University of Michigan
News for Faculty and Staff

September 25, 2018

Nominees sought to honor units that reduce ergonomic risks

March 6, 2018

Nominees sought to honor units that reduce ergonomic risks

Nominations are now 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 the 2017 calendar year and reduced one or more of the following:

• Awkward Postures: Repeated or prolonged reaching, twisting, bending, kneeling, squatting or working overhead with your hands or arms.

• Forceful Exertions: Heavy lifting or maintaining control of equipment or tools.

• Repetition or Sustained Postures: Doing the same motions over and over again 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 your hand as a hammer can increase your 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 you 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 in Ann Arbor, Michigan Medicine Safety Management Services, Environmental Health and Safety in Dearborn, and Environment, Health and Safety in Flint.

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

“This award recognizes university areas that have been proactive in making ergonomic improvements, small and large, that result in improved work methods, reduced risks and higher job satisfaction for its faculty and staff,” says Brenda Myers, senior ergonomist for Michigan Medicine Safety Management Services.

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

• Gold — Units receive a healthy celebration sponsored by MHealthy and a special plaque.

• Silver — Units receive a certificate of recognition.

• Bronze — Units receive a special letter of appreciation.

Nominations also 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.

The award 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.