Ergonomic Injury Risk Assessment and Prevention

Ergonomics is the study and science of fitting work to a worker.  Ergonomics is a process.  It is a process of matching tools and equipment to fit a worker’s needs so that he/she can perform assigned tasks as safely as possible and this can be quite a challenge as everyone has different needs. It is a multidisciplinary field of study integrating industrial psychology, engineering, medicine, computer technology and design.

One of the goals of the Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Safety office is to identify and correct existing ergonomic injury risks and to proactively identify those jobs that could put employees at risk of a musculoskeletal injury. 

This will be done by conducting workplace survey and risk assessments, reviewing building and work designs, analyzing and testing new tools and procedures, reviewing injury and illness reports and other activities that could impact a worker’s ergonomic safety.

Poor design of work processes or practices can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).  These involve injury to muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and spinal disks.    

Common examples of ergonomic risk factors are jobs that involve repetitive, forceful, or prolonged use of the hands; frequent or heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects; and prolonged awkward postures.

If you have concerns about your office work station, please complete a Request for Musculoskeletal Injury Risk Assessment,