Over the past few decades, workplace ergonomics have become a more and more prominent topic of discussion when looking at work-life. At one point in time being seldom considered, the importance of proper workplace ergonomics has become evident, yet many businesses still don’t do as much as they can to help their employees practice proper ergonomics.
Why might this be? The common barriers to entry for improving workplace ergonomics tend to include:
- Lack of time to learn / adjust
- Lack of care / interest
Workplace ergonomics are extremely important and can be beneficial to both employees and employers in both the short and long-term. Employers should strive to set time and resources aside to help employees improve their workplace ergonomics. Implementing measures to improve ergonomics doesn’t need to cost a significant amount, either!
What is Ergonomics?
The first step to understanding the importance of ergonomics is to understand what it is, and how it can affect us! Ergonomics refers to the concept of designing a job to fit the natural postures and physique of the worker. The key goals are to maximize worker efficiency, safety, productivity and health.
How Can Improper Ergonomics Affect Workers?
Improper ergonomics can lead to musculoskeletal disorders that can cause chronic pain, fatigue and / or discomfort. Depending on the job, these disorders can affect things such as muscles, joints, tendons or ligaments. The consequences of developing MSDs can (and does) negatively impact the productivity, efficiency and lives of workers.
Why Should Employers Care?
Any employer that cares about the well-being of their employees should put some consideration into workplace ergonomics. Providing employees with equipment and training that improves ergonomics can help reduce the risk of developing MSDs, and consequently any costly workplace injury claims. Employees that don’t suffer from the constant side-effects of MSDs are also likely to be significantly more productive at work.
What Can Employers do?
One thing employers can do is invest in equipment that can improve workplace ergonomics. Some examples of equipment that can assist in improving workplace ergonomics can include:
- Office chairs that encourage proper back and lower body support
- Computer mice and keyboards that encourage natural wrist and finger positioning
- Powered screwdrivers that reduce the need for constant wrist twisting
- Heightened work surfaces that reduce the need for employees to lean down
There are also things that can be done without spending a ton of money;
- Provide a seminar on the importance of workplace ergonomics
- Re-design workplace and desk layouts to reduce harmful motions such as twisting, reaching long distances, and carrying heavy objects for long distances
- Encourage employees to get up and stretch now and then
Protect Your Business
If your business currently doesn’t have any sort of liability insurance, you are putting yourself at an extremely high risk if something happens to an employee, client or piece of equipment on your property. The expert brokers at Will Marshall Insurance can help you find the right coverage for a price that fits your budget.
Talk to us today to discuss your options and needs!