How Growing Trends in Workplace Ergonomics Can Affect Your Business
One in two adult Americans suffers from musculoskeletal (MSD) disorders. In fact, as many as 65% of American adults reported neck and back pain to their doctors in 2016. These studies also revealed many of the victims work in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
MSD injuries in welders alone account for almost a third of lost workdays. Across all industries, more than 600,000 work-related MSD injuries and illnesses occur. And these problems make up over a third of all lost workdays.
All of these issues call for better workplace ergonomics, especially in industrial and manufacturing settings where workers face greater risks. The question is, what are the laws and trends surrounding ergonomics safety? Are all businesses required to jump on the ergonomics bandwagon?
Read on to learn more.
Workplace Ergonomics: Mandatory or Not?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) doesn’t mandate employers to equip their workplaces with ergonomic furnishings (such as desks and chairs). However, employers have the obligation to abide by the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1). This regulation requires the removal of any recognized serious hazards from the workplace. This includes ergonomic hazards, which can result in MSD injuries and illnesses.
Now, even if OSHA doesn’t require you to get ergonomic equipment, failure to do so can lead to citations. Receiving a citation means your business will be under OSHA scrutiny for up to a year.
Taking a Page Out of Google’s Book
Many people want to work for Google. After all, its offices are some of the happiest places to work in. The fact that 86% of its team players say they’re satisfied with their work and their employer is proof of this.
It’s not all about the impressive free gourmet meals, the attractive compensation, or the paid parental leave Google offers, though. Granted, all of these perks could make anyone want to work for them. However, it’s also because the company prioritizes the health and safety of its people.
You don’t have to equip your workplace with lavish day beds or nap pods, but it’s best to follow the lead of Google’s solutions for keeping workers safe, healthy, and happy.
Reducing Injuries with Ergonomic-Centered Equipment
Many industrial and manufacturing businesses rely on standard workstations. By that, we mean some type of one-size-fits-all stations.
The thing is, for equipment or furniture to be ergonomic, it should satisfy a user’s unique needs. That includes a person’s body build, height, and weight.
If your workplace has a one-size-fits-all workstation, it won’t meet these specific requirements. That’s why you should consider investing in custom-made equipment, such as adjustable lifts. You can change their settings based on the task at hand and the operator’s needs. And since they conform better to the user, there’s a much lower risk of strains, sprains, aches, and pains.
Improved Workplace Safety Means Happier, More Productive Workers
Keep in mind that the cost to treat musculoskeletal conditions averages $7,800 per person per year. With proper workplace ergonomics, you can not only avoid those costs, but also make your employees happier and more productive.
Keep tabs on our blog for more tips on how ergonomics can make your business safer and healthier for everyone.
Ergonomics Safety in the Workplace: 4 Things You Need to Know
Are you trying to find ways to improve safety at your workplace? If so, you aren’t alone. For many businesses, workplace safety is an important part of day-to-day operations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in the United States in 2016. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise businesses are so often focused on reducing workplace injuries.
One of the ways that businesses in the United States protect their employees is through ergonomic safety. This is the study of how to improve the efficiency of your employees through safer practices.
Read on to learn more about ergonomics safety in the workplace.
1. Work in The Power Zone
Workplace ergonomics focuses on working in the power zone. This is the area of your body where you are able to work while using the least amount of effort. By working in the power zone, you put the least amount of force on your muscles and skeletal structure.
2. Allow for Stretching
According to OSHA, work-related musculoskeletal disorders account for over 30 percent of non-fatal work injuries. Stretching is one of the most beneficial ways to reduce injuries in the workplace.
One way to help your employees feel more comfortable at work is by instituting a formal stretching program. For example, if you are in a labor-intensive industry, you could lead a formal stretch to start each day. On the other hand, you may work in an office setting where people tend to sit at their desks for long periods of time.
In addition to stretching in the office, you should also consider investing in a standing desk or a lifting table. This allows your employees to stand up in a more comfortable and safer position.
3. Reduce Unnecessary Stresses
Ergonomic injuries can result from putting your employees under unnecessary stresses.
Besides the mental stress inherent in a work environment, there is also the physical stress part of it too. For example, if your business operates with lots of heavy machinery, it can cause a lot of stress on an employee’s body.
You should focus your workplace ergonomics on learning the ways that daily tasks are putting stress on your employees. This includes monitoring your employees’ use of machines that vibrate or endure friction during operation.
4. Provide Enough Light
You should ensure you are giving your employees enough light to work safely and efficiently. This is important because you must be careful not to give your employees too little or too much light.
If there is not enough light, your employees will have to strain their eyes and can fatigue sooner. Too much light can also cause your employees to work harder to focus on what they are reading.
One way to help your employees receive enough light is to offer adjustable lighting sources at your office or warehouse. This allows your employees to adjust the lights to the levels they need to do their work most efficiently.
The Importance of Ergonomics Safety
Ergonomics safety helps your business operate smoother while also protecting your employees. That’s because ergonomics enables your staff to work in a more natural way and puts less stress on their bodies. In doing so, it maximizes their efficiency.
Are you interested in learning more about ergonomics and how they can help your company? Check out our blog post on the Top 5 Benefits of Improving Ergonomics in the Workplace.