Ergonomics In The WorkPlace

http://www.seas.columbia.edu/earth/wtert/sofos/nawtec/nawtec08/nawtec08-0019.pdf

Ergonomics In The Workplace

Is increasing production one of your core business objectives  this year? Are you looking to reduce workers compensation claims and healthcare cost? Assuming these are your company objectives establishing or improving  an ergonomics program should be top on your list.

Studies show that understanding and applying good ergonomic practice is important to the management of a healthy workforce. Ergonomic changes are more cost effective before major problem occur (proactive ergonomics).  Reactive ergonomics cost more responding to a multitude of  cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD’s).

Implementing a workplace ergonomic program includes the following elements:

1. Provide Management Support– A strong commitment is key from leadership. Management should have clear goals and objectives for the ergonomic program.

2. Provide Training– Training is very important for a successful outcome.  It ensures workers are educated to the benefits of ergonomics and they become more informed about ergonomics related concerns and the importance of reporting early symtoms of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s).

3. Identify Problems– Identify and reporting ergonomic problems is an important step in establishing an ergonomic program.

4. Involve Workers– Involving workers directly in the assessments, solution development and implementation will instill “team work” and a positive outcome of the ergonomic program.

5. Implement Solutions to Control Hazards– Identify solutions that can be implemented to reduce, control or eliminate workplace MSD’s.

6. Evaluate Ergonomic Process– Evaluation process and corrective measures should be established to periodically assess the effectiveness of the ergonomic process. When establishing an ergonomic process, the  assessment should include goals set for the ergonomic process.  Moving ahead, discussion should take place on the success of the implementation of the ergonomic solutions and if the goals have been met.

Establishing a ergonomic program can be tailored to meet budget guides.  It is important to start with the most critical needs first.  Initiating or improving  ergonomic programs is money well spent in reducing  cost, improving production and providing workers with a safer work environment.