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2015

Identify your Ergonomic Awareness

Work Environments Require a Systems-Oriented Approach

Like our bodies, the environments we operate in are intricate systems. Is your business aware of the ripple effect that poor ergonomics or quick-fixes can have within the complex structure of your workplace? Without applying a systems-oriented ergonomic solution to your work environment, employees can unnecessarily suffer from work-related injuries, resulting in higher costs for your company.

Answer the questions below to help assess your business’ level of ergonomic understanding. Regardless of where your company falls on the spectrum, ergonomics within the workplace is an iterative process, so there will typically be room for improvement.

Take the Ergonomic Awareness Quiz

Answer the following:

  1. Do the majority of people within your company know what ergonomics is?
  2. Has a team of specialists assessed your work environment for ergonomic issues?
  3. Does your business provide ergonomics training?
  4. Does your business have an in-house ergonomics team?

If you answered … 

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Personalized Ergonomic Solutions for Diverse Workers

The American worker looks different today than he or she did a decade or two ago. Baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are working longer and, according to several sources, the average American is also getting larger.

These two rising trends within the American population parallel those within the workforce, driving employers to change the way they train and retain their employees. While there are many options that address the safety and productivity of every worker regardless of shape or size, the experts at The Ohio State University’s Spine Research Institute (SRI) know the solution: ergonomics.

Costs of the Obese Worker

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than one-third of Americans, 78.6 million, are obese. This goes beyond overweight citizens, or those with a BMI between 25 and 29.9. Obese people have a BMI of 30 or higher and contribute to an estimated $147 … 

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New eGuide: Reducing MSDs to Strengthen Your Bottom Line

In recent posts we have focused on describing the benefits of improving workplace ergonomics—benefits that include greater productivity, decreased employee turnover, and increased employee health and satisfaction. All of these benefits contribute to an overall sturdier business, keeping your workers working and your bottom line in the black.

But if understanding why to improve ergonomics is important, understanding how to improve them is essential. As with any process, there is a wrong way and a right way to go about it, and to realize the benefits of ergonomics, you want to make sure you’re going about it the right way, seeking guidance from professionals who present years of experience in the field.

For this purpose we have put together an e-guide that details what to look for—and what to avoid—in an ergonomics consultant.

You Might Have an Ergonomics Problem If…

Many companies face ergonomics issues without even realizing it. Everyone, at one point or another, becomes complacent with their environment, and employers can easily forget how to objectively observe the workplace.

It is normal to fall into these ruts—we are human, after all—but ergonomics issues can lead to costly, harmful musculoskeletal disorders, injuring workers and eroding your bottom line. According to OSHA, MSDs now account for 1 out of every 3 dollars spent on workers’ compensation claims.[i] Eliminating them would cut costs by one third.

These problems can be prevented, too, if the symptoms are spotted early.

Is your workplace at risk? It’s very possible. Keep in mind that you might have an ergonomics problem if you notice the following issues.

Telltale Data

Has your HR department been hounding you about certain illuminating data? Spreadsheets and reports are often good tools for gaining a straightforward view of the impact … 

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Why Hire an Ergonomics Consultant?

 

Anyone who has faced a budget can understand the staggering price of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Each year back injuries cost organizations about $100 billion.[i] When injuries occur, companies settle compensation claims but also suffer a slew of indirect costs, like lowered productivity and new employee training. A 1990 OSHA study found that these costs could be almost three times as high as direct costs. Furthermore, injuries erode worker morale, which can also curtail efficiency.

Such costs fuel a vicious circle of loss. To promote a company’s bottom line, managers must improve ergonomics processes, which means either going it alone or hiring an ergonomics consultant.

Seek Certified Professionals

Search the internet and you will find any number of pseudo-ergo gadgets claiming to solve common complaints: desks to alleviate sore backs, keyboards for aching wrists. On the surface, these “voodoo ergonomics” seem to offer inexpensive solutions, but in the long … 

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