Step 5: Evaluate Your Ergonomic Program

Follow up on your intervention

Follow up on your interventions to ensure the controls you implemented reduce or eliminate the WMSD risk factors. Ensure that no new WMSD risk factors were created. Since workers may be sore from doing their jobs differently and using new muscle groups, check with workers after one week and again after one month following an implementation. Adjusting to work is also important for new and return-to-work employees, particularly for tasks that are highly repetitive, such as paced work on a fast conveyor line or picking items with a time standard. New employees need about two weeks to condition their muscles. During the adjustment period it is not unusual for new hires or employees returning from a long absence to report muscle soreness.

Determine the effectiveness of your intervention

You can use a variety of techniques to measure the effectiveness and benefits of your ergonomic program. Compare the following data before and after the intervention:

  • job analyses
  • checklists
  • symptom surveys
  • OSHA form 300 logs
  • employee absentee rates
  • turnover rates
  • workers’ compensation costs
  • productivity indicators
  • quality of products and services
  • savings

Remember that workers will not experience the benefits of your ergonomic program immediately. It can take months for old MSD symptoms to disappear, and you will need to modify your intervention if new MSD symptoms appear.

Page last reviewed: July 18, 2017