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Ergonomics for the "General Practitioner". Cindy Burt, MS, OTR/L, CPE Injury Prevention Program Manager UCLA. Learning Objectives. Define ergonomics Identify high return interventions Sell ergonomics. History of Ergonomics. Industrial Revolution Steel industry (shovels) Henry Ford

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ergonomics for the general practitioner

Ergonomics for the "General Practitioner"

Cindy Burt, MS, OTR/L, CPE

Injury Prevention Program Manager


learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Define ergonomics
  • Identify high return interventions
  • Sell ergonomics
history of ergonomics
History of Ergonomics
  • Industrial Revolution
    • Steel industry (shovels)
  • Henry Ford
    • Assembly line design
  • Frank and Lillian Gilbreth
    • Micro-motion studies (i.e. today’s surgical techniques)
history of ergonomics4
History of Ergonomics
  • World Wars
    • Aircraft, weapon design
  • Cold War
    • Nuclear power plants
  • Today
    • Industry, hospitals, offices, product design
ergonomics today
Ergonomics Today

Matching the job, work tools, and workplace to the worker.

Employee Concerns




Job satisfaction

Decreased boredom

Decreased stress

Reasonable workloads

Employer Concerns

Worker’s comp costs





results of poor ergonomic design
Results of Poor Ergonomic Design
  • Discomfort and fatigue
  • Injuries and accidents
musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Necks
  • Backs
  • Arm and hand
  • Knee and foot
poor ergonomics
Decreased efficiency

Decreased productivity


Poor Ergonomics
poor ergonomic design
Poor Ergonomic Design
  • Turnover
  • Absenteeism
  • Job avoidance
what should i look for
What Should I Look For?

Awkward postures



where should i look
Where Should I Look?

Offices and Telecommuters

where should i look20
Where Should I Look?
  • Housekeeping
  • Dining
  • Housing
  • Student stores
what can ergonomics do
What Can Ergonomics Do?
  • ↓ discomfort
  • ↓ accidents and injuries
  • ↑ accuracy
  • ↑ efficiency
  • ↑ satisfaction
  • ↑ job retention
how do i start
How Do I Start?

Identify problems

  • Complaints of discomfort
  • Symptom surveys
  • Near misses
  • Accidents
  • Injuries
  • Errors
  • High turnover
what tools can i use
What Tools Can I Use?
  • Anthropometry tables
  • Body discomfort maps
  • Hazard check lists
  • NIOSH Lifting Equation
  • Washington Ergonomics Lifting Calculator
what is anthropometry
Measurement of people

Match size and strength with work environment and tools

What is Anthropometry?
why does match matter
Average is not good enough

Need to consider reaches and clearances

Why Does Match Matter?
who should we match
Central 90 percent

Disregard extreme body sizes

Try to fit males/females from 20-65 yrs

Who Should We Match?
accommodating reach
How low can we place materials these workers have to reach?

How high can a shelf be placed holding work materials?

Accommodating Reach

Golden Rule: Place objects between knee and shoulder height.

how do i make a quick impact
How Do I Make a Quick Impact?

Computer workstations

  • On-line training
  • Ergo evaluators
how do i make a quick impact32
How Do I Make a Quick Impact?

Reduce lifting

  • Lifting equipment
  • Job redesign
manual materials handling
Manual Materials Handling
  • Golden rule
    • Eliminate lifts
  • When you can’t
    • Keep it off the floor
    • Reduce lifts
      • Conveyors, dollies
      • Adjust work flow
making a difference
Making a Difference

If they have to lift, teach them how!

  • High risk groups first
  • Then campus-wide
how should you lift
How Should You Lift?




  • Can get close to load
  • Less effort and energy than squatting
  • Fast

….but it increases strain on low back


Limits strain on low back

….but it is difficult to keep load close

….requires increased effort and energy

….and it is inefficient

semi squat lift
Semi-Squat Lift
  • Less work
  • Preferred for lifting heavy objects on occasional basis
squat and semi squat lifts
Squat and Semi-Squat Lifts
  • More protective of back
  • Preferred by injured workers
there are no right or correct ways to sit stand or lift

There are no “right” or “correct” ways to sit, stand or lift....

However, there are more and less demanding ways!

build a team
Build a Team
  • Ergonomist
  • Safety professionals
  • Health care team
  • Risk management
  • Rehab counselors
  • Facilities/Design
  • Purchasing
  • Managers
  • Employees
it s all about dollars
It’s all about dollars…
  • Average cost /CTS claim = $37,552 or…
  • Average cost /back injury = $47,954 or…

1,565 pizzas (1 pizza/week for 30 years)

WC Research Institute for CA Claims

prove your value
Prove Your Value!

For every direct dollar spent

  • OSHA estimates
    • $3-7 indirect dollars spent
  • Liberty Mutual estimates
    • $2-5 indirect dollars spent
msd costs
MSD Costs

UCLA statistics

cost justification
Cost Justification

Benefits of Ergonomics

it s the law ca code of regulations 5110 repetitive motion injuries
It’s the Law!CA Code of Regulations 5110 Repetitive Motion Injuries
  • Scope
    • 2 injuries within 12 months
    • Identical work activity
  • Response
    • Worksite evaluation
    • Exposure control and training
  • Training requirements
    • Review ergonomics program
    • Exposures
    • Symptoms/injuries and reporting guidelines
    • Methods used to minimize repetitive motion injuries
useful references
Useful References
  • Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene, 3rd Edition. National Safety Council Pgs. 283-334
  • Industrial Hygiene Engineering, 2nd Edition. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Pgs. 702-765
useful references52
Useful References
  • The Occupational Environmental – Its Evaluation and Control, 2nd Edition, AIHA, Section 4, The Human Environment at Work.
  • Kodak’s Ergonomic Design for People at Work, 2nd Edition, Chengalur, Rodgers and Bernard, 2004.
  • Fitting the Task to the Human, 5th Edition, Kroemer & Grandjean, 1997.
useful internet sites,1162,4008,00.html

Useful Internet Sites
useful internet sites54

Useful Internet Sites
useful internet sites55 (Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics) (Human Factors Society)

Useful Internet Sites
thank you

Thank you!

Cindy Burt, MS, OTR/L, CPE

UCLA Injury Prevention Program Manager

501 Westwood Plaza 4th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1605