Identifying and solving workplace MSD problems require some level of ergonomic knowledge and skills. Recognizing and filling different training needs is an important step in building an effective program.
For ergonomics, the overall goal of training is to enable managers, supervisors, and employees to identify aspects of job tasks that may increase a worker's risk of developing MSDs, recognize the signs and symptoms of the disorders, and participate in the development of strategies to control or prevent them.
The educational component of ergonomics training ensures employees are well informed about ergonomic hazards so they can actively participate in identifying and controlling exposures. To be "well informed," includes knowing why using ergonomically safe procedures is important.
Employers may opt to have outside experts conduct ergonomics education and training. If so, the outside instructors should first become familiar with company operations and relevant policies and practices before starting to present the training. Tailoring the instruction to address specific concerns and interests of the worker groups can enhance learning.
The objectives for ergonomics awareness training are as follows:
The objectives for training in job analyses and control measures are as follows:
The objectives for training in problem solving are as follows:
Training objectives are not intended to have workers, supervisors, or managers diagnose or treat MSDs. Rather, the purpose is to instill an understanding of what type of health problems may be work related and when to refer employees for medical evaluation. The training should include what is known about work and nonwork causes of musculoskeletal disorders and the current limitations of scientific knowledge.
Training should be understandable to the target audience. Training materials used should consider the participants educational levels, literacy abilities, and language skills. This may mean, for example, providing materials, instruction, or assistance in Spanish rather than English.
Open and frank interactions between trainers and trainees, especially those in affected jobs, are especially important. Employees know their own jobs better than anyone else and often are the source of good ideas for ways to improve them. At a minimum, employees must be given an opportunity to discuss ergonomic problems in their jobs as they see them and engage in relevant problem-solving exercises during the training.
Copyright ©2000-2016 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Students may reproduce materials for personal study. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).