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The Benefits of In-Person Ergonomics Assessments

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
By Anne Kramer

Many employers know the importance and value of providing ergonomic equipment for their employees: this measure not only improves productivity, but it also decreases work-related injuries such as slip and falls and repetitive stress injuries. Taking an extra step and completing an on-site ergonomic evaluation with a trained professional offers even greater value. Bringing in an expert offers a qualified perspective and invaluable insights that can further improve the workplace.

  • An expert can help employees adjust their workstations properly. While many employees may adjust their chairs, footrests, and other equipment based on what “feels right,” small changes in configuration can significantly improve users’ posture. An on-site task analysis can also help in the reconfiguration of workstations based on users’ tasks.
  • Trained ergonomic professionals can demonstrate how to properly use and adjust equipment, including chairs, keyboards, and document holders. They can also show employees what proper posture looks like for various tasks. During an on-site consultation, employees can get supervised practice using proper techniques on the job.
  • During an on-site evaluation, an ergonomic expert can identify areas that may still pose risks for employees and recommend the best, most cost-effective solutions. They can also optimize current ergonomic interventions to ensure maximum benefit. A professional can assist in retrofitting or repurposing existing equipment to comply with ergonomic principles.
  • By visiting the work site, a trained ergonomic professional can answer employees’ questions within the context of their individual workstations. Rather than providing generalized advice or one-size-fits-all recommendations, an on-site expert can offer the specific and thorough responses that employees need to master ergonomic interventions.
  • An in-person ergonomic evaluation enables an ergonomic specialist to experience daily working conditions like lighting and layout. These factors are impossible to assess remotely, but they play a central role in employee health and productivity. Proper lighting varies based on employee tasks and the presence of natural light. Meanwhile, an ergonomically conscientious floor plan can significantly improve productivity.
  • Bringing in a trained ergonomic professional shows employees that their health and productivity are a top priority. This message improves morale and also encourages employees to make their health a priority, as well. Ergonomics becomes an integral part of office culture. Furthermore, since each employee meets individually with an expert, employees know that their opinions and concerns have value.

Conducting an on-site ergonomic evaluation of a worksite has multiple benefits. A trained ergonomic professional can work one-on-one with each employee, to ensure that everyone in the office understands and uses ergonomic measures. Meanwhile, a holistic assessment of the entire work area can improve the work environment’s lighting, layout, and safety. Finally, consulting an ergonomic expert in person reinforces the importance of employee safety and comfort.

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