Ergonomics at Upstate

Rebecca Ossevoort MS, ATC Ergonomist / Health and Safety Specialist
Location: Environmental Health and Safety Department
Phone: 315 464-5782

Upstate recognizes the importance of ergonomics and the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Upstate leadership is committed to a comprehensive ergonomics program to reduce injury rates and lost work time, and to maintain a safe and health work environment.

Upstate Ergonomics Program

The Upstate Ergonomics Program was established in 2004 with an Ergonomics Specialist and Ergonomics Steering Committee as a special program within the Human Resources Office. The program identifies and assesses ergonomic hazards in the workplace and recommends ways of minimizing or controlling these hazards through engineering and/or administrative controls so that all Upstate employees are kept productive and free of discomfort in their work environment.

Ergonomics Specialists

An Ergonomics Specialist is an expert in an area of engineering focusing on human movement, musculoskeletal function, and how humans interact with their environment. An Ergonomics Specialist applies this knowledge to evaluate the workplace and help make peoples' jobs easier, safer and more efficient.

What is an MSD?

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are injuries that involve the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage or spinal discs, commonly occurring in the back, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand. They are sometimes referred to as cumulative trauma disorders because they occur over time and take time to heal. Common MSDs include sprains, strains, inflammation, tears and pinched nerves or blood vessels. Symptoms of MSDs can be discomfort, pain, fatigue, loss of function, swelling, or numbness and tingling.

Common ergonomic risk factors that can increase the risk of developing an MSD are repetitive motion, excessive force, awkward/static posture, contact stress, cold and vibration.