Ergonomics Offers a Lot More Benefits than Just Injury Prevention
Every lost-time workplace injury costs a company an average of $38,000 in direct costs. To recover these costs, a company earning 5% net profit would need to generate an extra $750,000 in sales revenue. If we conservatively include the indirect costs at a 1 to 1 ratio, the company’s sales department would have to generate $1.5 million in additional sales revenue to make up for that one workplace injury.
As you can see by the above illustration; it pays to be safe.
Additional Benefits of Workplace Ergonomic Programs
The primary benefits of workplace ergonomic programs are two-fold. One is that the employee does not get injured, and two, the company saves money by not having to pay workers compensation and rehabilitation costs. In some cases, the establishment of an occupational ergonomics program has eliminated workers compensation claims in their entirety. But there are secondary benefits as well such as:
Improved efficiency and productivity. Working in unnatural positions causes muscle fatigue. Workers with tired muscles make more errors in accuracy due to the loss of control. Further, employees with fatigued muscles work at a slower pace.
Fewer repetitive motions. Repetitive motion is not only a cause of employee injury, it is a red flag for wasteful work practices. The greater the number of repetitive motions, the longer it takes to complete a work task. Through ergonomic study, actions can be taken to reduce the number and/or type of repetitive motion to reduce injury and increase throughput.
Reduce the number of reaches. If the items needed to do the job effectively are not conveniently located within the workstation then the employee either has to leave or reach to secure the item. This opens the door to the potential for injury as well as inefficiency.
Increase worker stamina. There are two ways to reduce worker fatigue. One is to ergonomically design the workstation to fit the employee. The second is to condition the employee physically in order to increase worker stamina.
Identify wasteful processes. Ergonomics fits nicely into lean manufacturing for identifying waste. By analyzing each step in the manufacturing process, management gains deep insight into their operations.
InjuryFree has five approaches that assist companies with their workplace ergonomic programs:
InjuryFree’s Virtual Ergonomist (VE) is a quick-response solution for resolving ergonomic issues as they arise. An InjuryFree VE evaluates each employees’ work area by phone and recommends ergonomic solutions to reduce the risk of injury.
ErgoStat is a web-based ergonomic assessment and risk reduction software for managing complex ergonomic issues. For industrial applications, ErgoStat calculates risk and recommends solutions based on OSHA standards. For office applications, ErgoStat can identify risk for entire groups and recommend environmental adjustments, interventions, and/or education. The software’s notification, reporting, and documentation capabilities help ensure rapid, cost-effective responses to ergonomic issues.
On-site ergonomic assessments for companies that need a thorough evaluation of the workplace or 3rd-party documentation to meet government regulations.
On-Site Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Services. Our workplace physical therapists are scientifically trained in rehabilitating injured workers. We get employees back to work faster than traditional outpatient physical therapy centers and we do it on-site. Athletic training services gets your workforce into top physical condition to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
Employee Maintenance Center (EMC). The EMC is an on-site rehabilitation and injury prevention facility staffed by professionals trained to care for pain and injuries, rehabilitate injured employees, and prevent future injuries from occurring. Because back, neck, and shoulder problems represent a major portion of annual workers compensation claims, EMCs include special equipment and technologies for workers suffering from pain in these areas.