The information below is provided by OSHA at their website http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/contributing_conditions.html and provides a common sense approach to identifying factors that are impeding worker performance and leading to possible workplace injuries.
How do I look for conditions that may contribute to musculoskeletal disorders?
There are several approaches that may be used to determine whether conditions in the workplace might be contributing to employees developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These approaches can be used individually or in combination.
Review and analyze injury and illness records to determine whether there is a pattern of ergonomic-related injuries in certain jobs or work tasks.
- OSHA 300 Logs and supporting 301 forms
- Workers’ Compensation claims
Analyze the jobs or work tasks themselves to identify potential ergonomic problems before employee injuries occur. Determine if jobs present ergonomic risks that may contribute to musculoskeletal disorders.
- Analysis tools (such as Comfort Zone) may help in analyzing jobs. While there is no one size fits all approach, there are numerous non-OSHA, voluntary analysis tools that may be used to learn more about potential ergonomic risks associated with jobs.
- Seek employee input about the existence of ergonomic problems related to particular jobs or work tasks. This may be accomplished, among other ways:
- by speaking with employees
- by conducting symptom surveys
- through use of employee questionnaires
- Be aware of common contributing conditions within your industry or job classifications. If other companies in the same industry have ergonomic-related problems, then it is possible these potential problems are also your concern. Obtain information from others in your industry:
- to see what problems others have experienced in their operations
- to gain a better understanding of potential problems that may exist in your workplace.