What is an ergonomic hazard? Any physical factor in the workplace that has the potential to cause injury or other health concerns can be considered an ergonomic hazard. Identifying and eliminating these kinds of hazards in the workplace is crucial for preventing workplace injury.
The Department of Labor Statistics reports that over 2 million employees each year suffer from injury or illness in the workplace. These incidents cost companies millions of dollars in lost productivity and health care costs. Work-related injuries can also cost companies talent, as some injuries can be severe enough to force workers to quit their jobs or seek different fields of employment. All these things can be avoided by identifying and avoiding ergonomic hazards in the workplace.
What are some common ergonomic hazards?
There are many different ergonomic hazards that can cause injury in the workplace. According to OSHA, these are among the most commonly reported:
- Repetitive movements — Repetitive motions are often the cause of stress-related injuries. Typing, using a mouse or using hand tools are common examples.
- Awkward positions or postures — Poor ergonomics and body mechanics while working can cause back and neck pain, foot and ankle pain, and stiffness. Sitting with the head tilted forward is a type of poor posture that many workers use.
- Forceful motion — Long hours of forceful motion can cause strain in our muscles and ligaments. Gripping tools tightly, grabbing and moving heavy objects, and assembly line work are all examples of forceful motions that can cause wear and tear on an employee’s muscles.
- Contact pressure — Extended periods of pressure on any part of the body can result in injury. For instance, pressure on the wrists from long hours of typing and using a mouse is often the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Stationary positions — Sitting or standing in the same position for long hours is a common hazard. An employee keeping their head still while looking at a monitor or standing behind a cash register for long periods are examples of this hazard.
How can I prevent ergonomic hazards in my workplace?
Preventing ergonomic hazards in the workplace is a step toward ensuring the overall wellness of your employees. Ergonomic and body mechanics coaching services from Work-Fit can help to save your company money in the long run by addressing ergonomic hazards in your workplace today. Assessing your workplace for potential hazards can generate savings in workers’ compensation and lost productivity. This is achieved by identifying threats that may keep your valuable workers away from the job.
Our sports medicine professionals work to develop relationships with your managers and employees. We use their help and feedback to identify and correct health and safety concerns in your workplace. Our goal is to create a plan of action that will save your company money and engage your employees in improving their own well-being.
Contact our team today for more information about our services or to learn how we can help keep your employees work fit.