Looking to create a full ergonomics team? Consider the following members:
Ergonomist: Ergonomics is a broad field covering more than just workstation design or preventing MSDs. Choosing an ergonomist (or an ergonomics consulting group) whose expertise or experience is in an area that will compliment the company’s needs can make the process of developing an ergonomics approach more efficient.
Management: Management buy-in to any ergonomics initiative makes executing the initiative much simpler. Management may have the ability to secure funding, and a strong management commitment to ergonomics has a trickle-down effect on workers. Managers who may be helpful to the team include safety managers, human resources managers, team or departmental managers.
Engineers/Designers/Fabricators: When a new tool or device is in order, having someone on the ergonomics team who can design and/or create the tool based on the team’s recommendations and specifications means the desired results can be achieved more quickly and accurately. Engineers and designers may also be able to determine how to modify existing equipment to reduce the expenses associated with fabricating or custom-designing new equipment. In some instances, the ergonomist (often a degreed engineer) may be able to design the necessary equipment, or may have experience with similar tools that can achieve the desired results.
Health Care Practitioners: Doctors, physical therapists and occupational therapists can add insight about existing work-related injuries and body mechanics. But the rule still exists: only when an ergonomics initiative fails to achieve its desired results does medical management become a necessity.
Workers: Sometimes the best suggestions come from the front-lines
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2004-02-01.