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About APHIS Ergonomics

APHIS provides a comprehensive Safety and Health Program for APHIS employees with work places and conditions of employment in which the risk of exposures to potential hazards is minimized.

The Safety, Health, and Environmental Protection Branch administers the APHIS Ergonomics Program as though every employee at APHIS is at risk for developing a work-related musculoskeletal disorder. From administrative personnel to industrial personnel, ergonomics plays an important role in preventing injury and illness. The APHIS Ergonomics Program uses a comprehensive approach to inform employees of the possible ergonomic hazards to which they may be exposed.

The APHIS Ergonomics Program focuses on employees whose primary work-related tasks require repetitive motions, awkward postures, high repetition, and forceful exertions. At APHIS, these types of job tasks normally are performed by employees spending a large portion of their day at computer workstations, employees involved with animal care and handling, and employees involved with repetitive or heavy lifting.


The purpose of the APHIS Ergonomics Program is to establish a system for the identification, evaluation, and control of ergonomic risk factors in the workplace. Ideally, by identifying, evaluating, and controlling such risk factors, a better match is created between the worker, the work they perform, and the equipment they use to perform their work.


APHIS will provide, at no cost to the employee, an ergonomic evaluation of the employee's workstation or work area and training on ergonomic hazards typically found in his/her work area.


The goals of the APHIS Ergonomics Program are to:

  • Prevent injuries and illnesses by eliminating or reducing employee exposures to work-related musculoskeletal disorders risk factors;
  • Reduce the potential for fatigue, error, and unsafe work practices by adapting the job and workplace to the employee's capabilities and limitations;
  • Increase the overall productivity of the work force;
  • Reduce worker's compensation claims and associated costs; and
  • Improve employee morale and willingness to perform job tasks.


To better understand APHIS' position on providing ergonomic services to its employees, the following references are provided:

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