PRE-CONFERENCE Workshops - Now available!

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 conference attendees and require a separate fee.

Deadline to register for precons was March 10, 2021!

New for 2021

  • Pre-conference Workshops are scheduled March 15-19, the week before AEC, allowing access to more sessions!
  • Special Student Rate available for all Pre-Conference Workshops.

Monday, March 15

Highly Effective Change Influence and Leadership Skills in Ergonomics

Presenter: Jack Slavinski, Organizational Change Consultant
8 a.m. – Noon ET
What is influence? What are the skills that enable one to thrive in one’s role? Key skills/behaviors required for influence include mindset, character strengths, interaction style adapting, emotional IQ, relationship and trust building as well as change adaptability. Why are these skills important in today's dynamic environments? Communication effectiveness “how to”-critical success factors, tips, public speaking and presentation design to gain change influence program management best practices? Implementing change and managing change conflict. The workshop would be highly interactive. A workbook (digital format) will be provided. Techniques such as personal and organizational assessments and interactive role playing would be used. The goal would be to enable participants to create a personal development plan and a plan of action on how to improve change adoption with ergonomics in their firm.

Ergonomics Certification – Applying for the Exam – Review of Requirements for Education, Experience, and Work Products

Presenters: Robert J. Smillie, Foundation for Professional Ergonomics and Bill Boyd, Director of Membership Services, IISE
1 – 5 p.m. ET
Participants will learn what certification means and what are the basic steps to become certified including specifics regarding qualifications, coursework and work-products for certification application. Participants will learn about the core competencies and of what topics they will need to have some knowledge and understanding.


Tuesday, March 16

Facilitative Leadership Skills – A Key for High Impact Ergonomics Teams

Presenter: Suzanne Nobrega, University of Massachusetts Lowell 
8 a.m. – Noon ET
Mastering facilitative leadership skills can improve the productivity and impact of the teams you lead. Front line employees are vital team members because they have knowledge that is essential for developing effective ergonomics interventions. A “Design Team” can be an effective way to engage front line workers for continuous improvement of the workplace. Design Team success depends on every member contributing their very best work. As a Facilitator, it’s your role to set the conditions for that to happen. During this workshop, you’ll learn how to facilitate an ergonomics “design team” of front-line workers. You will practice group facilitation techniques for root causes analysis and solution crafting using a participatory group approach. Demonstration videos will reinforce key facilitation techniques, including drawing out team members’ knowledge, encouraging trust and cohesion, and navigating group dynamics challenges. You’ll learn from case studies how organizations have implemented a participatory Design Team approach to address ergonomic and other safety and health concerns. Following this session, you will take away a facilitation skills practice plan and a toolkit to help you recruit and facilitate a Design Team in your organization.

Using Fatigue Failure Based Exposure Assessment Tools to Control Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

Presenters: Sean Gallagher and Richard Sesek, Auburn University
1 – 5 p.m. ET
A growing body of evidence suggests that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) may be the result of a fatigue failure process in musculoskeletal tissues. Three new exposure assessment tools based on fatigue failure principles, the “Lifting Fatigue Failure Tool” (LiFFT), the “Distal Upper Extremity Tool” (DUET), and “The Shoulder Tool” will be presented in the workshop. These tools are practitioner friendly and their cumulative damage metrics have been shown to demonstrate a dose-response relationship with adverse musculoskeletal health outcomes such as low back pain (LBP), upper extremity outcomes and shoulder outcomes, respectively. The first hour of the workshop will provide some background regarding the development of these tools. The second and third hours will introduce each of these risk assessment tools and provide hands-on analysis practice using these tools. Finally, the fourth hour will focus on discussing further development of the fatigue failure-based tools, as well as an extended feedback session between presenters and attendees. The entire workshop will encourage hands-on learning and dialogue between the presenters and attendees.


Wednesday, March 17

AEC Student and Young Professional Leadership Workshop - Part 1

Featured Speakers: Bobbie Watts, Michelin Americas, and Michael Giuliano
8 a.m. – Noon ET
The AEC Student Leadership Workshop is a two part workshop focused on building and enhancing students’ leadership knowledge and skills. Ergonomic professionals from different industries will be helping to educate, mentor and provide insight as the student transitions into their careers. 

Practical Anthropometry: Determining the Percentage of Users Concurrently Accommodated on Multiple Design Dimensions

Presenter: Thomas Albin, High Plains Engineering Services LLC
1 – 5 p.m. ET
The physical accommodation (the fit) between users and the multiple dimensions of a device affects users’ safety and performance. Consequently, it is important to determine the fit between the device’s dimensions and the user. This workshop focuses on teaching participants how to use freely available anthropometric data to assess the fit between products’ dimensions and the intended user population. It can be applied to either existing products or new products. The workshop will be taught as a series of hands-on exercises, in which the participants will use their computer to analyze anthropometric data. The anthropometric data will be presented in spreadsheets. Participants will need to have either Excel© or Sheets© installed on their computers. Participants will develop competency in dealing with two types of multivariate problems. In the first, participants will learn how to combine two or more variables to estimate an unknown dimension. Secondly, they will also learn how to estimate the percentage of intended users who are concurrently accommodated on multivariate designs, e.g. length, height and width. Completion of the exercises will introduce participants to multivariate accommodation estimates and will extend their ability to estimate accommodation of multivariate designs by manipulating spreadsheets of anthropometric data.

Attendees: Please be advised that to be able to access the anthropometric datasets to participate in this course, it is required to have access to a computer running either running Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. To that effect, please either bring your own computer or work with another participant that you know will be attending this course to be able to share a computer.


Thursday, March 18

How to Craft an Ergonomics Business Case in Dollars and “Sense”

Presenter: Suzanne Nobrega, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Blake McGowan, VelocityEHS
8 a.m. – Noon ET
Communicating the value of ergonomics to business stakeholders is a critical part of an ergonomics initiative. As professionals, our goal is to improve the lives of the global working population. To maximize the positive impact on the working population, we must satisfy the needs of business stakeholders as well. To gain their support, we need to learn how to speak their language and to communicate the return on investment of good safety management. During this workshop, participants will practice using a field-tested systems analysis tool to craft the business case for ergonomics interventions. These tools engage management and front-line employees in conceptualizing solutions and using key performance indicators (KPIs) to select solutions that will have the most impact for employee well-being and for achieving key organizational goals. Case studies will be used to help teams develop KPIs in several industries including healthcare, public safety, and manufacturing. Following the session, participants will have an action plan for engaging key business stakeholders and a draft of key performance indicators that you can use when making the case for your next “big idea.”

Ergonomics Certification – Preparing to take BCPE Exam

Presenters: Robert J. Smillie, Foundation for Professional Ergonomics
1  – 5 p.m. ET
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.

AEC Student and Young Professional Leadership Workshop - Part 2

Featured Speaker: Tim Page-Bottoroff
3 – 7 p.m. ET
The AEC Student Leadership Workshop is a two part workshop focused on building and enhancing students’ leadership knowledge and skills. Ergonomic professionals from different industries will be helping to educate, mentor and provide insight as the student transitions into their careers.

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