A revision to the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) postion statement regarding ergonomics has been recently issued. AIHA defines ergonomics as the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and their risk factors in the workplace.
According to AIHA, the goal of ergonomics is to:
- Decrease the risk of MSD
- Decrease worker discomfort and improve the quality of work-life
- Improve worker performance
AIHA believes that the benefits of such a program include:
- Enhanced safety and health program performance
- Improved quality and productivity
- Reductions in errors
- Heightened employee morale
- Reduced compensation and operating costs
- Accommodation of diverse populations of workers
Scientific data supports findings that indicate work-related MSDs cost approximately $50 billion annually and affect 1 million people each year. Guidelines are available that reduce the risk associated with MSDs but regulation concerning ergonomics should be enacted as a more effective strategy to deal with the issues. Additionally, research should be continued to refine models and dose-response relationships between the workplace and MSDs.
A copy of AIHA’s position paper can be downloaded HERE: AIHA Ergonomics Position Statement (561)