Our Services

Ergonomics

“Conduct analyses to improve productivity, efficiency, quality of work life, and reduce workers’ compensation costs. We also provide ergonomics litigation expert witness services, including those for suitable seating cases”

  • Overview    
  • Why JFAssociates, Inc.?   
  • General Ergonomics Services    
  • Ergonomics Litigation    
  • Suitable Seating   
  • Office Ergonomics Services
Overview    

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a multidisciplinary field drawing primarily from the fields of engineering, physical sciences, biological sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. The primary goal of ergonomists is to develop systems and products which increase productivity, function intuitively, and minimize the risk of injury and illness to the people that use them. Ergonomic principles have been applied in a wide variety of industries and depending on the commitment of the organization, results can be extremely positive. The basic principle of ergonomics is “fit the task to the worker”. Therefore, it is very important to be aware of the tasks to be performed by the workforce and the capabilities of the workforce already employed or soon to be employed.

“Fit the Task to the Worker”

Why is Ergonomics Important?

Ergonomics can be used by itself or in conjunction with other efficiency techniques to:

  • Increase Productivity
  • Improve Work Quality
  • Improve Health and Safety
  • Improve Worker Quality of Life
  • Decrease Workers Compensation Costs
  • Decrease Rework and Scrap Related Costs
  • Reduce the likelihood of OSHA fines

Where can Ergonomics be applied?

Ergonomics can be applied in almost any situation. Our ergonomists have experience in a number of fields including aerospace and automotive manufacturing, warehouses, office environments, semiconductor manufacturing and assembly, and retail.

What should I consider when it comes to Ergonomics?

To gain the greatest advantage, Ergonomics should be implemented as a comprehensive program. However, sometimes organizations need assistance with just one aspect of the program. Some program elements include:

  • Developing a Written Ergonomics Program
  • Conducting Training (for Managers, Employee, or other Personnel)
  • Hazard Identification (e.g. Evaluation of tasks, work areas, or jobs)
  • Hazard Control Methodologies (e.g. Recommendations to reduce risk)
  • Medical Management (e.g. injury tracking, trending, and analysis)
  • Program Gap Analysis or Benchmarking
  • Program level corrective action
  • Plan Development
Why JFAssociates, Inc.?   

The Engineering Ergonomists at JFAssociates, Inc.:

  • Our engineers are known internationally for their research and work in the ergonomics field.
  • Our engineers have hundreds of published articles related to ergonomics applications, evaluation, capacity determination, and testing.

Experience in a broad range of industry and government agencies:

Aerospace US Department of Defense

Automobile Foundries

Call centers Furniture manufacturing and distribution

Commercial construction Healthcare

Computer chip manufacturing Higher Education

Computer accessories Newspapers

Communications Pharmaceutical

Construction trades Plastics manufacturing

Defense Railroad

Electronic manufacturing Retail

Energy Security

Entertainment Small and large assembly

Financial institutions Telecommunication

Food processing Warehouse

Federal Reserve Board US Department of Education

NIOSH – US Department of Health and Human Services US Department of Justice

OSHA – US Department of Labor US Department of State

What are some of the recent topics of publications from JFAssociates, Inc.?

JFAssociates, Inc. Periodic remains involved in both the research and application of ergonomics and related principles. Some of these efforts are communicated through journal publications and presentations at conferences and for local organizations.

General Ergonomics Services    
  • Ergonomic Program Development and Implementation
  • Ergonomics Training
  • Ergonomic Workplace Evaluations

Ergonomic Program Development and Implementation

What are the Advantages of an Ergonomics Program?

An effective ergonomics program benefits both employers and employees through improved health and safety, productivity, and lowered costs. Specifically, ergonomics can be used by itself or in conjunction with other efficiency techniques to:

  • Increase Productivity
  • Improve Work Quality
  • Improve Health and Safety
  • Improve Worker Quality of Life
  • Decrease Workers Compensation Costs
  • Decrease Rework and Scrap Related Costs
  • Reduce the likelihood of OSHA fines

What is an Ergonomics Program?

An ergonomics program is a comprehensive approach to ergonomics within an organization. Ergonomics programs can be implemented in manufacturing, service, government, and non-profit organizations. The elements of an ergonomics program are the same, although the way these elements are executed within an organization may differ depending on needs, industry, and organization size. The elements of an ergonomics program include:

  • Management commitment
  • A Written Program
  • Employee Involvement
  • Training and Education
  • Worksite Analysis
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Medical Management
  • Program Review and Evaluation

What are the steps in developing an Ergonomics Program?

As with the development of any comprehensive program, there are a number of steps that should be followed when developing an ergonomics program. These steps are often organization specific, but generally include the following:

  • Establish management commitment
  • Identify organizational needs
  • Determine ergonomics program goals and indicators
  • Determine the level of staffing needed for a successful program. This could include staffing of committees and consultants as well as existing resources.
  • Develop a written program
  • Identify the best method for worksite analysis (consultant, in-house expert, etc.)
  • Develop a mechanism to identify hazards
  • Determine an evaluation scheme for assessing recommendations to reduce ergonomic risk
  • Establish a medical management program for injuries
  • Develop a communication plan for managers, employees, and other individuals
  • Identify training needs and opportunities

What are the steps in implementing an ergonomics program?

The steps to implementing an ergonomics program are organization dependent but always have the same first step and the same last step. The first step is always establishing management commitment. The last step is always evaluating and improving the ergonomics program. The sequence and specific steps in between are customized to the needs of each organization and generally follow the elements of a successful ergonomics program.

Ergonomics Training

What is Ergonomics Training?

Ergonomics training is a specific type of training that aims to teach individuals specific information related to ergonomics in their work environment. Training should incorporate a number of methods (visual, logical, verbal, physical and aural aspects) in order to ensure that people with different learning styles have an opportunity to acquire the information. As with any training effort, ergonomics training establishes a baseline knowledge and vocabulary related to ergonomics. This common vocabulary is effective in establishing dialog related to risk factors and opportunities for improvement.

Why is it important to Train Managers on Ergonomics?

Training of managers and supervisors should not be overlooked in any training program. Managers and supervisors should receive ergonomics training so that they are aware of the information that is being communicated to all employees. Additionally, management and supervisor training should include aspects related to investment, ways of showing management support, impact on productivity and efficiency, as well as possible reductions to bottom line costs within the organization.

What should be Included in the Management Ergonomics Training?

Management ergonomics training should include the following topics:

  • Definition of ergonomics
  • Aims of an effective ergonomics program
  • Aspects of an effective ergonomics program
  • Basic principles of ergonomics
  • Overview of proper equipment and hand tool use
  • Overview of proper lifting
  • Symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Importance of early reporting
  • Overview of reporting and medical management process
  • Role of managers in the injury investigation process

Why is it important to Train Employees on Ergonomics?

Training employees is an important part of any successful ergonomics program. Increasing the level of knowledge of the employees serves a number of purposes. It establishes a common vocabulary among employees so that they can discuss concerns in a meaningful way. Training also provides information to employees so that they can be empowered to make better decisions regarding how they work and the postures (or hand tools) they use to complete their work tasks safely.

What should be included in the Employee Ergonomics Training?

Employee ergonomics training should include the following topics:

  • Definition of ergonomics
  • Basic principles of ergonomics
  • Proper equipment, machine, and hand tool use
  • Proper lifting techniques
  • Symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Aspects in the work environment that may relate to increased risk of injury
  • Importance of early reporting
  • How to report an injury

Is it necessary to conduct re-training?

It is necessary to continually remind employees of the basic principles of ergonomics. Thus, retraining at a regular frequency is strongly recommended. It may not be necessary for individuals to sit through the same, initial training annually. However, it is necessary to remind employees and managers of the important aspects of ergonomics (definition, principles, risk factors they are faced with, how an individual can reduce their risk, and the importance or early injury reporting) at least once a year. Additionally, regular re-training provides an opportunity to emphasize current issues or trends related to ergonomics and injuries as they arise.

Ergonomic Workplace Evaluation

What is an Ergonomic Workplace Evaluation?

An ergonomic workplace evaluation is an assessment in an office, laboratory, or other work environment that is conducted with the aim to identify ergonomic risk factors and recommend ways that these risk factors can be reduced in order to reduce the risk of work related musculoskeletal disorders.

Why are Ergonomic Evaluations Important?

Ergonomic evaluations that are performed by an experienced ergonomist can accurately identify the level of risk present in a job or task. Understanding the nature of the risk and the relative severity of that risk is important so that changes can be made to reduce specific risk factors. Reducing injury related risk factors is an important step in reducing the number and severity of injuries as well as improving the overall work environment, productivity, process flow, efficiency, and associated costs.

Is Special Training Required to Perform an Ergonomic Evaluation?

Ergonomic evaluations of complex environments (such as laboratories, manufacturing, services, or jobs that have already caused injury) should be performed by an experienced, certified ergonomist. The certifying body for ergonomists within the United States is the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE). Certified ergonomists are uniquely trained to take a systems approach to the evaluation of many work, product, or service environments from the perspective of an individual’s cognitive and physical capabilities.

How are Evaluations Prioritized?

Any effort to evaluate a number of workstations requires that the order of evaluation be prioritized. The order of evaluations can be determined based on a variety of criteria. These criteria may include frequency and severity of previous injuries, perception of risk, business priority, number of employees affected, and other factors as determined by safety or ergonomic criteria or business need.

What should be included in Ergonomic Workplace Evaluations?

OSHA suggests that workplace ergonomic evaluations should use a systematic approach to the identification and quantification of risk factors that may be present in a job or task. Evaluations should also:

  • Pay particular attention to postures, forces, frequencies, vibration, and weight handled
  • Identify tasks that may have fewer risk factors as possible tasks for restricted duty
  • Evaluate the changes made to jobs or tasks to determine if risk has been reduced, eliminated or inadvertently introduced.

What is the outcome of an Ergonomic Workplace Evaluation?

Once the risk factors are identified and quantified, a typical evaluation provides suggested methods that are aimed to reduce the identified hazards without introducing additional risk factors. When considering alternatives to reduce injury risk factors four primary controls are often utilized.

  • Engineering controls: Engineering controls include workstation design/redesign, work method design, or tool design.
  • Work practice controls: Training and assessment, proper work techniques (e.g. lifting techniques).
  • Personal protective equipment: Safety glasses, hard hats. Back belts and wrist splints are not recognized as personal protective equipment.
  • Administrative controls: Preventive maintenance, worker selection, work pace/frequency, work/rest periods.

How can I get an evaluation?

Non-office environments

For information regarding general evaluations please contact us at info@jfa-inc.com or call us at (703) 938 2895 to get more information.

Office environments

JFAssociates offer a number of ergonomic evaluation solutions. For office workers we offer onsite and online evaluations. For information on our online office ergonomic evaluation services please contact us at info@jfa-inc.com or call us at (703) 938 2895 to get more information. For information regarding onsite office evaluations please contact us at info@jfa-inc.com or call us at (703) 938 2895 to get more information.

Ergonomics Litigation    

Ergonomics Litigation

JFAssociates, Inc. uses widely recognized ergonomic measurement tools and techniques to evaluate the human-task-environment system. The human-task-environment system consists of the human capabilities, the tasks being performed, and the work environment. JFAssociates, Inc. engineers provide expert support in a variety of cases including:

FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act) and Railroad Injury Claims

OSHA Citation

ADA Accommodation

Workers Compensation

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Musculoskeletal Injuries (including Acute and Cumulative Injuries)

JFAssociates, Inc. provides ergonomics and time study expertise

The engineers at JFAssociates, Inc. have provided high quality, result-oriented analyses for a number of high profile class action lawsuits in both federal and state cases. Our clients rely on us to conduct scientifically valid studies to evaluate ergonomic risk factors and time studies. Our analysis results can maintain an accuracy of less than 0.14 seconds. We provide a wide array of services for the entire case life cycle including:

  • Early case assessment
  • Decertification of class
  • Discovery support
  • Case resolution

*Mediation

*Arbitration

*Settlement

*Trial

  • Risk Mitigation

Our experience with labor litigation includes not only ergonomics and suitable seated related work, but also includes “Off the Clock” work and employee misclassification cases. Some examples of past projects include donning and doffing, rest breaks, pre- and post-shift work, security checks, and job classification.

Suitable Seating   

JFAssociates, Inc. determines if work “reasonably permits the use of seats” in litigation and non-litigation situations

Using a standard ergonomic and task analysis approach, JFAssociates, Inc. has helped several large, nationwide companies, including retail stores, in their California suitable seating cases

In the past, JFAssociates, Inc. has provided expert witness testimony and scientific results in numerous state and federal cases, including in the U.S. Supreme Court. Our data has been used to successfully helped several large, nationwide companies, including retail stores, in their California suitable seating cases. Applying our methods and results to the class action suit has yielded positive results for our clients, including:

  • Class decertification
  • Settlement
  • Favorable case resolution
  • Risk mitigation
  • Summary judgement

JFAssociates, Inc. Qualifications

  • JFAsscociates engineers hold PhDs in ergonomics and are board certified CPEs (Certified Professional Ergonomists)
  • Our engineers are world renowned for their expertise in occupational ergonomics, time and motion studies, and workplace injuries
  • We have worked for major law firms in the US
  • We have provided expert consultation for a number of “Fortune 500” companies
  • Our testimony and results have been used in numerous state and federal cases, including in the U.S. Supreme Court
Office Ergonomics Services

What is Office Ergonomics?

The main work-related health problems affecting office employees are pain, discomfort, stress, visual fatigue, and even injury. These can be the result of sedentary work, highly repetitive tasks, and working in awkward positions due to an incorrect workstation set up and other factors. Improving ergonomics at the workplace can address many of these issues while positively impacting your bottom line. Implementing a comprehensive and successful ergonomics program requires ergonomics experts. 

Benefits of Office Ergonomics

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved work quality
  • Improved health and safety
  • Improved employee quality of life
  • Improved employee morale
  • Decreased absenteeism
  • Decreased workers’ compensation costs

JFA and Office Ergonomics

JFAssociates, Inc. has completed more than 7,000 office evaluations and trained more than 20,000 employees on ergonomics and related concepts. Our associates are degreed, certified, and dedicated to providing high quality services to businesses all over the DMV area. We have provided our ergonomic services to a wide range of industries and sizes of businesses. Our philosophy is to focus on simple solutions which have the greatest impact, often utilizing resources already in the office environment. It truly is a win-win for everyone involved.

Our Process

Once the evaluation is scheduled, one of our degreed and certified ergonomists will take you through our personalized process within your work area. The evaluation includes:

  • Background information
  • Workplace observations
  • Identifying risk factors
  • Anthropometric measurements
  • Workstation measurements
  • Immediate changes
  • Future recommendations
  • Detailed reporting

An evaluation will set you up correctly, minimize your exposure to risks, and educate you on the principles of workplace ergonomics. Our customized approach to ergonomics is proven to reduce your costs, improve worker health and safety, and decrease risk of injury.

If you are interested in learning more about our ergonomic services or would like to set up an ergonomic evaluation in your office, please email us.