Job Site Analysis

What is the purpose of a job site analysis?

A job site analysis can be performed for several reasons. It is typically performed to evaluate an employee's workstation and determine if the set-up is ergonomically correct. A job site analysis can also be performed for an injured worker to correct any flaws in the workstation design or for a group of non-injured employees as a preventative measure to avoid future injuries. In either case, a job site analysis will provide ergonomic recommendations that enable a better fit between the worker and his or her workstation. Finally, a jobsite analysis can be performed to determine causal relationship between an employee's injury and his or her work demands.

What methods are used to carry out a job site analysis?

A job site analysis initially involves a brief interview with a doctor, case manager, or adjustor to establish medical history or background information regarding the case. Once on-site, a more detailed interview is performed with the worker's supervisor. A "walk-through" is performed to get an overview of the department or work area that will be analyzed. Objective data is gathered regarding the workstation and the physical demands of the job including measurements of the workstation dimensions and forces used to complete various tasks. The worker's body mechanics and motions are observed and recorded. A camcorder is often helpful for recording job-specific tasks and provides an objective record that may resolve disputes over issues such as line speed, frequency of hand manipulations, material handling cycles, etc. The workers in the area are interviewed throughout the process. After the data is collected, it is analyzed at the clinic and a final report is drafted.

What should be included in a report following a job site analysis?

The written report of a job site analysis may have a variety of formats. However, the most important concern is that the report is organized, easy to read, and supplies the appropriate information. Other information within the report includes:

  • The company's name, employee's name and the employee contact
  • The purpose of the job site analysis and a definitive statement regarding that purpose
  • Employee, co-worker and supervisor interviews
  • Significant objective data
  • Risk factors, solutions and or recommendations depending on the report's purpose

The assessment should be objective and thorough. A chart may help organize risk factors, solutions, and recommendations. It is important to note that a wealth of information is not always a sign of a quality report.

Can a job site analysis assist in determining a causal relationship between a worker's injury and the work site or physical job demands?

Determining job site causation for an injury can be a challenging process. The job site analysis is only one step in this process. When performing a job site analysis for causation, various risk factors can be identified that demonstrate a relationship between the worker and his or her environment. This objective information can be analyzed to determine the likelihood of a particular job causing an injury.

What professionals perform job site analyses?

A variety of medical and health-related professionals perform job site analyses. This may include athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists and even physicians. There are a variety of training programs that will certify a clinician in work site analysis, ergonomics, and other work related issues. However, these certificates are not recognized by any national accrediting agencies. While these courses may offer additional knowledge in some areas the most important criteria is to look for a clinician who is well trained in musculoskeletal disorders and the pathology of injuries and be accustomed to performing this type of service. If there are question as to a professional's ability, you can always ask for sample reports or references prior to requesting services.

For additional information, please call Memorial Industrial Rehab at (217) 588-2100.