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Week of September 30, 2013

Receive funding to make your workplace safer

MHealthy is accepting applications for its annual ergonomics grants program. University departments or units in need of financial help to purchase equipment or redesign work processes to solve ergonomic issues can receive up to $5,000 in MHealthy ergonomic grant funds to implement solutions that make the work environment safer.

“You can improve worker safety, job satisfaction and productivity just by making changes — many times small ones — that eliminate the need for employees to use a lot of force, bend in awkward ways, or perform other types of movements that might cause physical discomfort,” says Suzanne Bade, MHealthy Ergonomics Awareness Team chair and senior ergonomics consultant.

Any regular employee can apply for an ergonomic grant. The Ergonomics Awareness Team encourages submitting an application if a work group regularly experiences any of the following:

• Physical discomfort due to manually lifting, pushing, pulling or transporting equipment, objects or patients.

• Bending over, reaching up or performing awkward, repetitive motion for several hours during the workday.

• Physical stress or discomfort due to work conditions.

Applications will be judged based on the significance of the ergonomic issue, the feasibility of the project, and the anticipated outcome. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the website for more information on what projects will, and will not, be considered for funding.

Applications are accepted year-round. However, submissions are encouraged by Oct. 31. Once funds are exhausted, applications will be held until next fiscal year.

To help as many university areas as possible and make grant dollars go further, MHealthy encourages departments and units that receive a grant to share in the cost of the project. However, that is not mandatory to receive a grant.

To apply for an ergo grant and see examples of past projects, go to www.hr.umich.edu/mhealthy/programs/ergonomics/grants_awards.html.

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