Reduce work-related injuries, improve your business!
Posted Mar 31 2010 1:04pm
Reducing Injuries and Costs
To reduce work-related ergonomic injuries and the associated costs, companies must develop and implement effective and ongoing ergonomics programs. A successful ergonomics program adapts job tasks to fit the worker and eliminates work conditions that put harmful strain on the worker’s body. When performing their jobs, many employees often incorporate activities that exceed their physical limitations, such as extended reaching, repetitive stooping and bending, and overhead lifting. Over time these activities take a toll on the physically fit, young employee, and more so on an older worker in poor physical condition.
To identify potential risk factors, employers should look for the following conditions:
Lengthy periods of repetitive activity.
Inadequate rest periods between lengthy, repetitive tasks.
Awkward work positions (extended reaching and overhead work).
Repetitive heavy lifting and forceful movement.
Uncomfortable environmental conditions and a stressful work organization.
These potential risk factors must be eliminated or significantly modified. In many cases, the workers themselves can suggest ways to modify the tasks that will eliminate or reduce the ergonomic stresses. These remedies do not always have to be expensive. Simply modifying a worktable’s height, rearranging access to parts, or rotating employees who perform repetitive tasks are but a few ways to minimize certain ergonomic stresses.
A key element in a successful ergonomics program is training both the employee and the supervisor. The training must focus on the stresses of the work performed and the safe techniques for avoiding ergonomic as well as other injuries. The training must be repeated on a regular basis and the employee’s work activity monitored to ensure that safe work practices are being followed.
Employees and supervisors must understand and be convinced that getting the job done properly also includes doing the work safely and avoiding injury. It is of no value to a business to get a large order out the door and then spend all of the profit—and then some—on work injuries.
An effective ergonomics program also must be evaluated regularly to make sure it remains effective. Again, the affected workers are excellent sources of information for keeping a program fine-tuned.
The old saying that you can pay me now or pay me later certainly applies to ergonomic injuries in the workplace. Paying to prevent them is just good business.
Ergonomic Evolution can provide your business the format and information to setup and maintain an ergonomics program that will ultimately improve your businesses bottom line, cash flow, increased productivity and employee retention. Contact us today to schedule a non-obligation consultation meeting to find out how Ergonomic Evolution can help you.
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