Fully one-third of all workplace injuries and illnesses are preventable with proper workplace ergonomics.
Ergonomics is defined as; “designing the job, equipment and tools to fit the worker, and fitting the worker to the job.”
Etgonomics expert Dr. Ken Kaufman states that the vast majority of ergonomic related injuries are completely preventable, saving your company significant money and lost work time
The most common work related ergonomic injuries such as, carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries and tendinitis are injuries of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage and/or spinal discs.
“Fortunately, many of these cases can be prevented with the proper strategy and for a relatively small investment,” says Kaufman. Creating a prevention-conscious culture will go a long way in building strong participation in your injury prevention program.
The idea behind ergonomics is to simply reduce the stressors that contribute to the musculoskeletal and repetitive use injuries.
Most people recognize that setting up a workstation ergonomically is important in addition to proper lifting techniques.
However, its common to still see secretaries habitually holding the phone against their ear with their shoulder creating neck problems, or assembly workers performing the same movements over and over creating imbalanced muscle patterns that set the stage for injury.
In order to prevent this scenario, it is necessary to create a strategy that encourages and supports employees to look for ways to diminish the stressors in their home and work environment
For example: implementing a policy where individuals that perform phone work must utilize a headset, computer users have wrist supports, and cross-training assembly workers to rotate to different stations if possible to reduce the day-to-day repetitive motions they are exposed to.
For business leaders that are concerned about the high costs of health care and the recent health care reform legislation, the time is now to develop a comprehensive prevention strategy for the ergonomic injuries that are draining the profitability out of your business.
Source: Dr. Ken Kaufman