Awkward Postures

Quick Fact: Awkward postures like bending and reaching increase effort, cause fatigue, and can result in injury. In many cases they’re wasted motions that increase the time to perform a task and reduce the quality of work.

Cartoon figure wearing green clothes and an orange & yellow safety vest reaching above its head into a tree to prune some branches. Examples of Awkward Postures:

  • Working with the arms raised.
  • Bending at the back.
  • Bending at the neck.
  • Twisting.
  • Reaching.
  • Bending the wrists.
  • Kneeling or squatting.
Evaluation Tools Training Materials Solutions

Simple tools:

L&I and OR-OSHA Lifting Calculator

L&I’s Caution Zone and Hazard Zone Checklists.

L&I’s Ergonomics Checklist (320KB PDF)

Quick Exposure Check (QEC) HSE UK.

Advanced tools:

Rapid Upper Limb Analysis (RULA) on-line.

RULA downloadable tools.

Rapid Entire Body Analysis (REBA) downloadable tools.

REBA downloadable software.

Handouts:

Ergonomics Principles for Reducing Awkward Postures (624 KB PDF)

Safety in Manufacturing: Awkward Postures WorkSafe BC

Awkward Postures – NIOSH

Slideshows:

Ergonomics Awareness Education for Employees and Supervisors

More Slideshows

Interactive Training

Computer Workstation Adjustment and Mobile Computing

Habit At Work - Office and Industrial Training ACC New Zealand

On-line Videos

Dr. Ergo on Awkward Postures

Links to more materials:

Ergonomics – General Information CROET

Man in blue work clothes working on wood sitting atop orange sawhorses inside of a warehouse. Caption: Sawhorses were used to create standing workstations to minimize kneeling and bending.

Find more solution ideas like this one in the Ergonomics Ideas Bank.

Other sources of solutions:

Easy Ergonomics (1.7 MB / 5 min. PDF) CalOSHA

Stooped and Squatting Postures in the Workplace (2.6 MB / 7 min. PDF) UC Berkeley

Recommended Workstation Measurements NIOSH

Worker Safety in Hospitals (OSHA topic page).

 

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Want more help?

Our ergonomics consultants have experience helping employers in all industries address awkward postures. Find out how to request a no-cost consultation here.

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