Webinar - Human-Centred Design in Physical Ergonomics

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

The most effective way to reduce the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders is to be proactive - incorporating ergonomic principles in the earliest stages of occupational design. A focus on human anthropometry, as well as population strengths, endurances and ranges of motion, early in the work design process is very effective for reducing worker injuries, discomfort and fatigue while simultaneously enhancing quality and efficiency

This webinar will identify the important factors to consider when designing manual materials handling, healthcare patient/resident handling, upper extremity and office tasks as well as designing and/or selecting the most appropriate powered and manual hand tools.

For manual materials handling tasks, we will review the many mechanical assists available (e.g. lift tables, hoists, conveyors, etc.). For healthcare patient/resident handling tasks, we will discuss options for repositioning, lateral transfers, sit-to-stand, bathing & toileting, ambulation and emergency medical services. For upper extremity tasks, we will outline the design of adjustable workstations, optimal heights & reaches, and strength & endurance considerations. There will be a specific focus on the design/selection of hand tools, including handle specifications and assists for vibration attenuation & load or torque reaction support. Finally, we will also introduce the expanding and viable options available for the use of exoskeletons and collaborative robots to augment and assist human work.

The main goal of this webinar is to introduce attendees to the many design specifications and assistive device options that ergonomists should be aware of when optimally and proactively designing occupational tasks.


Jim Potvin
Jim Potvin has an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Windsor and a Masters and PhD in biomechanics from the University of Waterloo. He was a professor for over 24 years and is now a Professor Emeritus at McMaster University and a teaching faculty at the University of California – Berkeley.

He is committed to developing valid ergonomic methods to quantify injury risk in the workplace, including the assessment of manual materials handling tasks and the evaluation of risk of upper limb disorders, and is dedicated to advancing the use of work simulation and digital human models in product design and proactive ergonomics. 


Registration is now closed. For assistance, please contact Betina Butler at bbutler@uwaterloo.ca.

Disclaimer: The Centre receives funding through a grant provided by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The views expressed are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre nor of the Province.