Why Care About Ergonomics?
As you might be aware of, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a temporary worker safety initiative to protect the rights, safety, and well-being of temporary workers employed and assigned by staffing firms to clients. This means there are more eyes on temporary worker injuries than in the past. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, Musculoskeletal Disorders accounted for 31 percent of the total cases for all workers that required days away from work, and workers who sustained an MSD required a median of 12 days to recuperate before returning to work. This tells us that not only should you be concerned with temporary worker’s injuries but that you should focus on ergonomics in the workplace. There are several primary ergonomic risk factors.
Primary Risk factors
- High Task Repetition
- Repetitive/Sustained Awkward Postures
- Forceful Exertions
There are three basic controls that can help reduce these type of injuries. Engineering controls, administration-controls and PPE.
- Workstation Design (ex: lowering a work surface to promote Neutral positioning)
- Task Design (ex: change the order in which an item is assembled)
- Product Design (ex: instead of ordering paint in 5-gallon containers use 2.5-gallon containers to reduce the weight)
- Tool Design (ex: tools that keep the wrist in neutral posture when engaged)
- Mechanical Lift Assists
- Work Rotation (through several jobs with different physical demands to reduce the stress on limbs and body regions)
- Training and Education (Train for MSDs and instruction in work practices that can ease the task demands or burden)
Personal Protective Equipment
- Knee pads for kneeling tasks
- Proper Shoe Wear
- Wrist Splints (while engaged in work that requires wrist bending)
Remember: Prepare and prevent don’t repair and repent!
Click here to download our Q4 2017 Safety Newsletter.