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Participative Ergonomics

Participative Ergonomics

Participative ergonomics is a relatively new concept of workplace injury reduction. It is an amalgamation of concepts developed from multinational gold standards (Noro, 1991; Jensen, 1997; Brown, 1993).

Participative ergonomics utilises the specialist knowledge that workers have of their own workplaces to reduce the risks associated with their explicit tasks. In conjunction with management commitment and adequate resources, Participative Ergonomics has been shown to efficiently reduce the number of workplace manual handling related incidents (Straker et al, 2004).

In essence, The Move Well Health risk management process incorporates;

  • Hazard identification and;
  • Hazard control

All workers are trained by Move Well Health experts on their ability to identify hazards in their workplace before being educated on how to control identified risks.

Hazard control is hierarchical and includes;

  • Elimination
  • Substitution
  • Re-Design/Engineering controls
  • Administration
  • Personal Protective Equipment.

Obviously Elimination of manual tasks is always preferred, followed by each succeeding step in the hierarchy (adapted from St. Vincent et al, 2001, Wells et al, 2000 and Straker et al, 2004).

The underlying concept of intervention is that workers knowledge of their individual work place is extensive. However, they are generally unable to effectively exploit this knowledge to reduce the risk of injury. If they are given adequate training by appropriately qualified professionals to identify potential risks and the resources with which to control those risks, the chance of sustaining a manual handling related injury in the workplace diminishes (Straker et al, 2004).

Move Well Health Programs facilitate the participative ergonomic process in addition to providing expert advice on more complex manual handling situations.


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