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Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are problematic worldwide as a leading cause of lost-time injury claims and lost productivity in workplaces. Ergonomics is a science and practice to improve work environments. Participatory ergonomics (PE) actively engages workers, supervisors and managers who can plan and control much of their own work activities, and have the necessary knowledge and power to make changes.
Key organizational facilitators necessary for effective PE programs are proper support, adequate resources, and communication. Additional facilitators such as workplace access, clearly defined responsibilities, and adherence to timelines are also important to PE return to work outcomes. Future PE research and innovation should be incorporated into broader organizational change activities to reduce the burden on workers and workplaces.
Dwayne Van Eerd
About the evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of PE
The key elements of PE and the PE process
How to initiate PE in workplaces
How PE can aid in return to work
About future applications of PE for broader organizational change
Institute for Work & HealthDwayne Van Eerd is an associate scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. He has both an MSc and BSc in kinesiology from the University of Waterloo and an MSc in health research methodology from McMaster University. Involved in clinical work from 1990 to 2010, Van Eerd has designed and implemented rehabilitation and ergonomic programs for injured workers.
The focus of Van Eerd’s research since 1997 has been on the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. He is particularly interested in participatory approaches to hazard reduction in the workplace. Van Eerd also researches and practices integrated knowledge transfer and exchange.
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