ERGO CUP® COMPETITION

The Ergo Cup competition is sponsored by The Ergonomics Center of North Carolina and Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC State University and presented by the Applied Ergonomics Society.

The Ergo Cup Categories and judging criteria have been updated for 2024

Six (6) Ergo Cup awards will be presented celebrating outstanding, innovative solutions that address an organization's ergonomics challenges and improve their ergonomic processes and systems. The Ergo Cup winners will be selected by an invited panel of judges. All finalists will be presented with a plaque in recognition of their participation.

  • Task-Focused Workplace Solution: Manual Material Handling Tasks
  • Task-Focused Workplace Solution: Repetitive and/or Awkward Posture Tasks
  • Task-Focused Workplace Solution: Maintenance and Other Non-Standard Tasks
  • Task-Focused Workplace Solution: Miscellaneous or Multi-Task
  • New Product or New Job Design Solutions
  • Ergonomics Program Improvement Initiatives (Office and Industrial)

Any organization that can demonstrate an effective ergonomics solution within the last 24 months is eligible to compete. the ergonomic solution preferably should have been implemented at least 1 (one) full year and actual productivity, safety ROI results should be presented. The exception to this is for projects that fall into the New Product or New Job Design Solutions category.

Ergo Cup® categories

Task-Focused Workplace Solutions

Four (4) Ergo Cups will be awarded in this category, each addressing different types of task or work. Organizations will be asked to identify the primary task type and a secondary task type for each submission, and AEC reserves the right to move any submission between the task types.

  • Manual Material Handling Tasks
  • Repetitive and/or Awkward Posture Tasks
  • Maintenance and Other Non-Standard Tasks
  • Miscellaneous or Multi-Task

The following judging criteria will be used to evaluate the four Task-Focused Workplace Solution Ergo Cup Submissions:

  • Innovation – The solution is innovative; it is a newly created device or process.
  • Worker Involvement – The problem identification and solution development processes included meaningful worker involvement and input.
  • Risk Reduction – The solution significantly reduces or eliminated ergonomic risk.
  • Business Impact – The solution provides benefits to the organization beyond the ergonomic risk reduction and has an attractive return on investment. Examples include increased production, reduced cycle times, improved quality, reduced waste, improved employee satisfaction, diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI), and/or reduced employee turnover.

New Product or New Job Design Solutions

One (1) Ergo Cup will be awarded in this category. These projects will showcase how ergonomics has been incorporated into the design of a new product or new job. Ergo Cup Awards have traditionally celebrated innovative solutions that addressed existing ergonomic problems. This new Ergo Cup Category will celebrate organizations and projects that incorporate ergonomics into their Prevention Through Design initiatives.

The following judging criteria will be used to evaluate the projects in this category:

  • Innovation – the new product or job design is unique/novel/original. 
  • Design Objectives and Impact – Specific, measurable success criteria were established and evaluated for the design of the new product or job that considered both ergonomic and business impact.
  • Worker Involvement – Meaningful worker input was solicited and used throughout the design process.

Ergonomics Program Improvement Initiatives (Office & Industrial)

One (1) Ergo Cup will be awarded in this category. The projects in this category must represent a planned ergonomic program improvement imitative, process or management system designed to improve the effectiveness of a location's ergonomics program including office and industrial-based initiatives. Examples include, but are not limited to: ergonomic training programs, incorporation of ergonomics into change management systems, ergonomics risk assessment processes, ergonomic prioritization systems, return-to-work programs ergonomics employee engagement methods, office ergonomic programs and ergonomic programs designed for remote, mobile and/or telecommuter employees.

The following judging criteria will be used to evaluate the initiatives in this category:

  • Innovation – The program improvement initiative is innovative; it includes components or approaches that are unique, novel or original.
  • Performance Objectives and Impact – Specific, measurable performance criteria were established for the program improvement initiative, and these performance objectives were used to assess the overall success of the initiative.
  • Worker Involvement – Meaningful worker input was solicited and used throughout the program improvement process.

NOTE: Although external consultants or experts may be part of the solution development process, a significant portion (i.e., at least 75%) of the problem-solving effort for the Ergo Cup Solutions in all categories must have been completed by the organization submitting the project, and only company representatives are permitted on the presentation team if selected as an Ergo Cup contestant.

Ergo Excellence Awards

In addition to the six (6) Ergo Cup® Awards, six (6) Ergo Excellence Awards will be bestowed at AEC 2024. The Ergo Excellence Awards are AEC's People's Choice Awards as the winners are chosen by (secret) ballot of all conference attendees. The criteria for these awards are listed below and mirror many, but not all, of the Ergo Cup judging criteria.

Please note: Conference attendees will vote through the AEC 2024 mobile app for the Ergo Cup Excellence Awards. Therefore, each registrant must register with a unique email address. If you do not provide an email address, you will not be able to vote.

  1. Innovation – The entry represents newly created devices or processes and is considered unique, novel, and/or original in its content or approach.
  2. Simplicity – The solution, new design, or program improvement initiative is simple and straightforward.
  3. Business Impact/Return on Investment (ROI) – The solution provides an attractive ROI and a positive business impact to the organization beyond the ergonomic risk reduction. Examples of business impact include increased production, reduced cycle times, improved quality, reduced waste, improved employee satisfaction, diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI), and reduced employee turnover.
  4. Ergonomic Risk Reduction – The solution, new design, or program improvement initiative eliminates or significantly reduces ergonomic risk.
  5. Transferability/Scalability – The solution has the potential to be applied or leveraged to solve ergonomic problems far beyond the individual site. The solution, new design, or program improvement initiative is highly scalable and transferable to other industries and/or other types of tasks.
  6. Presentation Quality – The problem, solution and impact were clearly communicated by the team, as well as by the design and flow of the Ergo Cup booth during the live conference.

Requirements of Finalists

If selected as a finalist, each team will be required to:

  1. Develop and submit a project brochure that summarizes your project.
  2. Develop and submit a project video (no more than 3 minutes in length) that highlights your project.
  3. Develop a virtual booth, within the conference platform, that includes your project description, brochure, and video.
  4. Attend the live conference, create and staff an exhibit booth (with a minimum of two (2) team members present) in order to be eligible to compete for the Ergo Cup® and five (5) Ergo Excellence Awards.
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