Stages of an Ergonomics Program, Part 1 – Where is Yours?

Ergonomics must be an integral part of your company. Specifically, it must be a big part of your designed Employee Experience. Sixty percent of all your computer users are in significant discomfort due to poor ergonomics.  That statistic is robbing your company of productivity in the forms of presenteeism, missed time, poor morale, mistakes and injuries.  Injuries also hit your health care costs as many employees visit MDs, Therapists, Chiropractors and alternate medicine providers.  They are seeking relief from pain, tingling and numbness.  Many even require surgery due to a lack of coordinated and focused ergonomics program. The good news is that the vast majority of these issues can be prevented with an engineered ergonomics program.

“The good news is that the vast majority of these issues can be prevented with an engineered ergonomics program.”

Peter Drucker famously said that you cannot manage something if you do not first measure.   How do you know the extent of the issues in your organization?  You must get good data on the depth and breadth of the issues your employees are facing. Only then can you understand the issues and formulate a plan of correction.

Stages of A Company Ergonomics Program

  1. Has no idea– These organizations typically have heard of ergonomics but think that it is a fad or a flash in the pan with nothing of substance behind it.  Some feel that ergonomists really do not know much and are only trying to sell them new desks and equipment.

The reality is that top ergonomists have advanced degrees like Masters of Science or PhDs.   They are engineers, Physical or Occupational Therapists. Many of these professionals have also attained advanced and accredited certifications like the Certified Professional Ergonomist, Certified Human Factors Professional, Certified User Experience Professional, Certified Safety Professional, Certified Industrial Hygienist or Certified Industrial Ergonomist.  These certifications require college degrees, years of experience and two rigorous tests.

There are also many ergonomics certificate holders that typically attend a couple of days of instruction then receive a certificate for attending.

The field of ergonomics is science based and really took off during WWII with the design of aircraft cockpits. Before this there were many accidents and deaths caused by poorly designed control systems.  Studies of the accidents made it clear that the cockpits needed to be designed to not only be easy to understand and make sense but to also fit different body types and sizes to prevent awkward movements, prevent injuries and accidents.  These are the same basic concepts used in the modern field of ergonomics.


Check Back For The Next Part In This 5 Part Series!