Regular Ergonomics Training Helps Workers Better Understand Risks

Your employees may be retaining some of that ergonomics training after all.

A new study published in the December 2013 supplement of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine looked at the effectiveness of ergonomics training in helping employees identify risk factors for injuries.

Researchers from the University of Iowa College of Public Health showed that initial training, supported by follow-up meetings for one year, generated increased ability to identify ergonomic risk factors.

The initial training included instruction about:

  • Musculoskeletal anatomy and physical risk factors
  • Formal exposure assessments
  • Hands-on, team-based assessments of tasks performed at the facility
  • Examples of the development, implementation and evaluation of ergonomic controls
  • Cost-benefit analysis

The training took place over two half-days, with two-hour support meetings conducted once per month for a year. The largest improvement after that year came in risks affecting the neck and shoulders, and the highest comprehension level was with potential musculoskeletal injuries to the lower back.

The researchers noted that continued support meetings likely would be necessary to maintain the high level of ergonomic comprehension among employees.

For more information regarding workplace ergonomics, please call Chad Clippard, business liaison, at 573-331-3019.