How Growing Trends in Workplace Ergonomics Can Affect Your Business
One in two adult Americans suffers from musculoskeletal (MSD) disorders. In fact, as many as 65% of American adults reported neck and back pain to their doctors in 2016. These studies also revealed many of the victims work in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
MSD injuries in welders alone account for almost a third of lost workdays. Across all industries, more than 600,000 work-related MSD injuries and illnesses occur. And these problems make up over a third of all lost workdays.
All of these issues call for better workplace ergonomics, especially in industrial and manufacturing settings where workers face greater risks. The question is, what are the laws and trends surrounding ergonomics safety? Are all businesses required to jump on the ergonomics bandwagon?
Read on to learn more.
Workplace Ergonomics: Mandatory or Not?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) doesn’t mandate employers to equip their workplaces with ergonomic furnishings (such as desks and chairs). However, employers have the obligation to abide by the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1). This regulation requires the removal of any recognized serious hazards from the workplace. This includes ergonomic hazards, which can result in MSD injuries and illnesses.
Now, even if OSHA doesn’t require you to get ergonomic equipment, failure to do so can lead to citations. Receiving a citation means your business will be under OSHA scrutiny for up to a year.
Taking a Page Out of Google’s Book
Many people want to work for Google. After all, its offices are some of the happiest places to work in. The fact that 86% of its team players say they’re satisfied with their work and their employer is proof of this.
It’s not all about the impressive free gourmet meals, the attractive compensation, or the paid parental leave Google offers, though. Granted, all of these perks could make anyone want to work for them. However, it’s also because the company prioritizes the health and safety of its people.
You don’t have to equip your workplace with lavish day beds or nap pods, but it’s best to follow the lead of Google’s solutions for keeping workers safe, healthy, and happy.
Reducing Injuries with Ergonomic-Centered Equipment
Many industrial and manufacturing businesses rely on standard workstations. By that, we mean some type of one-size-fits-all stations.
The thing is, for equipment or furniture to be ergonomic, it should satisfy a user’s unique needs. That includes a person’s body build, height, and weight.
If your workplace has a one-size-fits-all workstation, it won’t meet these specific requirements. That’s why you should consider investing in custom-made equipment, such as adjustable lifts. You can change their settings based on the task at hand and the operator’s needs. And since they conform better to the user, there’s a much lower risk of strains, sprains, aches, and pains.
Improved Workplace Safety Means Happier, More Productive Workers
Keep in mind that the cost to treat musculoskeletal conditions averages $7,800 per person per year. With proper workplace ergonomics, you can not only avoid those costs, but also make your employees happier and more productive.
Keep tabs on our blog for more tips on how ergonomics can make your business safer and healthier for everyone.