All About Ergonomics
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What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics focuses on the interactions between work demands and worker capabilities; ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker. Effective and successful "fits" assure high productivity, avoidance of illness and injury risks and increased satisfaction among the workforce.
When there is a mismatch between the physical requirements of the job and the physical capacity of the worker, a number of Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) may result. Workers are most likely to develop WMSDs if they:
What are WMSDs?
Although definitions vary, the term "Musculoskeletal Disorders" describe the following disorders:
Are WMSDs a big problem?
Yes – very big. Consider that WMSDs are:
In fact, recent statistics show:
Indeed, the problem has become so severe that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is considering ergonomic regulations.
What can be done to prevent WMSDs?
Real solutions have been demonstrated in workplaces of all sizes across a broad range of industries. Many employers have developed effective ergonomics programs and common sense solutions to address WMSDs in their workplaces. Occupational Health Solutions can help you prevent WMSDs.
Often WMSDs can be prevented by simple and inexpensive changes in the workplace. The President's Committee's Job Accommodation Network researched the cost of accommodations and found:
For example, adjusting the height of working surfaces, varying tasks for workers and encouraging short rest breaks can reduce risks. Reducing the size of items workers must lift or providing lifting equipment also may aid workers. Specially designed equipment, such as curved knives for poultry processors, may help, too.
The Bottom Line
WMSDs represent real workplace problems faced by real people. Occupational Health Solutions' ergonomics consultants can help you design and implement an ergonomics program that avoids illness and injury risks, ensuring high productivity and satisfaction among your workforce.