An ergonomics program is a defined way for an organization to address how ergonomics (a body of knowledge about human abilities, human limitations and human characteristics relevant to design) is utilized in that organization. In same geographies, having a formal way to address ergonomics and safe work design is a legal requirement. Globally, it is recognized as a best practice that positively impacts corporate financials in multiple ways.
How is having an ergonomics program going to benefit my company?ibizwebsite20212020-02-26T19:49:54+00:00
Having an ergonomics program, or minimally a Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) injury prevention plan, in place at your company may be required by law in your jurisdiction. Aside from potential legal requirements, an effective ergonomics program improves job design and fit to the workforce. Benefits from good job design can include:
Reduced risk of employee injury
Reduced risk of employee turnover and associated recruiting/hiring costs
Reduced insurance costs
Reduced product purchasing costs
Alignment with EEOC and ADAAA and protection from claims in these areas
Happier and more productive employees!
Forward thinking organizations are ensuring an effective ergonomics program is in place to achieve more efficient operations.
Why do I need an ergonomics evaluation? Can’t I conduct an assessment of my workstation or process on my own?ibizwebsite20212020-02-26T19:50:22+00:00
While workstation evaluations can be a part of a comprehensive ergonomics program, there’s more to be gained than individual comfort. Making informed decisions about space/production planning, equipment purchases and criteria for tool selection are all informed by a proactive and performance based ergonomics program.
How does one measure ergonomics in the workplace?ibizwebsite20212020-02-26T19:50:48+00:00
There are a number of objective and subjective ways to measure ergonomics in your organization. One of the most common ways to measure performance is to perform a Gap analysis on your ergonomics program or efforts. This will identify how your Strategic components are working. It may also identify Tactical elements or measures that would be appropriate for you to use for your own measurement. In some cases, regulatory bodies may use metrics like injury rates to determine if your program is working to effectively identify and mitigate injury risk.
What types of work environments should have an ergonomics assessment or evaluation?ibizwebsite20212020-02-26T19:51:14+00:00
The short answer is anywhere that people are working! Our team at Exponent EHF has conducted assessments in just about any industry and condition there is including: industrial/manufacturing, office, higher education, broadcasting, research, warehouse, transportation, private vehicle, municipal and utility services, healthcare, farming and animal handling, construction, finance, high security clearance and others!
What is the average reduction of injuries if I implement an ergonomics program in my company?ibizwebsite20212020-02-26T19:51:36+00:00
Several reviews of the effectiveness of ergonomics interventions have provided useful estimates (Department of Labor and Industries [DLI], 2000;) as part of a review of the effectiveness of various accident prevention programs, evaluated two comprehensive ergonomics programs and found an average 49.5% reduction in sprain/strain injuries.
What can I expect in ROI from an effective ergonomics program or intervention?ibizwebsite20212020-02-26T19:52:57+00:00
As part of a regulatory Cost- Benefit Analysis, a team of economists and ergonomists from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries estimated the benefits of ergonomic interventions by evaluating the literature on actual ergonomics programs in the workplace. This team reviewed 63 articles on the topic of ergonomics and found:
Average reduction in number of work-related Musculoskeletal Disorder (WMSD) injuries was 50%, while the average reduction in WMSD costs was 64%.
A decrease in the severity of WMSD injuries that were reported after implementation of ergonomic programs, as seen in the reduction in days per injury and cost per claim.
A Government Accountability Office review of ergonomics programs from five major employers found these efforts resulted in a 36% to 91% reduction in workers’ compensation costs.