Ergonomics is the study of the relationship between the work environment and the worker. It addresses the physical capabilities of the worker as they interact with tools, equipment, work methods and everyday tasks existing within the workplace. The goal of ergonomics is to provide an understanding of the best practices used to help minimize the potential of work-place injuries and provide effective and safe work environments.
The core of the City's ergonomic program consists of individual workstation evaluations, online training and informational documents and guides. It is our hope to work together with each employee to increase knowledge and awareness of potential risk factors and identify solutions that will decrease workplace injuries, increase productivity and help employees feel secure in their health and overall well-being in the workplace.
Seven Risk Factors to consider when analyzing the effectiveness of your workstation include:
1. Frequency: how often a specific task is performed per unit of time.
2. Duration: how long a specific task is performed.
3. Temperature Extremes: exposure to extreme heat or cold has an effect on soft tissue.
4. Vibration: either whole body (jackhammer) or localized (power tools) - Prolonged vibration can cause micro trauma to the involved areas.
5. Awkward Position: compromises the supportive soft tissue. Injury risk increases when exertion is applied while in awkward positions or postures.
6. Static Posture: occurs when a position is held for a prolonged period of time, i.e. sitting in your chair for hours at a time.
7. Contact Stress: occurs when localized pressure is placed on a part of the body, i.e. resting arms on the edge of your desk while you type.
Oftentimes, injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome can be avoided by making adjustments to how we work and the equipment we use. It is important to keep these risk factors in mind as we navigate our day to day tasks in the workplace.
For more information or to schedule an ergonomic evaluation, contact Mirene Benitez in Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page will be updated regularly with tips, tricks and other educational material to help keep us all ergonomically aware.
Risk Factor Guide