Learn How to Properly Assess and Analyze Workers’ Posture


October is Occupational or Global Ergonomics Month, a campaign focused on increasing awareness and advancing the science and application of ergonomics and human factors in the workplace.

Why is a whole month focused on ergonomics in the workplace? Because ergonomics-related hazards are some of the main sources of workplace injuries, especially musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs).

So October is a good time to look at a new report from researchers from NIOSH and the University of Windsor (Ontario) on observation-based posture assessment. The report can help OHS, ergonomics and risk management professionals who conduct job and worksite assessments of lifting, pushing and pulling, carrying and/or manual materials handling risk factors.

The report describes an observational approach for assessing postural stress of a worker’s trunk and upper limbs that’s intended to improve risk analysis for prevention of MSIs. This kind of approach is supported by several recent studies.

The NIOSH report also presents more general guidelines for the video recording of posture that address factors such as:

  • Camera position
  • Field of view
  • Lighting
  • Duration of recording.

And it includes guidelines for posture analysis that address enhancements such as the benefits of digital video, computer software, training, and use of visual reference and perspective cues.

You can download the report below. And for more ergonomics-related resources, such as articles, case studies and tools, go to the OHS Insider’s Ergonomics Compliance Centre.