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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 … 

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Including Back Pain in Your Continuous Improvement Analysis

If you run a business, you are always looking for a way to gain an edge over your competition and grow more profitably. To this end, you spend a lot of time focusing on improving the product or service that you offer your customers, but are you finding all the opportunities you have to improve your bottom line?

Overall, workers with back pain cost U.S. employers an estimated $30 billion per year in lost productivity[i], and the average cost of a chronic low back disorder is $100,000[ii]. You probably apply Continuous Improvement concepts at least to parts of your production processes, but if you don’t apply the same concepts to the health and productivity of your workers you’re leaving money on the table.

Continuous Improvement and Joint Disorders

Continuous Improvement is defined as an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. How do back pain … 

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The High Corporate Costs of Back Pain and How to Control Them

Did you know that U.S. employers spend nearly $30 billion a year just on employee back pain? Back pain is a big expense to companies across industries. Read the Ohio State University Spine Research Institute’s latest infographic: The High Corporate Costs of Back Pain and How to Control Them for insight into the extent of this problem and our thoughts on how to reduce or eliminate them.

You’ll learn things like…

  • Only the common cold exceeds back pain in frequency of complaints to physicians.
  • The average cost of a chronic low back disorder for an employer is $100,000.
  • The total cost of back pain in the U.S. is between $100 and $200 billion.

Check out the infographic to learn more about the costs of back pain to your business. If you read the infographic and want to talk about how you can reduce the burden that … 

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Indirect Costs of Back Pain and MSDs

If you have never experienced back pain, consider yourself lucky. More than 31 million Americans are afflicted with back pain1. All of those injured workers cause a serious drag on the profitability of American companies.  In our last post, we looked at the prevalence of back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and their huge cost to employers.

  • An OSHA study from 1990 found that the direct costs of work-related musculoskeletal disorders totaled $15 to $18 billion dollars per year. When adjusted for inflation, that is approximately $20 to $25 billion expressed in 2014 dollars. Other estimates place the number much higher.
  • That same study found 2 million workers experience MSDs every year, with 600,000 workers missing work as a result.
  • A 2006 study in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that the total cost of low back pain to the United States totaled $33 to … 
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Addressing The High Corporate Costs of Back Pain (and other MSDs)

Schoolhouse Rock! called the human body “a high powered, revved up, body machine”, but even the best of machines break down when chronically mistreated. Think about it. No matter how expensive or “high performance” a set of tires is, all four still need regular rotation and alignment in order to wear evenly.  Without proper care and maintenance, the repetitive wear and tear caused by misalignment can be just as damaging as a nail in the tire.

 Whether imposed on man or machine, subtle repeated actions done incorrectly overtime can have painful—and costly—consequences. Just as tires blow and engines die, backs, necks, and other appendages painfully flare up, causing employees to miss work, Workers’ Compensation claims go up, and employers pay the price. In fact, according to OSHA,  “The direct costs attributable to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) total $15 to $18 billion per year, with indirect costs (such as … 

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