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Topic: Ergonomics - Best Practices

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Leading Measures: Preventing MSDs & Driving Ergonomic Improvements, Walt Rostykus and James Mallon

Traditional safety metrics of injury rate and losses are poor measures of workplace ergonomics or predictors of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Current research and valid assessment tools allow reliable measurement of exposure to the risk factors that cause MSDs. Coupled with the threshold limit of joints in the body, this allows reliable prediction of tasks with increased potential for developing an MSD. Leading risk-based measures for MSDs enable sampling, predicting, preventive actions, and verification of risk exposure. This approach fits well within the structure of a comprehensive safety management system.


OSH Certifications: Behind the Exams, Cheryl L. (Cheri) Marcham, Treasa M. Turnbeaugh and Nicola J. Wright

The process of developing and scoring a certification exam is complicated and uses a scientific and mathematic psychometric process to achieve defendable outcomes. How much of the process is well understood by either the general public, employers or even safety and health professionals? This article presents information intended to help OSH professionals understand why and how a properly developed and administered certification exam shows the mark of excellence in the field of safety and health.


Managing Ergonomics: Applying ISO 45001 as a Model, Walter G. Rostykus, Winnie Ip and Jennifer Ann Dustin

Organizations that successfully reduce and control musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) follow a systematic ergonomic improvement process to identify and reduce employee exposure to the risk factors known to cause MSDs. OSH management system models provide a common process for managing environmental and safety risk, particularly MSD risks. The draft ISO 45001 standard on occupational health and safety management provides another model that can be used as an effective system for managing ergonomics. This article aims to provide safety professionals, engineers, operations managers and ergonomists with an illustration and framework to systematically manage workplace ergonomics, aligned with ISO 45001.


Ergonomics Return on Investment, Winnie Ip, Jennie Gober and Walt Rostykus

Ergonomic programs often lack resources: people, time and money. Part of the problem is demonstrating the financial return of ergonomic improvements and ergonomic programs. •OSH professionals can measure the value of improved workplace ergonomics in more ways than the traditional reduction of injury costs. Improved productivity, quality and employee retention can provide greater returns. •This article shares various models of cost justification and the elements of determining the return on investment, and provides guidance on the investment and results data needed to calculate the return.


Five Steps to Getting Buy-In for Your Ergonomics Process, James Mallon

Human-centered workplace design is not complex. We just need to know the limits of human strength and movement, understand the perceptual preferences humans have, and apply this knowledge to the design of machines, material flow, and methods. This cohesion will create work environments that match human capability and ultimately enhance their performance.


779 Lightening the Load: Ergonomic Solutions that Reduce Patient Lifting Injuries, Elise Condie and Jessica Ellison

This article will review the challenges healthcare organizations face in achieving significant and long-lasting reductions in injury rates, and will articulate the culture shift that needs to occur in order to implement a successful safe patient handling program. We will also present several case studies demonstrating how some hospitals are successfully making this culture shift and tackling the challenge of training staff on new equipment and procedures.


726 Construction and Ergonomics equals A Non-Traditional Focus for a Top 20 U.S. Contractor, Heather Crawford, John A. Neil and Steve E. Thomas

The Walsh Group has practiced general building construction since its foundation in 1898 by Matthew Myles Walsh. Currently in its fourth generation of leadership, the firm has been a family-held business since that time. In order to facilitate national expansion efforts, Walsh Construction was incorporated in 1949, and Archer Western was incorporated in 1983. Each company has experience with a wide variety of building, civil, and transportation sectors including: wastewater and water treatment plants, rapid transit, highway and bridgework, educational facilities, warehouse/distribution facilities, athletic facilities, correctional facilities, office, design-build, and more. The greatest concern is the safety of our workforce.


705 Technology & the "Ergo Hour," Managing Ergonomics at a Multinational Organization, Daniel P. Johnson and Jeremy Wilzbacher

This paper focuses on how BorgWarner and AON Global Risk Consulting have partnered to ensure all BorgWarner global operations can benefit from collaboration and access to subject matter experts in a cost effective, efficient manner, turbo-charging ergonomic improvements worldwide.


680 America's Changing Work Force: Ramifications for Ergonomic Modeling, Richard Sesek, Ruoliang Tang, Celal Gungor and Jerry Davis

Generally, this diversity includes workers with different anthropometry (size, shape), capabilities, work experiences, and ethnicities. More importantly, the workforce is also aging and becoming heavier. However, the impact of aging and obesity is typically not considered in traditional ergonomic modeling. This paper explores the potential impact of these factors and proposes several ways to factor these characteristics into ergonomic models.


630 Five Critical Elements for Managing an Ergonomics Program, Winnie Ip and Walt Rostykus

The long-term success of a company’s ergonomics program is dependent upon a well -established foundation endorsed by leadership. Too many organizations have launched an ergonomics program without a strong foundation, only to have it “fizzle” when the business climate and direction change, or when key leaders change. Failure to start a program effectively results in loss of credibility and trust by employees and management, and wasted resources. We’ve identified key elements of successful and sustained ergonomic s programs and summarize the top five in this paper.


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