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Outline Learning Outcomes / Intentions 

To Highlight Ergonomics in Health Care in Relation to Patient and Worker Safety

  • What is ergonomics? What are the results of good ergonomics?
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Ergonomics
  • Most prevalent injuries
  • How much does poor ergonomics practice cost the healthcare system?
  • High risk professions

What is ergonomics?

  • Ergonomics is the science of fitting a workplace to the user’s needs, conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working staff.

Some Facts that Everyone in Healthcare Should Know

What results from good ergonomics?

  • High productivity
  • Improved outcomes and overall healthcare quality
  • Reduce exposure to work hazards
  • Avoidance of illness and injury risks
  • Increased satisfaction among the workforce and patients

What are the most prevalent injuries that result from poor ergonomics?

  • Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSI): e.g: Lower back injuries, tendinitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, epicondylitis/tennis elbow

How much does poor ergonomics practice cost the healthcare system?

  • According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and
  • High Risk Professions Health Administration) officials, penalties can range from a $7,000 fine to a $70,000 fine in situations where inspectors find that hospitals administrators knowingly ignored ergonomic hazards.

High Risk Professions?

  • Nurses, Care Aides, Phlebotomists , Physical Therapists. All professions that have to deal with any physical work are at some point or another at risk of injuries resulting from bad ergonomics

Effect of Ergonomics in Patient Safety

  • Good ergonomics whether it be physical or environmental, leads to better patient safety and outcomes. When workers are able to find that good fit with their tools, environment, and with themselves, the stresses they are exposed to are reduced. When workers are comfortable, they can work quicker, and easier. Most importantly, good ergonomics lead to fewer mistakes.




28,000 deaths per year in Canada are contributed to medical errors, with many thousands more being injured.
This puts medical errors the third, behind cancer and heart disease, leading cause
of death in Canada.

$20 Billion estimated direct and indirect cost annually for back injuries in the health care industry alone


References Barbu, I. A., & Barbu, I. A. (2015, September 16). OSHA Announces New Hazards for the Healthcare Industry. Retrieved from Desjardins, L. (2019, October 28). Thousands die from medical errors yearly, notes advocacy group. Retrieved from