What is ergonomic hazard: Ergonomic hazards are typical risk factors within the environment which has the potential to hurt the musculoskeletal system.
The are injuries that are caused by ergonomic hazards are not always immediately obvious, making these hazards difficult to detect.
How to identify an ergonomic hazard
The severity of ergonomic hazards often depends on the level of exposure over time. Injuries sustained from these safety hazards can include anything from sore muscles to long-term illnesses. Ergonomic hazards include:
Improperly adjusted workstations and chairs
Awkward movements, especially if they are repetitive
Using too much force, especially if it’s done frequently
Ergonomic hazards are often a result of the way a space is designed, meaning that planning ahead and thinking about how employees interact with their work space is crucial.
Ergonomic risk factors
Ergonomic risk factors are workplace situations that cause wear and tear on the body and can cause injury. These include repetition, awkward posture, forceful motion, stationary position, direct pressure, vibration, extreme temperature, noise, and work stress. Multiple factors increases the risk of developing MSD (muscular skeleton disorder)
Some Ways to Reduce Ergonomic Risks
When ergonomic hazards are identified, it may be necessary to redesign aspects of a workspace or employee routine. Anything that could cause employees to experience long- or short-term strain should be evaluated and alterations to procedures and work spaces should be considered. If it’s determined that ergonomic hazards cannot be removed from a workplace, controls can be implemented to reduce risks that are involved.
Some controls that should be implemented include:
Engineering Improvements: Engineering improvements include rearranging, modifying, redesigning, or replacing tools, equipment, workstations, packaging, parts, or products. These improvements can be very effective because they may reduce or eliminate contributing factors. (For example, if your job requires sitting for long periods of time, having an adjustable seat or foot stool so that your knees are higher than your hips helps protect your lower back.)
Administrative Improvements: Administrative improvements include changing work practices or the way work is organized.
• Providing variety in jobs
• Adjusting work schedules and work pace
• Providing recovery time (i.e., Muscle relaxation time)
• Modifying work practices
• Ensuring regular housekeeping and maintenance of
work spaces, tools, and equipment
• Encouraging exercise
Personal Protective Equipment: Safety gear, or personal protective equipment (PPE), includes gloves, knee and elbow pads, footwear, and other items that