ES&H Manual



6106 Appendix T2

Industrial Ergonomics Guidelines



1.0          Purpose


Preventable ergonomic injuries are hazard issues that commonly exist in an industrial setting.  The purpose of this appendix is to provide individuals with industrial ergonomics safety guidelines.  


2.0          Scope


This appendix applies to workers who are subject to the following ergonomics-related conditions in industrial operations:

·       prolonged repetitive motion

·       forceful or prolonged exertion of the hands

·       frequent or heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects

·       awkward postures

·       overhead work

·       twisting and carrying loads

·       wrist deviations

·       awkward shoulder and wrist position

·       lifting bulk loads (i.e., large, heavy, awkwardly shaped)

·       hand/arm vibration

·       whole body vibration

·       distant reach


Temperature may add or increase risk to these work conditions (see ES&H Manual Chapter 6670 Heat and Cold Stress Mitigation Program).  Other conditions that add or increase risk include unfamiliar or unaccustomed work; machine-paced work; and insufficient pauses or rest breaks for recovery.  Jobs or working conditions presenting multiple risk factors will have a higher probability of causing a musculoskeletal problem. The level of risk depends on the intensity, frequency, and duration of the exposure to these conditions.


The information provided in this appendix is to be used to assist in choosing the proper tools and setting up for your job task in order to mitigate the risk of these types of injuries.  These guidelines are not meant to replace individualized recommendations available through a formal ergonomic consultation.


This appendix is written in coordination with ES&H Manual Chapter 6106 Ergonomics Program.  All applicable content within the chapter applies to the procedure outlined in this appendix.


3.0          Responsibilities

Responsibilities are outlined within ES&H Manual Chapter 6106 Ergonomics Program.


Anyone at Jefferson Lab may request an ergonomic consultation.  As a matter of best practice, it is appropriate to request an ergonomic consultation for prevention purposes, rather than waiting until an injury occurs.


4.0          Recommendations

Industrial work tasks at Jefferson Lab are unique and varied; therefore, it is not practical to provide one set of guidelines for all industrial-related work.  Preventative measures will depend on the specific job task. 


The most important principles of ergonomics are to minimize the following:

·       Force – reducing the amount of force exerted by the body part in question

·       Angle – decreasing the amount that a joint bends from neutral position

·       Frequency – decreasing the amount of repetition 


The following links to resources from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) provide guidance about specific ergonomic topics:


4.1            A Guide to Selecting Non-Powered Hand Tools

Non-powered hand tools are widely used in a variety of job tasks.  This NIOSH guide presents the ergonomics basics of hand tool use and helps identify non-powered hand tools that are less likely to cause injury.


4.2            Ergonomics Guidelines for Manual Material Handling

Manual material handling work can contribute to musculoskeletal disorders, often involving strains and sprains to the lower back, shoulders, and upper limbs.  This NIOSH publication provides effective ergonomic interventions and improvement options that can lower the physical demands of manual material handling work tasks.


4.3            Ergonomics Guidelines for Electrical Employees

This OSHA site provides an electronic tool that describes common hazards electrical workers may encounter and provides possible solutions for these hazards.


4.4            Ergonomics for Construction Workers

To aid in the prevention of injuries related to construction work, this NIOSH booklet provides guidance to make construction tasks easier, more comfortable, and better suited to the needs of the human body.


5.0          References

·       National Safety Council Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene, Chapter 13, Ergonomics

·       Presentations by Smitty Chandler, M.D.

o   Ergonomics Awareness at JLab

o   Safe Lifting Presentation, July 2008

o   Preventing Hand Injuries: Trends, Causes, Prevention


6.0          Revision Summary


Revision 0  - 03/13/14  - New content developed to reflect current laboratory operations.










ESH&Q Division

Smitty Chandler





This document is controlled as an on line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 3/13/2014.