Sitting at a computer for an extended time may appear harmless, but repetitive strain injuries cause many employees each year to miss work. Not only is this bad for the health of the workforce but it also directly affects an organization’s bottom line. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that repetitive strain injuries cost businesses more than $20 billion a year in workers' compensation claims, making this type of injury the country's most expensive occupational health and safety problem.
Why Organizations Should Invest in Office Ergonomics Training
To proactively improve employee health and reduce these expensive workers’ compensation claims, employers should offer workplace ergonomics training to employees. Office ergonomic training educates your employees about risks and provides solutions for setting up a safe workspace to prevent potential repetitive strain injuries. With this kind of workplace training, organizations can empower employees to proactively take control of their own health.
Many repetitive strain injuries can come with long-term, permanent damage if left untreated. Even with treatment, repetitive strain injuries can take time to heal. Repetitive strain injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Tenosynovitis, also known as wrist tendinitis
- Ganglion cysts
Considering all that’s on the line for employers, prevention is the best way to protect your workforce, maintain productivity, and reduce workers’ compensation claims.
Tips for Implementing Office Ergonomics Training to Reduce Repetitive Strain Injuries
Implementing a new corporate initiative doesn’t come without challenges, but with a thought-out plan, you can launch your office ergonomics training program with minimal bumps along the way. Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
- Define your goals. Like any corporate initiative, you should have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Have workers’ compensation claims shot up? Has productivity taken a nosedive? Without goals, you can’t adequately track the success of your office ergonomics training program.
- Identify supervising team members. If employees have a question or concern, who can they go to? Create a chain of command, communicate that to employees, and provide the necessary contact information and processes.
- Communicate your office ergonomics training program on multiple channels. Everyone communicates differently, so be ready to accommodate those various preferences. Some employees avidly check every email while others tend to let internal notices slide. An intranet may be popular among some employees, but others may gaze over that platform. If you meet employees at multiple communication checkpoints, you can catch a wider audience.
- Give employees a road map with actionable steps. Providing employees with the education they need to reduce their risk is great, but they are more likely to follow through if you outline a plan of action. For instance, give employees deadlines for when they should complete self-assessments and work with an ergonomic specialist for any necessary follow-ups.
- Establish methods for measuring ROI. To get the most out of your program, you need a way to measure where you succeeded and where you could improve.
How to Reduce Repetitive Strain Injuries
With large employee counts, multiple locations, and limited resources, managing an office ergonomics training program can take a lot of work. From implementation to scheduling training and follow-ups, office ergonomics training programs come with multiple parts to track.
Instead, many organizations are turning to online injury assessment software to educate workers. Software automates these processes, which makes it simple for even the smallest EHS team to manage.
To learn more about how you can use software to manage your office ergonomics training program and stop repetitive strain injuries before they even occur, start your free license today.