Think that creating an ergonomically healthy environment in the workplace is just a new trend that you can get away with skirting? Consider the facts:
- One-third of all missed workdays are caused by work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).
- MSDs cost employers as much as $20 billion every year.
- Employees are less productive in work areas that are uncomfortable
- Ergonomic workplaces make the office healthier, safer and more conducive to getting work completed on schedule.
According to the Department of Labor and Statistics, more than 300,000 injuries were reported in such industries as manufacturing, farming, health care, construction, agriculture and entertainment. Most of these injuries could have been avoided if the workplace had instituted an ergonomic plan.
What is an Ergonomic Work Plan?
Ergonomics isn’t just about making work more comfortable for the employee, but in creating workplace conditions that better match the job and the employee. For instance, if your employee is of shorter stature and must reach and pull all day long, you could be setting that worker up for an injury to the back, legs, neck or arms.
Your employees don’t have to be working a construction job to benefit from ergonomics. Even standard offices have plenty of areas in which they can improve the workday environment. For instance, if lighting is poor in one area of the office, employees there could suffer from eyestrain, headaches and fatigue. This will make them much less productive.
When you create a more ergonomic work environment, you look for areas where an employee could be stretched beyond his or her physical abilities and then make the necessary changes to make the workload less challenging. This could include installing railings or steps in certain areas, offering new safety equipment, or even changing the temperature and the lighting in the office.
What Should Your Ergonomics Plan Offer?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offers these tips when trying to make your workspace more ergonomically friendly:
- Look for signs of musculoskeletal disorders in your workforce. Do you hear a lot of complaints about strained necks, strained backs, etc.? That can help you narrow down who is feeling the effects of their work, and then look for ways to improve the day to day process and environment for that employee.
- Ask your employees for suggestions. Maybe your office staff finds their current workstations uncomfortable. They will tell you if new chairs, tables, desks, etc., are needed.
- Identify which jobs in your company offer the most risk for employee injury. Some positions are going to pose a greater risk based on the duties required of the employee. Figure out which positions fall into the high-risk category and start looking for solutions.
- Review your injury logs. You’re looking for high rates of MSD complaints. Look for patterns to address first.
- Modify tasks as necessary. After you’ve done your research, if you find that there are tasks that could be altered to promote better health, put together new best practices to roll out.
- Offer safety training in areas with high injury rates. Everyone can benefit from more training, especially when it comes to workplace safety. Take time out of the day to gather your staff and engage them in a safety workshop.
How Will My Company Benefit from a Better Ergonomic Design?
The professional staff at Expert Relocation Systems understands the importance of offering the best ergonomic environment you can for your employees. We have learned that implementing these changes can make your staff more productive, decrease employee sick days, create a healthier and happier environment, and reduce other health related costs. You’ll be promoting a great company culture that shows your dedication to making the employees comfortable and cared for.
Remember — when it comes time to set up your workstations at your new office, Expert Relocation Systems can help. Just give us a call today!