Workplace Ergonomics: Why Is It Really Important?

Ergonomic Injury is like slow poison – It affects your body over a period often making it incurable.

Why should an Organization perform an Ergonomic Assessment?

(Source: OSHA 2012 Report for US based Industries)

  1. Nearly 33% of injuries occur due to Ergonomics
  2. High cost of Insurance
  3. Average Cost of Injury: $12000/ person
  4. Average Cost of Surgery: $43000/ person
  5. OSHA is trying hard to include regulations pertaining to Ergonomics in OSHA 300 form since 2010

What are the inherent cost heads due to Ergonomic Injury?

  1. Workers Compensation Cost
  2. Additional Wages – for those filling in for injured workers
  3. Lost Productivity – due to absent or Restricted workers
  4. Absenteeism – for workers who do not file a claim
  5. Quality problems – new workers may not be as efficient as the experienced ones
  6. Overtime and temporary workers
  7. Probable loss of customers due to late market entry or sub-standard product output

Step to improve the Ergonomics of your facility is to identify and prioritize the departments and jobs that need to be evaluated for Ergonomics. This priority can be based on the following:

  1. Initial Audit of the Workplace – A quick facility tour will give you an idea as to which jobs or departments are demanding in nature and which are less demanding ones. Based on this, priority can be identified
  2. Employee Survey – A survey of employees across all departments will give an idea of the level of safety in departments and this can be one deciding factor.
  3. Past Records – History of injury information from OSHA logs, safety and medical records, insurance, and other information sources can be analyzed to help identify trends and departments or jobs with risk factors that may be contributing to injuries.

More on Ergonomics coming your way…..

Ergonomics can be defined simply as the study of work. More specifically, ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker’s body to fit the job.

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