Ergonomics is the applied science of designing, developing, and selecting equipment, workstation layout, and work strategies in order to best suit and protect the human body. The goal of ergonomics is to minimize fatigue, discomfort, injury and emotional stress.
NOTE: Even the most ergonomically correct environment will not prevent repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) if the body is simply overworked. The body has limitations in what it can withstand. Surpassing those limitations will result in injury.
Types of ergonomic services available:
- Surveillance: This phase is characterized by the passive collection of relevant organizational data (injury trend analysis, health surveys, human resource information, and so on) plus the active collection of further data through methods such as task observation and interviews. Interviews utilize video, digital photography, and other measurement tools.
- Data Analysis: In this phase the data collected during surveillance is compiled into reports complete with risk prioritization, time lines, and control measures. This will assist us in gaining management commitment and support, as well as establishing a baseline for the metrics of success.
- Implementation of Controls (Fixes): During this phase the solutions recommended in Phase II (training interventions, workspace/tool design/redesign, and so on) are put in place with specific project timelines and strategies.
- Evaluation/Re-evaluation: After the completion of the project, an overall evaluation (review and audit) is conducted to determine whether you, as the client, have achieved the desired goals and objectives. Another feature of this phase is outcome tracking of injury or illness, productivity, and efficiency. This is performed on a mutually agreed upon interval, such as every 90 days, every 12 months, every two years, and so on.
- One-on-One Ergonomic Consultation and Evaluation: This service is for high-risk or injured workers and is conducted on-site for the individual in his or her working environment. This is an important component of any thorough ergonomics program.
- Individuals who work in high-risk jobs, who have active worker's compensation claims, or who have prior history of cumulative trauma disorders are candidates for comprehensive ergonomic evaluations. This type of assessment provides in-depth analysis of ergonomic factors affecting the individual. When indicated, nationally-recognized risk analysis tools are utilized. Their results are included in any pertinent reports. Before a worker is injured, it is often possible to avoid cumulative trauma disorders through training and recommendations that would help anybody involved in that job task. However, once an individual is injured, the situation demands more exacting solutions. These interventions may not be any more costly than for an uninjured worker, but the provision of controls and training needs to consider more precisely the characteristics, attributes and work practice of the injured worker.
If you're interested in a custom ergonomic evaluation for your corporate or home office, please contact Sam for a free phone consultation.