How an Ergonomic Workstation Boosts Welding Productivity
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welding-related musculoskeletal injuries (WRMI) are responsible for 29% of lost workday cases. This amounts to a whopping $20 billion in worker’s compensation, which is why welders should consider how ergonomic workstations can help them avoid injuries.
Ergonomics is an important consideration when you are dealing with excessive body wear and tear during your welding career. Injuries to the muscles, joints, spinal disks, tendons, ligaments, and nerves are prevalent when your workstation is not ergonomic.
The problem most welders experience is knowing what a proper ergonomic workstation is, and understanding why it is so important.
There are many things to consider when setting up an ergonomic workstation. Also, knowing how to do it right from the beginning can save you considerable pain.
What Is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the science of fitting a workstation into a worker’s individual needs and abilities. Ultimately, the aim is to increase productivity, efficiency, and reduce any chances of discomfort that could lead to injuries. It takes into account any sitting, standing, kneeling positions, and movements an employee does throughout the day. This includes any eye strain and repetitive movements in the joints, such as wrists, knees, neck, back, hips, and ankles.
Everything is meticulously calculated to ensure greater workplace safety, along with the goal of higher productivity.
What Are the Ergonomic Risk Factors for a Welding Career?
Welding is one of the most at-risk careers for a musculoskeletal injury due to these frequent behaviors:
- Awkward and unnatural body postures such as twisting, outreached arms, kneeling, squatting, and holding heavy items above the head
- Lifting heavy loads
- Using continuous force and strain
- Static positioning in the body
- Long tasks with manual precision
We all have different limitations and abilities, such as bad posture and poor mobility. When we combine that with these risky moves, it can be a recipe for injuries.
Tips for a Good Ergonomic Workstation Welders
- Avoid awkward, unnatural movements.
- Keep a proper posture during everything. Don’t know what good posture is? Have a PT or physio teach you.
- Use a footrest when standing for long periods of time.
- Position scaffolding, stools, and any standing or seated tools to the right position.
- Invest in a custom lift.
- Do not cut corners. Keep integrity with your body mechanics.
- Keep elbows close to your body. Do not reach away.
- Do not bend over for long periods of time.
- Use manual hydraulic lift tables for lifting tasks.
- Do not reach over your head for long, especially when handling equipment.
Bottom line, keep your common sense with you and do not cut corners to get a job done quicker.
Learn More About a Proper Ergonomic Workstation
If you need further advice, be sure to hire a professional, such as an occupational therapist. They can come in and teach you how to move around the job site more safely.
Please contact us for any inquiries or questions.