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What is an Ergonomics Consultant?

An Ergonomics Consultant is a professional who designs or modifies workspaces to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. They apply scientific knowledge to ensure a comfortable, safe, and productive environment. Curious about how this could transform your workspace? How might ergonomics enhance your productivity?
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

Ergonomics is the science of matching working environments with the needs and capabilities of workers. Ergonomics consultants are experts in understanding how the human body interacts with the technology, furniture, and design of the workplace. The ergonomics consultant both assists employers in designing a space that promotes the health and productivity of employees as well as training employees to protect their bodies while working. Some ergonomics consultants are also licensed occupational therapists, while others hold certification through professional associations.

The physical strain of working, particularly for those who perform repetitive tasks, can damage an employee's body, contribute to health problems, and ultimately have a negative effect on the employee's job performance. An ergonomics consultant evaluates the workplace, the work space, and the tasks an employee must accomplish as part of an ergonomics assessment. The ergonomics consultant will also work with individual employees, observing their posture and movements as they go about their jobs. After making these observations, the consultant can make recommendations to assist company management and employees alike in not only creating a healthy work environment, but using it in the most effective way possible.

Consultants should be experienced and experts in their field.
Consultants should be experienced and experts in their field.

An ergonomics consultant may have one or more areas of specialization, in most cases specifically connected to his formal training. For this reason, ergonomics consultants will sometimes work as a team through a consulting firm, which can then match a business client with an ergonomics consultant or consultants who can best meet that business's needs. For example, a company that is concerned about repetitive stress injuries to its office workers may want to hire an ergonomics consultant who specializes in kinesiology, or human body movement, as well as a technology expert. The kinesiologist can work with employees to encourage proper posture and alignment while also recommending the purchase of desks and chairs that minimize the risk of injury to employees. The technology expert, on the other hand, can develop keyboard macros and shortcuts for employees that likewise protect an employee's wrists and hands from strain.

Web programmers and other computer users may reduce their risk of cubital or carpal tunnel issues through an ergonomic assessment.
Web programmers and other computer users may reduce their risk of cubital or carpal tunnel issues through an ergonomic assessment.

The qualifications to become an ergonomics consultant vary, and ergonomics consultants themselves are not generally licensed, though professional certification does exist through independent professional bodies. Many ergonomics consultants hold post-graduate credentials in psychology, occupational therapy, or engineering. Occupational therapy is a licensed profession in the United States and elsewhere, and ergonomics consultants who are also occupational therapists may hold both professional licensure and certification in addition to their professional training.

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    • Consultants should be experienced and experts in their field.
      By: paylessimages
      Consultants should be experienced and experts in their field.
    • Web programmers and other computer users may reduce their risk of cubital or carpal tunnel issues through an ergonomic assessment.
      By: Artur Marciniec
      Web programmers and other computer users may reduce their risk of cubital or carpal tunnel issues through an ergonomic assessment.
    • An expert in industrial ergonomics may be able to offer suggestions to prevent repetitive motion injuries in factory workers.
      By: Kadmy
      An expert in industrial ergonomics may be able to offer suggestions to prevent repetitive motion injuries in factory workers.