What are the Different Kinds of Ergonomics Training?

Tara Barnett

Ergonomics training is any type of training that promotes good working habits through exercising, thoughtful use of the body, and good planning skills. Among the most common types of training, training for employees and training for those who will train employees are both very important. There are also types of ergonomics training targeted to specific types of workers, such as office workers or factory workers. For every type of job in the world, training can be developed that specifically addresses the needs of those particular employees. Even so, it is more productive to provide employees with training that teaches them how to recognize which ergonomic exercises are applicable rather than instructing them on how to do specific exercises.

There are some types of ergonomics training targeted toward factory workers.
There are some types of ergonomics training targeted toward factory workers.

Employees are often given ergonomics training during orientation for a new job. This training may include relevant safety information, such as how employees should lift or move objects. Usually, if the job involves an unusual type of work that could cause injuries, the employee is given more personalized instructions to ensure that he or she does not get injured. This type of training is often framed in terms of safety, but like all ergonomics training, its primary goal is efficiency and reduction of damage to the workforce.

Companies sometimes decide that it is beneficial to have a person within the company who can train employees in how to work efficiently and safely. This reduces the company's reliance on external teaching tools. Even so, this requires the employee to have a high degree of comprehension regarding all aspects of ergonomics. Usually, this type of ergonomics training is obtained through a more formal and rigorous program through a university or other institution. It is also possible to learn these skills through workshops and specialized training sessions.

Certainly, the type of training that an office worker needs is dissimilar to the type of training needed by a factory worker. The different movements and activities of different jobs require training in different areas. Usually, a broad training plan that addresses how the worker interacts with the tools used on the job is sufficient, which means that any desk job can use the same ergonomics training. Some jobs are unexpectedly more complex, and if injuries begin showing up, training may not be sufficient.

The most valuable kind of ergonomics training is the type that teaches employees how to be attentive to their own needs. Giving employees the freedom and the incentive to be invested in their own well-being can help reduce workers compensation claims. When employees understand what types of activities are dangerous and why, rather than simply that they are not allowed to act in a certain way, they are typically more willing to abide by company policies. The way in which ergonomics training is implemented can have a large effect on its success.

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