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

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

Survey feedback following a DSE Assessment

It (The DSE Assessment) provided some invaluable advice and recommendations to help make my workstation more comfortable and prevent future injury.

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Anonymous

KMG Health Partners Ltd

Healthywork Clients - KMG

Alison Biggs has been a Specialised Assessor on KMG Health Partners roster since its UK inception in 2004. We highly recommend her based on her knowledge, skills, diversity, quality and client / customer care. She has also been extremely flexible with scheduling and geographic locations. You can expect positive outcomes from accessing her service.

Ergonomic Assessments, Functional Capacity Evaluations and Job Demands Analysis for clients over the UK: including, Devon, Bristol, Kent, London, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.

Gail Kovacs

GMG Color Ltd

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

‘I contacted Alison a couple of months ago and she came up to see me and my team quite recently, Alison was very thorough with everyone, some people needed an hour with her others just 10 minutes, however everybody got something out of her visit, the visit was informative but not long winded and not rushed.

I was also very impressed with the level of information supplied for each individual after the visit, which has enabled me to order what was needed (however I could have done without the cost this involved!!).

Overall I would highly recommend Alison and Healthywork Ltd’. (June 2017)

Ian Probert
GMG Color Ltd

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

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

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

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

Capital International

Healthywork were very efficient and able to help us with several situations. If you need a fresh pair of eyes with a medical focus to look at an employee health issue, I would recommend them.

Jo Byrne, Central London

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