Effects of ergonomics-based wafer-handling training on reduction in musculoskeletal disorders among wafer handlers

Hsin Chieh Wu*, Hsieh Ching Chen, Tin-Chih Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study was aimed at better understanding of the effects of ergonomics-based wafer-handling training in a semiconductor fab. The 400 female wafer handlers were given 2 h of the ergonomics-based wafer-handling training course. The identified risk factor ratio (IRFR) in the workplace and workers' musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were collected before and after the training. The qualitative efficacy of the training was also obtained through a questionnaire. The responses to the questionnaire reflect the generally positive attitude of the workers towards the training. The results of the IRFR from pre- to immediately post-training proved that the implementation of the training significantly increased safe behavior in work practices. One year after training, no significant decreases in the prevalence of MSDs were found for any body parts except the legs. This ergonomics-based training intervention is considered as a success to reduce risk factors associated with improper work methods and postures, but little data could validate its effectiveness on prevention of all the MSD problems. Relevance to industry: This study demonstrates a systematic approach for examining effects of ergonomics-based wafer-handling training tailored for female fab workers on reductions in work-related risk factors and their musculoskeletal disorders. Although the training course and effect evaluation methods are developed for the semiconductor industry, other similar industries can refer to this paper to design their own ergonomic training courses and evaluate the effects of the training interventions in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Clean room health
  • Employee training
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Work-related risk factors

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