What is an Ergonomic Assessment?

Many people ask What is an Ergonomic Assessment?

What is Ergonomics?

The definition of Ergonomics by the UK Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (CIEHF) is:

“Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimise human well-being and overall system performance.” International Ergonomics Association 

The terms ‘ergonomics’ and ‘human factors’ can be used interchangeably, although ‘ergonomics’ is often used in relation to the physical aspects of the environment, such as workstations and control panels. ‘Human factors’ is often used in relation to wider system in which people work.

Ergonomics is matching the job to the worker and the product to the user. See the HSE information about Human Factors & Ergonomics. 

Human factors are environmental, organisational and job factors as well as human and individual characteristics which influence behaviour at work and can affect health and safety. Therefore it includes a range of topics:

Managing human failures, such as risk assessment and incident investigation. Procedures, training and competence. Staffing, including staffing levels, workload, supervision and contractors. Organisational change, culture and behavioural safety. Safety critical communications and shift handovers. Human factors in design, such as Control rooms, human computer interfaces (HCI). Alarm management. Lighting, thermal comfort, noise and vibration. Fatigue and shiftwork. Maintenance including inspection & testing. Also error and intelligent customer product/service information.

Current Legislation

Current legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that the employer has a responsibility to make the workplace safe for their employees.

Apart from their legal duty, working practices that risk causing injury or prevent recovery in an injured worker affect productivity of an overall workforce.

men doing tasks at ergonomic workstationsErgonomic Assessment

An Ergonomic Assessment may be required in a industrial setting such as factory, where the workers may be needing to sit or stand, use a workbench, use tools. Eg assembly workbench. Or on a production line, where the task area needs to be optimal for all the workers, esepcially if they rotate tasks. The HSE website has many case study examples.

The assessment may be a general assessment to review the ergonomic for all. Or it may be for one individual who has health needs.

Also, in office settings, it applied to tasks involving computers or other devices.

DSE Risk Assessment & Workstation Ergonomic Assessment

A DSE Risk Assessment is required for each worker under the DSE Regulations. The HSE website has an Office Risk Assessment Tool. There is information about a DSE Risk Assessment and a DSE Risk Assessment Checklist.

Healthywork can offer DSE Risk Assessments for prevention and for minor aches and pains.

More than a Risk Assessment is required, when an individual has medical requirements. The Equality Act 2010  states that the employer has a responsibility to make the workplace safe for their employees and to implement Reasonable Adjustments.

sit and stand desk ergonomic assessmentIn this instance we have defined this as an Ergonomic Assessment. This is a longer assessment, often within the office work setting at their own workstation, but also may be in other settings, such as factor environments.

The assessment includes time to review the medical situation with the individual. Adjustments and more detailed solutions are required. It may be that the individual’s anthropometric (body dimensions) measurements are needed for an alternative chair. It could be setting up a standing workstation is required.

See our Case Studies:

Ergonomic Assessment in an Office Role Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment of a Teacher Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment in a Factory – Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment & Return-to-Work Case Study

See our blog articles related to this topic:

Contact Us for further advice and a quotation.

See our Useful Links page which includes diagnosis specific advice from organisations which can help.

What is an Ergonomic Assessment?

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UNUM

Healthywork Clients - Unum

Alison is professional at all times, she is easy to work with, adaptable and open to discussing how, through the reports she produces she can meet the changing needs of her clients.

Elaine Cook

Watford Borough Council

Healthywork Clients - Watford Borough Council

Thanks very much for the (Functional Capacity) report which we have found extremely useful

Nicola Sharp

Ergonomic Assessment Testimonial by Fegans

Ergonomic Assessment Fegans

Ergonomic Assessment Testimonial by Fegans

Thank you once again for the excellent service you have provided.  Jane was very satisfied with the assessment and I would be happy to recommend you to others needing workstation or other work-place assessments. (December 2017)

Linden Sanders, Operations Director
Fegans

Basetek Ltd

The feedback from the staff is very positive and they all found it very interesting. (DSE Risk Assessments and Ergonomics Education sessions).

Françoise Ashfield BaseTek Ltd

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

Healthywork Clients - Top employers

Alison provided workstation assessments and advice during our relocation. Although we are a small organisation it was important to obtain professional and expert help and I would recommend Alison to others without hesitation. (Workstation Risk Assessments and Ergonomic Assessments 2012)

Kathryn Swanston, Chief Executive, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

OTAL Ltd

An Ergonomic Assessment provided by Healthywork was well worth the money. The chair has been set up correctly, and is now more comfortable for the user and we have purchased the desktop equipment they suggested and this along with correct layout and improved positioning has really helped towards resolving the discomfort experienced.

Linda Marston Human Resource Manager OTAL Limited - HO Birmingham Innovative solutions to and from West Africa

Sensory Dimensions

Ergonomic Assessment Functional Capacity Assessment Evaluation DSE Assessment Workstation Milton Keynes Cambridge Oxford North London - sensory

Many thanks indeed for the report.  Very thorough and a lot for us to do to help our member of staff.

I really appreciate the quick turn around.  (May 2017)

Simon Hails
Sensory Dimensions

FCE testimonial by Snows Group

FCE testimonial by Snows Group

FCE testimonial by Snows Group

We are extremely impressed with the service you have provided and will definitely keep your details on file for any future issues. (November 2011)

Samantha Cheesman Group HR Officer, Snows Group

Qualification Curriculum Authority

Healthywork Clients - QCDA

Friendly, helpful and informative, since Healthywork assessed my workstation and advised me, my bad back is better. What more do I need to say?

Mr Sam Morris, Qualification Curriculum Authority, Central london

Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Capita

Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Capita

Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Capita

I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Alison Biggs from Healthywork Ltd. The reason is simple: she will provide the service that you require.

Healthywork delivered approx 750 Ergonomic Assessment to the customer Royal Bank of Scotland, and other companies in the RBS group such as Direct Line, NIG Insurance, Churchill Insurance, Coutts & Drummonds. Assessments were conducted all over the UK as bank branch and regional office assessments were required.

Fiona Colegrave