Ergonomics

Date

April 9, 1985

Revision Date

December 1, 2006

Number

GP 13

Revision No.

B

The objective of the SFU ergonomics policy is to eliminate or minimize risks leading to musculoskeletal injuries (MSI’s) at work and comply with the Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C., Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements, Part 4 section 4.46 - 4.53. This section requires that employers assess the workplace and work processes to identify risk factors leading to musculoskeletal injuries (MSI's). Once risk factors have been identified, it is the responsibility of the employer to eliminate or, where it proves to be impracticable, to minimize risk factors contributing to development of MSI’s.

Policy

The University aims to provide a healthy and safe work environment for its employees by ensuring that risk factors that may contribute to the development of MSI's are identified, assessed and eliminated or mitigated.

Objective

This policy establishes a requirement for all departments at SFU campuses to prevent work-related MSI’s by ensuring that the workplace has been assessed for risks leading to musculoskeletal injury and by requiring that appropriate mitigating actions are implemented.

Ergonomic Standards

Ergonomic work standards for the purchase of furniture, equipment and tools are established in consultation with Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), the Purchasing, Campus Planning and Facilities Management departments at SFU Burnaby and SFU Kamloops, Operations at SFU Vancouver and Facilities and Operations at SFU Surrey. Deviation from established standards requires a review including the relevant department and EHS.

Ergonomic workspace design standards are established in consultation with EHS, Campus Planning and Facilities Management at SFU Burnaby and SFU Kamloops, Operations at SFU Vancouver, Facilities and Operations at SFU Surrey.

Responsibilities

Departments/Departmental Supervisors
Departments and Supervisors budget for and provide workstations, equipment and tools necessary to address employee ergonomic requirements.

Supervisors
Will consult with EHS and may request EHS to undertake an ergonomic assessment, when:

  • an employee reports an occurrence of MSI;
  • the supervisor suspects that an employee has developed a sign or symptom of MSI;
  • the supervisor suspects that risks that may contribute to MSI’s are present in the work area;
  • choosing furniture, equipment or tools, that vary from established university standards; and
  • planning, designing or renovating workspaces that may not conform to ergonomic standards.

Supervisors
Will:

  • review ergonomic requirements with EHS and, in the case of a medical request for workplace accommodation, also consult with the Return to Work/Disability Management Co-ordinator;
  • implement ergonomic changes necessary to prevent, eliminate or mitigate risk(s); and
  • ensure that employees receive training and education in the ergonomically correct use of furniture, equipment and tools.


Employees
Will:

  • follow established safe work practices and participate in ergonomic training and education;
  • report to their supervisors all MSI occurrences;
  • report to their supervisors any concerns relating to the ergonomic fit of their workstation, equipment or tools required to do their job; and
  • provide medical documentation to their supervisor when requesting medically prescribed ergonomic accommodations.

Purchasing, Planning, Operations and Maintenance Departments
When developing plans, or considering purchases that may not conform to University ergonomic standards, Purchasing, Campus Planning, Operations and Maintenance Departments will consult with the EHS office.