No employer wants to see productivity declines, increased absenteeism rates, or higher workers’ compensation claims. To prevent these problems, many employers rely on ergonomic discomfort as a leading indicator and only then begin to implement an office ergonomic intervention.
However, if you wait for your employees to first show signs of discomfort, the damage is done. Your organization is already suffering, and this delayed response doesn’t get at the root problem that ultimately leads to productivity and absenteeism issues. Truly tackling the issues that come with a poor ergonomic work environment takes investing in a proactive ergonomic intervention before discomfort hurts your employees.
Risk Factors for Preventing Ergonomic Discomfort
Rather than relying on discomfort as a leading indicator, you should look for predictive indicators instead. Stopping the discomfort from happening in the first place is the most effective way to keep your employees productive and safe and your organization running at full capacity. Here are some of the most common ergonomic risk factors found in the workplace that can indicate potential issues.
- Awkward sitting positions: If employees sit in awkward positions because of an improper workspace setup, this could lead to musculoskeletal disorders down the line.
- Sustained postures and insufficient breaks: Like awkward sitting positions, sustaining postures is bad for your musculoskeletal system. Employees need sufficient breaks to stay healthy and productive and avoid work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
- Repetitive motions: Performing the same repeated motion can cause repetitive strain injuries that leave your employees in discomfort. Excessive typing is an especially common repetitive motion in the workplace.
- Poor lighting: Eye strain can become a problem when your workers lack adequate lighting.
Do you see these ergonomic risk factors in your workplace? If so, now is the time to get serious about your workers’ safety and health before any discomfort develops.
How to Scale an Ergonomic Intervention on an Enterprise-Wide Level
So how can you perform an ergonomic intervention before employees face discomfort and further injuries? One method is to hire an ergonomist or medical professional for your organization. That expert would visit each employee on-site and offer an individualized consultation.
While that expert may provide sound advice, that option isn’t realistically scalable on an enterprise-wide level. Not only would this take considerable time but it would also blow many organizations’ budgets.
Instead, organizations can implement a proactive ergonomic intervention by leveraging ergonomic assessment software to deliver a risk-based approach to your office ergonomics program. With a risk-based ergonomic software solution, employers can easily offer self-assessments and training to all employees across multiple locations. The employer can then use the data from the self-assessments to focus corrective resources on the most at-risk employees while the training ensures low-risk employees have the education they need to make the necessary preventive changes to their workspace on their own. This allows employers to direct ergonomic resources where they’re needed most.
Once you identified your most at-risk employees, ergonomic assessment software allows you to streamline your case management efforts, such as scheduling, evaluation tracking, and treatment documentation. Your case managers can even leverage the software to access that valuable risk data to create individualized treatments, ensuring your employees get the best care possible while still maintaining a scalable, cost-effective approach to office ergonomics for your organization.
Office ergonomic software also provides you with easily accessible tools to measure how your employees progress. The software pulls data from assessments, training, discomfort reporting, computer use, ergonomics evaluations, and case management and then combines it with risk algorithms. With such a large pool of risk data, you can more accurately measure the results of your office ergonomics program.
Ergonomic discomfort can cause a lot of problems for your organization. By taking steps to intervene before your employees suffer can help your organization keep productivity high, workers happy, and costs low.
To learn how your organization can prevent employee discomfort using ergonomic assessment software, schedule your free demo of the Cority Ergonomic Solution.