Ergonomics is the practice of fitting the job to the individual, which can help prevent work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Examples of musculoskeletal injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and low back pain. The goal of the ergonomics program at the University is to help departments and employees identify risk factors that can contribute to the development of work related musculoskeletal injuries and determine solutions to eliminate or reduce these risk factors.
Risk factors for the development of musculoskeletal injuries include awkward postures, repetitive tasks, and/or forceful motions. These types of injuries are usually cumulative; they develop over time, rather than as a result of a single event. By evaluating work tasks that involve these risk factors and finding solutions to better fit the person to the work they do, musculoskeletal injuries can be prevented. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website covers these risk factors as well as other contributing factors in greater detail. This site also includes advice for how to reduce or limit these risk factors.
For training on ergonomics awareness, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has provided this PowerPoint training for supervisors and employees.
Additional information from online resources related to ergonomics can be found on this page.