Launching of the ergonomics risk assessment at the workplace: a collaboration between HFEM and Department of Occupational Safety and health(DOSH)

The long awaiting ergonomics risk assessment at the workplace guideline 2017 had been official launched by the Department of Occupational safety and health (DOSH). The Guideline had been extensively developed since 2015 with the collaboration of between members of HFEM and DOSH.  The project which started in 2015 comprised of members from various industrial background namely in the field of safety and health. This includes ergonomics expert from PETRONAS, Telekom Malaysia (TM), Sime Darby Plantation and members from academic background including UPM, UKM, UPNM, CUCMS. From the Ministry of Human Resource (MOHR) including DOSH and SOCSO. In addition, the guideline was reviewed thoroughly by both Malaysian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) in improving the content and the methodological issues related to the new ergonomics guideline.

This guideline will be a new additional guideline by DOSH that relates to ergonomics and industrial hygiene. Previous guidelines include:

  • Guidelines On Occupational Vibration (2003)Guidelines on Occupational Safety And Health For Working with Video Display Units (VDU)
  • Guidelines on Occupational Safety And Health For Seating at Work
  • Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health For Standing at Work
  • Guidelines on heat stress management at workplace

The implementation of the new guidelines derived from the need to standardized ergonomics risk assessment method when reporting issues related to physical ergonomics either based on report needed based on the investigation ordered by DOSH or compensation report by SOCSO. By having this guideline, safety practitioner will be able to prepare a standard report based on either initial ergonomics risk assessment or an advanced ergonomics risk assessment that can be easily reviewed.

In addition to the need for standardization, ergonomics risk assessment guideline will assist the industries in reducing the prevalence of MSD among their workers, reduce error due to ergonomics hazard and increase productivity based on improvement and corrective action proposed.

This guideline comprises 10 parts including

Part 1: Introduction – Objective, Scope, Application, Def
Part 2: Planning And Conducting Era
Part 3: Process For Initial Era
Part 4: Process For Advanced Era
Part 5:  Hierarchy Of Control Based On Ergonomics Approach
Part 6: Documentation
Part 7: Review Of Assessment
Part 8: Responsibility And Accountability
Part 9: Instruction, Training And Consultation
Part 10: Record Keeping

An important aspect of this guideline is the appointment of a   trained person that will conduct the ergonomics risk assessment. The trained person is the assessor that will conduct the assessment based on either initial ergonomics risk assessment or advanced ergonomics risk assessment. In addition to specific modules for trained person, specifics topics should be used for awareness program to workers.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shamsul Bahri
President HFEM