Workstation Ergonomics

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Ergonomics is about ensuring a good fit between people, the things they do, the products they use, and the environments in which they work, travel and play. In many cases, humans can adapt to unsuitable conditions, but such adaption often leads to inefficiency, errors, unacceptable stress, and physical or mental cost.

HR director of Parcel Force Peter McDonald says simply: “I nurture wellbeing for commercial advantage. Absence at Parcel Force is 5%; it costs us £8.5 million per year. A reduction to 4% would result in a saving of £1.7 million per year – or 10% of our net profit.

A proven method for reducing the prevalence of musculoskeletal and visual symptoms is to provide specialized ergonomics training and workstation changes.

  • Office ergonomics training helps employees to understand proper workstation set-up and postures (e.g., Brisson et al., 1999; Bohr, 2000; Ketola et al., 2002; Lewis et al., 2002; Verbeek, 1991).
  • It has been shown that merely providing adjustable furniture alone may not prevent the onset of overuse injury.
  • However, a significant decrease in work-related musculoskeletal disorders has been observed when workers were given an adjustable/flexible work environment, coupled with ergonomics training (Robertson and O’Neill, 1999).
  • Further, the provision of control over the work environment through adjustability and knowledge may enhance worker effectiveness as well as health (McLaney and Hurrell, 1988; O’Neill, 1994; Robertson and Huang, 2006).

We have found the personal touch and care of an ergonomist can make the changes required with more success than online HR training.

Benefits

  • Reduces Injury
  • Reduces Absenteeism
  • Better employer/employee relationship
  • Improved productivity/efficiency through job satisfaction
  • Legal requirements, via health and safety litigation
  • Improved user experience

Back to Balance are independent ergonomic service providers; we are NOT trying to sell you any equipment like many of the other ergonomic companies. It’s not about buying chairs it’s about using what you have properly.

The specific training of your Occupational Osteopath helps to highlight the relevance of good practice with a practical balance between the job and the environment. Their medical knowledge is key in explaining the recommendations we provide the employee.

Further Evidence

Strict health and safety legislation has helped reduce the amount of injuries incurred in jobs that require lifting or awkward movement. However most deskbound workers are not adequately addressing their health risks, and waving away the pesky "work station assessment officer". Preventative measures, such as keeping chairs, desks and computers at the right height, are often neglected.

Early detection

Once symptoms do occur, we are slow to react. A two-year trial in Madrid showed that assessing and treating 13,000 workers with MSKs problems, who had been off for five days or more, their temporary work absence was reduced by 39% in the long term.

The Work Foundation estimates that more than 60,000 Britons would be available for work if the Madrid tactics were replicated in the UK.

“Ergonomics is the application of scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems and environment for human use.”

Regulations

  • HSE’s Guidance and Regulations
  • Working with VDU’s

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