The Best Ergonomic Assessment Tools You Should Know About | Egonomics is vital but often overlooked in the workplace. Whether it’s an office building or a warehouse, workstations aren’t always designed in a way that supports an individual’s body.
When this is the case, people are at greater risk of injury or overuse, because their bodies have to constantly strain and work at awkward angles.
The problem in the workplace is that every person’s body is different. One desk or workstation might be perfect for someone who is five feet tall but wouldn’t work well for someone who is six feet tall.
That’s why ergonomic assessment tools are vital to create a happy and healthy workplace. When employees are taken care of, and they don’t have to wear their bodies out necessarily, they will remain at their jobs for longer periods of time.
This means you’ll have less turnover in your company, saving you lots of time, money, and headaches.
So what is ergonomics, and how can you use an ergonomic assessment to improve the workplace? Keep reading to find out now.
Why is Ergonomics Important at the Workplace?
So why do ergonomics matter at work? Isn’t an ergonomic office chair enough?
Well, what does ergonomics mean? It’s how efficiently people can interact with their environment. If an environment is inefficient, it might mean lower productivity, which can cost the company loads of money over a period of time.
At worst, however, a workplace that is not ergonomically efficient can cause injury to employees. And what happens if an employee gets injured on the job?
They’ll have to stay home and recover while receiving workers’ compensation. That means that less work is getting done on the job site and the business is losing money.
And obviously, it’s extremely unfortunate that someone has been seriously hurt as a result of doing their job.
But a simple way of preventing this in the first place? Initiate an ergonomic evaluation, ergonomic training, and ergonomic assessment of your workplace.
What is an Ergonomic Evaluation?
During an ergonomic evaluation, an ergonomics specialist will visit your workplace to complete an ergonomic assessment form. These are certified nurses who specialize in biomechanics and how the body works, along with injury prevention techniques.
Their first goal will be able to evaluate each employee at work in their workstation. They will observe the tasks that need to be completed, and evaluate how beneficial or harmful the particular workstation is for an employee.
Specialists will work with both managers and workers during an ergonomic assessment to come up with ergonomic solutions that improve comfort on a daily basis while at the same time lowering the risk of injury.
Benefits of Ergonomic Improvements
So why does this benefit you, your workers, and your business? For one, your employees will be more comfortable.
Since they aren’t uncomfortable all day long, they’ll be much happier workers. This means that they will be more likely to stick around for longer periods of time, often years longer.
Having experienced employees, rather than constantly having to hire new ones, makes a big difference in a business’s bottom line.
On top of that, they’ll be more productive. Happier employees can get more work done every day. Plus, with less physical exertion, they’ll have more mental energy each day to go above and beyond their job description.
And lastly, employees will be safer. Not just in the short-term, while on the job. But people who work for your company will enjoy a higher quality of life since they are less likely to experience injuries that can cause permanent damage over time.
Ergonomic Evaluation Training
Along with redesigning a workstation to be more efficient, ergonomics specialists will work with individuals and groups to educate them on moving their bodies more efficiently.
This ergonomic training will help workers to know what types of movements to avoid doing to prevent injury. They’ll also be able to notice issues with their body early on, so they can adapt and prevent overuse of certain muscle groups.
Ergonomic Assessment Tools
In order to create a safe and healthy workplace, you’ll need to then implement the ergonomic assessment tools recommended by your specialist. Here are the tools you’ll most likely need to use on a regular basis.
Using a quick screen is a quick and easy way to recognize hazards. When particular tasks are flagged as a potential hazard, further evaluation can be completed to ensure a safe workplace.
Job screens evaluate different jobs with the goal of determining which tasks pose threats to the musculoskeletal system. They can help determine which bodily systems are at the greatest risk. It can be used to compare across various other jobs as a reference point.
Again, further evaluation can be completed once unsafe jobs are discovered.
NIOSH Lifting Equation
Lifting is one of the most dangerous aspects of a job site. Many injuries are caused each year due to improper lifting.
The NIOSH Lifting Equation is used by safety professionals to analyze the risk associated with manual lifting tasks. It uses factors such as the Recommended Weight Rating and the Lifting Index to determine what types of lifting jobs can be completed by employees.
It will also consider how many of these tasks can be completed by each employee on a daily basis, so they don’t lift too much and cause injury.
Rapid Entire Body Assessment
The REBA is a form filled out for each particular job task. It looks at factors such as posture, exertion, and muscle movement of each task. It can then score each muscle and body part used in each job task to determine what is most at risk.
With this information, best practices can be implemented to help negate any known risks associated with individual tasks.
Get Evaluated Today
If you have a workplace where manual labor is the norm then having an assessment, and implementing ergonomic assessment tools is mandatory to protect your workers.
And the best part is that by protecting your workers and creating a safer, more comfortable work environment, productivity will increase and you’ll end up saving lots of money in the long run. Don’t wait, get your work[lace evaluated today.
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