Canadian Companies' Safety Committees Not Using Best Ergo Tools

Two researchers who examined the approaches used by certified Canadian ergonomists, Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs), and health and safety certification trainers concluded the committees aren't using the best ergonomics analysis tools. Silvia A. Pascual and Syed Naqvi sent web-based surveys to certified ergonomists, JHSCs, and trainers to find out how they analyze tasks and stressors, with the goal of helping the committees obtain the necessary training to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The results showed most of the certified ergonomists use the Snook/Mital tables, the NIOSH equation, and rapid upper limb assessment/rapid entire body assessment.

The authors' paper, "An Investigation of Ergonomics Analysis Tools Used in Industry in the Identification of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders," is published in Vol. 14, No. 2 of the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (Central Institute for Labour Protection, Warsaw).

The most frequently used methods by JHSCs to identify ergonomics risk were injury reports and worker complaints. The surveys for the health and safety certification trainers revealed most curricula did not include ergonomics analysis tools. There appears to be a gap between what is recommended by certified ergonomists for JHSCs, what is taught in training, and what is used by JHSCs for ergonomics risk analysis, the authors concluded, recommending modifications in training curricula and education of JHSCs to reduce WMSDs.

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