Ergonomics is the science of making the workplace fit the humans within it. The goal is to reduce injuries and chronic strains from equipment, furniture and tools that can cause poor posture or repetitive motion injuries. In addition, ergonomics can improve performance by making the work setting more efficient. Ergonomics consultants may come from different fields, but all must have some knowledge of basic anatomy, biomechanics, organizational systems and engineering principles.
Educational Background Varies
Ergonomics includes various professional disciplines, according to the Humantech consulting firm website. Consultants typically have at least a bachelor’s degree and may have a master’s degree. An ergonomic consultant might major in engineering, kinesiology, ergonomics, physical therapy or occupational therapy. In many cases, a consulting company provides a team of experts in different disciplines. Consultants might perform physical assessments, train staff in body mechanics and recommend certain products or changes in workflow.
Certification in Ergonomics
Ergonomics consultants can become nationally certified through the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics. Two certifications are available: the professional certification and the associate professional certification. In both cases, the applicant must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. The applicant’s education must include topics that meet the BCPE core curriculum standards, and the educational program must be accredited by the International Ergonomics Association. Three years of experience in the field is required for professional certification; no experience is necessary for associate certification. Applicants can apply at any time, but the exam is administered twice a year.