Musculoskeletal disorders and repetitive stress injuries are growing increasingly more common in today’s workplace. According to a 2014 OSHA report , these problems account for 34% of workplace absences, and cost $20 billion each year. And this amount increases to $100 billion when the cost of hiring and training replacement employees is taken into account. Ergonomic assessments and equipment purchase does not have to be expensive, and can save your organization a significant amount of money each year. In addition, your employees will be healthier, happier, and more productive.
What is a Workplace Ergonomic Assessment?
During an assessment, an ergonomist will come to your workplace and identify health risks that lead to musculoskeletal disorders and repetitive stress injuries. These can include improperly placed keyboards, monitors, and mice, as well as incorrectly-adjusted chairs.
The ergonomist can make several suggestions to improve the existing set ups, such as lowering the flips on keyboards, adjusting chairs properly, and placing monitors the ideal distance from the workers’ eyes. He or she may also suggest equipment like a keyboard tray, which allows for typing in an ergonomic position. This can significantly reduce back, neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist pain, as well as the incidence of disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
Pain and injury often result from sitting at a desk all day long, especially if the workstation isn’t set up correctly. One excellent way to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders is to incorporate periodic standing into the workday, which has been repeatedly shown to reduce pain and muscle discomfort, as well as increase energy, creativity, and productivity. Options include a full standing desk with electric operation, or units that are placed directly on top of a fixed-height workstation.
A workplace ergonomic assessment is beneficial to you, your employees, and your bottom line. Employees will learn ergonomic best practices, recognize and avoid hazards related to injury and pain, and be healthier and happier at work. This in turn leads to increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and lowered costs for your business.
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