On November 23rd, the Mexican Labour and Social Welfare Ministry published the NOM 036 regarding ergonomic risk factors at work, identification, analysis, prevention and control.
The Labour and Social Welfare Ministry published NOM 036 regarding ergonomic factors at work. The NOM 036 establishes the elements to identify, analyse and prevent ergonomic risk factors, as well as to promote healthy and safe work environment.
According to the NOM 036 ergonomic risk factors shall be understood as those which may involve physical effort, repetitive movements or forced postures in the work developed, which may lead to the development of fatigue, errors, accidents, work diseases, derived from the design of the facilities, machinery, equipment, tools or job position.
It is to be noted that the NOM 036 will not apply to companies where the volume of the manual handling is less than 3 kilograms per person.
The objective of the NOM 036 is to prevent work accidents and illnesses, so employees can be safe while performing any type of physical job.
In order to prevent accidents and illnesses form happening, the NOM 036 establishes a set of obligations the employer must fulfil which include:
- Adopt prevention measures in order to reduce, eliminate and prevent ergonomic risks factors in the workplace.
- Perform health surveillance of workers.
- Inform employees about the possible health alterations that they may suffer from the load handling
- Provide training and coaching to exposed employees on safety procedures and safe work practices.
The NOM 036 also establishes certain key points that the employees must follow in order to prevent ergonomic risks, these key points are:
- Immediately notify the employer and/or the safety and health commission about unsafe conditions.
- Observe prevention and / or control measures, as well as safety procedures and safe work practices.
- Keep the work places and common areas clean and free of obstacles.
- Perform the work safely to avoid risks.
- Participate in the training and information events provided by the employer.
- Inform the employer about the effects on their health or their possible limitations in carrying out their activities.
Employers have the obligation to perform analysis and tests in order to prevent ergonomic risks, this analysis and tests shall include; the identification of the activities which are attached to manual holding such as: transport, push, lift and/or any other kind of physical effort.
The specific evaluation of the risk level each activity has, and the acceptable conditions and corrective measures required to have a safe work performance.
The identification of the ergonomic risk factors will prevent accidents from happening and the adequate coaching will help employees know what to do if an accident did occur, thereafter will know how to proceed without any hesitation.