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Ergonomic Glossary - General Terms

For ease of browsing, this glossary will be divided into the following five sections:


Biomechanics: The study of the effects of internal and external forces on the human body in movement and rest.

Dynamics: The biomechanical aspects of the human body in motion.

Ergonomics - The word translates to “the science of work”. This is the practice of fitting the job to the worker and not the worker to the job in order to reduce the risk of work place injury. It accomplished by adaptating the work environment, tools, equipment and job practices.

Ergonomic Program - A systematic process for anticipating, identifying, analyzing and controlling ergonomic risk factors. The program may include observation, assessment, design and intervention, management and training.

Engineering Controls: Physical changes to work stations, equipment, materials, production facilities, or any other relevant aspect of the work environment that reduce or prevent exposure to risk factors.

Human Factors - A term synonomous with 'ergonomics'. This is the branch of this science that began in the US and focuses on cognitive performance of humans.

OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of America's workers. To accomplish this, federal and state governments must work in partnership with the more than 100 million working men and women and their six and a half million employers who are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

OSHA 200 Log - An OSHA-required form for employers to record and classify work place injuries and illnesses.

Marji Hajic is an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist practicing at the Hand Therapy & Occupational Fitness Center in Santa Barbara, California. For more information on hand and upper extremity injuries, prevention and recovery, visit Hand Health Resources.

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