Ergonomic Hazard

Last Updated: July 30, 2019

Definition - What does Ergonomic Hazard mean?

An ergonomic hazard in the workplace is any condition which has the potential to cause harm to a worker's musculoskeletal system. An ergonomic hazard may be caused by the physical condition of the workplace or the physical demands of a particular job. When there is a poor fit, a worker may suffer injuries or trauma, sometimes referred to as ergonomic disorders or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Whenever a situation has the potential to cause stress or strain on an employee's body, it is an ergonomic hazard. Ergonomic hazards may also be referred to as ergonomic risk factors or biomechanical stressors.

WorkplaceTesting explains Ergonomic Hazard

Ergonomics is a field of study that examines the interaction between people and their environment. In the workplace setting, ergonomics is concerned with the safety and efficiency of the work setting. In particular, ergonomics seeks to fit the work environment to the worker. Work tasks that require repetitive motions or expose a worker to excessive vibration are ergonomic risk factors.

Ergonomic hazards also include poor furniture or equipment placement that forces employees to assume awkward postures or positions while working. These types of situations can place strain on a persons' muscles, bones or connective tissue, causing damage. Tendonitis, degenerative disc disease and trigger finger are all examples of musculoskeletal disorders that can be caused by ergonomic hazards in the workplace.

Prolonged or repeated exposure to a single hazard or exposure to a combination increases the severity of an ergonomic risk and the likelihood than an employee will suffer injury. An analysis of the workplace can assist an employer to identify and eliminate there ergonomic hazards and thus reduce the incidence of workplace related injuries.

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