Ergonomics is the practice of fitting the job to the individual, which can help prevent work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Examples of musculoskeletal injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and low back pain.

Risk factors for the development of musculoskeletal injuries include awkward postures, repetitive tasks, and/or forceful motions. These types of injuries are usually cumulative; they develop over time, rather than as a result of a single event. By evaluating work tasks that involve these risk factors and finding solutions to better fit the person to the work they do, musculoskeletal injuries can be prevented. For training on ergonomics awareness, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has provided this PowerPoint training for supervisors and employees. Additional information from online resources related to ergonomics can be found here.

The ergonomics program at the University of Washington is in the process of being defined and developed. EH&S can provide guidance to individuals and organizational units on how they can begin to address their ergonomic concerns. If you have questions regarding ergonomics or if you are seeking an ergonomic evaluation of your workspace or work tasks, please contact EH&S Research and Occupational Safety at 206.543.7388 or

Ergonomics Consultants

An outside consultant may be a good option for your department to address potential risk factors for the development of musculoskeletal injuries. Consultants will evaluate workstations or work tasks to determine if changes should be made to better fit the employee. A list of ergonomic consultants who can provide ergonomics-related services to the University is provided here.

Workers' Compensation

Questions regarding employee work-related injuries or illness claims should be referred to Risk Services, Claim Services at or on their website.

Disability Services Office

For questions regarding disability or reasonable accommodation assistance, please contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450, 206-543-6452 (TTY), by email at, or visit their website.