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

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

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

CRF Institute/Britains Top Employers

Our visit from Alison was an eye-opener. We thought that we knew what we were doing but every single team member learned something new. We learned how to use our equipment properly, we learned how to sit properly and we have all made adjustments to how we work since her visit. Everyone in the team has given feedback since that they are more comfortable in their daily work, and one person who has been in pain for months has changed her position and is now pain-free. Alison is friendly, easy to work with and great value for money. As manager, I thought that I would have to invest in a lot of new equipment but the reality is simply that we weren’t using what we had properly. I would definitely use Alison again and will write a workstation assessment into our on-boarding process for any new employees joining our team.

Eleanor Nickerson, Manager CRF Institute/Britains Top Employers

AME

Healthywork Clients - AME

Alison has carried out 100s of assessments for AME some of which have involved multi disciplinary work with other stakeholders such as physiotherapists, computer technicians. Her work with the NHS and medical knowledge has brought an enhanced level of credibility to the work based employment assessment that she undertakes.

Clients trust her, she is diplomatic and highly professional at all times even when placed under considerable pressure to meet tight deadlines and juggle conflicting priorities.

Andy Taylor, Access Made Easy

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

CHP Consulting

Healthywork Clients - CHP Consulting

When standard instructions on worstation ergonomics didn’t result in any improvement in back pain, Alison provided expert professional guidance. This was constructive, practical and demonstrated the value of experience in this area.

Mr Antony Moss

Enable Therapy Services Ltd

Healthywork Clients - Enable Therapy Services

Enable Therapy Services Ltd has used the services of Healthywork Ltd on many occasions over the last 18 months.

We have found their services efficient and their reports excellent.

They continue to be our first choice when requiring vocational related assessments/reports.

Ergonomic Assessments, Functional Capacity Assessments and Vocational Assessments provided in Glocester, Kent, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Hampshire, West Sussex, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Shropshire and Avon.

Julie Kendall, Wetherby

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

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

Somek and Associates

Healthywork Clients - Somek

I have known and worked with Alison Biggs of Healthywork since 2003. I have always found her to be extremely professional and committed any work project, and very knowledgeable about her specialist field.

Ergonomic Assessments and Functional Capacity Assessments for Medico-legal cases provided in Essex, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and London.

Alison Somek