Ergonomic assessments

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What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is about designing for people.

Defined as the science of fitting a workplace to the user’s needs, ergonomics aims to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce discomfort.

A good ergonomic assessment involves not only looking at your employees’ seating arrangements, but also how often they stand, their posture, equipment (including computers, keyboards, and machinery) and working environment. Think about the angle of your computer monitor, or the height of your desk.

Think about whether your eyes are strained by the end of the day or if your wrists hurt from typing.

A sound understanding of ergonomics can prevent most workplace injuries by adjusting tools to the user, putting an emphasis on proper posture to reduce the impact of repetitive movements.

'Ergonomics is the scientific discipline which applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimise human well-being and overall system performance.'

- International Ergonomics Association

What are the benefits of good ergonomics?

Good ergonomics prevent injuries.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries reviewed 250 ergonomics case studies to reveal the impact of ergonomics on business goals like cost savings, productivity and product quality. The results were significant.

By looking after the health, safety and wellbeing of your employees, the research shows you can expect the following benefits:

  • Reduced costs
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved quality of completed work 
  • Improved employee engagement
  • A better workplace safety culture

Ergonomics reduces costs

Body stress results in discomfort and work-related injuries. Investment in good ergonomic practices can reduce your organisation’s costs associated with lost work time (both presenteeism and absenteeism) in the short-term and workers’ compensation in the long-term. 

By systematically reducing ergonomic risk factors, you can prevent costly Musculoskeletal disorders, among many other positive outcomes. 

Ergonomics improves productivity

When employees are in pain, they focus on those pains, rather than their work. Studies have shown that the greater the pain, the more productivity is hindered.

By designing a job to allow for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions and better heights and reaches, the person becomes 25% more efficient as a result of a good work environment. 

Ergonomics improves quality of completed work

Correct ergonomics can reduce errors by 67%.

Poor ergonomics leads to frustrated and fatigued workers that don’t do their best work. When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job to the quality standards to they were trained. 

Ergonomics improves employee engagement

When you invest time ensuring your employees are healthy and safe, employees feel taken care of. 

If an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort during their workday, it can reduce turnover by 48%, and decrease absenteeism by 58%. This improves morale and increases employee engagement. 

Create a better safety culture

Creating and fostering the safety & health culture at your company will lead to better human performance for your organization. Ergonomics shows your company’s commitment to safety and health as a core value.

The cumulative effect of the previous four benefits of ergonomics is a stronger safety culture for your company. Healthy employees are your most valuable asset. 

What are the effects of poor ergonomics?

Poor ergonomics can increase risk of:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including repetitive injury strains and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Neck and back pain and injuries
  • Shoulder and arm pain
  • Headaches, migraines and eye strain
  • 'Trigger finger'

Businesses, job roles and working environments are diverse - to accommodate this diversity, we offer a comprehensive suite of services, allowing you to select the best assessment service for your business and employees. 

Our ergonomic services

Simple ergonomic assessment

Used for participants such as a new starter with no symptoms. 

The assessment is completed on-site with the worker.

This assessment may be used for individuals, or for a group of employees, such as for an ‘ergonomic sweep’ service.


Suitable for:

  • New Employees – individuals or groups
  • During or after a change in office location
    • For a set number of employees
    • During an office relocation, an experienced APM Consultant can assist on-site

This assessment is not recommended for individuals with pre-existing injuries or symptoms which should be addressed more specifically.


Time: Approx. 20 minutes/person.

Standard ergonomic assessment

Completed on-site with the worker and involves a review of the ergonomic set up and adjustment of existing equipment (wherever possible) in line with ergonomic principles. 

A comprehensive report with recommendations will be provided after the assessment.


Suitable for:

  • Employees who are experiencing pain or symptoms at the workplace
  • Those who are likely to experience issues
  • If an employee requires additional or alternative ergonomic equipment
  • Those seeking further education on ergonomic principles to be able to correctly set up future workstations or incorporate new equipment


Time: Approx. 45-60 minutes/person and 60 minutes/report. 

Comprehensive ergonomic assessment

This extensive ergonomic analysis, while similar to the Standard Assessment, offers a more in-depth analysis into specifics impacting the participant or the nature of the workplace.


Suitable for:

  • Employees living with multiple injuries
  • Employees who have a complex work environment
  • Those managing the physical and cognitive effects following stroke or cerebral palsy

Workplace-specific consultation for systemic issues which pertain to workplace practices, unique equipment, heating, lighting or noise are also available as part of this assessment.


Time: Up to 90 minutes/person and up to 90 minutes/report.

Vehicle ergonomic assessment

This assessment is completed with the worker and the vehicle to be assessed.

The assessment involves a review of the ergonomic setup and use of the vehicle and any adjustment in line with ergonomic principles and provision of recommendations in a written summary report. 


Suitable for:

  • Employees who are required to engage in driving as part of their role, or
  • If employees require support to ensure the best practice and posture when travelling to and from work.

The assessment will ensure duty of care is met under the WHS Act for instances where employees are required to utilise a vehicle for work.


Time: Approx. 60 minutes/person and 60 minutes/report.

Home & WHS ergonomic assessment

This assessment is conducted with the employee in their home.

It involves a review of and required adjustments to their home workstation, followed by an assessment report.

A WHS Assessment ensures employee safety by evaluating the suitability of the home environment. This meets the employer’s obligations under the WHS Act to exhibit duty of care in providing a safe work environment for their employees.


Suitable for:

  • Employees who are required to work from home
  • Employees who are new to working from home, or require suitable set up or equipment
  • Employees experiencing physical discomfort while working from home

A WHS Assessment can be beneficial to meet duty of care obligations under the WHS Act if WHS items in the employee’s home have not yet been assessed and addressed.


Time: Up to 60 minutes/person and up to 60 minutes/report.

Virtual injury prevention assessment

This assessment is used when the employee is experiencing no symptoms and requires a brief preventative assessment to ensure their new workstation is set up correctly. 

The assessment involves:

  • The employee completing an ergonomic checklist independently
  • APM reviewing the checklist and providing recommendations or advice
  • APM may engage the employee in a brief phone call to clarify any queries


Suitable for:

New Employees – individuals or groups.

  • During or after a change in office location
  • For a set number of employees
  • During an office relocation, an experienced APM Consultant can assist onsite


This assessment is not recommended for individuals with pre-existing injuries or symptoms which should be addressed more specifically.

Virtual ergonomic assessments may be beneficial when a face-to-face assessment is not practical or preferable.

  • An APM Consultant unable to be present onsite, during a site lockdown or in secure work areas
  • Travel distance precludes viability of face-to-face assessment
  • Contactless service delivery supports employee health and safety


Time: Nil face-to-face assessment. 

Virtual comprehensive ergonomic assessment

Virtual assessments are conducted via video link, with the worker present at their workstation to be assessed.

This assessment is used when a more comprehensive assessment is required, such as:

  • The employee is experiencing minor symptoms
  • Equipment is required
  • If the employee requires education and tailored advice

A more extensive assessment and report option is quoted by request should the referrer require this.


Suitable for:

Virtual ergonomic assessments may be beneficial when a face-to-face assessment is not practical or preferable.

  • An APM Consultant unable to be present onsite, during a site lockdown or in secure work areas
  • Travel distance precludes viability of face-to-face assessment
  • Contactless service delivery supports employee health and safety


Time: Up to 60 minutes/person and up to 60 minutes/report.


Group ergonomic training

These training and workstation review sessions are conducted on-site for up to 15 people per group and provide practical training at a typical workstation:

  • Ergonomic training on setting up a workstation and equipment correctly
  • Tailored checklists and resources to set up and adjust their own workstations, supervised by an APM Ergonomic Consultant


Suitable for:

This offering is designed for organisations who would like to train groups of their employees on ergonomic principles and how to conduct their own ergonomic assessment on their workstation, and can also be used effectively as train-the-trainer based training.


Time: Tailored.