This page contains links to tools, methods and guidelines for assessing and implementing HFE in the workplace. The content is recommended by the IEA Technical Committees.

Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Risk Assessment Tools

How Can I Improve Ergonomics/Reduce the Risk of Musculoskeletal Injury in My Workplace?

Ergonomics hazards are common in many workplaces and a significant problem for many workers and companies.  If they are present in your workplace, what can you do to address them?  How can you easily and effectively reduce the risk of injury, as well as improved manufacturing performance and enhance product quality?

The NIOSH (USA) National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Musculoskeletal Cross-Sector Council identified over 100 guidance documents with “interventions” or solutions to  reduce musculoskeletal disorder risk factors, improve manufacturing performance, and enhance product quality. A Google spreadsheet was created to help you find interventions that may be useful for your workplace.

This spreadsheet lists:

  • The organization that created the document
  • A brief description of the document
  • The industries the document applies to
  • The tasks it applies to
  • If there is any cost for the document
  • The year the document was published/produced
  • A weblink to the document

Guidance documents were selected that provide solutions to common ergonomics problems. Documents that provide generic guidelines for all jobs are not included.  There are thousands of tasks that might benefit from ergonomic interventions and not all of them could be included here. This list includes common tasks that many workers and employers can use. The guidance documents were not evaluated in detail for their effectiveness. Their inclusion here is based on the judgement of NORA members that they will help reduce risk factors known to cause musculoskeletal disorders, reductions in manufacturing productivity, and quality defects/errors.

Our hope is that these guidance documents will help employers and workers, practitioners and safety officers find accessible solutions to reduce musculoskeletal risk in their workplaces and thus encourage them to make changes that will prevent these injuries.

We appreciate any feedback on the documents listed here. If you have or know of other useful interventions/documents, please send comments to the TC MSD Chair.

Other guidance Documents

The document available for download here describes 16 risk assessment tools for quantifying workplace biomechanical and psychosocial factors that may be predictive of MSDs. The MSD Technical Committee lists tools that have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals with data on reliability and predictive value. The tools are presented in categories (general, upper extremity, material handling, and psychosocial). The MSD TC welcomes suggestions for changes to this list and additional references. Send them to the TC MSD Chair.


IEA-WHO Toolkit for managing the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.