How Can Proper Ergonomics in the Workplace Save The Business Money?
Businesses wanting to thrive have to keep watch over a great many things. For instance, they must pay attention to sales as well as business costs and overhead. Some of those costs include supplies, inventory, bookkeeping, labour costs, and more. But one area that is sometimes overlooked is workplace injury. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release, there were more than 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2016 alone.
Employer costs for preventable injuries during the same time period was over $668.2 billion according to figures from the National Safety Council. The question is whether or not there are ways ergonomics can save money for your business to keep costs down.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common type of reported workplace injury. Examples of MSDs include back strains/sprains, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, rotator cuff injuries, and neck conditions. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that MSDs accounted for 31 percent of the total cases for workers’ compensation claims.
Work-related MSDs happen when the physical requirements of the job don’t match the physical capabilities of the employee. A leading cause of MSDs is prolonged exposure to ergonomic risk factors such as repetitive activities, poor positioning, forceful motions, and extended time in static positions. These conditions and the associated cost can be prevented by using ergonomically correct equipment, redesigning workstations, and improving workflow.
Ergonomic Office Furniture Benefits for The Business
- Ergonomics reduces costs. By systematically reducing ergonomic risk factors, you can prevent costly MSDs. With approximately $1 out of every $3 in workers compensation costs attributed to MSDs, this represents an opportunity for significant cost savings. Also, don’t forget that indirect costs can be up to twenty times the direct cost of an injury.
- Ergonomics improves productivity. The best ergonomic solutions will often improve productivity. By designing a job to allow for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions and better heights and reaches, the workstation becomes more efficient.
- Ergonomics improves quality. Poor ergonomics leads to frustrated and fatigued workers that don’t do their best work. When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job like they were trained. For example, an employee might not fasten a screw tight enough due to a high force requirement which could create a product quality issue.
- Ergonomics improves employee engagement. Employees notice when the company is putting forth their best efforts to ensure their health and safety. If an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort during their workday, it can reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement.
- Ergonomics creates a better safety culture. Ergonomics shows your company’s commitment to safety and health as a core value. The cumulative effect of the previous four benefits of ergonomics is a stronger safety culture for your company. Healthy employees are your most valuable asset; creating and fostering the safety & health culture at your company will lead to better human performance for your organization.