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ES&H Manual
Chapter 6106 Ergonomics Program
Ergonomics, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is simply the study of work. More specifically, ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker’s body to fit the job.

Physical aspects of a job can place stresses on the body and lead to injury. Environmental factors of a job can affect hearing, vision, and overall general health. In addition, the work environment often has a strong influence on the musculoskeletal system. Ergonomics helps reduce the risk of these types of injuries and promotes good overall general health.

Jefferson Lab recognizes that preventable ergonomic injuries are a hazard issue and has established an Ergonomics Program that consists of health and risk factor surveillance, worksite evaluations and improvements, and ergonomics training.

The primary goals of the ergonomics program are to minimize employee exposure to risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and to help improve work practices, furniture, tools, and equipment. Strategies for reducing such risk factors focus initially on engineering controls. When engineered controls are not feasible or sufficient, work practice controls and administrative controls, along with enhanced PPE are included.

The ergonomics program applies to everyone at Jefferson Lab. This chapter outlines responsibilities and provides resources and approaches to help maximize comfort and safety.

Technical Appendices:

T1 Office Ergonomoics Guidelines
ES&H Manual Chapter 6106 Appendix T1 Office Ergonomics Guidelines provides some universally applicable suggestions that may be helpful when setting up an ergonomically correct work station in an office setting.
T2 Industrial Ergonomics Guidelines
Preventable ergonomic injuries are hazard issues that commonly exist in an industrial setting. ES&H Manual Chapter 6106 Appendix T2 Industrial Ergonomics Guidelines provides individuals with industrial ergonomics safety guidelines that may be helpful when planning and performing work in an industrial setting.
T3 Risk Assessment and Safety Controls for Safe Lifting
Risk assessment is a necessary prerequisite to the safe performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as lifting. ES&H Manual Chapter 6106 Appendix T3 Risk Assessment and Safety Controls for Safe Lifting provides an overview of risk assessment as a determinant of safety controls to prevent injury associated with lifting tasks.

Note: Management authority may be delegated at the discretion of the responsible manager.

Everyone at Jefferson Lab
  • Request ergonomics training and/or ergonomic consultation, if desired, from Occupational Medicine.
  • Be aware of ergonomic hazards associated with work area and job task.
  • Practice and enforce good housekeeping techniques.
  • Request an ergonomic consultation from Occupational Medicine to identify and control at-risk conditions if there appears to be a potential benefit.
  • Notify Occupational Medicine of any prior or existing medical/physical conditions (e.g., tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, previous back injury, etc.) that might affect occupational health or safety.
  • Notify supervisor of existing work restriction(s). This includes supervisor(s) of groups for whom you are performing work.
  • Understand your physical limitations and do not perform work beyond your physical limitations.
  • Promptly notify supervisor and Occupational Medicine of early signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal discomfort (anything that causes abnormal sensation for more than two minutes).
  • Wear work attire appropriate for the area’s hazards (see ES&H Manual Chapter 6620 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program).
  • Properly utilize tools, equipment, and accessories as instructed by manufacturer and product label recommendations. Facilities Management Work Request.)
Supervisors/Subcontracting Officer's Technical Representative (SOTR)/Sponsor
  • Ensure that workers are aware of ergonomic hazards, such as tasks that require exertion of high force, assumption of awkward posture or extreme joint angle, high repetition, or prolonged static posture.
  • When planning work that includes shared employees, ensure supervisors of appropriate groups are notified of the physical requirements of the job task.
  • Notify supervisors of shared groups of any known existing work restrictions and/or limits of physical abilities for employees under your direction.
  • Ensure training, medical monitoring, equipment, and PPE is made available to workers in accordance with the requirements of the ES&H Manual.
  • Provide for reasonable accommodations as recommended by Occupational Medicine.
  • Consider ergonomic hazards of the job task(s) when planning work. If desired, consult Occupational Medicine to discuss what to look for or consider when planning job tasks.
  • Ensure workplace evaluations are performed for instances when concerns or injuries occur.
Division Safety Officer
  • Conduct safety walk-throughs and assessments that include observation of ergonomics practices and conditions. If desired, consult Occupational Medicine to discuss what to look for or consider when assessing ergonomics practices and conditions.
Occupational Medicine
  • Perform ergonomic consultations as requested in accordance with recognized industry standards.
  • Recommend ergonomic improvements using the following traditional hierarchy of safety controls:
    • Engineering Controls – Physical changes to the work environment by modifying the workstation, work methods, machines, tools, or equipment.
    • Work Practice Controls – Focusing on the way work is performed by modifying work procedures and practices.
    • Administrative Controls – Changes in the way work is assigned or scheduled.
  • Document ergonomics consultation findings per department procedures.
  • Provide a copy of consultation findings to the person who requested the consultation and to other appropriate parties.
Document Control:
    APPROVAL DATE:   02/21/19
    REVIEW DATE:  02/21/24
    Revision Summary
    • Periodic Review – 02/21/19 - No changes per TPOC.
    • Revision 0.0 - 03/13/14 - New content developed to reflect current laboratory operations.

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