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Recent research from the University of Waterloo in Canada found three critical barriers and three key facilitators to the successful deployment and maintenance of an ergonomics process. VelocityEHS board-certified ergonomist Blake McGowan explains in this month’s video.

Reference: Yazdani A, Wells R. (2018). Barriers for implementation of successful change to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and how to systematically address them. Appl Ergon. 2018 Nov;73:122-140. doi:

Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Blake McGowan, and I’m a certified professional ergonomist with Humantech (now VelocityEHS Ergonomics). One of the questions I get asked a lot by leadership is how to deploy and maintain a successful ergonomic initiative. Well, in 2018, researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada set out to answer that question. They conducted a systematic review of the literature to identify the key critical factors that facilitate, as well as act as barriers to deploying a successful ergonomic initiative.

So, what did they find? Let’s first start with the barriers, the things that can derail your ergonomic initiative. They identified three key barriers. The first one is the lack of management commitment, support, as well as involvement in the process. The second one is the lack of organizational training and knowledge. And the third one is the lack of resources, including people, time, and money. These three things can derail any good ergonomic initiative.

They also identified three key facilitators to an ergonomic initiative. The first one is conducting or having a documented and effective improvement process, such as a standard and a guidance document for your team to follow. The second is a participatory approach, where you include the end user throughout the entire job improvement process. And lastly, there is the need for organizational knowledge and training, that’s supported by a subject matter expert. To make this effective, integrating the ergonomic process into an existing continuous improvement process maximizes your results.

So, what does this mean? What’s the bottom line? The bottom line is that we understand there are key factors that can help you deploy and maintain a successful ergonomic initiative. In addition, we know that there are barriers that can easily derail your initiative, so avoid those.

For more information on Humantech (now VelocityEHS Ergonomics) and the Bottom-Line series, please feel free to visit our website at Humantech (now Thanks, and have a great day.