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Chris Bell

Practical Ergonomics Make All The Difference to Businesses

Practical ergonomic practices are often overlooked as a way of building business success, but they are fundamental to the wellbeing and health and safety of everyone who works within a company, no matter what its size is.

If business employees aren’t well cared for, or if they’re battling work-related injuries, the work that they are required to do is often neglected and the company as a whole will suffer as a result.

More is being learned about the health and safety risks in standard office environments and the various strains that employees are placed under on a daily basis. Gaining a basic understanding of office ergonomics is one way in which business owners can help make their employees safer and happier.

Occurrences of Office Related Injuries

Good ergonomic practice in business can help prevent many office-related conditions and injuries. Some of the most commonly reported conditions are repetitive strain injuries and musculoskeletal injuries.

The latter type of trauma is often caused by sitting or standing in the same position for prolonged periods, or by heavy lifting. Repetitive strains are caused by continual engagement in activities that require a fixed position, such as sitting and typing on a keyboard.

Implementing Good Office Ergonomics

How can we help address these issues? One of the most helpful ways is to talk to our staff members, either face to face or via a meeting, or survey in which they can air any issues they may be facing.

Direct questions that ascertain whether employees spend long periods of time sitting in the same position, or if they carry out activities that require lots of repetition will form the basis of good questions to ask.

Looking at hiring someone to observe staff as they work is another potential avenue to explore. They can monitor the types and amounts of activity employees are undertaking and how this is impacting on their health.

Information on how employees sit, how they move, and which areas of their bodies are placed under the greatest amount of repetitive strain should always be noted.

Workable solutions can then be offered. These could include ideas such as chairs that can better support backs, ergonomic or standing bay desks can help, as can offering different types of storage solutions like free-standing shelves to minimise bending down to reach items or plastic storage bins that make it easier to find documents easily to reduce stress in keeping organised.  

The Results of Good Ergonomics Speak Volumes

Employees and businesses will both directly benefit from implementing good office ergonomics. This, in turn, can ultimately result in less time lost with sick leave or occupational health appointments and a better, happier workforce.

Companies that look after their staff will benefit from an increase in productivity and a reduction in tiredness, fatigue, and illness, not to mention less in the way of litigation and compensation claims.

It can often be tempting to leave ‘simpler’ things like good office ergonomics low down on the list of company priorities, but with just a few simple steps that engage and involve employees and looking at how the office operates as a whole, it can make all the difference to the morale and wellbeing of staff in the short and long term.