The Ergonomic Checklist is a tool primarily designed to contribute to the systematic application of ergonomic principles. It was developed with the purpose of providing practical and low-cost solutions to ergonomic problems, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. It aims to improve working conditions in a simple way, by enhancing safety, health, and efficiency.

This tool is especially suitable for conducting a basic level assessment (or initial risk identification) prior to the advanced level assessment.


The Ergonomic Checklist is an especially suitable tool for conducting a basic level assessment (or initial risk identification) prior to the advanced level assessment.


The Checklist emerged from the collaboration between the International Labour Office (ILO) and the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). The Technology Transfer Committee of the IEA appointed a group of experts to draft the document and develop most of the material. The experts identified different main areas where Ergonomics' contribution to working conditions was considered very important for small businesses.

In the development of the checklist points, the aim was to help users solve problems by offering solutions. Therefore, the analytical part was reduced in favor of practical solutions.

The checklist is intended for those who wish to improve working conditions through a systematized analysis and a search for practical solutions to specific problems. The checklist points have been developed for a wide variety of users: entrepreneurs, supervisors, workers, engineers, health and safety professionals, trainers and instructors, inspectors, ergonomists, workplace designers, and others who may be interested in improving workplaces, equipment, and working conditions.

The list covers all major ergonomic factors in workplaces, which will help monitor them in an organized manner.


Initial risk identification (basic analysis level) allows the detection of risk factors in job positions. If detected, an advanced level assessment will be conducted. Good indicators of risk presence are, for example: acute injuries (back pain, physical fatigue, herniated discs, sciatica...), chronic injuries (epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome...), or occupational diseases among workers in a specific job. To carry out the initial risk identification, it is advisable to use risk identification lists such as the "Ergonomic Checklist".

Application of the Checklist

The ergonomic checklist analyzes ten different areas where ergonomics influences working conditions. For each area, there are 10 to 20 checklist points. In total, the list consists of 128 points. Each checklist point indicates an action. For each action, options and some additional guidance are provided. This allows the user to select the checklist points that apply to a specific workplace and use the action propositions as an adapted checklist.

The checklist should be used as follows:

  • Define the work area to be inspected. In the case of a small business, this may encompass the entire work area.

  • Understand the most important characteristics and factors of the workplace to be analyzed, such as different products and processes, the number of workers, shifts, breaks, overtime, and any issues or incidents that may exist in the workplace.

  • Use the checklist to select and apply the checklist points that are relevant to the workplace.

  • Read each item carefully to know how to apply it; if in doubt, consult supervisors or employees.

  • Organize a discussion group using the user-specific checklist as reference material. A group of people can examine the workplace to conduct a field study.

  • Mark each checklist point in the "Propose any action?" section with a "NO" if the checklist point is being met. If it should be met and it is not, mark a "YES". Use the Observations section to explain the proposed action and add suggestions or the location of the problem.

  • Once completed, reanalyze the items marked with "YES". Select those with improvements that seem most important and mark them as PRIORITY.

During the group discussion, existing information on "preventive actions" and "recommendations" may be useful as additional information to the selected checklist points. Moreover, good work practices and conditions should also be specified where observed.

The Checklist

Below is the ergonomic checklist with its 128 items or checklist points grouped into areas.

Click on the number of the checklist points to access information on preventive actions and recommendations for each point.


Click on the number of the checklist points to access information on preventive actions and recommendations for each point.

001 Clear and marked transportation routes.
002 Maintain hallways and corridors with sufficient width to allow two-way transportation.
003 Ensure transportation pathways have a uniform, slip-resistant surface, free of obstacles.
004 Provide ramps with a slight incline, between 5 and 8%, instead of small stairs or sudden height differences in the workplace.
005 Improve workspace layout to minimize the need for material movement.
006 Use carts, trolleys, or other wheeled mechanisms, or rollers, when moving materials.
007 Employ mobile auxiliary carts to avoid unnecessary loading and unloading.
008 Use multi-level racks or shelves near the work area to minimize manual material transportation.
009 Use mechanical aids for lifting, placing, and moving heavy materials.
010 Reduce manual material handling by using conveyor belts, cranes, and other mechanical transport means.
011 Instead of transporting heavy loads, distribute the weight into smaller, lighter packages, containers, or trays.
012 Provide handles, grips, or good attachment points for all packages and boxes.
013 Eliminate or reduce height differences when manually moving materials.
014 Feed and remove heavy materials horizontally, pushing or pulling them, instead of lifting and placing them.
015 When handling loads, eliminate tasks that require bending or twisting.
016 Keep objects close to the body while transporting them.
017 Lift and place materials slowly, in front of the body, without deep twists or bends.
018 When carrying a load beyond a short distance, distribute the load symmetrically over both shoulders to provide balance and reduce strain.
019 Combine lifting heavy loads with lighter physical tasks to prevent injuries and fatigue, and increase efficiency.
020 Provide conveniently located waste containers.
021 Mark evacuation routes and keep them obstacle-free.


Click on the number of the checklist points to access information on preventive actions and recommendations for each point.

037 Protect controls to prevent accidental activation.
038 Make emergency controls clearly visible and easily accessible from the operator´s normal position.
039 Make different controls easily distinguishable from one another.
040 Ensure the worker can comfortably see and reach all controls.
041 Place controls in the sequence of operation.
042 Employ natural expectations for control movements.
043 Limit the number of pedals and, if used, make them easy to operate.
044 Make signals and indicators easily distinguishable from one another and easy to read.
045 Use markings or colors on indicators to help workers understand what to do.
046 Remove or cover all unused indicators.
047 Use symbols only if they are easily understood by local workers.
048 Make labels and signs easy to see, read, and understand.
049 Use warning signals that the worker can easily and correctly understand.
050 Use clamping or fixing systems to make machining operations stable, safe, and efficient.
051 Purchase safe machines.
052 Use feeding and ejecting devices to keep hands away from hazardous machine areas.
053 Use appropriate guards or barriers to prevent contact with moving machinery parts.
054 Use interconnected barriers to make it impossible for workers to reach dangerous points when the machine is in operation.
055 Inspect, clean, and maintain machines periodically, including electrical cables.
056 Train workers to operate safely and efficiently.


Click on the number of the checklist points to access information on preventive actions and recommendations for each point.

057 Adjust work height for each worker, positioning it at elbow level or slightly below.
058 Ensure shorter workers can reach controls and materials in a natural posture.
059 Ensure taller workers have enough space to comfortably move their legs and body.
060 Place frequently used materials, tools, and controls within a comfortable reach zone.
061 Provide a stable, multi-purpose work surface at each workstation.
062 Provide seated workstations for workers performing tasks requiring precision or detailed inspection, and standing workstations for tasks requiring body movement and greater force.062
063 Ensure the worker can stand naturally, supported on both feet, and perform work close to and in front of the body.
064 Allow workers to alternate between sitting and standing during work, as much as possible.064
065 Provide chairs or stools for standing workers to sit occasionally.
066 Equip seated workers with good adjustable chairs with backrests.
067 Provide adjustable work surfaces for workers who alternate between working with large and small objects.
068 Make workstations with screens and keyboards, such as data display screen (DDS) workstations, adjustable by workers.
069 Provide eye examinations and appropriate glasses for workers who regularly use equipment with a data display screen (DDS).
070 Provide training to update workers with data display screens (DDS).
071 Involve workers in improving the design of their own workstation.


Click on the number of the checklist points to access information on preventive actions and recommendations for each point.

108 Involve workers in planning their daily work.
109 Consult workers on how to improve the organization of work time.
110 Solve work problems by involving workers in groups.
111 Consult workers when making changes in production and when improvements are needed to make work safer, easier, and more efficient.
112 Reward workers for their collaboration in improving productivity and the workplace.
113 Regularly inform workers about the results of their work.
114 Train workers to take on responsibilities and provide them with the means to make improvements in their tasks.
115 Foster opportunities for easy communication and mutual support in the workplace.
116 Give opportunities for workers to learn new techniques.
117 Form work groups, so that each group works collectively and takes responsibility for the results.
118 Improve difficult and monotonous jobs to increase long-term productivity.
119 Combine tasks to make work more interesting and varied.
120 Place a small stock of unfinished products (intermediate stock) between different workstations.
121 Combine work at a display screen with other tasks to increase productivity and reduce fatigue.
122 Provide short and frequent breaks during continuous work with data display screens.
123 Take into account workers´ skills and preferences when assigning workstations.
124 Adapt facilities and equipment for disabled workers so they can work safely and efficiently.
125 Pay due attention to the safety and health of pregnant women.
126 Take measures so that older workers can perform their work safely and efficiently.
127 Establish emergency plans to ensure proper emergency operations, easy access to facilities, and quick evacuation.
128 Learn how to improve your workplace from good examples in your own company or other companies.


  • Ministry of Labor and Immigration of Spain, 2000, Ergonomic checklist. Ergonomic checkpoints. Practical and easy-to-use solutions to improve to improve safety, health and working conditions.


  • Diego-Mas, Jose Antonio. Risk analysis using the Ergonomics Checklist. Ergonautas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 2023. Available online:

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