U-M ergonomics awareness groups from all three campuses and Michigan Medicine have again partnered to offer grant funds to departments and units looking to solve worksite ergonomics issues.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to apply by Oct. 31 for the opportunity to receive up to $5,000 to help purchase equipment or redesign work processes to reduce ergonomic risk factors. The timing of the annual Ergonomics Grant Program coincides with National Ergonomics Month, recognized every October.
Any employee can apply on behalf of their area. Applications are encouraged if an area’s employees regularly:
- Experience physical discomfort due to manually lifting, pushing, pulling, or transporting equipment, objects or patients;
- Bend over, reach up or perform awkward, repetitive motion for several hours during the work day; or
- Experience physical stress or discomfort due to work equipment
To make grant dollars go farther and support more university areas, departments and units that receive a grant are encouraged to share in the cost of the project.
The program is managed by the MHealthy Ergonomics Awareness team, which includes representatives from MHealthy; Environment, Health and Safety in Ann Arbor; Michigan Medicine Safety Management Services; the Department of Environmental Health and Safety in Dearborn; and Environment, Health and Safety in Flint.
“Dozens of university areas and hundreds, if not thousands, of employees through the years have benefited from improvements funded by our ergonomic grant program,” says Lora Rometsch, safety representative intermediate for Environment, Health and Safety at UM-Flint. “Many departments lack the funds to implement solutions and this program helps to alleviate some of the cost. The impact is better worker safety, comfort, and job satisfaction.”
Applications will be reviewed by the Ergonomics Awareness team and awarded based on the significance of the ergonomic issue, the feasibility of the project, and the anticipated outcome. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the MHealthy ergonomics website for more information on what projects will, and will not, be considered for funding and to see examples of past projects funded.
The Ergonomics Awareness Team also continues to accept year-round nominations for its Ergonomic Hero Awards. These awards recognize faculty and staff who have independently implemented ergonomic solutions in the workplace. Nominating coworkers, supervisors and managers is encouraged.