping
Identification of problem jobs
Each employer with 10 or more employees shall establish and maintain accurate records of the identification of problem jobs. The records shall include the following information and be maintained for at least 5 years:
  • Name and job classification of empoloyees in each problem job.
  • Copies of most recent, initial and follow-up completed workplace risk factor checklist for employees in problem jobs, with dates of completion.
  • Any other conditions that might have affected the results of the identification of problem jobs.
Job improvement process
The employer shall establish and maintain an accurate record of the most recent job improvement process. These records shall be kept for at least 5 years after the job is controlled.
Training
The employer shall maintain a current copy of training materials and program used, and the most recent methods and results in evaluations of the effectiveness of training for 5 years.
Medical management
Employee records shall be maintained for at least the duration of an employees employment plus 5 years and shall include:
  • Name of employee.
  • Musculoskeletal disorder management plan prepared by the healthcare provider.
Written Program
Written program is required.
Applicable Regulations
Regulations specific to ergonomics do not currently exist.

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