Nominations sought for annual ergonomics awards


Nominations are being accepted for departments and units that have reduced ergonomic risk factors by adding new equipment, modifying equipment or redesigning work processes.


U-M faculty or staff can submit nominations for the annual MHealthy Ergonomics Awards for Departments through March 31. To qualify, the ergonomic solution must have been implemented during 2019 and reduced one or more of the following:

  • Awkward postures: Repeated or prolonged reaching, twisting, bending, kneeling, squatting or working overhead with hands or arms.
  • Forceful exertions: Heavy lifting or maintaining control of equipment or tools.
  • Repetition or sustained postures: Doing the same motions repeatedly or holding the body in one posture for long periods of time.
  • Contact stress: Pressing the body against a hard or sharp object can result in putting too much pressure on nerves, tendons and blood vessels. For example, using a hand as a hammer can increase risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Vibration: For example, operating vibrating tools such as sanders, grinders, chippers, routers, drills and saws.
  • Temperature extremes: For example, the use of thick or loose-fitting gloves to keep hands warm may cause the employee to grip hand tools more forcefully, resulting in added stress to the wrists and hands.

Applications can be submitted online for review by the Ergonomics Awareness Team, made up of representatives from MHealthy; Environment, Health and Safety; Michigan Medicine Safety Management Services; Environmental Health and Safety at UM-Dearborn; and Environment, Health and Safety at UM-Flint.

Nominations will be judged on the significance of the ergonomic issue and the success of the ergonomic solution. Winners will be announced in May.

Departments and units will be recognized at one of three award levels:

  • Gold — A healthy celebration sponsored by MHealthy and a special plaque.
  • Silver — A certificate of recognition.
  • Bronze — A special letter of appreciation.

For individuals, nominations are accepted year-round for Individual Ergo Hero Awards, which recognize employees for independently reducing their chance of discomfort or other ergonomic risks by using recommended postures, work strategies or equipment.

It recognizes individual managers, supervisors and other university leaders who support staff by applying ergonomic solutions in the workplace. New winners are recognized monthly with an Ergo Hero lapel pin and a congratulatory certificate.


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