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ERG100 Image of pencil erasing shoulder injury over red and blue skeleton

Foundations for Cognitive, Macro & Physical HF/E (ERG100)

Ended Oct 1, 2023
4.5 credits

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Full course description

Now Registering for August 7 - October 1, 2023. (Online).

This course presents fundamental concepts from multiple disciplines that are essential to practicing ergonomics. The course begins with core topics from anatomy, kinesiology and the physiology of work as applied to human abilities and limitations. The class continues with an exploration of biomechanics, anthropometry, physical and psychosocial ergonomic risk factors and analytic methods to mitigate risk exposure. Finally, cognitive and macro ergonomic models are introduced with considerations for the professional ergonomist. Learners will also evaluate different environments based on concepts introduced in this course. Pulling these pieces together ensures a comprehensive approach to Human Factors and Ergonomics (HF/E) to both minimize injury and optimize worker performance.


Course Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Define ergonomics and the various disciplines that contribute to the field
  • Describe the human musculoskeletal system and its limitations related to work
  • Identify and quantify the demands of work in terms of primary physical risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) 
  • Summarize other factors that are associated with work related MSDs and impaired performance such as cognitive, psychosocial, and environmental risk factors
  • Illustrate proper application of anthropometric measurements for analysis and design 
  • Identify and apply common risk assessment tools to evaluate physical exposures
  • Compare the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial demands of a task to human capacity and ergonomics guidelines and identify mismatches that indicate risk
  • Perform a basic risk analysis of the design of existing hand tools, workstations, controls and displays
  • Perform a root cause analysis of observed ergonomic risk factors
  • Integrate ergonomic approaches to the redesign of work by developing controls that reduce hazards and mitigate risk
  • Describe a basic cost benefit analysis and calculate a simple return-on-investment to support a proposed solution
  • Describe macro ergonomics and participatory approaches to surveillance, assessment, and controls to prevent MSDs and optimize performance in a large workforce
  • Plan a path to certification or employment in the field of ergonomics
  • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the science of human factors and ergonomics and ethical responsibility in practice


Instructor Information:

Meg Honan, MS, PT, CPE - Meg Honan is a consulting ergonomist for the UC Ergonomics Laboratory. She was the Ergonomics Program Manager for Genentech’s South San Francisco site until 2018, where she engaged leadership at all levels and interdisciplinary teams through participatory ergonomics. This sphere of influence includes workplace and equipment design, process and production engineering, Safety, Health and Environment groups and safety improvement teams to integrate ergonomics into Genentech’s continuous improvement process. Her work experience has focused on employee work areas and work method assessment, and training employee based “Ergo-Advocate” improvement teams within Plant, Laboratory, Field operations, R&D and Office work environments. Meg has also been highly engaged in ergonomics as it relates to expanding the role of mobile devices, and how unassigned work environments and flexible work have transformed the way we work today. She received her master’s degree at University of California, Berkeley and is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist.

Melissa Afterman, MS-HFE, CPE - Melissa Afterman is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist with 20 years of consulting experience and is part of the UC Ergonomics Research and Graduate Training Program. She works with organizations on ergonomics program development, risk assessment and mitigation, and tool evaluation and design for industrial and knowledge workers. Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly SLO in BioResource/Agricultural Engineering and her master’s degree in Human Factors/Ergonomics Engineering from San Jose State University. 


Course Format:

This asynchronous online course engages students with weekly activities posted on the course site. Each week students will read and/or watch resource materials, participate in online discussion forums and complete individual and paired assignments. There are no required textbooks, but some reference books are recommended and sections of texts are provided and assigned for reading. The information needed to complete the assignments and prepare for the online midterm and final exams will be included in the resource material on the course site. Grades are determined by participation in assignments and discussions and performance on midterm and final exams.​

This is an 8-week accelerated course, with a workload roughly equivalent to a full semester of 3 credit hour graduate coursework. We anticipate the weekly content and assignments to require anywhere between 10-20 hours of student involvement, depending on the individual student's strength and familiarity with HF/E.



This course is offered on a pass / fail basis for continuing education credit. Learners must obtain a final grade of 70% or higher, and a final exam grade of 60% or higher, to pass the course and to obtain a Certificate of Completion.

Certified Professional Ergonomists
Certified Professional Ergonomists may be eligible to earn up to 45 contact hours for this course. Visit for more information.

Certified Athletic Trainers
COEH (BOC AP# P10242) is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to provide continuing education to Athletic Trainers. This program is eligible for a maximum of 45 Category A hours/CEUs. ATs should claim only those hours actually spent in the educational program.

Industrial Hygienists
ABIH® Diplomates may be eligible to earn up to 45 contact hours for this course. Visit for more information.

Certified Safety Professionals
Certified Safety Professionals may be eligible to earn up to 45 contact hours for this course. Visit for more information.

Registered Nurses
Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 12983, for 45 contact hours.

Registered Environmental Health Specialists
This course has been approved for 45 contact hours, REHS. The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) UC Berkeley is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) Program Continuing Education Accreditation Agency approved by the California Department of Public Health.

Occupational Therapists
Occupational Therapists may be eligible to earn up to 45 contact hours for this course. Visit for more information.​



Registration Cancellation Policy

Written cancellation notification must be received no later than one week before the start date of an Online Ergonomics Program class in which you are registered in order to qualify for a refund, less a $65.00 administrative fee per registration. Substitute attendees are welcome.

Transfer Policy

You can transfer your registration and payment to a later Online Ergonomics Program class one (1) time with no penalty within ten days of the start date of a class. Subsequent transfers will incur a $65.00 administrative fee per registration. Course Credits must be used within 12 months and are not transferable.

Course Withdrawal Policy

Within the first ten days of an Online Ergonomics Program class, you may withdrawal from the class and receive a refund, less 10% of your course payment. There is no tuition refund following the tenth day of the start date of a class.

Class Cancellation Policy

In the unlikely event that an Online Ergonomics Program class must be cancelled, the entire submitted registration fee will be refunded without further liability on the part of COEH. COEH is not responsible for travel or other costs incurred by students for canceled classes.