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What We Do

Research

We conduct leading-edge research, perform product testing and analysis, engage in extensive literature reviews, develop experimental designs, perform product validations and engage in reliability testing.
Remote Working 
Remote work became a large topic area for the Ergo Center in 2020. Pickens and Parker wrote an article about working from home that was featured in Texas A&M Today, and Pickens starred in a segment on KBTX (local CBS affiliate).  Benden was a panelist on a Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) webinar concerning how ergonomists’ work has changed because of the pandemic. Benden and Parker recorded a two-episode webcast for center partner Linak about remote working, basic office ergonomics, and using standing workstations appropriately. That two-episode webcast was turned into a published article in the Business of Furniture magazine. Parker was a panelist on an ErgoExpo webinar devoted to using data to drive remote work decisions with center partners BP and Cority.   

Education

We educate current and future health and safety professionals by providing experience outside the classroom and by providing professional development and continuing education courses.
In 2020, the Ergo Center sponsored students in the intellectual property and patent process for a product developed in Dr. Mark Benden’s Occupational Biomechanics class. A relationship was initiated with FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies for long-term development and support of an ergonomics program, student-led training sessions, and a student-staffed Ergo Lab.  The Ergo Center has built relationships with numerous industry partners such as BP, Los Alamos National Laboratory, SpaceX, Abbott Labs, Johnson and Johnson, Chevron, Berg, Liberty Mutual, Texas Instruments, Halliburton, Boeing, CNA Insurance, Liberty Mutual, UPS, and many more. The Ergo Center establishes long-term relationships with Environmental & Occupational Health students at Texas A&M University by providing them valuable experience in outreach projects. After graduation, these same students become active members of our Industry Advisory Board and help guide the success of the Ergo Center.  
The Alternative Work And Remote Environment (AWARE) certification is a series of modules that will prepare individuals or representatives of their organizations to pursue the Alternative Work And Remote Environment (AWARE) certification. Each module addresses an important aspect of working remotely and gives practical and evidence-based guidance to improve the working environment. Modules include: Remote Work Equipment, Remote Work Environment, Remote Work Healthy Behaviors, and Remote Work Policies & Programs. In addition to the AWARE certifications, the Ergo Center is developing Vehicle Ergonomics courses, particularly for those individuals who drive as a part of their job. Individuals taking this course will learn the value of good seat and vehicle adjustment as well as healthy behaviors they can take on the road to help decrease potential discomfort and increase wellness.  
The Occupational Safety and Health Training Program at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health, managed by the Ergo Center, delivers high quality training in occupational safety and health with available concentrations in safety, health, and ergonomics for masters and doctoral level students. Students completing the program possess knowledge and skills in the general concepts of problems and solutions with cost/benefit analysis related to occupational safety and health/wellness, ergonomics, industrial hygiene, occupational disease, human anatomy, user-computer interaction, displays and controls, information processing, industrial process safety, epidemiology, and statistics. Through the Texas A&M Ergo Center, trainees are introduced to outreach projects and paid research opportunities. Trainees complete task analysis and job description information and help the Ergo Center draw reasonable conclusions as to the feasibility of different postures at work. Trainees use ergonomic evaluation software from center partner Humantech to practice data collection and analysis in real-world situations. 

Outreach

We provide expertise to partners who require highly technical and experienced health and safety professionals to solve complex problems.
Through consulting, the center performs worksite safety and ergonomic assessments, develops ergonomic systematic processes, and supports the implementation and evaluation of these processes. In addition, the center develops and applies ergonomic designs and interventions and assesses actual and prototypical workplaces using human modeling systems and job activity assessments using motion capture technology. The center has served in the capacity as expert witnesses in occupational safety and ergonomic cases. Most recently, outreach and expert witness work performed by the center in 2020 and 2021 affected at least 230,000 retail cashiers in California. These cashiers will now be allowed the opportunity to sit for a portion of their work activities in accordance with California State law. Ergo Center work was also instrumental in lawsuit efforts to enforce worker safety laws mandating proper seating for specific employee types. 

 

August 17, 2021

The mission of the Industry Advisory Board is to guide, promote, advise and support the Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) Department at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. In addition, the IAB serves in an advisory capacity to fulfill the requirements for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The board has grown to over 100 people representing various types of industry, state organizations and academia. Industry advisory board members are expected to be a communication channel between the member company and EOH, communicate to EOH specific worksite competencies of profession EOH roles, be an advocate for EOH students by hiring them as interns or full-time employees, advise and support EOH with relevant issues/situations which can be used for student capstone projects, and participate in benchmarking sessions with EOH faculty, staff and students.