Reduced Injuries and Injury Severity
One of the primary reasons that companies embark on ergonomics initiatives is because of employee injuries -- the number, the costs to treat, or the time work is lost due to them. Physical overexertion at work (the lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing of objects) continues to be the leading cause of disabling injuries and is a heavy financial burden to companies, estimated to be more than $13 billion annually just in direct costs.
Unfortunately, this accounts for only a portion of an injury's impact. A survey of industry managers found that the indirect costs of a workplace injury (e.g., work disruption, downtime, productivity loss, replacing the injured employee, training new employees, increased insurance premiums) averaged more than twice that of its direct costs.
Not surprisingly, workplace safety improvements typically reap considerable benefits, both to employees and to a company's bottom line. For every dollar spent on general safety enhancements, one report found the average return to be $4.41. More specifically, ergonomics-centered workplace interventions also improve safety considerably. For example, compiled data from 250 studies found the following benefits of ergonomics-based interventions:
- A 64% drop in the number of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
- A 71% reduction in MSD injury rates
- 77% fewer lost workdays and 54% fewer restricted workdays
Contact Dr. Gary Allread, SRI-Ergonomics Program Director, to learn more:
- Phone: 614-292-4565
- Send email