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Choosing and Implementing Controls

  • Issued: December 2009
  • Content last reviewed: December 2009

Effective controls for Pains and Strains/MSD type hazards do not have to be elaborate or expensive. Often simple changes in a work process, workstation layout or tool are effective.

Ideally controls should be designed to eliminate a worker’s exposure to the identified hazards. The two main types of controls are engineering and administrative. Engineering controls will reduce or eliminate a worker’s exposure to a control whereas administrative controls do not change the physical environment but they do reduce the risk.

Examples of engineering controls include:

  • Modifying a workstation
  • Providing new equipment or tools
  • Changing the existing equipment or tools
  • Modifying the work process

Examples of administrative controls include:

  • Establishing written policies and work procedures
  • Changing work schedules
  • Adjusting staffing
  • Training workers
  • Rotating workers
  • Broadening the job content

A key element of choosing and implement effective ergonomic controls is to involve appropriate workers. Workers who do the job should be part of the team.