Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the person, rather than requiring the person to conform to the physical parameters of the job. An Ergonomic Evaluation is a formal, structured process that assesses many physical and cognitive parameters of the worker, the workspace, and the job characteristics to determine if the job fits the worker and to identify ALL risk factors. What is important about this? Adapting the job to the worker helps lower risk factors that can lead to injury, improves productivity, and increases employee morale. Ergonomics focuses on the work environment, ensuring the demands of the job match the employee’s physical capabilities. Workplace conditions may be restructured or modified to reduce stressors that cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s). The demands of today’s jobs require an unprecedented amount of attention, diligence, and productivity. Sometimes work environment safety is overlooked to reach efficiency goals.
Biomechanics is the study of body movements and the forces acting upon the musculoskeletal system. Physical Therapists have extensive education and experience evaluating the mechanical forces at work in the human body. Injuries typically occur when biomechanical forces exceed the biomechanical limitations of soft tissue or bone. When combined with biomechanical forces, environmental and ergonomic factors have a cumulative effect on physical health.