Work Environment

The Lorin E. Kerr Ergonomics Institute for Occupational Injury Prevention

The Kerr Ergonomics Institute (KEI) was founded in 1991. The goal of KEI is to develop programs and strategies that promote worker health and improve long-term company productivity, broadly defined. 

The faculty and associates of KEI promote injury prevention, foster the development of effective work processes, and develop sound industrial and public policy by providing consultation and training to local, national, and international companies and public agencies.

Our on-going ergonomics research encompasses the fields of engineering, psychology, health sciences, economics, management, labor relations, and policy development. Our research is directed toward ways to achieve sustainable economic development through injury prevention and participatory work redesign.

Technical Assistance

The faculty and associates of KEI can respond to requests for technical assistance in a variety of areas including:

  • walk-throughs for hazard identification/stress audits
  • in-depth ergonomic, psychosocial, and biomechanical analysis
  • statistical analysis of worker compensation claims, OSHA 200 Log data, and other company records
  • surveillance of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and other stress-related diseases
  • recommendations for job redesign
  • training for workers and supervisors
  • "fitting" trials for workstations and production equipment
  • policy and technology reviews  

Recent Research by KEI Faculty and Staff

Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), a psychosocial stress analysis instrument (more than 250 user groups in U.S., European Union, and Japan)

Reduction of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers with The Center to Protect Workers' Rights and Public Health Research Institute

Ergonomic stressors and musculoskeletal disorders surveillance in automotive manufacturing, funded by UAW-Chrysler National Joint Committee on Health and Safety and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Electromyographic assessment of hand function and muscle control funded by the Whitaker Foundation

Policy development and multicompany ergonomics hazard and intervention analysis for Dutch Ministry of Employment

Faculty and Staff

  • Robert Karasek, Ph.D
    Professor and Co-director, KEI
  • Laura Punnett, Sc.D.
    Professor and Co-director, KEI
  • Bryan Buchholz, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
  • Charles Levenstein, Ph.D., M.S.O.H.
  • Susan Moir
    Director, Construction Occupational Health Project
  • David H. Wegman, M.D., M.S.O.H.

For more information, contact Dr. Robert Karasek.