Is “ergonomics” just a corporate buzzword?
Not according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This workplace safety agency issues serious fines to companies that don’t take ergonomics seriously. For large, high-risk workplaces such as manufacturing plants, those fines can exceed $100k.
Office ergonomics may feel lower-stakes than big factories. But ergonomics are a serious concern in white-collar workplaces, too. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other serious conditions can stem from poor office ergonomics.
There’s a bright side to these ergonomics warnings, however. Good ergonomics in the workplace can unlock a long list of benefits. Read on to learn more.
Fewer Injuries and Workmen’s Comp Claims
Musculoskeletal injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries. A full one-third of all cash paid out due to workmen’s compensation claims stems from musculoskeletal injuries. Sick days, lowered productivity, legal fees, and many further indirect costs stem from these injuries, as well.
Reducing musculoskeletal injuries can save employers a lot of cash. And plenty of data shows that ergonomics in the workplace can significantly reduce these kinds of injuries.
An overview of 250 case studies found that ergonomics programs reduced the incidence of musculoskeletal injuries by an average of 67%. Studied companies saw a reduction of workmen’s compensation costs by an average of 68%.
Worried that implementing ergonomics measures will be too expensive? Consider this: the average time it took for ergonomics programs to make up their upfront costs were less than a year.
Ergonomic measures need to match their workplaces in order to reduce injuries effectively. In corporate offices, desk workers need to be sitting comfortably in office chairs that provide lumbar support and reduce joint strain. Shop these options to take a look at the wide range of ergonomic office chairs available.
Fewer Sick Days
Employees in an ergonomic workplace enjoy fewer injuries and less fatigue in general. That means they’ll also take significantly fewer sick days.
Sick days are expensive. They result in delayed work, work performed by a less qualified employee, and high overtime costs. Fewer sick days mean higher productivity and a healthier bottom line.
Poor ergonomics leads to fatigue and pain (and eventually, injury and sick days). Employees in these conditions are more likely to work inefficiently and make mistakes. Those mistakes can result in wasted hours and resources, or worse, unsafe workspaces.
Employees in an ergonomically optimized workplace are less prone to fatigue and pain. And it doesn’t take a genius to realize that comfortable, energized employees are more productive.
They work more efficiently and make fewer mistakes. They’re less prone to mental “dullness” and better at innovative problem-solving and detail-heavy work.
Higher Employee Morale
High morale often leads to a better bottom line. Happier employees are more productive and efficient. They’re less likely to make unsafe (and/or expensive) mistakes or call out.
Investing in ergonomics is a simple yet powerful way to boost employee morale. If your employees are less vulnerable to pain, fatigue, or injuries, they’re going to feel better. That means they work more effectively.
Ergonomics in the Workplace: A Worthwhile Investment
Ergonomics in the workplace isn’t just an afterthought. It should be a company priority—not just to avoid fines, but to maximize productivity. The result is a happier workforce and a healthier bottom line.
Interested in learning more about office ergonomics? Read more in our archives.