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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Testimonials

White Label Recruitment Marketing

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

Thanks for the (DSE Risk Assessments) report. We’ve already acted on your recommendations, invested in a few key pieces of equipment and changed our (bad) habits. So thanks for helping us to proactively stay healthy or keep our legacy issues in check!

(January 2018)

Tracey Anderson
White Label Recruitment Marketing

Survey feedback following a DSE Assessment

Well worth having a trained professional actually observe you at your workspace as small adjustments can improve comfort and health.

Sept 2017

Anonymous

FCE testimonial by WTW

FCE testimonial by WTW

FCE testimonial by WTW

I met with our client, Electrolux on Friday to review all their services and they couldn’t praise your recent report highly enough.  It is enabling them to work with the employee much more constructively. They advised that they will not hesitate to use your services again – so thank you so much.

 

 

Kate Barnes, Commercial Manager
Willis Towers Watson

HEFCE

HEFCE logo

We all enjoyed our recent training update, it was really useful and informative. I have completed 2 ergonomic assessments since the training and I found it really helped.

(Ergonomic Training delivered, 2012)

Judith Fowler, Assistant Facilities Manager, HEFCE

ARK Schools

Healthywork Clients - Capital Group

Ergonomic Assessments at ARK in London and at one of the Academies in Elephant and Castle, South london, assessing the ergonomic needs of teachers.

ARK Schools, based in Central london

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

David Higham Associates

Healthywork Clients - David Higham

They (the employees) were all happy with the work you did on the day you came in. Thanks a lot for your help. (Workstation Risk Assessments, November 2011)

Tine Nielsen David Higham Associates

Viridor Ltd

I found today’s assessment very helpful indeed, and am trying my best to keep my keyboard as close to me as possible – makes a big difference when I do, it’s even increased my speed and accuracy, lol.

Also, and more to the point, the pain in my back hasn’t got any worse today, and I haven’t used the wrist support, so having my arms supported (on arm rests) is clearly doing something for them already.

V. Jones Viridor Ltd

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

Avantek Computer Ltd

Healthywork Clients - Avantek

Alison @healthywork provided a very comprehensive report with recommendations to suit our clients needs. A very professional service.

Ergonomic Assessments provided in Bath, Oxford and Leicestershire.

Tony Lees, Avantek Computer Ltd, Leicestershire