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Posts Tagged ‘Ergonomic Assessment’

The Importance Of Ergonomics In The Workplace

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White computer mouse and hand on whiteNot every job in the world requires laborious use of the hands. Not every job entails a great deal of heavy lifting, lugging and carrying. But that doesn’t mean that jobs void of these tiring tasks aren’t hard on the body. Office workers experience their fair share of job-related injuries as well. You may be surprised just how taxing it can be on the body to sit at a desk in front of a computer all day long.

This is why ergonomics is so vital to any working environment. Ergonomics, which is the study of people’s efficiency in the workplace, is an important element when considering the health and safety of people at work. And, as Cynthia Roth points out on EHSToday.com, office environments are known for their ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses. Believe it or not, typing isn’t exactly the safest job-related task in the world!

“If an employee is able to type 40 words per minute, he or she presses 12,000 keys per 8-hour day,” she explains, “Approximately 8 ounces of force is necessary to depress one key. Almost 16 tons of force will be exercised by his or her fingers each day. The fingers of typists whose speed is 60 words per minute exert up to 25 tons of pressure each day.” So what does all of this mean? How does the pressure exerted by typists affect their health?

According to Roth, back pain is considered the most common side effect of daily sitting and typing. But studies have shown that “the office workplace has other musculoskeletal disorders, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, tenosynovitis and myositis.” She writes that “more than 8 million people are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome each year. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is the second-most common type of musculoskeletal surgery.”

A focus on ergonomics can help present better working conditions in an effort to avoid such physical hardships. Roth notes that it’s important to reduce the physical demands of jobs by decreasing levels of force, repetition and awkward postures. “Job descriptions are necessary to understand how tasks impact the worker: which body part is used, whether right or left side, cycle times, weights, reaches, etc.” she writes.

The benefits to implementing strong workplace ergonomics are many. On Ergo-Plus.com, Mark Middlesworth explains that ergonomics can help to reduce costs, improve productivity and boost the quality of the work being done. “Poor ergonomics leads to frustrated and fatigued workers that don’t do their best work,” he writes, “When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job like they were trained.”

A focus on ergonomics in the workplace is also excellent for employee morale. It should go without saying that it’s important to have a staff made up for happy and enthusiastic people. It’s good for any company’s bottom line. “If an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort during their workday, it can reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement,” says Middlesworth.

At Independence Incorporated, we offer Ergonomic Assessments that carefully consider the relationships between workers and their work environments. Our assessments involve the creation of matches between employees and their activities, equipment and systems to maximize both productivity and health-focused circumstances. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

Why Ergonomics In The Workplace Is So Important

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Happy Executive in Ergonomic ChairWhen an employee is ill or injured, it’s so important to get that person back to a state where he or she is healthy enough to be capable of carrying out their duties. Making working environments as comfortable for employees as possible is key factor in having a productive workforce. However, it shouldn’t require an illness or injury to occur in order for adequate ergonomics in the workplace to be considered.

What exactly is ergonomics, you ask? It’s all about the environment within which one works and how that person is able to complete tasks within it. The tools used by employees to carry out their job requirements are considered in the study of ergonomics as well. The importance of ergonomics in the workplace lies in each employee’s ability to work within a space that is ideal for them to do their jobs well.

On WebMD.com, it is explained that attention to ergonomics is found through setting up one’s workstation in such a way that it lessens risk of headaches, eyestrains, back pain, neck pain and even bursitis or tendon problems that are often linked to doing the same tasks over and over again. The site actually goes on to note that most injuries that occur on the job are related to making repetitive movements, poor posture, bending over, lifting heavy objects and falling.

Ergonomics, as you may have guessed, can help to prevent all of these pitfalls. Naturally, there are numerous benefits to keeping employees healthy. Obviously, there are benefits to both the employees and the employers who depend on them to make their companies successful. On Ergo-Plus.com, Mark Middlesworth writes that “leading companies are integrating ergonomics deeply into all of their operations” and goes on to list their proven benefits.

Ergonomics improves productivity. Middlesworth notes that designing a workplace that promotes good health can only make workers more efficient. Creating an environment that allows for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions and better heights and reaches, he says, will help to create a much more productive staff. After all, as human beings, we all share a need to be comfortable, no matter where we are.

Ergonomics improves quality. Speaking of being comfortable, no one likes being frustrated and tired. Middlesworth points out that people aren’t able to work properly when feeling such strains. “When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job like they were trained,” he writes, “For example, an employee might not fasten a screw tight enough due to a high force requirement which could create a product quality issue.”

Ergonomics improves employee engagement. It is often said that a happy staff is a productive staff. And this often entails strong relationships among the various members of a working team. When a company puts forth efforts to ensure health and safety, says Middlesworth, employees notice and it often boosts morale. In addition, high energy levels on the job help to decrease absenteeism.

Ergonomics creates a better safety culture. “Ergonomics shows your company’s commitment to safety and health as a core value,” writes Middlesworth, “The cumulative effect of the previous four benefits of ergonomics is a stronger safety culture for your company. Healthy employees are your most valuable asset; creating and fostering the safety & health culture at your company will lead to better human performance for your organization.”

At Independence Incorporated, we offer an “Ergonomic Assessment” to closely examine the relationships between employees and their work environments. We seek to ensure that the individual needs of employees are being met and that there is a match between workers and their activities, equipment, tools and systems. We provide written assessments and evaluate all factors before following up with our clients.

For more information about our “Ergonomic Assessment”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.