Ergonomics done right.®
April 18th, 2015

Webinar Q & A – Managing Ergonomics in Non-Industrial Environments

Thank you to the hundreds of professionals that attended our most recent webinar, “Managing Ergonomics in Non-Industrial Environments”. We had some questions that came in during the event that we didn’t get to, so here are the answers from Jeff Sanford, CPE. Let us know if you agree.

Q: Ergonomics from what I have used and seen is better from an engineering standpoint. Most companies now are still in the Reactive Phase. How do you change from Reactive to Proactive?

A: If you are in a position to move from the Reactive Phase to a Proactive Phase, the focus needs to shift from managing your injuries to managing musculoskeletal risk factors. That requires choosing a quantifiable risk assessment that will allow you to identify risk to specific body parts as well as provide an overall score for prioritization purposes.

Q: So really you would evaluate every work process?

A: Ultimately you would want to evaluate all the processes, but sometimes that is not possible. Therefore, you would need to prioritize the tasks you need to assess. You can do that using injury data and operator feedback.

Q: Are there established job descriptions with physical requirements for various jobs such as Hospital Kitchen Workers, Plant Services Engineers?

A: There are not established job descriptions with physical requirements because, despite having similar job titles, often the physical demands change. The main reasons for that are nuances in facilities as well as equipment.

Q: Do you think the snook table is too subjective?

A: The Snook Tables are based on psychophysical research which at its root, is subjective, but this stream of research has been very accurate in predicting the capabilities of humans. So, to answer the question, we do not feel that it is too subjective.