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Environmental Health & Safety

Ergonomics Program

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The University of Rochester Ergonomics Program has been established to reduce the number and severity of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSDs) caused or contributed to by exposure to ergonomic stressors in the workplace.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are injuries caused by overexertion, overuse or excessive repetition involving muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, joints and spinal disks. Other commonly used terms for these types of injuries include cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) and repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).

The U of R Ergonomics Program is intended to provide guidance in the identification of ergonomic hazards and the implementation of controls that will reduce the potential for injury due to those hazards. It is the policy of the University of Rochester to provide an environment free from recognized hazards that could cause injury or illness.

Ergonomics is defined as the study of the interaction between the worker and his/her work environment, with the objective of fitting the workplace and tasks to the worker. The primary tools of UR’s Ergonomic Program are:

    • Worksite evaluations
    • Employee and supervisor training
    • Implementation of ergonomic control strategies

Ergonomics should not be seen as a one-time effort, but as a continuous, on-going process used to optimize the working environment.

One of the key aspects of the ergonomics program is identifying and educating employees who are at high risk of developing MSDs. Early identification of symptoms with prompt intervention helps prevent escalation of minor discomfort into more serious or chronic problems and injuries. Training on the following subjects is available through MyPath as well as Occupational Safety or the Center for Nursing Professional Development:

    • Office Ergonomics
    • How to Reduce Ergonomic Risk Factors
    • Fitting the Workplace to the Worker
    • Back Safety
    • Safe patient handling

The University’s Ergonomics Program is divided into two sections.  Section 1 outlines the manner in which the University is working to minimize ergonomic-related injuries through management leadership, employee participation, job hazard analysis, training, program evaluation, and defining responsibilities. Section 2 focuses on processes for minimizing ergonomic hazards.

Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail Questions.

This page last updated 7/5/2019. Disclaimer.