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Principles of ergonomics PDF Print E-mail

By PETER VI, Hon. B.Sc., M.Eng, CSAO’s ergonomist 

Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the person – instead of making the person) fit the job. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce workers’ risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as back, knee, shoulder or arm injuries.


Ergonomic solutions that modify existing tools and work methods may seem costly initially, but in many cases they actually save time and money in the long run.

 Here are five principles of ergonomic design: 

Use Material-Handling Equipment.

The most effective way to control the risk of back injury is to eliminate or reduce the number of times you lift, carry, push and pull. You can do this by using material handling equipment such as carts, dollies, pallet jacks or manual forklifts.


Don’t Lift From the Floor.

Lifting from the floor or from below waist height can put stress on your back and reduce your lifting capacity. Avoid this by storing materials above waist height and below shoulder level.


Avoid Working On The Floor.

When you work on the floor, you usually kneel and bend forward. These postures can injure your back, hips and knees. Instead, raise the work to waist height. Use work benches whenever you can.


Minimize Any Work Done Above Your Shoulders.

High lifting or frequent reaching above the shoulder level is harmful for three reasons:

  • Your lifting capacity is reduced because you are using the smaller muscles in your shoulders and arms rather than the larger muscles in your back and legs.
  • Your shoulder and arm muscles fatigue quicker when working above your shoulders. Raising your arms above your head reduces the blood flow they receive.
  • You run the risk of dropping the object on yourself or others.


Divide A Heavy Load Into Smaller, Lighter Loads.

Lifting small amounts puts less stress on your back – even though you are repeating the movement – than lifting a heavy load once.


Change Order Protocol

Sheet Metal Scope of Work

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