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The Unexpected Benefits of Good Ergonomics

We’ve told you before about the staggering costs of musculoskeletal injuries that result from poor ergonomics – the average cost of a chronic low back disorder is $100,000. Process changes that improve your ergonomics can save your company big in reduced injuries and workers’ compensation claims. They can help in other ways as well – some not quite so obvious. Here’s a quick look at some of the lesser-appreciated benefits of good ergonomics.

Improved Productivity

Investing in ergonomics can boost the productivity of your workers. A 2003 study found in International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics found that a printed circuit assembly factory implemented ergonomics improvements and as a result saved $574,560 in a year on rejection costs. In addition, they saw a reduction in the rejection rate, an increase in monthly revenue, and improvements to productivity and quality.

Another study published in a 2003 edition of Ergonomics provides another look at the productivity-enhancing effect of good ergonomics on a workplace. The study sought to measure the affects of ergonomics on the productivity of workers in a computer-intensive environment. Workers at a call center were split into a control group and three test groups of varying levels of ergonomic intervention. The study found that output increased by 4.87% in group of workers who had the ergonomic improvements made to their workspace, while the control group saw a 3.46% decrease in output – meaning the group with improved ergonomics was 8.33% more productive than the control group.

Decreased Employee Turnover

Another benefit of higher job satisfaction for your employees is that they may be less likely to leave for a new position. A study published by the American Center for Progress found that the median cost of employee turnover to an employer was about 21% of an employee’s annual salary. Investing in ergonomics can help you reduce your organization’s employee turnover costs.

Increased Employee Satisfaction

If you invest in improving your ergonomics, your employees will notice – if only because they are going home each day with less fatigue and discomfort. Your investment in ergonomics will help show your employees that you value them. The resulting higher job satisfaction will lead to employees that are more productive and easier to manage.

Broader Commitment to Safety

Safety is critical to keeping your operations running and your employees healthy – but it requires buy-in from employees as well as employer. When you invest in ergonomics, you are demonstrating to your employees that you are committed to doing your part to ensure, safe, healthy working conditions, so they’ll be more inclined to do theirs.   

An investment, not an expenditure

Ergonomics is an investment, not an expenditure. The money that you invest in ergonomics will help you cut injury-related costs while improving your company’s safety culture, morale, and employee productivity.

If you want your company to realize these key benefits of good ergonomics, we should talk. The Ohio State University Spine Research Institute is on the cutting edge of ergonomic research. You can leverage the SRI’s expertise and knowledge to improve ergonomics at your workplace. We will collect quantitative data to make informed improvements that can result in a positive impact on your organization’s bottom line. Our ergonomics services have created ROIs of as much as 2000% for clients like Honda

Give the SRI a call at (614) 219-6063 or send us an email to learn how the Ohio State University Spine Research Institute can help.