A famous Lord Kelvin quote says “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it”. I believe it is important for ergonomic and safety professionals to remember that quote. Management must know that you took the time to measure risk and prioritize it. Management is much more likely to approve your budget if you have measured risk and have clearly shown that it exceeds accepted ergonomic guidelines.
A key part of my experience, before getting my Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) certification, was learning about the importance of measuring risk. I often see ergonomic and safety professionals say “that’s not ergonomic”. If a manager asks why, the only response can basically be “because I said so” unless measurements have been taken and compared with accepted ergonomic guidelines. Then the risks must be prioritized in terms of risk and short term and long term recommendations.
In order to be credible, our field must minimize/eliminate the guesswork. We all need to substantiate our ergonomic assessments with data. Only then will competent managers accept our funding requests. Morally, in the end it’s about the employees that are impacted by working conditions that don’t meet ergonomic guidelines. Practically, it’s about making as much money as possible for our employers. As professionals we should all make sure we do our part to properly sell ergonomics and reduce worker injuries while improving productivity and quality.
I developed the Ergokit Ergonomic Assessment Equipment Case to make sure you have the proper tools to measure risk EVERY time you do an ergonomic assessment. There is also an excellent list of force gaugesand other ergonomic risk assessment equipment and tools.
Let’s go help some workers.