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Participatory Ergonomics - “A Broader Reach” -: 

Participatory Ergonomics - “A Broader Reach” - D. Darren MacDonald, CPE Ergonomics Process Leader The Regulatory Craft Conference - November 20, 2007 -

Agenda for Today: 

Agenda for Today Background Information Participatory Ergonomics Methods and Process Advantages and Disadvantages Questions & Discussion


Background Scientific literature on PE has grown significantly over the past two decades

How bad are MSIs?: 

How bad are MSIs? % of Time Loss Injuries Over 60%

What is Participatory Ergonomics?: 

What is Participatory Ergonomics? Participatory Ergonomics is an employee driven approach focused to ensure good design, comfort, safety and health.

What is Participatory Ergonomics?: 

What is Participatory Ergonomics? It has be defined as, “the involvement of people in planning and controlling a significant amount of their own work activities, with sufficient knowledge and power to influence both processes and outcomes in order to achieve desirable goals.”

Human-task-environment model: 

Human-task-environment model This human-task-environment model is a useful reminder of the potential influences on performance and demonstrates the systems nature of ergonomics.

Prevention Model: 

Prevention Model

Injury Continuum: 

Injury Continuum

Hand working height: 

Hand working height

Heavy lifting and carrying: 

Heavy lifting and carrying


PARTICIPATORY ERGONOMICS The Regulatory Craft Conference - November 20, 2007 -

Why use PE?: 

Why use PE? Have an impact on a greater number of jobs and employees Helps address the Ergonomist shortage It just makes sense!

PE in Nova Scotia: 

PE in Nova Scotia Resources and Support Ergonomics Team Formation Training Elements Workplace Organizational Factors Including Workforce in Ergonomics

Resources and Support: 

Resources and Support Sr. Management support Time allocated for development Time set aside for ongoing activity Financial resources supplied to team

Ergonomics Team Formation: 

Ergonomics Team Formation 6-12 employee (cross functional) engineering/maintenance support team champion

Training Elements: 

Training Elements Injury causation Risk factor identification Root cause analysis Brainstorming techniques Interviewing skills

Workplace Organizational Factors: 

Workplace Organizational Factors Timing can be very critical Integration with existing processes Separate from OH&S committee, but have a reporting role Strong communication prior, during and after the event

Including Workforce in Ergonomics: 

Including Workforce in Ergonomics Peer to peer evaluations Peer explanation of process Important to implement any ideas obtained from the shop floor first


METHODS and PROCESS The Regulatory Craft Conference - November 20, 2007 -

Nova Scotia Model: 

Nova Scotia Model 2-Day Participatory Event 1/2 Day - Training 1/2 Day - Hazard Identification 1/2 Day - Implementation 1/2 Day - Presenting progress and plans

Follow up: 

Follow up Prevention Consultant 2 month 6 month 1 year Using progress indicators


ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES The Regulatory Craft Conference - November 20, 2007 -


Advantages Greater feeling of “ownership” Increased job satisfaction Greater commitment to change Workers are the experts

Advantages - cont: 

Advantages - cont PE will lead to more acceptable solutions Faster learning because of involvement in the process Systemic effect to other areas and processes of an organization


Disadvantages Participation can be difficult to promote (at any level) Org structure may limit involvement Top management commitment may be difficult to obtain Cost may increase as more time and effort may be required for some solutions

Challenges for Participatory Ergo: 

Challenges for Participatory Ergo Motivate people to be involved Tools & techniques used Understanding how to work within their scope When to call in outside resources




Prevention Services D.Darren MacDonald, CPE Ergonomics Process Leader 902.565.7114 (mobile) darren.macdonald@wcb.gov.ns.ca www.wcb.ns.ca

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