An on-site ergonomic evaluation looks at a specific job and its surrounding environment. The point is to identify all the essential functions and tasks necessary for someone to perform the job. Companies that are serious about worker safety use ergonomic evaluation to improve their hiring process. They also use it to improve management of workers’ comp claims.
But how do you go about ergonomic evaluation? Who is qualified to perform an on-site job assessment?
It Takes Special Training
You have to know what to look for to effectively evaluate job-related movements. That requires special training in subjects such as:
There are excellent resources available to help you. It is important that your ergonomic analysis efforts comply with OSHA guidelines for healthcare, industrial and office environments. You can download a copy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Elements of Ergonomics Programs.
This detailed guide provides training, extensive resources and tools including job evaluation checklists. It includes everything you need to:
There are also online courses and workshops that provide this sort of training. They can help you acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the “human mechanics” of a given job. Most of these courses offer some type of certification. You might receive a simple certificate of completion. Or you could receive a designation such as Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist.
Course content varies. Often it is very general in scope. But you can also take more advanced courses that focus on specialized areas such as ergonomics for the aging workforce.
Taking these courses enables you to learn:
Some People Are Ergonomics Pros
The Board of Certification Professional Ergonomics (BCPE) offers a formal accreditation program. You can become a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) if you:
CPEs learn to take a holistic systems approach to designing safer workplaces. They take into consideration both cognitive and physical job requirements. Their goal is to optimize workforce health and safety while maintaining high-level company productivity. If you’re interested, you can visit the BCPE website to learn more about obtaining formal certification.
On-Site Job Assessment Is the Most Effective
That’s because it is most specific. The person conducting the evaluation can see how tasks are performed in real-life working conditions. A particular type of job – say, housekeeper or warehouse worker – might be similar from one place to another. But every company has different physical facilities and procedures. That makes every job environment unique.
With a well-defined ergonomic evaluation in hand, you can:
When you can anticipate what activities might cause injuries, you can take steps toward prevention. You can work with employees as a group, in training sessions or workshops. Or you can work with people one-on-one to teach proper body movement techniques. Both types of training help prevent injuries. And that’s the ultimate goal of ergonomic evaluation.
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