Ergonomics Tip: What Office Equipment Will Make Me the Most Productivity?

Ergonomics Tip

As employees struggle to self-diagnose and troubleshoot the discomfort they have at work, many reach out to management with a request for equipment. Without proper training and diagnosis, this can be a waste of resources or escalate the problem.

See if this sounds familiar:

An employee starts to experience constant or even occasional discomfort and will start to become preoccupied. They are unsure what they exactly need, but they know they need something. They may even start trying to find any excuse they can to step away from their desk.
It occurs to them that maybe a new piece of hardware will solve all their issues. “My desk is horrible. I need to be able to stand.” Management doesn’t seem to agree, so the employee seeks the support of a medical professional. They book an appointment and lay out their case – the only think that will make them better is this new piece of office equipment and possibly some anti-inflammatory medication.

The medical professional without ever seeing the person’s work setup or how they interact within that setup writes a doctor’s note recommending an “ergonomic sit stand desk.” The employee takes the note to management to get approval of a new desk. The employer buys the cheapest intervention they can find, which is something that sits on top of the existing desk and will allow the person to stand. This is delivered to the employee and unfortunately 3 months later not only do the symptoms still exist, they are worse.

Preoccupied employee = loss of productivity

Doctor visit = claim against insurance

Diagnosis without visuals and proper case management = inaccurate or incomplete documentation in the system

New desk hardware that doesn’t solve problems = wasted resources

Employee with unresolved high discomfort = Increased risk of injury

Is there a better way?

Many companies with a proactive ergonomics program will tell you – absolutely. Let’s look how this situation plays out different in a company with a comprehensive ergonomics program.

The employee starts to have discomfort. Instead of letting things escalate, they go into their online ergonomics portal and take a survey. This survey collects key information on how they work and where they are having discomfort. Upon completion of the survey the person gets a set of recommendations and training based upon their responses.

The employee is feeling a bit better, but still has some discomfort. The ergonomist stops by for an evaluation. The ergonomist sees that the employee’s desk is too high. Putting something on top of the desk that raises the keying height for the individual is likely to make the discomfort worse.

The ergonomist instead recommends a keyboard tray that will allow the employee to bring the keying height lower to better fit their needs and allow them to get into a neutral posture. The ergonomist goes over how to use the equipment and how to best maintain their fit to avoid discomfort.

Employee concerns are addressed efficiently = Employee feels company cares and decision making is in hands of trained professional, which unburdens employee

External doctor visit not needed = no claim on insurance

Proper diagnosis from an expert who sees the work area, talks with employee and sees how the employee interacts within area = complete and more accurate documentation

New equipment may or may not be issued = A more educated allocation of resources based on need with emphasis on training and fit

Employee complaints addressed and managed = decrease risk of injury and increased morale

What many of us have learned in this industry is – what works to solve the problem of one employee will not necessarily work for the masses AND until you know what the problem is, it is very hard to treat it correctly.

A person has a leg injury. Would you order a cast or a band-aid? Is the leg broken or is it a scrape? Proper diagnosis is key to a proper solution.

No doubt hardware can help a situation, but it can also do the opposite by making things worse. Properly evaluating the situation and making educated recommendations based on the person and environment, this translates to a more accurate diagnosis and greater probability for success in the solution.

2018-10-16T04:13:41+00:00Ergo Squad News, Tips|

Ergonomics News – Are You Using Science Or Hunch For Employee Performance Evaluation?

By Rick Wertheimer, ErgoSquad President

People or workforce analytics involves using digital tools and data to measure, report, and understand employee performance. Previous efforts to make decisions about an employee base have been steeped in the idea of a “gut feeling.” It is easier to make better decisions with the advent of data analytics.

The need to improve the quality of talent is being driven, in part, by a tight labor market. What companies have learned by employing better customer experience is now being used to drive better employee experience. Afterall, employees are really the first customers of a company.

The word, ergonomics, is derived from two Greek words: ergon, meaning work, and nomoi, meaning natural laws. Combined together, they create a word that means the science of work and a person’s relationship to that work. More specifically, ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker’s body to fit the job.

Adapting tasks, tools, and equipment to better fit the worker can help reduce physical stress on a worker’s body and eliminate many potentially serious, disabling work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) which will lead to greater productive and reduce the cost of health and worker’s comp claims. An ergonomic assessment fosters the identification of the environmental factors creating a performance gap and the potential for MSDs and the correctable conditions required to reduce or eliminate the gap and health risk.

People analytics involves the collection of data from many different worker disciplines. The simple premise of ergonomics makes it a natural discipline to include in the analysis of worker performance. Including the data collected through ergonomic assessments and identified corrective measures in workforce analytics will result in a richer dataset, better decision making and ultimately worker experience and productivity.

Are you using Ergonomic in your workplace? Do you think Ergonomics analysis will help you make better decisions?

Rick Wertheimer is President of ErgoSquad. Find out more about Rick here

2018-09-17T14:39:34+00:00Ergonomic Benefits|

Ergonomics And Productivity – Some Tips To Use Ergonomic Thought

How does ergonomics improve productivity?

The presence of ergonomic risk factors — awkward postures, excessive force, and high task repetition — makes a job more frustrating and difficult to perform. This causes a variety of problems including losses in productivity. And yes, it can be counted and quantified

The ergonomics improvement process reduces risk factors and improves the interaction between the work and the worker. Done well, this process removes barriers to productivity and makes job tasks easier and faster to accomplish.

Improve productivity by reducing awkward postures

Working in an awkward posture is not an efficient way to work. The ergonomics process encourages work to be done in the “comfort zone”, causing less fatigue and helping you work faster and more accurately.

Improve productivity by reducing high force requirements

High force requirements cause unnecessary exertion that slows work down. Using mechanical assists, counter balance systems, adjustable height lift tables and workstations, powered equipment and ergonomic tools will reduce work effort and muscle exertions.

Improve productivity by reducing highly repetitive tasks

High task repetition, especially when combined with other risks factors such high force and/or awkward postures, increases fatigue and slows the work process down. Excessive or unnecessary motions should be reduced if at all possible. In situations where this is not possible, it is important to eliminate excessive force requirements and awkward postures.