Equine veterinarians are exposed to tasks in day-to-day work that often lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). This study involved an ergonomic assessment of veterinary tasks to identify injury risk factors and violations of established criteria for worker protection. Phase 1 involved shadowing equine veterinarians at a university veterinary hospital. Ten tasks were observed and videos were analyzed to identify whole-body risk for WMSDs. Results revealed lameness exams, rectal palpations, positioning and obstetric procedures to pose high risks. Phase 2 involved collecting quantitative data on hand forces and wrist postures to identify violations of validated ergonomic criteria. The Strain Index was used to determine whether wrist postures contributed to a risk of developing distal upper-extremity disorders. Results showed lameness exams, lifting, and performing ultrasound procedures to place veterinarians at high risk for disorders. Comparison of average low-back compression forces with NIOSH spinal compressive force limits revealed no task exceeded these limits. Finally, a measure of job risk was calculated as the ratio of the product of task frequency by job demand divided by worker capacity. The six analyzed tasks were ranked in terms of risk from highest to lowest as: ultrasounds, restraint, lifting, palpations, lameness exams, and injections. Based on the quantitative data analysis, the tasks of ultrasound, lameness exams, and lifting were considered to have the highest priority for ergonomic interventions. Recommendations were made in the form of engineering controls, administrative

controls, and personal protective equipment. Examples included raising horses to minimize flexion of the back and using a hoof jack to limit the need for prolonged awkward postures.