Work Methods

Last Updated: September 1, 2020

Definition - What does Work Methods mean?

Work methods are the physical actions employed to perform a task. Evaluating and modifying work methods to prevent discomfort and injury is one of several components of an effective ergonomics program. Work methods are also called work practices.

WorkplaceTesting explains Work Methods

The work methods used for a task include each physical step performed during the process of the work. The physical way in which a task is performed can have a substantial impact on the level of ergonomic risk associated with the job.

For instance, a work method that employs awkward postures to achieve the worker's goal is more likely to cause a musculoskeletal injury than one that maintains a neutral posture throughout the task. Bending over to lift a heavy item or reaching above the shoulder to grab an object are examples of poor work methods that can lead to injury. These poor work methods can result from poor worker training, lack of knowledge, or a lack of good ergonomic job design.

Ergonomics programs include analysis of work methods to ensure that safe practices are being used for job tasks. Training and work practice controls are then implemented to ensure that proper methods are used to reduce employee exposure to ergonomic risks.

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