Reduce Workplace Illness


Source of news: Madison Financial Group
Edited by Christopher Simmons, Senior News Editor

New Program to Reduce 60% of Workplace Illness
Cut Work Comp Costs By 30%

A program to reduce the incidence of muscular skeletal disorders in the workplace and combat the skyrocketing costs of workers' compensation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, has identified repetitive stress injuries (RSI's) account for 60% of new workplace illnesses. Studies estimate one-third of all lost work days are due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD's) and roughly $1 for each $3 spent on workers compensation is a result of repetitive motion trauma sustained at work.

Every day, employees prove they are able to use poorly designed equipment, often under difficult working conditions. People adapt and can tolerate small departures from optimal designs of the equipment they use and the environments in which they work. However, there is a limit to the amount of adaptation a person can reasonably make. Beyond this is a cost in job efficiency, discomfort, frustration, job dissatisfaction and fatigue. All of these increase potential for accidents and personal injury, attendance problems and employee turnover.

Some employers say even though they have purchased the latest, most ergonomically sound office equipment, employees still complain of discomfort. Problems such as stiff necks, sore backs, and carpal tunnel syndrome continue to occur. Unfortunately, many employees don't understand the ergonomic concept. The most ergonomically sound chair will not help if it is not adjusted or used properly. In addition, there may be other factors such as the position of the monitor or keyboard that may be the real culprit. According to Ken Zans, a recognized ergonomics specialist, "Our work environment impacts our comfort, health, and performance. Quite often, we have control over our environment, yet we either don't know how to make change, or we become creatures of our own bad habits. When you take the time to educate an employee about proper work practices, you also establish expected work behaviors and procedures. An ergonomic assessment of the work station and a review of an employee's work habits should be a part of every performance appraisal."

A unique approach called "Ergonomic Solutions" creates a more ergonomically sound working environment and overcome the high cost of RSI's and MSD's.

To achieve maximum results, Alliance utilizes a three-pronged approach.

  • First, a training program reinforces how ergonomics is a part of the organization's business initiatives to maximize productivity and quality in a safe and healthy work environment.

  • Second, participant's workstations are individually analyzed and employees are counseled on methods to improve the efficiency of their work area.

  • Third, follow-up is provided to ensure methods are being utilized and problems have been resolved.

Using the Alliance "Ergonomics Solutions" method, over 90% of participants have reported the program was extremely effective in improving overall work comfort and employee morale. In addition, 100% of participants have seen at least some improvement in job performance.

Risk management is critical to any organization's success. Ergonomics is a proven method of reducing workplace risks. At the same time, implementing an effective ergonomic program is a cost effective method to increase productivity, improve employee morale, and maximize the company's bottom line.

© 2015 Alliance Training and Consulting, Inc.



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