Generally, we consider our home and workplace comparatively safe spaces. Yet, due to the several different variables we work in our workplace or remotely from home poses a risk to our health. Increasing demand for desk-based work has resulted in musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), cardiovascular disease, job strain and psychological distress. These are all results of prolonged sitting and computer use. MSDs account for 30% of occupational injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This has also become the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims in the United States. As healthcare costs rise, businesses are looking for ways to prevent having to spend thousands of dollars on the issues caused due to the neglect of healthcare and employee wellness. Wellness Workshops are one of the solutions as ergonomics treatments rely heavily on education and training.
What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is defined by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA) as “the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of the interactions among humans and other elements of a system in order to optimise human well-being and overall system performance”
In other words, ergonomics may be described as the adaptation of the work environment in a way where it prevents MSDs and soft tissue injuries. It helps in catering for the specific features required for each individual. It also involves the detection of the everyday behaviours that cause health problems and avoiding the negative impacts of prolonged sedentary labour.
Why is Ergonomics Important?
What is better? Treating the injuries that occur or completely avoiding them in the first place? Preventing them is the better option and you can do that by incorporating a few changes in your workplace. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your workplace providing you with any Ergonomic Program?
- If you do have an Ergonomic Program, is it effective?
- Are musculoskeletal injuries affecting your company?
- Are your colleagues always complaining about constant body pains?
By considering and tailoring to an individual’s health requirements, the organisation will be able to enhance employee wellbeing and productivity. Ergonomics is vital because an uncomfortable position or repeated movement influences your musculoskeletal system. Some of the symptoms you can notice include pain, discomfort or weariness. All of these are early warning indications that should be taken into consideration. Otherwise, not only the health of the individuals are compromised but an overall negative impact is caused resulting in poor job quality and decreased productivity.
Benefits of Comprehensive Ergonomic Program
Workplace ergonomics is just as essential as a fire exit in a workplace. Employers can take an extra step by implementing it and through that, they will foster better employee health. Incorporating ergonomic workshops into corporate wellness programs provides a list of various advantages.
Create a Safer Workplace and Decrease Workers’ Compensation Claims
The programs create a safer space for employees by educating them on ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to workplace ergonomics. With a safer environment, fewer injuries happen and employers are able to eliminate several risks. This also prevents the workplace from clam costs. Since compensation insurance and claims made by employees are a direct cost for the company, without appropriate measures to eliminate this cost, companies could fritter their money away. An MSD worker’s compensation claim typically has a $14,120 direct cost. However, if given adequate time and energy to the incorporation of ergonomics, healthcare expenditures can be managed and a better safety culture is created.
When initiatives are taken by the management towards the betterment of the employees and their health, they feel valued. It shows the management cares about the people they lead. This results in an increase in employee morale as they feel appreciated. As a result, there is improved productivity and enhanced quality of work.
Reduce absenteeism and turnover
With less injuries and health issues caused by poor ergonomics systems, employees will be taking fewer days off. Eventually, the turnover rate will be lower as the employees will be happier with their workplace if it follows ergonomic programs. The overall quality of life will be improved. Employees will have improved focus and productivity levels.
When you offer training to incorporate ergonomic workshops to your employees, there are various options that you can consider. Some of them could include:
- Workplace Ergonomics workshops
- Posture Training
- Creativity workshops
- Workstation Assessments
- Workplace fitness seminars
A well-executed program may save healthcare expenses and promote employee retention, lending credence to the link between personal health and professional happiness.