Ergonomics, Back Safety & Injury Prevention in the Lab


According to the Center for Disease Control, ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks. This is accomplished by designing tasks, work spaces, controls, displays, tools, lighting, and equipment to fit the employee´s physical capabilities and limitations.

Because the nature of the UVM workplace is so diverse, providing a single guide for designing an ergonomically sound space is simply not feasible.  Even within our lab community, the variation in work environments is significant.  The checklist provided can be used for some basic assessment as a precursor to a consultation.

Mobile App: Calculate Lifting Risk

To calculate ergonomics and musculoskeletal risks, see The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Lifting Equation mobile App, NLE Calc. This is a tool to help calculate the overall risk index for single and multiple manual lifting tasks. 

Need an Ergonomic Evaluation?

The Department of Risk Management & Safety has a Certified Ergonomic Evaluation Specialist.  Please feel free to contact to schedule a work-site specific consultation.

Back Safety & Injury Prevention

For a thorough compilation of information on understanding basic back and neck mechanics, as well as a guide to injury prevention and management, please visit Blue Cross Blue Shield.


Download: Stretches for Injury Prevention