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Course 722 - Ergonomics Program Management

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier
Course 722 Certificate
Frame not included.
Modules: 8
Hours: 6
Sector: General Industry

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  • $ Original
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Ergonomics related claims account for more direct accident costs than any other category. You owe it to yourself, your co-workers, and your employees to develop a strong ergonomics program. This course introduces the student to the various steps in planning and implementing a successful ergonomics program. Emphasis is placed on analyzing and controlling workplace risk factors, medical management strategies and training.

Free Training

As an OSHAcademy student, you can access 100% of our training materials for free, including our module quizzes and course exams. We only charge a small fee if you decide to document your training with our official course certificates or transcripts.

Key Topics

  • Ergonomics Program Elements
  • Proactive and Reactive Approaches
  • Workplace Ergonomics Analysis Techniques
  • Symptoms Surveys
  • Gathering Evidence of MSDs
  • Periodic Medical Examinations
  • Screening for Risk Factors
  • Ergonomics Job Hazard Analysis
  • Controlling Risk Factors
  • Medical Management
  • Education and Training

Target Audience

  • Supervisor
  • Manager

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Er-go-nom-ics \, ûrg-go-'näm-iks

In 1996, more than 647,000 American workers experienced serious injuries due to overexertion or repetitive motion on the job. These work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for 34 percent of lost workday injuries. MSDs cost employers an estimated $15 to $20 billion in workers' compensation costs in 1995 and $45 to $60 billion more in indirect costs.

A Compelling Customer Satisfaction Story

Sysco Food Services of Houston, Texas had serious ergonomic problems when OSHA inspected the company. In 1996, Sysco had 210 injuries with 3,638 lost workdays. Back injuries accounted for 40 percent of the injuries and more than half the cost. An OSHA inspector issued Sysco a citation and $7,000 fine for failing to protect its employees from ergonomic hazards and set out an abatement plan for the company to follow.

Today, after implementing a formal ergonomics program under the direction of Sandra Carson, an occupational health nurse, Sysco's injury compensation costs have fallen by almost 75 percent and major back injuries have dropped from 76 a year to 21.

Ms. Carson says the $7,000 penalty "was one of the best investments the company has made." Along with the citation, Ms. Carson says Sysco "received an analysis of our problem jobs as well as alternative controls to consider." The health and safety improvements have made Ms. Carson's branch one of Sysco's most profitable.

Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders(MSDs)


Musculoskeletal disorders include a group of conditions that involve the nerves, tendons, muscles, and supporting structures such as intervertebral discs. They represent a wide range of disorders, which can differ in severity from mild periodic symptoms to severe chronic and debilitating conditions. Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, tension neck syndrome, and low back pain.

Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders are caused or made worse by the work environment. MSDs can cause severe and debilitating symptoms such as:

  • pain, numbness, and tingling
  • reduced worker productivity
  • lost time from work
  • temporary or permanent disability
  • inability to perform job tasks, and
  • an increase in workers compensation costs

MSDs are often confused with ergonomics. Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of workers.

In other words, MSDs are the problem and ergonomics is a solution.

What are the risk factors for MSDs?

Risk factors for MSDs include;

  • repetitive, forceful, or prolonged exertions of the hands
  • frequent or heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects
  • prolonged awkward postures, and
  • vibration contribute to MSDs

Jobs or working conditions that combine risk factors will increase the risk for musculoskeletal problems. 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.

How Common are MSDs?

MSDs of any cause are among the most prevalent medical problems. In 2008, sprain and strain injuries accounted for 39% of total injury and illness cases requiring days away from work. Soreness and pain (including the back) accounted for 11% of the total cases.

When looking specifically at work-related MSDs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports MSD’s accounted for 29% of all workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work in 2008. 45 percent of sprains and strains were the result of overexertion. Also, in 40% of these cases, the back was injured. In another 25% of the cases, a lower extremity (such as the knee or ankle) was injured.

NIOSH Research and Prevention

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the only federal agency mandated to conduct research and train professionals to identify and prevent workplace hazards. The Institute is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NIOSH conducts and funds a substantial amount of research on musculoskeletal disorders, currently a total of 80 projects on work-related MSD-related topics. A directory of all these projects has been published by NIOSH (DHHS [NIOSH] Publication No. 97-109). For more information on work-related MSDs or on other workplace safety and health issues call: 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674).


To begin your training, click on the module links below. If you are just starting this course, you should start with module 1.

  1. Setting the Stage for Action
  2. Analyzing the Workplace
  3. Identifying Risk Factors
  4. Ergonomics Job Hazard Analysis
  5. Controlling Risk Factors
  6. Implementing Controls
  7. Medical Management
  8. Ergonomics Education and Training

Course 722 Final Exam

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to help ensure students demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a minimum score of 70% on final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams and, as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

After you have studied all of the course material and taken the module quizzes, you can take the final exam. The module quizzes are optional, but we highly recommend you take each quiz, as the questions are similar to those on the final exam.

This is an open book exam. As you are taking the exam, if you find a question you are unsure of, you should use the course study guide or course web pages to research the correct answer. Don't worry if you fail the exam. You can study and retake the exam when you are ready.

If you have already paid for a Certificate Program

If you have already paid for your certificates, your exam score will be displayed in your student dashboard next to the course. You will also be able to view or print the course PDF certificate if you purchased this option. Your PDF transcript will also be automatically updated to include the course.

If you only want free training

You are welcome to take all of our courses for free! We only charge a fee if you want certificates, transcripts and exam scores to document your training. If you have not made a payment for your certificate, we will archive your exam results and you will see "Completed!" next to the course if you passed the exam. If you did not pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will need to retake the exam.

Take the Final Exam

Take the Final Exam

Course 722 Study Guide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.

Additional Resources

  1. Easy Ergonomics, OR-OSHA
  2. Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders,NIOSH
  3. Ergonomics Guidelines for Shipyards,OSHA
  4. Ergonomics Guidelines,Ergoweb
  5. Napo's Films, Via Storia
  6. Office Ergonomics, Washington State Dept of Labor