The start of a new year means new goals for companies. Let 2019 be the year your organization builds a sustainable and effective office ergonomics program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 31% of worker injury and illness cases in the United States in 2015. While each office must consider its own unique factors and specific challenges, you can follow this simple plan to be successful.
- Identify the risks and hazards in your office. Some jobs and/or tasks expose workers to a higher risk of developing MSD injuries than others. Repetitive tasks, heavy lifting, and prolonged sedentary postures are just a few. Developing an internal plan and tool, or using an outside resource to track risks and hazards in the workplace, will help you identify the high-risk jobs to fix.
- Engage your employees. This involves two steps: provide training and communicate the significance. Supplying resources and taking time to listen to your employees’ concerns and improvement ideas will make your new program more successful. In addition to implementing a new policy, share the personal benefits of ergonomics. Your organization will adapt and accept the changes with less resistance if everyone is properly educated.
- Optimize case management. Encourage your employees to voice their concerns. Develop a system to respond to employees who are exposed to a high-risk job (task). A delayed response can mean a missed ergonomics evaluation and/or result in injury.