What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the science of matching jobs to workers and products to users. An Ergonomist is an expert in an area of engineering focusing on human movement, musculoskeletal function, and how humans interact with their environment. Ergonomists apply this knowledge to evaluate the workplace and help make peoples' jobs easier, safer, and more efficient.
What are Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)?
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries that involve the muscles, tendons, or nerves. They occur over time and can take a long time to heal. MSDs most commonly occur in the neck, shoulder, elbow, hand, wrist, or back.
A variety of risk factors such as repetitive motion, awkward postures, static postures, excessive force, vibration, cold, and contact stress can increase the risk of developing an MSD. Ergonomists seek to eliminate or reduce these risk factors in order to prevent MSDs.
Why Should I be Concerned about Ergonomics?
The three goals of ergonomics are to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), increase comfort and safety, and increase productivity and job satisfaction. Ergonomics interventions allow employees to work safely and reduce the risks of MSDs. Ergonomics can also help reduce the high costs of work-related injuries by improving the work or the job before injuries occur. Ergonomics benefits employees, supervisors, and managers.
General Ergonomics Resource Links
- The Hand Book (Unauthorized reproduction or transmission of The HAND Book is prohibited.)
- National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Ergonomics Page
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Ergonomics Page
- North Carolina Department of Labor Ergonomics Page