When many people think “workplace safety,” they picture slips, trips, and falls. If it were so simple, safety training would consist of little more than “Be careful.”
Take ergonomics, for example. This common office buzzword sometimes seems like little more than a scientific term for comfort, but it belongs under the safety umbrella just as much as injury prevention and electrical hazard training do.
As defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, ergonomics is “the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population. Effective and successful ‘fits’ assure high productivity, avoidance of illness and injury risks, and increased satisfaction among the workforce.”
Those benefits are music to a corporate wellness administrator’s ears. When thought of in terms of potential business boosters like these, ergonomics suddenly takes on more importance.
What kind of injury can be sustained behind a desk? Well, depending on one’s job requirements and workstation setup, desk jobs run the risk of causing or worsening muskuloskeletal problems including carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and back pain.
The pain caused by such disorders ranges from mildly distracting to severely limiting, and either way, productivity suffers.
Putting some effort into improving ergonomics and addressing any problems your employees may already have encountered will pay off in the long run.
Not only does their comfort and well being directly affect the work they’re putting out, but your attention to such matters increases their sense of being valued and, consequently, their job satisfaction.
Common ergonomic issues include:
For the most part, these problems are fairly easy to solve inexpensively and with little hassle involved. Bring up the topic of ergonomics at your next staff meeting, or ask for input via e-mail.
Once you’ve determined the problems your staff members have faced with their office environments, you can brainstorm and agree upon ergonomically sound solutions.
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