Effective methods to boost morale and the bottom line
Image: Nik Shuliahin Ukraine on Unsplash
D. Slater Smith
12 Days away from work…
…is what you can expect each year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor per person. These absences are due to musculoskeletal (MSD) issues. Musculoskeletal, a 6 syllable word that includes your bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissues.
Musculoskeletal or MSD, basically boil down to 3 groups:
$13,670 per claim. If your business is construction or manufacturing, it’s twice as high.
Fortunately, ergonomic plans and principles help reduce events that lead to workplace injury.
Yes, it would make mothers proud if everyone stopped slouching at desks, but it can also help your workplace mitigate injuries.
An effective strategy for ergonomics might include simple tools like a mousepad that reduces repetitive stress. However, the principles are even broader, and the benefits include:
⦁ A Happier Team - They know management is on their side
⦁ Increased Productivity - From more engaged professionals
⦁ Better Quality - Eliminate hazards that hamper work quality
⦁ A Superior Work Culture – Better morale reduces turnover costs
⦁ Reduction of Time and Financial Costs - Due to injury
The good news? Reducing the risk and won’t require a large time and money investment.
Establish Management Support
A team can draw on the vision of its leadership towards a safer work environment. Moreover, establishing management support can help craft clear objectives for the ergonomics initiative.
Make the juice with your people, not out of your people.
A team that proactively sets the tone of health and safety uses well-defined goals for the workplace. Management should involve the whole team.
Connect safety metrics to management performance in a meaningful way.
Communicating the value of ergonomics to the entire organization is crucial for the plan's success. In addition, this management involvement can show the team a clear strategy that recognizes and addresses risks unique to your environment.
Practical ergonomics in the workplace protects the team's health and safety and manages costs. These principles also begin with a reporting function and a dialogue that keeps the plan visible.
Make Reporting Easy.
Part of increasing healthy behavior and having the ideal environment is a reporting function that is easy to use. In addition, a team effort that maintains a consistent point of contact for reporting helps make the process reliable.
While reporting might seem intimidating, knowing the strategy well can help. Continuing communication and education around the ergonomics plan allows your employees to become an essential part of the risk-mitigation effort.
Identify Problem Areas
Injury reports are for much more than simply filing away.
Track incidents. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
The tasks most often repeated in a workspace can indicate problem areas. This review can include any work responsibilities requiring awkward movements, lifting, or turning.
If your team is regularly typing, are their chairs at an ideal height to keep fingers in line with the forearm?
If your team works in warehousing, are you vigilant to the common causes of sprains, strains, and muscle issues from improper lifting?
Take action today.
Add to the plan methods that make early reporting easy. A team will make these decisions more readily by making them simple and highly accessible.
The previously mentioned identification and assessment should fall into an analysis of ergonomics. Although a professional can help your team home in on the most fitting approach, often remedies will be fairly easy to spot.
Involve Your Team.
Each analysis comes with a chance to adapt something in the workplace to become more employee-friendly. Management can take that opportunity to review with the team. It involves them in the process, so the decision is mutually beneficial.
With team leadership, come to a consensus on the application of the solution. Since it may require some investment, it should be a part of the dialogue for management. Hard information in-hand will make discussion easier.
With $45-$54 billion spent annually, making room for the discussion is very worthwhile.
The ideal ergonomics strategy for your team will help reduce/eliminate injuries and lessen stress levels.
Consider tools that will make these possibilities a reality for your team. Then, make a plan today to protect your efforts towards a growing community of professionals.
Your support makes my writing about Health, Wellness and Lifestyle possible. You can sign up to receive a notification when I publish a story. I’m the founder/owner of UCOBO where we focus on harmonization of Body and Physical Environment.