Ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work. It is the ability to “fit the workspace to the worker” NOT “fitting the worker to the workspace”. Injuries stemming from poor ergonomics in the workplace can be costly and can often be prevented. Common workplace injuries affect soft tissue in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, blood vessels, and nerves. Proper ergonomics helps to reduce these types of injuries as well as reduce workman’s compensation claims, which in turn reduces costs to the employer. Improved ergonomics has also been shown to decrease muscle fatigue, decrease absenteeism, while maximizing productivity and improving morale in the work environment.
With employees spending more and more hours at their workstation, it is imperative to maintain good working postures in order to prevent the onset of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s). Having an ergonomically correct workstation can significantly reduce muscle fatigue and prevent injuries to the soft tissues. It has also been shown to maximize productivity in the workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2015, Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) cases accounted for 31% of all worker injury and illness cases. https://www.bls.gov/
Adjusting your work area to fit your body is key! Call us today for our expert advice.
1. Reduce Workplace Injury – Altering the workstation, or equipment, to appropriately fit the employee, can decrease physical stress to the employee’s body as well as eliminate potential workplace injuries. Simple modifications, such as a chair adjustment, or a different mouse, can significantly reduce workplace sprain or strain.
2. Reduce Costs – By reducing ergonomic risk factors, you can prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s). Most modifications are relatively inexpensive, compared to the cost of an injury. According to Safety Management Group, the total cost for carpal tunnel syndrome is $64,842. The additional sales needed to cover indirect costs, in a company with a 3% profit margin, is $ 1,132,340. The sales to cover Total Costs is. $ 2,161,733 (https://safetymanagementgroup.com/resources/injury-cost-calculator/)
3. Maximize Productivity – Achieving good posture with ergonomic changes makes the workstation more efficient by producing less motion and less exertion. When an employee is comfortable, they become more productive.
Implementing a dedicated ergonomics process can add significant value to your organization.
- The median number of days an employee is absent from work due to ergonomic injuries is 12.
- According to OSHA , $1 of every $ 3 spent on workers’ compensation stems from insufficient ergonomic protection. (https://www.osha.gov ).
- According to OSHA it has been estimated that employers pay almost $1 billion dollars per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone
- In a study in the Journal of Safety Research, it was estimated that the cost of occupational injury and illness, at $250 billion, exceeded costs of cancer.
- These are just some statistics regarding the importance of correct ergonomics.
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