Ergonomics done right.®
February 27th, 2013

What is a CPE and why do you need one?

by R. Daniel Muñoz

R. Daniel MunozWorkers are the driving force of any organization—like an engine of a vehicle that sets the wheels in motion. We all understand that to maximize the performance and life of a car requires us to drive it within the limits of the engine. In this respect, the human body is just like that car engine.  It too needs the appropriate maintenance and working conditions in order to function optimally —drive it in the red and performance deteriorates.

Unfortunately, not every business can clearly identify where the red line is for their workforce.  This causes the organization’s performance to suffer as pain and injury creep into the workplace.

A person who has achieved the Certified Professional Ergonomist designation has knowledge, skill and experience to help companies identify work processes that demand human redlining.  According to the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE) Certified Professional Ergonomists are defined as:  “Individuals whose education and experience indicate broad expertise in the practice of human factors/ergonomics.”

CPEs are a small group in this world; only about 1,500 certified individuals, making this a very select group. The path to become a CPE is quite long; about a decade if we count the 6 – 8 years of college education and the 3 years of professional experience, not to mention the rigorous tests to pass in order to obtain the certification. In my personal opinion, anyone that attains the CPE is clearly dedicated to providing a safe work environment for people.

As I am in the road of becoming a CPE, I can say that the skill set and experience acquired in order to achieve the certification forms a well-rounded individual that is capable of fixing almost any problem in the workplace such as:

  • Configuring workstation dimensions
  • Performing assessments to identify ergonomic risk
  • Prioritizing and providing recommendations to lower ergonomic risk
  • Ensuring a successful ergonomic process

Who wouldn’t like to have a CPE to help preserve and improve the life and performance of your workplace engine?