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Conducting Ergonomic Evaluations

OSHA requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. This includes providing work environments that are free of ergonomic hazards.

Ergonomics is commonly defined as an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things so that people and things interact most efficiently and safely. Conducting ergonomic evaluations of work stations and work environments has become a common practice. There are evaluation checklists available to get your program started, and ergonomic specialists can be hired for the more comprehensive scenarios.

Neutral body positions and appropriate placement of desktop and workstation components are the key basic elements. Even when neutral body position is obtained and the workstation is set up in an ergonomic manner, other risk factors such as repetition or lifting can present hazards.

All employees should be trained on the early warning signs of ergonomic injuries so that the situation can be addressed as early as possible. Preventing injuries as a result of ergonomic hazards and minimizing the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) will be achieved with greater success if employees are encouraged to raise their concerns early.

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