Participatory ergonomics

IWH has been researching participatory ergonomics (PE) since the early 2000s. PE programs encourage an organization’s workers, supervisors and other workplace parties to jointly identify and remove the hazards or risk factors in their workplace that can cause or aggravate work-related injuries, including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). PE programs aim to reduce the incidence of MSDs, decrease the losses associated with injury-related absences and claims, and increase productivity by improving work methods and product quality.

A senior woman looks up to a faceless health-care worker
At Work article

Long-term care home sees safety culture change after participatory ergonomics study

Find out how a participatory ergonomics program changed the safety culture of a long-term care home.
Published: May 2017
Management and workers at K-W Hydro share a chat
Impact case study

Reduced soft-tissue injuries at Ontario utility attributed to work by ergonomics team set up during IWH study

Ten years after it took part in a participatory ergonomics study, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro's change team was still going strong.
Published: December 2016
Utility workers fix cable
At Work article

Ontario utility continues to benefit years after joining participatory ergonomics study

Reduced soft-tissue injuries at Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro attributed to work by participatory ergonomics team set up during study by IWH and others more than 10 years ago.
Published: November 2016
OHS Insider logo
IWH in the media

Making the business case for safety: Case study shows benefits of participatory ergonomics continue for years

Implementing a participatory ergonomics program takes time and money. To get your company’s senior management on board with such a program, show them this case study from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), which shows how an Ontario utility continued to benefit years after implementing a participatory ergonomics program.
Published: OHS Insider, October 2016
Project
Project

Evaluating the implementation of a participatory organizational change intervention in long-term care

The Public Services Health & Safety Association’s EPIC (Employees Participating in Change) program aims to reduce musculoskeletal disorders and slip, trip and fall injuries in the long-term care sector. IWH is evaluating the implementation and effects of this organizational-level participatory ergonomics program.
Status: Ongoing
Journal article
Journal article

Dissemination and use of a participatory ergonomics guide for workplaces

Published: Ergonomics, January 2016
Two workers in a warehouse consult document
At Work article

Users of IWH’s participatory ergonomics guide report better awareness of key steps

An evaluation study finds there is high interest in participatory ergonomics, but little opportunity for implementation.
Published: November 2015
Transmission and Distribution World logo
IWH in the media

Ergonomics programs drive down injury rates

Ontario utilities still have ergonomics programs in place years after participating in a research study, according to an article co-authored by Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro's George Minow, one of the study participants.
Published: Transmission & Distribution World, March 2015
At Work article
At Work article

Manufacturer learns participatory ergonomics worth the investment

An Ontario textile plant saved over a quarter-of-a-million dollars as a result of implementing a participatory ergonomics program, according to an economic evaluation performed by the Institute for Work & Health.
Published: April 2013
Journal article