Ergonomic Controls

Controls that reduce a risk factor focus on reductions in the risk modifiers (frequency, duration, or magnitude). By limiting exposure to the modifiers, the risk of an injury is reduced. Thus, in any job, the combination of the task, environment, and worker create a continuum of opportunity to reduce the risk by reducing the modifying factors. The closer the control approach comes to eliminating the frequency, duration, or magnitude, the more likely it is that the ergonomic hazard has been controlled. Conversely, if the control does little to change the frequency, duration, or magnitude, it is unlikely that the ergonomic hazard has been controlled.

In determining control, ask employees in the problem job for recommendations about eliminating or materially reducing the ergonomic hazards. Second, identify, assess, and implement feasible controls (interim and permanent) to eliminate or materially reduce the ergonomic hazards. This includes prioritizing the control of hazards, where necessary. Thirdly, track your progress in eliminating or materially reducing these hazards. This includes consulting with employees in problem jobs about whether the implemented controls have eliminated or materially reduced the hazard. And last, identify and evaluate ergonomic hazards when you change, design, or purchase equipment or processes in problem jobs.

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