In a quick and energetic discussion Tuesday morning, Albert Roth of BSI EHS Services & Solutions offered tips on ergonomics programs. He discussed how to simplify ergonomic safety concepts, fun training techniques and problem solving.

He stressed the idea of “keeping it simple.” He said ergonomics in basic terms is the science of making people comfortable at work. It can be complex, he said, but it should always be about creating sensible and effective solutions.

Risk factors and issues related to ergonomics include:

  • Repetitive motion
  • Force
  • Awkward and static postures
  • Contact stress
  • Vibration
  • Work area design
  • Lighting
  • Temperature and humidity
  • Computer tools and software

Connecting employees and ergonomics is a “participation sport,” he said, and employers should work to develop a culture to support that idea. Roth also said employers should observe, ask questions and listen to employees’ experiences to get the right solutions to their problems.

He detailed some examples of employee input when it comes to ergonomics and the solutions companies came up with. One of them was a short, movable bench for workers to sit on when crouching to work on machines.

Roth suggested having employees complete an ergonomic assessment survey to help determine areas of concern. The survey should include a risk factor analysis that looks at the work station, operator and devices used for conducting work activity. Employees should be trained in how to complete the simple ergonomics evaluation, he said. They should be taught how to identify basic risks, such as bent wrists, neck, arms or anything that are not in “neutral,” Roth said.

He hopes companies will utilize his simple approach to implementing ergonomics programs in the workplace.