Ergonomics Risk Management
Ergonomics Risk Management
Ergonomics Good Practice HSA Link
Ergonomics is the relationship between the worker and the job and focuses on the design of work areas or work tasks to improve job performance.
In essence the effective management of ergonomics at workplace level depends on a number of key factors including:
Knowledge of the nature of work carried out in the workplace
Knowledge of the potential ergonomic risks in the workplace
Competency in the application of appropriate risk assessment tools to quantify ergonomic risk
Competency in the development of innovative engineering or organisational interventions to manage ergonomic risk
Effective communication and consultation processes in order to implement appropriate changes in work practices
Effective training and development processes
Management commitment to address Ergonomic
risk and provide the required resources
The most effective way for an employer to demonstrate that they are serious about addressing ergonomic risk in the workplace is by ensuring that they do the following:
Develop a policy which explains how the organisation will manage ergonomic risk in the workplace; this can be a short policy and an example can be found in the Health and Safety Authority Guide on the Prevention and Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workplace.
Complete task specific risk assessments of work activities in order to identify potential ergonomic risk factors and appropriate control measures to avoid or reduce poor ergonomic conditions in
the workplace. There are a number of risk assessment methods that can be used including the Health and Safety Executive Mac Tool which can be used in association with the five step model developed by the Health and Safety Authority.
Implement the appropriate task specific control measures (e.g. Use of vacuum handling equipment for handling heavy bags) which clearly address
the identified ergonomic risk factors that
were identified in the task specific risk assessments.
Develop a safe system of work plan as a useful way of demonstrating and documenting the interventions that have been put in place.
Provide appropriate training to the workers
so that they understand what changes have been put in place, how the changes will address ergonomic risk and how they should carry out the task using the appropriate equipment provided or in line with the relevant Safe System of work plan.
Evidence of productivity and efficiency improvement
Reduced lost days due to occupational injury or ill health
Evidence of management commitment and investment
Evidence of a return on Investment
Evidence of increased knowledge and awareness