This document contains the information needed to carry out an ergonomics program. Specifically, it provides information on the goal, objectives, and principles of the program and the responsibilities of staff, management, support offices, and service unit ergonomics teams for the program.
The Workplace Ergonomics Program was established to optimize worker health, safety, and productivity, and minimize physiological and psychological stress utilizing consultative management.
The goal of the Workplace Ergonomics Program is to reduce and/or prevent work-related injuries and illnesses by establishing a methodology for identifying ergonomic stresses in the workplace and for implementing appropriate interventions.
The objectives of the Workplace Ergonomics Program, as administered by the Workplace Ergonomics Program Coordinating Committee, are:
To identify existing and potential conditions in the workplace that could lead to injuries and illnesses.
To reduce and/or eliminate exposures to such conditions through effective workstation and tool design and through proper work methods.
To ensure evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of repetitive strain disorders, and to provide avenues for prevention.
To ensure that staff are sufficiently informed about ergonomic hazards to which they are exposed so they may actively participate in their own personal protection through training and education.
Management Commitment and Employee Involvement
Management commitment and employee involvement are crucial to the success of the ergonomics program. Management commitment is demonstrated by the provision of organizational resources and the assignment of accountability for the program. Employee involvement is necessary not only for identifying existing and potential hazards, but also for participating in their own personal protection.
Management commitment provides visible involvement of managers at all levels. It places a high priority on eliminating ergonomic stressors while assigning and communicating the responsibilities for various aspects of the program and requiring accountability for fulfilling those responsibilities in
a timely manner. Management provides authority and adequate resources to meet the assigned responsibilities.
Employee involvement can be achieved through the implementation of an employee complaint/suggestion procedure; encouraging early reporting of injury/illness symptoms; involvement in the consultative management process associated with this program; and training for active participation in their own personal protection.
Below is a partial list of actions to be undertaken to achieve management commitment and employee involvement:
Require that all affected employees, including their supervisors and managers, take ergonomics training.
Include statement of responsibility for safe and healthful work environments and policy directives.
Inform service unit heads that they are to assign responsibilities for program implementation to service unit ergonomics teams and other administrative personnel, as appropriate, and provide staffing and financial resources for implementation.
Hold service unit heads accountable for the progress of the program in their service unit.
Provide suggestion/complaint boxes for ergonomic safety/health issues within each service unit. Require a response to each suggestion/complaint.
Encourage staff to report symptoms of discomfort promptly to supervisor, health professional, or service unit ergonomics team.
Include bargaining unit staff in service unit ergonomics teams.
Issue memorandum to staff announcing the program.
Distribute summaries of this program document to all staff via "The Gazette" and service unit distribution channels.
Program Review and Evaluation
The Workplace Ergonomics Program shall be reviewed on an ongoing basis. The Workplace Ergonomics Program Coordinating Committee is responsible for developing a program evaluation mechanism, and producing progress reports for management and staff.
Further, the Workplace Ergonomics Program Coordinating Committee meets periodically throughout each year with service unit ergonomics team leaders to assess progress. This mechanism assures that WEPCC provides the needed support to the service unit teams.
Workplace Ergonomics Program Coordinating Committee is responsible for overseeing, coordinating, supporting, and reviewing the ergonomics process. The responsibilities are:
Establishing performance expectations and benchmarks in consultation with the service unit ergonomics teams
Coordinating problem resolution in areas that affect more than one service unit
Providing assistance and advice on technical matters to service unit ergonomics teams
Reviewing program and reporting to management and staff