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Course 711 - Introduction to Ergonomics

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier
Course 711 Certificate
Frame not included.
Modules: 5
Hours: 4
Sectors: General Industry

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When performing work in awkward postures or with excessive effort, you may experience fatigue, discomfort, and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The basic principles of ergonomics introduced in this course should be a vital component in every industry. This is especially true in the manufacturing, retail, and service industries where there is an increased rate and cost of ergonomic injuries.

The main components in this course include risk factor identification, basic workstation design options, and hazard control strategies to eliminate or reduce those risk factors. Take this course prior to taking Course 722 Ergonomics Program Management.

Free Training!

As an OSHAcademy student, you can access 100% of our training materials for free, including our module quizzes and course exams. We only charge a small fee if you decide to document your training with our official course certificates.

Key Topics

  • Ergonomics Definitions
  • Impact of Ergonomics Injuries
  • Risk Factor Areas
  • Controlling Risk Factors
  • Engineering Controls
  • Elimination
  • Substitution
  • Administrative Controls
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Making System Improvements

Target Audience

  • Supervisor
  • Manager
  • Trainer
  • Employee

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a way of designing workstations, work practices, and work flow to accommodate the capabilities of workers. Ergonomic design reduces risk factors known to contribute to occupational ergonomic injuries and illnesses, such as sprains and strains and cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs).

If work is performed in awkward postures or with excessive effort, fatigue and discomfort may result. Under these conditions muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels can be damaged. Injuries of this type are known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

The Problem

The increased rate and high cost of ergonomic injuries and illnesses such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and MSDs cut across all industries and occupations. Some of the hardest hit are manufacturing, retail, and service industries. Take a look at your OSHA 300 Log. You will probably notice that most (30%-50%) of your recordable injuries are somehow related to ergonomics.

MSDs can increase the cost of doing business both directly and indirectly. Direct costs may include medical services and higher workers' compensation premiums. The direct cost to close an ergonomic-related workers' compensation claim can average more than $9,000. Indirect costs from increased employee turnover, absenteeism, and retraining may also occur. Productivity, product quality, and employee morale may also suffer. Estimates indicate that the indirect costs associated with MSDs may be four to 10 times higher than the direct costs. Preventing and controlling ergonomic risk factors in the workplace often costs a fraction of what one such claim would cost. In smaller companies, one ergonomic-related claim can mean the difference between being above or below the profit margin.

An Important Strategy to Solve the Problem

OSHA and private consultants can provide customized presentations and training for groups and associations. An ergonomic consultation may include:

  • workstation analysis and design;
  • task-specific and company-wide risk factor assessment;
  • training and education;
  • development and implementation assistance for ergonomic programs;
  • help prioritizing ergonomic needs; and/or
  • answers to questions about current and possible regulatory requirements.


To begin your training, click on the module links below. If you are just starting this course, you should start with module 1.

  1. Defining Ergonomics
  2. Risk Factors in the Worker
  3. Risk Factors in the Task
  4. Risk Factors in the Environment
  5. Controlling Risk Factors

Course 711 Final Exam

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to help ensure students demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a minimum score of 70% on final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams and, as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

After you have studied all of the course material and taken the module quizzes, you can take the final exam. The module quizzes are optional, but we highly recommend you take each quiz, as the questions are similar to those on the final exam.

This is an open book exam. As you are taking the exam, if you find a question you are unsure of, you should use the course study guide or course web pages to research the correct answer. Don't worry if you fail the exam. You can study and retake the exam when you are ready.

If you have already paid for a Certificate Program

If you have already paid for your certificates, your exam score will be displayed in your student dashboard next to the course. You will also be able to view or print the course PDF certificate if you purchased this option. Your PDF transcript will also be automatically updated to include the course.

If you only want free training

You are welcome to take all of our courses for free! We only charge a fee if you want certificates, transcripts and exam scores to document your training. If you have not made a payment for your certificate, we will archive your exam results and you will see "Completed!" next to the course if you passed the exam. If you did not pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will need to retake the exam.

Take the Final Exam

Take the Final Exam

Course 711 Study Guide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.