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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
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Modules: 5
Hours: 4
Sectors: General Industry

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Course 711 Introduction to Ergonomics

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)

Ergonomics is a way of designing workstations, work practices, and work flow to accommodate the capabilities of workers.

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

Please login to your student dashboard to access and download this FREE course PDF studyguide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.

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Course 711 Final Exam

Exam score sheet

After studying the course material and answering the quiz questions, it is time to take the final exam. We highly recommend answering the module quiz questions to check your understanding of the course material. The final exam questions are typically developed from these quiz questions.

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This is an open book exam. Students are permitted to use a separate browser window to review course content while taking the exam. If you do not pass a final exam, you will see a "Retake Exam" button next to the course on your student dashboard.

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Take the Final Exam


  1. Ergonomics, OSHA
  2. Advantages of Ergonomics, OR-OSHA
  3. Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders, NIOSH
  4. Ergonomics of Manual Material Handling, CAL-OSHA

Additional Information

  1. Ergonomics: The Study of Work, OSHA
  2. Napo's Films, Via Storia