The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recently released an updated statement regarding ergonomics. In the document, AIHA states “ergonomics is a multidisciplinary science whose primary focus is the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and their risk factors in the workplace. This is accomplished through the application of principles based on the physical and psychological capabilities of people to the design or modification of jobs, equipment, products, and workplaces.”

A summary of AIHA’s major positions is as follows:
  • A wide range of scientific data clearly demonstrates:
  • - Work-related MSD are a significant and costly health issue nationwide - There are plausible biological mechanisms for the association between MSD and workplace physical exposures - Working conditions can and do contribute to the occurrence of MSD - Validated analysis tools exist to effectively assess the risk of injury in the workplace - Modifying physical task conditions can reduce the prevalence and severity of MSD - Modifying psychosocial modifiers may help to reduce the prevalence and severity of MSD
  • AIHA considers that guidelines provide useful and effective guidance to those who adopt them. However, AIHA supports the development of ergonomics-related reporting, regulations, and standards as a more effective long-term strategy.
  • AIHA supports the continued private and governmental funding for research related to ergonomics.