How Simple Changes Can Cut Workplace Injuries

keyboardIs your business losing money because of the tools your staff is using?

Ergonomics is the practice of fitting tools and jobs to people to prevent injuries caused by repetitive motion, awkward posture, force or vibration. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as tendonitis, and repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), such as carpal tunnel syndrome, cause aches, pains and distress for workers and employers alike.

For businesses, the costs come in the form of lost productivity and increased healthcare expenses totaling $45 billion a year, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates. With proper ergonomic measures, though, businesses can reduce the risk of MSDs and RSIs caused by workplace activities.

On assembly lines and factory floors, problems are often caused by workers’ positioning vis-a-vis machinery. In an office environment, MSDs and RSIs are frequently caused by using poorly positioned computer equipment or talking on the phone for extended periods. Typical modifications include adjusting chair or monitor heights or laying out work surfaces differently.

Educating employees about ergonomic risks and best practices and encouraging them to discuss job-related discomforts can help reduce MSDs and RSIs.

For example, business owners can discourage the bad habit of cradling a phone between the head and shoulder. If somebody wears bifocals, lower the monitor so the individual does not have to tip the head. Make sure equipment and furniture are fully adjustable and that employees are empowered to make necessary adjustments.

New regulations make it more important than ever to prevent problems before they occur.

But when problems do occur, fix them quickly. The health of your employees is at stake, along with your company’s productivity.

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