Team Training and Mentoring
Ergonomics is most successful when all levels and functions within an organization are involved in its implementation. The ergonomics team pulls together representatives from all appropriate areas in a department or facility that play a critical role in the success of an ergonomics program. The team or teams are typically responsible for identifying, prioritizing, analyzing, and correcting ergonomic hazards or deficiencies in the workplace. Close communication and feedback loops between employees, supervisory, medical, engineering, and management personnel are vital when trying to maintain an ergonomics mentality.
This course is designed to address issues within the company and mixes lecture and hands-on lab exercises to allow all participants to apply techniques.
During the first 2 days, this training class introduces participants to basic ergonomics principles, the importance of an ergonomics program and team, and addresses topics such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), identifying and prioritizing ergonomic stressors, determining root causes, analysis techniques, developing appropriate control measures, and design criteria. Analysis techniques included in the training are: basic ergonomics screening tool, advanced materials handling analysis tools, and several upper extremity analysis tools.
During the 3rd day of the workshop, attendees will be divided into three or four smaller groups and will practice analyzing predetermined jobs in the company’s facility. Attendees will utilize the screening and deep dive analysis tools they learned about in the workshop. Our ergonomist will be available to answer questions and help guide the team down the correct path if they are struggling. Teams will present to each other at the end of the session to discuss the process they followed and their findings. The event is meant to simulate a real-world ergonomics team analysis session, but with an ergonomist serving as a “safety net” for questions and needed guidance. Companies select which facility jobs or tasks the teams will analyze prior to the start of the workshop. We suggest that jobs/tasks selected for analysis should be appropriate for a beginner-level ergonomics team.
Introduction to Ergonomics
- Define ergonomics
- Changes to the workplace
- Impact on the worker
- Historical and current perspectives
- Ergonomics Team Responsibilities
Work Physiology – Understanding the Human System
- Fatigue and recovery
- Cumulative trauma disorders vs. acute trauma
- Pain in the workplace
- Typical workplace injuries and illnesses
- Workplace accommodation
- Impact of disorders on the job analysis and solution development process
- Classical ergonomics stressors – force, posture, and repetition
- Workplace factors – the characteristics of the workplace that impact task (height, reach, activity e.g. bench assembly, maintenance, etc.)
- Personal stressors – the individual factors associated with each person
- Considerations when identifying stressors
- Introduction to the Center’s job & workstation analysis tool
- Qualitative and Quantitative analysis
- Determining root cause
- Analysis techniques
- Data collection, equipment and measurement
Hands-on lab to analyze a job or task in the plant.
Advanced Job Analysis Tools
- Discussion of common job analysis tools
- Overview of basic tool characteristics
- Pros/cons of tools
- Tools to be discussed include:
- NIOSH Lifting Equation
- Lift/Lower/Push/Pull/Carry Tables
- Strain Index
- Anthropometric Data
Hands-on labs for each analysis tool.
Ergonomics Solution Development
- Engineering controls
- Administrative controls
- Work practice controls
- Basic Workstation Design and Layout
- Hand tool design and selection
Ergonomics Mentoring Session (Day 3)
- Small group hands-on project analyisi
- Ergonomist supervision and coaching
- Group report out session