Ergonomics Top Ten

Ergonomics is the science and practice of designing jobs or workplaces to match the capabilities and limitations of the human body. Here are the Safety Concepts top ten ergonomics tips:

1. Involve Everyone

Employees are often the best at pointing out where the problems are. And chances are they have already thought of a solution. Keep employees involved and educated in ergonomics for more meaningful results.

2. Review all the Data

Use all available HR data such as employee turnover, absentee and sick days to establish the size of the problem. Don’t wait for someone to tell you up front, that may never happen. Look for the signals that are right in front of your nose that things are not right.

3. Encourage early Reporting

Make sure employees feel at ease coming forward with injury reports early so you have an opportunity to take early remediation actions.  Early idetification leads to better rehabilitation outcomes and lower workcover premiums.

4. Get Success Early

Quickly put problems into perspective and get some quick solutions in place.  Avoid getting caught up in analysis  paralysis and look for simple solutions that generate enthusiasm by demonstrating to employees and leaders how simple ergonomics can be.

5. Allow for Complex Risks

After a careful analysis of the workplace you may find that certain problems that fall into ergonomics are in fact harder to quantify. Don’t rush into solving these  problems. There could be an opportunity to make material chnages to workflows or production processes that go far beyond the original reason for the analysis.

6. Focus on Removing the Risk

Training in proper work practices is an important part of ergonomics and should accompany any new equipment or procedures that are implemented. Changes to work flows or machinery upgrades can significantly reduce risk factors.

7. Its Not All About Money

If you have identified a problem don’t just throw money at it. A more cost effective way to remove the risk might be to invest in changing the way things are done in the first place.

8. Make Ergonomics Part of Purchasing

Using this concept, equipment buying costs can be reduced by taking advantage of opportunities to change designs while in the planning stage. Any equipment with an obvious problem should be replaced with something designed to eliminate the ergonomic issues.

9. It will Happen

Ergonomics tools and models keep employees healthy and improve worker productivity. However all this can take time. Don’t be discouraged if results are not immmediate. The important thing is to consider all teh benefits when calculating your return on investment.

10. Ask for Help

Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Ergonomics is not a mystical science and most problems can be solved in-house. However, there will always be a few problems that will be easier to solve with the help of someone else. Ask Safety Concepts if you need an independent inspection of your workplace for ergonomic risks.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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