Three participatory ergonomics teams have been established among healthcare workers in a metropolitan medical center. Three teams, consisting of orderlies, intensive care unit nurses, and laboratory workers, were selected to provide a diversity of work activities and educational backgrounds. The effectiveness of these teams was assessed by observations of team interactions, by team members' perceptions of their effectiveness, and by the teams' success in identifying problems and implementing solutions. After 1 year, one of the three groups has been highly effective by these measures. To varying degrees, the groups encountered competing time demands and obstacles in implementing solutions within current administrative structures. For some groups of health care workers, participatory ergonomics teams seem to be an effective strategy to improve health and safety. This approach may not be feasible in all areas of health care, especially in high- demand clinical areas where patient needs may take precedence over the safety of health care workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-196
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997


  • Ergonomics teams
  • Health care workers
  • Injury prevention
  • Intervention
  • Participatory action research
  • Participatory ergonomics
  • Research


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