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Week of March 11, 2013

MHealthy accepting Ergonomics Awards nominations

MHealthy is accepting nominations for its seventh annual Ergonomics Awards, given to university units and employees that have implemented ergonomic solutions in the workplace.

Ergonomics is the science of fitting the workplace to the worker, often resulting in the promotion of safety, health, productivity and job satisfaction.

Nominations are accepted in two categories: Department Level Ergo Awards and Individual Ergo Hero Awards.

Applications for department awards can be submitted through March 31, while individual award nominations are accepted year-round. Any employee can nominate a department, unit or university regular faculty or staff member for an award.

“Every day someone is making a difference and improving health and safety in the workplace. Whether large or small, we want to recognize those university units and employees that are champions in reducing ergonomic risks,” says Suzanne Bade, MHealthy Ergonomics program chair and senior ergonomics consultant.

Department Ergo Award

Each spring, Department Level Ergo Awards recognize university units that have independently created a safer, healthier and more efficient work environment by decreasing ergonomic risk factors and reducing or preventing employee discomfort. Solutions include adding or modifying equipment or redesigning work processes to reduce strain, awkward postures, repetitive motions, or forceful exertions.

To qualify, a department or unit must have implemented the ergonomic solution during 2012. Entries will be judged based on the significance of the ergonomic issue and the success of the ergonomic solution.

Winners are announced in May and areas earning the top award will receive a special plaque and a celebration sponsored by MHealthy.

Individual Ergo Hero Award

Nominations can be submitted year-round for an Individual Ergo Hero Award. This award recognizes any faculty and staff member who is independently reducing their chance of discomfort or other ergonomic risks by using recommended postures, work strategies or equipment. It also recognizes managers, supervisors and other university leaders who support staff by applying ergonomic solutions in the workplace.

“It only takes five minutes to nominate someone for an Individual Ergo Hero Award,” Bade says. “These awards are a great way to acknowledge faculty, staff, supervisors and managers who are practicing safe and healthy behaviors or are helping others to stay safe in the workplace.”

Nominations for the individual award can be submitted online by completing a brief form. Winners are recognized with an Ergo Hero lapel pin and a congratulatory certificate.

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