The Advantages of Ergonomics

Whenever you start hearing people discuss on-the-job-accidents, at what location does your mind visualize it occurred? Is it a construction site, a warehouse, or outside in general? You might even think of your place of work, but how often do you think of an office setting?

Did you know that the CDC has found that office workers are 2 times more likely to suffer a debilitating injury after a fall than non-office workers? They also found office workers are 2 ½ times more likely to develop musculoskeletal disorders, which typically occur because of poor ergonomics and have accounted for 1/3 of all worker injuries in the past years.

Ergonomics is the study of how an employee reacts with the workplace. The basic principle is to fit the job to the worker, and not the worker to the job. When evaluating a job based on ergonomics, you can look for the three main characteristics known as Ergonomic Stressors: the force required to complete a task, any awkward or static working postures adopted in completing a task, and the repetitiveness of a task. Any of these factors, or any combination of these factors, may place someone at a greater risk.

The goal of ergonomics is to prevent soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal disorders caused by sudden or sustained exposure to force, vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture. The attached safety alert is from Oregon OSHA and goes into more detail about the advantages of ergonomics. Now is the time to discuss with your employees how improving your company’s ergonomics can help improve their safety, comfort, and productivity.