People + Process = Performance

Free Online Ergonomic Tools

Everyone loves free stuff—especially if it of value and makes our lives easier.  I’m always looking for tools that can make my job and/or that of my clients’ easier and quicker to assess ergonomic risk.  Auburn Engineers offers free versions of three common ergonomic assessment tools—REBA, RULA and NIOSH lifting equation which they call eREBA, eRULA and eLift respectively. 

The tools are very easy to use.  Each tool asks questions about the job and you simply fill in the numbers or click the appropriate button.  As soon as all of the questions have been answered you are given the result.  I played around with each of the tools and found them to be a good starting point to assess risk.  The tools are not going to provide an in-depth analysis or identify root cause(s) but will let the user know if there is something of concern and recommend further evaluation and/or changes.

The webpage also offers a sitting and standing computer workstation guide.  The user inputs the height of the individual and the tool provides the recommended height.  Note:  The recommended heights are based on the 1988 Anthropometric Survey of the U.S. Army Personnel databases.  The recommended heights should not be considered gospel as anthropometrics are the averages based upon the collection of a certain population.  They are a starting point—not an ending point.  For example, the recommended standing work surface height for a person of my height (5’8”) is 42”.  However, my actual preferred standing work height is 38”.  Again, the sitting and standing computer workstation guide is a good starting point to assess workstation height but there are other considerations that should factor into the decision.


There are other online websites that offer free or pay versions of those same tools