Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, March 7, 2011

MHealthy accepting Ergonomic Hero nominations

MHealthy now is accepting nominations for its fifth annual MHealthy Ergonomic Hero Awards. In addition to the department-level awards, this year's program has expanded to include individual awards for faculty and staff.

Ergonomics is the science of fitting the workplace to the worker, often resulting in the promotion of safety, health, productivity and job satisfaction.

Department Ergo Award

Nominations will be accepted through March 31 for the Ergo Hero Department Awards, which recognize university departments and units for independently implementing ergonomic solutions that have decreased risk factors and reduced or prevented employee discomfort. Solutions include adding or modifying equipment or redesigning work processes to reduce strain, awkward postures, repetitive motions or forceful exertions.

To qualify, a department or unit must have implemented the ergonomic solution between July 2009 and December 2010. Entries will be judged based on the significance of the ergonomic issue and the success of the ergonomic solution.

Winners will be announced in May 2011 and will receive a special plaque and a celebration sponsored by MHealthy.

New Individual Ergo Award

Nominations will be accepted year-round for the new Individual Ergo Hero Awards, which recognize individual faculty and staff members who are independently reducing their risk of sprains and strains by using recommended postures, work strategies or equipment. This award also recognizes managers and supervisors who support staff by applying ergonomic solutions in the workplace.

"We expanded our awards program to include individual employee awards because one person can make a significant difference in the workplace," says Suzanne Bade, MHealthy Ergonomics program chair and senior ergonomics consultant. "We wanted to recognize our faculty and staff for taking the initiative to take care of themselves and others."

Nominations for the individual award can be submitted using a brief online form. Winners will be recognized with an Ergo Hero lapel pin and a congratulatory certificate.

Any university faculty or staff member can nominate any department, unit or university regular faculty or staff member for an Ergo Award. Department and individual nomination forms are available at www.MHealthy.umich.edu/ergoawards.