Take advantage of the opportunity to enhance your skills and boost your learning by participating in a pre-conference workshop. Learn from experienced practitioners who will address your concerns about ergonomics. They are open to all registered in-person conference attendees and require a separate fee.

Monday, March 25

Ergonomics Certification – Preparing to Take BCPE Exam

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Presenter: Robert J. Smillie, President, Foundation for Professional Ergonomics

Part 1: Review of Requirements 
Overview/Abstract: Participants will learn what certification means and what are the basic steps to become certified. To become certified, participants will learn about the core competencies and of what topics they will need to have some knowledge and understanding.

Learning Objectives: Participants will become familiar with the core competencies required for certification and work with instructors and peers to review their relevant coursework and work products, which will yield a gap analysis of their intended certification application materials. 

Part 2: Preparing for BCPE Exam
Overview/Abstract: Participants will review the BCPE Core Competencies, of which the exam is based. They will learn what percentage of questions go with each competency, what the sub competencies are, and what knowledge and skill are considered critical for each competency. Participants will review all the major subject areas and get an understanding of which areas they will need to address before sitting for the exam. Overall subject reviews of key competency areas will be provided.

Learning Objectives: The outcome of the course is that participants will have developed their own specific study plan that they can use to prepare for the exam.

Promoting Wellness in Office Environments

8 a.m. – Noon
Presenters: Teresa Bellingar, Haworth, Inc. and Sheryl Ulin, University of Michigan

This workshop will explore the value of posture changes, movement, workstation design and wellness when working in the office environment. The Total Worker Health Framework and the Well Building Standard can be used to develop workplace initiatives to improve worker wellness. Office environments often lead to sedentary work – whether seated or standing – for long durations and have been shown to be related to health issues. This lack of movement combined with how the body position responds/changes when working in different postures over time can further affect the level of comfort/discomfort a worker experiences. How do postures that individuals naturally sit or stand in compare to recommended reference postures? How do we encourage individuals to change postures and move throughout the day? Come and explore these topics, research studies and case study applications.


  1. Discuss the Total Worker Health and Wellness Initiatives and how they relate office/workstation design.
  2. Explore how movement and posture affects overall well-being.
  3. Apply these concepts to case study scenarios.

Recent Advances in Physical Ergonomics Assessment Tools

1 – 5 p.m. 
Presenter: Jim Potvin, President and Owner, Potvin Biomechanics, Inc.

This workshop will summarize the basic principles of physical ergonomics risk assessment. Next, it will reflect on several legacy ergonomics analysis tools from the 20th century, including the “Garg” metabolic equations (1978), NIOSH Lifting Equation (1981, revised in 1991), Snook & Ciriello Tables (1991), 3DSSPP software (1995, revised until 2020), ACGIH TLV for HAL (2001), and Strain Index (1995). 

Then, it will provide a summary of newer assessment tools, mostly from the past decade. For manual materials handling tasks, this will include the Liberty Mutual Metabolic Equations (2005) and Manual Materials Handling Equations (2021), as well as methods to quantify cumulative loading on the lumbar spine, and integrate the results from tools using different criteria (eg. biomehcanical, psychophysical and physiological). 

The more recent upper extremity tools will include the Maximum Acceptable Effort equation (2012), the ACGIH TLV for Localized Upper Limb Fatigue (2016), the Revised Strain Index (2016), the Recommended Cumulative Recovery Allowance method (2016), the HandPak software package (2016), the Arm Force Field method (2017), the Revised ACGIH TLV for HAL (2018), and the Above-Shoulder Tool (2022). We will also review data related to the effects of age on upper extremity strength.

Attendees will perform analyses on their computers with worksheets that will be provided for many of the tools.