Ergonomics in the Workplace
Work-related injuries drive up insurance costs for everyone, yet many of these can be prevented. This includes musculoskeletal disorders like chronic pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Many companies and employees do not realize that certain work environments can cause these ailments, and therefore are not proactive.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over $15 billion in workers’ compensation expenses are accrued every year for these conditions. Workplaces that prioritize ergonomics can save money on insurance, cut down on lost time from employee injuries, and increase productivity.
Causes of Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders
Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day is not as harmless as it looks. Many employees sit in hunched over positions and do not take enough breaks. Having a monitor placed at the wrong height can lead to vision problems, as well as back and neck strain. In addition, using a mouse all day has been shown to lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, which may cause nerve damage.
What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the study of how workplace environments impact employee health, safety, and productivity. The research and data are used to design healthier work spaces. Although some companies market high-tech, high-cost solutions, not all ergonomic solutions are expensive. Sometimes, making small adjustments can lead to big improvements.
Better Mice and More
Any employee that uses a mouse all day long may benefit from an ergonomically designed mouse. There are several versions on the market, with different price points. Some of their designs feature an option to use the mouse with both hands; others work like a joystick or alleviate wrist stress. Ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and ergonomic keyboards have been around for many years and may cost more, but can be worth the price.
Simple changes like raising a computer monitor’s height, mandating that employees take breaks from their computers, and providing seat cushions can also help prevent musculoskeletal problems.
In addition to repurposing equipment and tools, it is important to show employees how to sit, stand, and use their own bodies properly. Using good posture, bending and lifting correctly, and sitting the right way all go a long way toward preventing injuries.
Those employees who spend most of their workdays on their feet need to take breaks and sit down to give the legs a much-needed rest. Changing a sitting posture throughout the day or adjusting a seat can also be helpful.
Implementing workplace ergonomics can be beneficial for businesses and their employees, and it is just as important to maintain the standards for the long term. Revisiting the topic by holding company meetings, sending out e-mail reminders, and even telling oneself to sit up straight can maintain the good work that is being done.
Contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. for Effective Workplace Injury Representation
If you need legal assistance with a workers’ compensation claim, we can help. Call 888-999-1962 today or complete an online contact form for a free case evaluation with a seasoned Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Our offices are in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, and we represent clients in Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas.