How to Implement Ergonomics in the Workplace

Ergonomics is a branch of science that focuses on the interaction of people and different elements in a system. This term also refers to the profession that aims to optimize human well-being and system performance in the workplace through the use of theory, data, principles, and methods in design.

Santa Fe risk management companies implement ergonomics by designing or arranging workspaces, products, and systems to fit the needs of the individuals who use them.

Implementing ergonomics in the workplace

Here are some suggestions on how to implement ergonomics in your workplace:

Establish an ergonomics improvement team

The first step to implementing ergonomics in your workplace is creating a team of ergonomic experts. These experts will be responsible for reviewing your company’s current ergonomic status and coming up with improvements where needed.

Create a list of prioritized jobs or departments

The ergonomics improvement team will also be responsible for putting together a list of jobs or departments that should be prioritized. Their decision should be based on a tour of the facility, data collected through employee surveys, and a review of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) history among company employees.

Conduct an ergonomic analysis

After the ergonomics improvement team has created a list of prioritized jobs and departments, they should analyze each using scientific methods and rank them according to ergonomic risk. The team should quantify each job or department’s risks and evaluate those using tools such as the WISHA Lifting Calculator, NIOSH Lifting Equation, and Snook Tables.

Set ergonomic improvement priorities

Based on the performed analysis, the ergonomics improvement team could then determine which jobs should be prioritized. Investing in the department that needs the most ergonomic improvement ensures that company resources are allocated wisely.

Along with the analysis results, the team could also use the ICE tool to evaluate the three factors to be considered when coming up with an ergonomic solution. These are impact, cost, and effort.

  • Impact refers to benefits resulting from the proposed ergonomic improvement. This can include injury cost savings, enhanced quality, and increased productivity.
  • Cost is a critical factor in any operation. Most companies work on a limited budget, so the ergonomics improvement team should prioritize expenses accordingly.
  • Effort refers to the time and energy required to implement the ergonomics improvement strategy. The ergonomics team should consider these factors at every stage of the process.

Seeking approval and funding for the ergonomic improvement plan

After the ergonomic improvement plan is laid out, the next step is to seek the management’s approval. If the ergonomic improvement plan entails significant expense, you may have to put some effort into convincing the administration to fund the project.

One way to persuade management to approve the plan is by presenting a return on investment (ROI) report. You can do this by quantifying ergonomics’ value using a cost-benefit calculator, which helps you estimate the benefits and payback periods for the ergonomic improvement strategy.

Evaluate the implementation of the ergonomics improvements plan

The next step is to examine the results of the ergonomics improvement plan. Your goal is to measure the effectiveness of your methods and identify areas that need improvement. You could then refer to your list of prioritized jobs or departments and apply your revised ergonomics improvement plan to the next one down the list.

Benefits of ergonomics

Several case studies show how ergonomics can help you reach your business goals regarding cost savings, product quality, and productivity. This makes ergonomics a worthy investment and an effective management strategy. Here are some of the recognized benefits of ergonomic strategies:

  • Cost reduction. Implementing ergonomics can help reduce risk factors such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. Redesigning and improving the workplace could subsequently help you save on workers’ compensation costs.
  • Increased productivity. One of the main goals of ergonomics is the optimization of the workspace. Designing a workstation for proper posture, reduced motion, fewer exertions, and optimal reach will help enhance comfort and improve efficiency. With less physical stress to deal with, company employees can do more work, which will increase productivity.
  • Enhanced work quality. Poor ergonomics result in workers that are too tired and stressed to deliver optimum results. Employee fatigue leads to frustration, which interferes with your workers’ abilities to do the jobs they are trained to do. This could lead to suboptimal work performance and inferior quality products that do not meet your company’s standards.
  • Improved employee performance. In an ergonomic workplace, employees will not have to put in excessive effort to perform their duties. They could then focus on ensuring the quality of their work, which will benefit your business considerably.
  • Improved job satisfaction. A more ergonomic workplace will also reduce turnovers and absenteeism and improve employee morale. Workers who are happy with their work environment will be more willing to work every day and will likely remain with the company longer.

An ergonomic improvement strategy can benefit your company in many ways. Consider implementing the methods described above, and you could see a significant increase in employee efficiency.

About Daniels Insurance, Inc.

At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that businesses like yours face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.