Webster's New World Dictionary (College Edition) defines ergonomics as "the study of the problems of people in adjusting to their environment; especially the science that seeks to adapt work or working conditions to suit the individual worker."
The word "ergonomics" is from Greek: :
Ergonomics may also be thought of as the science of fitting the job to the individual worker. When there is a mismatch between the physical requirements of the job and the physical capacity of the worker, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can result.
Read the material in each section to find the correct answers to each of the questions. After answering all questions, click the "Check Quiz Answers" button to see your score and a list of missed questions. To correct a question, return to the question, review the material, change your answer, and return to the last section page. Click the "Check Quiz Answers" again to recheck the results.
Do not refresh these pages or you'll have to answer all questions again.
Note: Videos and exercises in our courses are for information only and not required to view. Final exam questions will not be derived from the videos. OSHAcademy is not responsible for video content.
Ergonomics studies the various risk factors brought to a job. Listed below are three areas within which ergonomic risk factors exist.
Workers come in all shapes and sizes, each with unique attributes that present certain ergonomic risk factors to a given job. The task(s) of the job itself can present risk factors that increase the likelihood of an injury. Finally, the workplace environment, within which the worker and job exist, may also contain exposures to risk factors. We will cover each of these risk factor categories in this course.
That's a great question. Let's take a look at the factors that increase the risk of an injury. The risk for developing MSDs increases for workers who must:
The level of risk depends on how long a worker is exposed to these conditions, how often they are exposed, and the level of exposure.
When there is a mismatch between the physical requirements of the job and the physical capacity of the worker, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), can result. MSDs affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) MSDs are the single largest category of workplace injuries and are responsible for almost 30% of all worker’s compensation costs. Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors at work, such as:
Repetitive exposure to these known risk factors for MSDs increases a worker's risk of injury.
MSDs represent a wide range of disorders that can differ in severity from mild periodic symptoms to severe chronic and debilitating conditions. Below is a list of examples.
Contributing factors are aspects of work tasks that can lead to fatigue, MSD symptoms and injuries, or other types of problems. These factors may be present in one or more of the tasks employees must perform to accomplish their jobs. The contributing factors you and your employees should be aware of include:
MSDs that happen because of work or made worse because of workplace conditions are called work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Symptoms of WMSDs in the workplace include:
WMSDs are among the most prevalent work-related medical problems across the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), musculoskeletal disorders involving the back accounted for about 40 percent of all WMSDs.
Often MSDs can be prevented by simple and inexpensive changes in the workplace:
Medical costs and workers' compensation claims for serious MSDs may total $15,000 to $85,000 or more. It makes sense to give serious consideration to the risk factors in your workplace and the information in this course will help you do that.
Watch ergonomics expert Jon Cinkay from the Hospital for Special Surgery show you how to make your desk and office chair adapt to you and not the other way around. Photo: Adam Falk/The Wall Street Journal