Office Ergonomics and Workplace Design (100% Online)


Organizations incur significant annual costs due to workplace injuries. How much these costs impact their businesses depends, in part, on how well they are able to assess the impact of job demands on employees’ health. Assessing work-related hazards and minimizing injury risk is a critical part of controlling the cost of work-related injuries, keeping employees healthy, and returning injured employees to work faster. It is also a critical part of optimizing the selection and integration of new technology into the workplace in addition to identifying training requirements.

In this course, participants will learn about the nature of work that is typical of office-based workplaces and how this work can have profound affects on employees’ musculoskeletal systems. The course will move into exploring the use of advanced hazard identification tools to assess corresponding office jobs and from there will review a process for using a participatory workplace approach to identify the root causes of hazards and the solutions that can mitigate them. Drawing on information from the instructor’s eighteen years of first-hand experience and the latest Canadian Standards Association’s Guideline on Office Ergonomics, participants will learn about the most successful, cost-effective methods of keeping employees safe by proactively controlling the hazards associated with office work. As part of the course, participants will also complete problem-solving exercises consistent with their own workplaces.


Ergonomics in the Workplace or equivalent

Receiving course credit

Each week students will complete reading assignments and review a case study. Students will be required to answer questions related to the case study that will form part of their overall grade for the course. The final assignment for the course, which contributes to 40% of the grade, is given at the conclusion of the fourth week. It will require participants to use the tools and information that are discussed and used during the course to conduct a hazard assessment at their place of work. To achieve credit for the course students must achieve an overall score of at least 60%.

Course objectives

  • To learn about the different types of work, from a musculoskeletal point of view, that can be found in industrial workplaces and how that can influence the type of injuries that occur.
  • Learn how to use advanced hazard identification tools to identify variables that affect the safety of employees’ jobs.
  • Learn about and gain practice using a participatory approach to identify root causes of hazards that place employees at risk of injury and solutions to eliminate the root causes.
  • Learn about the most applicable equipment and technology to use in the correct situations to help avoid unnecessary product purchases or modifications while controlling risks of musculoskeletal injuries quickly and efficiently.
  • Identify areas within your workplace where there is room for organizational improvement and what changes need to take place for improvement to occur.


David Chiasson, M.Sc., CPE
David works for Ergonomic Systems Associates Inc. (ESA). ESA is Atlantic Canada’s leading human performance consulting company specializing in Ergonomics. David has over eighteen years of experience helping corporations and government departments improve their performance. He has done this by helping companies identify design issues that lead to poor performance and injury while working with them to develop and implement practical and effective solutions that improve the design, set-up and organization of work systems, spaces, equipment, and tasks. David has a Master of Science degree with specialization in Ergonomics, is a member of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists (ACE), and is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist as awarded by the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE).