Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Guide (Job Hazard Analysis)

The "guide" component of the ERGO model focuses on applying appropriate ergonomic tools to analysis specific jobs to identify the types and causes of musculoskeletal disorders.


  • Employees should cooperate with supervisors and EHSS in the assessment of job tasks and demands.
  • Supervisors should cooperate with employees and EHSS in the assessment of job tasks and demands.
  • EHSS will conduct a safety and health review (Job Hazard Analysis) that identifies jobs and workstations that may contain musculoskeletal hazards, the risk factors that pose the hazards, and the causes of the risk factors. This review will involve input from both supervisors and employees.

Job Hazard Analysis

These are the primary steps used to conduct a job hazard analysis:

  • Records review.
  • Signs of musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Incidence and severity rates.
  • Selecting projects.
  • Identifying risk factors.
  • Worksite analysis tools.
  • Identifying risk-factor causes.

Each of the four parts of the ERGO model (Express, Review, Guide, and Open) apply throughout these activities.

Records Review

There are many different ways to prioritize the control of MSD hazards. While addressing the worst problems first, other factors should be considered in setting priorities:

  • The number of employees affected;
  • The severity of the MSDs reported or identified; and
  • The availability of controls;

Identifying Risk Factors

Each risk factor is evaluated in terms of its magnitude, the number of times it occurs during the task, and how long the risk factor lasts each time it occurs. The tasks of most jobs can be described in terms of (1) the tools, equipment, and materials used to perform the job, (2) the workstation layout and physical environment, and (3) the task demands and organizational climate in which the work is performed. Job screening, as described above, provides some of these data. More definitive procedures for collecting information on these components can include the following:

  • Workstation measurements (e.g., work surface heights, reach distances)
  • Measuring tool handle sizes, weighing tools and parts, and measuring tool vibration and part dimensions
  • Determining characteristics of work surfaces such as slip resistance, hardness, and surface edges
  • Measuring exposures to heat, cold, and whole body vibration
  • Calculating muscle force
  • Measuring heart rate
  • Collecting information from questionnaires and interviews