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  • An individual sitting ergonomically at a work desk, facing a desktop computer, suggests a comfortable and productive workspace.

    In April of 2022, Risk and Safety Solutions (RSS) was approached with an important request: UC campuses would need a new and better technology solution for office ergonomic assessments and training to replace a soon-to-be expiring product. The change would impact every location in the UC system, so in May of 2022, the UC Ergonomics Systemwide Workgroup, Office of the President Risk Services (OPRS), and the RSS team established a partnership.

    According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021 saw over three hundred and sixty five thousand nonfatal MSD injuries in the private sector. Beyond the financial implications, musculoskeletal injuries average 14 days away from work, affecting the entire workforce. Because musculoskeletal injuries potentially impacted a significant number of the organization's employees, it was imperative to develop a solution that could accommodate the diverse needs of all campuses.

    Working together, RSS, OPRS, and the UC Ergonomics Systemwide Workgroup started by creating a comprehensive list of essential features that were developed in the new assessment. This list included professional ergonomic evaluations, self-assessments, risk scores, configurable outcomes, variable workflows, regulatory training validations, and reporting. The dedication of all teams, paired with extensive testing of code quality, security, accessibility, and vulnerability, led to a unified, ergonomic assessment solution that catered to diverse requirements.

    Anyone who has served on a systemwide workgroup knows that harmonizing the needs of all UC locations is no small task. From experience, RSS knew that extensive User Acceptance Testing (UAT) at each campus would be critical for adoptions and successful implementation. .Doing so allowed the User Experience (UX) team to observe usage patterns and iterate on the design, resulting in an intuitive and efficient solution.

    The outcomes of the UC Ergonomics project have been significant for the University of California. By moving to an in-house solution, data is centralized and integrates with other safety solutions. Computer Ergonomics fully encompasses self-assessments, training, and reporting – all these features give way to a more equitable experience for end-users. Also, the proactive identification of potential injuries through robust assessments and follow-up activities is expected to contribute to reduced ergonomic-based Workers' Compensation claims. Furthermore, the implementation of a central dashboard with actionable Key Performance Indicators eases administrative burdens and enables trend analysis. The project has also resulted in substantial cost savings of over $60,000 annually.

    One of the most robust features of UC Ergonomics is the embedded training. Training videos are integrated into the assessment, so as the individual goes through the questions, they are provided with tips and training. By providing a seamless and efficient training experience, corrections can be made without delay.

    The UC Ergonomics project stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation within the University of California. The partnership between the UC Ergonomics Systemwide Workgroup, OPRS, and RSS has given rise to a groundbreaking Computer Ergonomics solution that is set to benefit over 227,000 staff and faculty members across all UC campuses.


    Emily Slonim
    Emily Slonim
    Lead Communications Analyst
    Risk and Safety Solutions