How Investing in Ergonomics Saves Money

By Ryan Fogel,

Businesses that seek to be successful always must manage a variety of work costs, such as supplies, labor, bookkeeping, inventory, and more. One area that is often overlooked is the cost of workplace injuries. According to a news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 alone, there were more than 2.9 million nonfatal workplace and illnesses.

Also, according to the National Safety Council, the costs of preventable injuries in 2018 among employers was over $170.8 billion. The question no becomes, how can ergonomics save businesses more money and ensure fewer costs regarding workplace injuries?

1. Improve Productivity

Workers are always carrying out tasks that create constant stress and lead to musculoskeletal disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome as well as other ailments. Workers can also experience fatigue which cause depreciating accuracy, efficiency, and productivity. These issues undoubtedly increase business costs. By making an ergonomic work environment a priority, workers will experience less injuries and in turn, cost businesses less money.

2. Reduce Work Compensation Claims

Ergonomics can help reduce the amount of worker compensation claims. Business costs often go up when workers begin dealing with work-related health issues as they make medical claims. However, with the implementation of proper ergonomic safety precautions, training, and equipment, you can easily bring down running costs.

3. Streamline Processes

Ergonomics can help save money through streamlining of the processes. Simple changes such as reducing repetitive motions, cutting down steps, and limiting exertion can result in process changes that boost workflow and save more time.

With improved processes and business operations, you can accomplish more for far less cost. In addition, there may be improvements in the quality of products and services, further boosting the value your business offers.

4. Decrease in Turnover

It is costly to interview and train new employees constantly, which disrupt business services. It is also vital that employees remain healthy and are working at their highest levels. Creating an ergonomic environment will encourage employees to continue working as they believe that the company, they work for takes care of them and prioritizes comfortable working conditions.

To make your workplace more ergonomic for your employees, it is important to hire a Specialist. At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics Consulting, Ergonomics Risk Management, Workplace Injury Reduction
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Why Ergonomics is Worth Investing In

By Ryan Fogel,

Ergonomics involves designing workplace stations with the use of human data to create an environment that is more suitable for working. To put it simply, you want a workplace designed according to the natural laws of the human body, so as to increase safety and comfort, and boost employee efficiency.

Ergonomic Assessments in the Workplace

Ergonomic assessments are done to minimize the risk of injury and maximize productivity. It is also done to support the return to work of a worker who is injured and needs to minimize workplace discomfort to recover faster from their injury and prevent aggravation. Workers who are remote also need to ensure their remote work environment is safe and ergonomically designed.

The first step to making your workplace more ergonomic is to hire an ergonomist to conduct workplace ergonomic assessment. These people have experience in assessing and identifying present and possible future problems and have the necessary skills to suggest solutions for any ergonomic issue they encounter. With the guidance of these health professions, you can decide what kind of actions to take; be it to organize a workshop to increase awareness, one-on-one assessments of employee to ensure proper ergonomic setup, or to determine the equipment or higher levels of control that an injured employee may require.

Once you have identified your ergonomic issues, it becomes easier to decide what needs to be implemented, whether that be to provide ergonomic equipment or make changes to an employee’s job duties. For example, concerning issues with high-task repetition, a simple solution is to continuously cycle employees between repetitive tasks.

Other Ergonomic Benefits

These days, ergonomic trends are moving away from trying to reduce musculoskeletal injuries to the many other business benefits ergonomic change brings. Good ergonomics has reduced worker compensation claims and increased productivity since workers are happier and healthier. It has also improved employee engagement and longevity at the workplace. People can notice when you invest in them and taking steps to improve their health and well-being, which shows you care about the working conditions of your employees.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Assessment, Ergonomics Consulting, Ergonomics Training
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Ergonomic Computer Workstation Setup

By Ryan Fogel,

Prolonged and repetitive work at your computer workstation, poor posture, lack of proper equipment and incorrect ergonomic information are all contributing factors to an improper computer setup which can lead to computer-related injuries. Computer-related injuries cover a wide variety of injuries and health problems caused by or exacerbated by computer usage. Many computer-related injuries can prevented by simply setting up an ergonomic computer workstation.

In setting up your ergonomic computer workstation, the goal is to set it up so you will be able to reach your entire work area (including your phone, computer keyboard, computer mouse, frequently used office supplies, etc.) without having to strain or twist your body. Today, numerous Universities like Cornell, Stanford, UC Davis, University of Virginia, UCLA and others have done intense studies highlighting the benefit of ergonomic computer workstations and the dangers to workers’ health arising by not following certain guidelines.

General Guidelines on Setting up an Ergonomic Computer Workstation

The following are general guidelines based on this research on how to set up an ergonomic computer workstation at the office or at home:

  1. The chair is key to an ergonomic computer workstation because sitting, in an office chair or in general, is a static posture that increases stress in the back, shoulders, arms, and legs, and in particular, can add large amounts of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs. That is why it is important to use a good chair with a dynamic chair back that supports your lumbar region and adjust the height so your feet are flat on the floor. This keeps the knees and torso at roughly the same height. To find this height, stand by the chair and raise or lower the seat pan to just below your elbows bent between 90 and 110 degrees to promote good low back health.
  2. Adjust the chair armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed and your elbow bends at around a 90 degree angle. Use of an armrest on your office chair is important to take some of the strain off your upper spine and shoulders, and it should make you less likely to slouch forward in your chair. However, if your armrests are in the way, remove them temporarily.
  3. Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a stable footrest to help reduce strain on back and neck muscles.
  4. The top of monitor casing should be 2-3″ (5-8 cm) above eye level and centered directly in front of your face (preferably no more than 35 degrees to either side). If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor to a comfortable reading level. This helps reduce the risk of eye strain and awkward positions.
  5. To determine the proper distance for your monitor, sit back and extend your arm. The tips of your middle finger should land on your screen – between 20 and 40 inches (50 and 100 centimeters) from your face. Laptop users may want to consider height adjustable laptop stand, which can accommodate a variety of workers and work postures.
  6. Make sure there is no glare on screen. If necessary, place screen at right angles to windows, adjust curtains or blinds or use an optical glass anti-glare filter. Don’t forget to adjust the vertical screen angle and screen controls to minimize glare from overhead lights.
  7. Use an inline copy stand to position source documents directly in front of you, between the monitor and the keyboard. If there is insufficient space, place source documents on a document holder positioned adjacent to the monitor.
  8. When using a keyboard/mouse/input device, your wrists should flat and straight in relation to forearms. You can also alternate left and right-sided mouse usage to reduce the effects of repetitive use.
  9. Position your keyboard about 1 to 2 inches above your thighs and in a place where your arms and elbows are relaxed and close to body. This way, you are not extending your arms too far forward or bending your elbows too far back to type. To reach the keyboard, your forearms should bend no more than 20 degrees above horizontal (if sitting) or 45 degrees below (if standing).
  10. Center the keyboard in front of you, so you are not reaching to one side or another to type. And, position the mouse near the keyboard, so it is easy to transition from typing to mousing. Ideally, your keyboard and mouse should be shoulder-distance apart and as level as possible.
  11. Use a negative tilt keyboard tray with an upper mouse platform or downward tiltable platform adjacent to keyboard, so that your arms and hand follow the downward slope of your thighs.
  12. Use a stable work surface and stable (no bounce) keyboard tray.
  13. Place your telephone within easy reach. Telephone stands or arms can help. Use a headset or speaker phone to eliminate the awkward posture of cradling the handset.

Setting an Ergonomic Computer Workstation Alone is Not Enough to Prevent Injuries

Setting up an ergonomic computer workstation is not enough to assure the reduction of computer related injuries. You also need to take frequent short breaks (microbreaks) at least once every hour to give your eyes and muscles a break. This helps prevent eye strain and muscle fatigue. Take time to stand up, stretch and move around. Get up and get a glass of water, get some office supplies you need from the cabinet or make a phone call. Try to stand as much as possible when on the phone to help stretch out your muscles and vary your posture. Frequent microbreaks are as important to your health as any other part of an ergonomic computer workstation because they keep you awake, productive and healthy and keep you from developing Deep Vein Thrombosis and other conditions arising from not varying your posture often enough.

This OSHA Ergonomic Solutions checklist can help you create an ergonomic computer workstation. If you have questions or need further assistance in setting up your ergonomic computer workstation, call Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants at (323) 930-6599

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  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Consulting
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