Here are 5 of the proven benefits of a
strong workplace ergonomics process:
1. Ergonomics reduces costs. By systematically reducing ergonomic risk factors, you can prevent costly MSDs. With approximately $1 out of every $3 in workers compensation costs attributed to MSDs, this represents an opportunity for significant cost savings. Also, don’t forget that indirect costs can be up to twenty times the direct cost of an injury.
2. Ergonomics improves productivity. The best ergonomic solutions will often improve productivity. By designing a job to allow for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions and better heights and reaches, the workstation becomes more efficient.
3. Ergonomics improves quality. Poor ergonomics leads to frustrated and fatigued workers that don’t do their best work. When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job like they were trained. For example, an employee might not fasten a screw tight enough due to a high force requirement which could create a product quality issue.
4. Ergonomics improves employee engagement. Employees notice when the company is putting forth their best efforts to ensure their health and safety. If an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort during their workday, it can reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement.
5. Ergonomics creates a better safety culture. Ergonomics shows your company’s commitment to safety and health as a core value. 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.
Workplace Ergonomics - Is it worth the cost?
So is an ergonomics process worth the cost? Yes, absolutely! Not only is ergonomics good for your business, it’s great for your people. As health & safety professionals, we need to be able to demonstrate the value of ergonomics to get buy-in for the process.
Good managers consider the following when making decisions:
Will this increase our revenues?
Will this decrease our costs?
Is this the right thing to do?
When considering a workplace ergonomics process, you can answer with an emphatic “YES!” to all three of these questions.
About the Author
Mark Middlesworth is the Founder of Ergonomics Plus, and still enjoys educating and motivating “workplace athletes” toward better health each and every day.