Whenever people lift heavy objects, perform repetitive tasks, or sit for long periods of time, they are at risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) involving muscles, tendons, and nerves. Given how often such situations occur as part of everyday life on the job – whether it’s working along a production line or sitting for long hours at a computer workstation – it’s little wonder OSHA has found that MSDs developed at work are one of the leading causes of lost workday injury and illness.
In a number of industries, a worker’s likelihood of injury is increased by workplace exposure to risk factors, such as lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively.
MSDs have increasingly been the focus of studies into how ergonomic principles can be used to prevent work-related injuries. Ergonomics is the study of the relationship between people, their work, and their physical work environment. The goal of ergonomics is to evaluate the total human being, both mental and physical, and then apply sound principles to each individual's needs, whatever the body size, shape, and personal limitations.
By introducing ergonomic principles, it’s possible for employees who work with heavy machinery or who sit at a desk, to begin enjoying health benefits now and become more invigorated, comfortable, and productive over time.
Some organizations wait until employees develop MSD symptoms before seriously considering the ergonomics of a job situation. However, ergonomic evaluations are most effective before problems arise. And because MSDs and other health issues related to poor ergonomics often take time to become noticeable, it’s important to find an ergonomics solution sooner rather than later to prevent any new or additional injuries from happening.
The major purpose of ergonomics is to fit the job to the individual and promote healthy and safe work practices. Workplace Safety & Health Company can assist you with your ergonomic risk identification, assessment, and solution needs.
Workplace Safety & Health Company specializes in evaluating employee workstations, assessing potential for injury, prioritizing stations based on risk, and making appropriate recommendations in order to reduce or eliminate worker ergonomic-related risks. Contact us to learn more.