There is no denying that safe work environments are directly associated with productive ones. No matter the type or scale of any business, owners should establish proper safety procedures that protect both staff and business property. For the most part, these procedures are now prevalent in today’s modern world, but there is still much more to be improved.
For starters, business owners and employees alike oft undervalue or overlook the importance of ergonomics in the workplace. From minor injuries to more serious incidents, this lack of proper attention results in lost time and money for businesses due to injured employees. Below, we take a closer look at ergonomics and its role in any work environment.
The word ergonomics was coined by McCormick and Sanders back in 1993, defining it as the application of information about humans, their abilities, limitations, and behaviour towards creating work, tasks, tools, and mechanical equipment that facilitates a comfortable, safe, effective, and productive work environment. In short, ergonomics is the relationship between a worker and a particular job or task, including studying all the aspects of the workplace, from environments to technologies used. Moreover, ergonomic risk assessments allow organisations to better understand their work systems and designs and determine if they are compliant with applicable legislation in their region.
Why Ergonomics Is Essential In The Workplace
Business owners tend to direct most of their attention on growing their business that they often overlook indirect factors that play a critical role in helping them achieve their goals. Ergonomics is one such factor, and given how employees spend a third of their lives working, they are bound to experience injuries at work or due to their work, typically musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). A few of the common activities that lead to such incidents are:
- Lifting heavy items
- Reaching overhead
- Sitting for hours
- Pushing and pulling heavy objects
When these are done incorrectly or without the proper technique, many health issues can arise that result in loss of work and absenteeism. Employees at high risk of getting injured or sick will inevitably be unfit to perform their duties, resulting in losses for the business. However, if they are trained and informed about proper ergonomic practices and provided with ergonomic tools, businesses can enjoy far fewer absences from sick employees that need to recover and retain more stable staff uptime.
How Ergonomic Planning Leads To Business Success
Incorporating ergonomics in the business’s everyday practice significantly maximises efficiency and minimises downtime. Ultimately, employers that pay attention to their staff’s well-being tend to have a happier and more productive workforce, and thus, a more successful business. Achieving this requires knowing and taking action on the following responsibilities:
1. Create and maintain a safe working environment
It is important to clearly express the objectives and goals of the business’s ergonomic processes and assign relevant responsibilities to employees.
2. Periodically conduct ergonomic risk assessments
When making these assessments, don’t forget to consider the staff’s input.
3. Properly train the staff
Training allows employees to understand and be aware of the importance of applied ergonomic processes in the workplace and the benefits they bring.
4. Encourage employee feedback
Employees are the first to know about early symptoms of MSDs, so encourage them to speak up to facilitate the development of a solution that prevents such health problems.
Given how ergonomics comes with significant benefits when incorporated into the organisation and substantial advantages when neglected, it is undoubtedly a key component to business success. Thus, there is no reason not to convince your boss to invest in ergonomic tables and chairs if your desk setup needs improvement.
If you’re interested in making the first step towards a more ergonomic working/studying desk setup, TakeAseat.sg is more than happy to help! We provide quality ergonomic products for kids and adults alike, including adjustable study tables, ergonomic tables and chairs, standing desks, and more! Come visit our furniture shops at Ubi and Jurong East at any time and experience our products’ ergonomic advantages first-hand.