The goal of this program is to assist in eliminating or reducing employee injuries at Skidmore College associated with repetitive motion and manual material handling work tasks and to provide safe working conditions for our employees.
- Outline a system that involves supervisors/chairs and employees in the implementation of the workplace ergonomic process.
- Ensure through the provision of training and access to technical resources the incorporation of economically sound ergonomic principles in the design of processes, office equipment, tools and facilities.
- Comply with any applicable regulatory safety and health standards relative to workplace ergonomic issues as they arise.
What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the study of the relationship between people and their work environment. The goal of an ergonomics program is to adapt an employee's work environment in order to ensure comfort and safety. Because we tend to make adjustments to ourselves instead of our environment, over time we can develop repetitive motion disorders (RMDs).
What are repetitive motion disorders?
RMDs are injuries and illnesses that affect muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints or spinal discs.
What are the signs and symptoms of repetitive motion disorders that you should watch out for?
Work-related discomfort can be caused by overworking muscles or by holding one position for a long time. Discomfort can be dull or sharp pain, numbness or tingling, twitching or stiffness. Discomfort is a signal from our bodies telling us that we are doing something it doesn't like.
What should you do if you believe you have a work-related repetitive motion disorder?
You are an essential part of this process. First, you must report discomfort to your supervisor early. Don't let it go until it becomes a more serious problem. Second, you probably know what is causing your discomfort, and you probably have a pretty good idea of what changes will help. That information is essential to correcting the problem.
Your supervisor will attempt to discover what is causing your discomfort and fix it with your input and the input of other people doing similar work. Remember,
- Talk to your supervisor about your suggestions on how to fix the problem
- Complete an Accident Report with your supervisor
- If appropriate, seek medical treatment at Wilton Medical Arts—Corporate Health Services. Your supervisor can assist you in setting up an appointment.
- If you are given modifications for your job, be sure they have been communicated to your supervisor and that you follow them.
What will your supervisor do if you report a work-related RMD?
- Request your input on how you can work together to restructure your job to avoid further injury
- Ensure that you complete an Accident Report
- Ensure that any needed modifications are incorporated in your work space
- If necessary, assist you in obtaining a medical evaluation and assistance at Wilton Medical Arts—Corporate Health Services
- If necessary, arrange for a review of your work station with assistance of trained ergonomics evaluators from Purchasing Services
Will the college provide the necessary tools for work-related modifications?
Upon request, a trained ergonomics evaluator selected by the college will conduct
an assessment of your work area. Upon his/her recommendations, the college will assume
the cost of work-related modifications. All equipment or tools purchased must be approved
before purchase or reimbursement.
ERGONOMICS PROGRAM PROCESS
- Employee reports discomfort to supervisor
- Employee and supervisor discuss options on resolving the work station/flow issues
- Employee completes accident report
- Supervisor may request an ergonomics evaluation from trained ergonomics staff in Purchasing Services
- If necessary, medical assistance is obtained through supervisor with Wilton Medical Arts—Corporate Health Services
- Upon request, a trained ergonomics evaluator selected by the college will conduct an assessment of the work area. Upon his/her recommendations, the college will assume the cost of work-related modifications. All equipment or tools purchased must be approved before purchase or reimbursement.
- Supervisor ensures that any necessary workstation or work area modifications are completed