- Report possible symptoms early.
- Maintain good ergonomic habits at home as well as at work.
- Take breaks when doing repetitive tasks for extended periods.
The purpose of this program is to inform interested persons, including faculty, staff and students, that Baylor University is committed to improving our employees' comfort and well-being by identifying and correcting ergonomic risk factors on the job. This program applies to all work operations, in office areas as well as other work environments. The Safety Specialist coordinates and reviews the Ergonomics Program and provides guidance and/or revisions as needed.
Our goal through this Ergonomics Program is to prevent the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders by controlling or eliminating the risk factors which cause them. This program ensures that all affected employees are aware of job-related risk factors and provides information and solutions to eleviate them. Baylor University promotes continuous improvement for the efficiency, comfort, and well-being of all employees through a team effort of management and employee involvement.
If, after reading this program, you feel that improvements can be made, please contact Risk Management at 254-710-4586. A written copy of this program may also be obtained from the Safety Specialist. We encourage all suggestions because we are committed to the success of our Ergonomics Program. We strive for clear understanding, safe and efficient work practices, and involvement in the program from every level of the University.
We encourage all employees to immediately report any symptoms of discomfort that may be associated with their job duties. In most cases, employees are to report to their immediate supervisor and/or the Safety Specialist. Those supervisors are responsible to recommend alternative work equipment or practices or a medical evaluation for injured or ill employees.
Supervisors and/or the Safety Specialist record and file written reports from the first observation of illness or injury through all subsequent follow-up activities. The supervisor may recommend that the job itself or the employee's work station receive an ergonomic evaluation from the Safety Specialist.
Every work procedure that causes a worker injury or illness will be investigated and reported. This documentation provides vital information for the identification of job related risk factors so that the problems can be corrected before other injuries occur.
After an injured employee has been treated by the health care provider, the Safety Specialist and/or other appropriate supervisors shall monitor the recovery process and their return to work.
After any report of an employee job-related injury or illness, the Safety Specialist will evaluate the work station to determine if additional practices, procedures, or redesign of the station could be implemented to prevent similar injuries.
Identifying Problem Jobs
There are several methods used to identify jobs which are most likely to result in ergonomic disorders. The Safety Specialist annually reviews Baylor University injury and illness records to identify any patterns of ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses.
In addition, jobs are evaluated for the following risk factors:
Rate and number of repetitions: performance of the same motion or motion patterns every few seconds for more than two hours at a time.
Postures and limb positions: fixed or awkward work postures such as overhead work, twisted or bent back, and bent wrist, stooping, or squatting, for more than a total of two hours.
Vibration: use of vibrating or impact tools or equipment for more than a total of two hours.
Loads/lifted: lifting, lowering, or carrying of anything weighing more than 25 pounds (11.34 kg) more than once during the work shift.
Loads/static: holding a fixed or awkward position with arms or neck for more than ten seconds.
Muscle forces: continually pulling or pushing objects.
Work pace: piece rate or machine paced work for more than four hours at a time (legally required breaks cannot be included when totaling the four hour limit).
When problems are identified for correction, supervisors and employees in the affected areas are notified. The Safety Specialist, in conjunction with those affected supervisors and employees, will develop possible solutions, choose the most appropriate, implement the changes, and follow up to determine the effectiveness.
For each problem job which has been changed, a file of the improvements and changes completed will be maintained. The file contains documentation of the ergonomic-related illnesses or injuries, the actual changes made, and any similar incidents which occurred after the changes were implemented. These files are kept in the office of the Department of Risk Management.
Training on sound ergonomic principles and practices is available from the Department of Risk Management at any time. To request such training or a work place assessment, call Risk Management at 254-710-4586.
These are the ergonomic elements covered in the training:
How to recognize workplace risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders and the ways to reduce exposure to those risk factors.
The signs and symptoms of work related musculoskeletal disorders, the importance of early reporting, and medical management procedures.
Reporting procedures and the person to whom the employee is to report workplace risk factors and work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
The process Baylor University is taking to address and control workplace risk factors, each employee's role in the process, and how to participate in the process.
Opportunity to practice and demonstrate proper use of implemented control measures and safe work methods which apply to the job.
Baylor University will not implement any policy or practice which discourages reporting or which results in discrimination or reprisal against any employee who makes a report.
Constant awareness of and respect for ergonomic hazards, and compliance with all safety rules are considered conditions of employment. Supervisors and individuals in the Safety and Personnel Departments reserve the right to issue disciplinary warnings to employees, up to and including termination, for failure to follow the guidelines of this program. Students may also be held responsible for any actions which fail to meet the guidelines here set forth.
For any questions or comments regarding this policy, or to request an ergonomic assessment of your work area, call the Department of Risk Management at 254-710-4586.